Atlanta: Friday summary

COMMERCE, Ga. - Kenny Bernstein led Top Fuel qualifying Friday at the Advance Auto Parts NHRA Southern Nationals with a quarter-mile run of 4.521 seconds at a top speed of 318.92 mph. Bernstein's pass equaled the quickest elapsed time under the...

COMMERCE, Ga. - Kenny Bernstein led Top Fuel qualifying Friday at the Advance Auto Parts NHRA Southern Nationals with a quarter-mile run of 4.521 seconds at a top speed of 318.92 mph. Bernstein's pass equaled the quickest elapsed time under the NHRA's 90-percent nitro-methane rule. Jerry Toliver, Greg Anderson, Matt Hines and Bob Panella led their respective divisions at the $2 million NHRA Winston Drag Racing event at Atlanta Dragway.

Bernstein edged out Mike Dunn for the top spot. Dunn posted an impressive 4.583 at 324.75 in his Yankee dragster which held as the quickest run until Bernstein's category-topping run to close the night session. Dunn established the quickest pass under 90% nitro at the Checker Schuck's Kragen Nationals this season before Bernstein matched the time tonight.

"Tim (Richards) gave me the horse to ride and made all the right moves and all the right choices," Bernstein said. "We're very proud to have equaled the 90% nitro record."

Toliver had a track record elapsed time of 4.843 at 310.98 in his Pontiac Firebird Funny Car. If Toliver can hold on to the top spot through Saturday's qualifying sessions, it will be his first pole of the 2001 season.

"We always knew that we had a good team and a good Firebird we just kept getting snake bit," said Toliver, currently 16th in the 2001 NHRA Winston Funny Car points. "We knew that we could make this kind of a run, unfortunately it's just taken more time then we wanted to get there. Our confidence is up and running after that run."

Fresh off his first career win in Bristol, Tenn. last week, Anderson topped the Pro Stock division with a pass of 6.884 at 199.82 in his Pontiac Firebird.

"It's like I got Warren Johnson's car," Anderson said. "That's it - somebody put Warren's car in my trailer overnight or something. It's surprising me every run. It just keeps getting faster and faster and faster. I've never had a car like this."

Hines' Suzuki led the Pro Stock Motorcycle field with a pass of 7.208 at 187.21 while Panella's Chevrolet S-10 topped the Pro Stock Truck category with a track record 7.471 at 180.69.

Qualifying continues Saturday at 10:30 a.m.

-NHRA

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About this article
Series NHRA
Drivers Matt Hines , Bob Panella , Mike Dunn , Kenny Bernstein , Warren Johnson , Greg Anderson , Jerry Toliver