Brainerd: Friday summary

Scelzi, Dixon among Friday qualifying leaders at Lucas Oil Nationals at Brainerd International Raceway BRAINERD, Minn. - Gary Scelzi drove to the Funny Car qualifying lead Friday at the Lucas Oil NHRA Nationals at Brainerd International Raceway.

Scelzi, Dixon among Friday qualifying leaders at Lucas Oil Nationals at Brainerd International Raceway

BRAINERD, Minn. - Gary Scelzi drove to the Funny Car qualifying lead Friday at the Lucas Oil NHRA Nationals at Brainerd International Raceway. Larry Dixon, Kurt Johnson and Geno Scali also led their respective categories at the $1.9 million race, the 16th of 23 events in the $50 million NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series. Scelzi led the Funny Car order when he blasted his Oakley Dodge Stratus to a run of 4.940 seconds at 311.63 mph.

"It's a beautiful thing," said Scelzi. "We tested in Chicago on Monday and Tuesday and ran some of the quickest 60-foot times in our history. When we got here and found out that the track was hot and slippery, we went back to our tried-and-true setup from Seattle and Sonoma and that's a tribute to (crew chiefs) Mike Neff and Dan Olson." Dixon clocked a pass of 4.665 at 319.90 in his Miller Lite dragster to lead Top Fuel qualifying. "That time they put in a really soft engine and clutch setup to get down the track without spinning the tires," said Dixon. "We tried to run between a 4.67 and 4.70 and that's what it did." Johnson powered his ACDelco Chevy Cavalier to a pass of 6.876 at 200.23 to pace the Pro Stock field. "The track was 25 degrees cooler for the evening session and the air was a little better," said Johnson.

"I'm surprised it ran that well. It made a big move to the eighth-mile. We made some changes and improved from the first run." Scali rode his Trim-Tex Suzuki to the top of the Pro Stock Bike order with a run of 7.275 at 186.95. "Any time you start a weekend with two solid passes on Friday, you're always happy," Scali said. "We actually went the other way with the tune-up in round two and slowed down just a fraction, but putting up a 7.25 and a 7.28 is nice. It was hot and we expect it to be hot on race day so we might as well practice when it's hot." Qualifying continues Saturday with sessions at 12:15 and 3:15 p.m.

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Series NHRA
Drivers Larry Dixon , Kurt Johnson , Gary Scelzi , Geno Scali , Mike Neff