BRISTOL, Tenn. (July 9) â€“ Friday afternoonâ€™s third round of professional qualifying for the Inaugural Winston Showdown at Bristol Dragway took place under clear skies and hot conditions. Still, crowd-favorite Mike Thomas, from nearby...
BRISTOL, Tenn. (July 9) – Friday afternoon’s third round of professional qualifying for the Inaugural Winston Showdown at Bristol Dragway took place under clear skies and hot conditions. Still, crowd-favorite Mike Thomas, from nearby Knoxville, managed to shrug off the extreme conditions and post his top speed of the weekend when he reached 194.74 mph during a 7.112-second quarter-mile pass.
The lap was a marked improvement over Thomas’ Round 1 pass of 7.183 seconds at 193.93 mph, which took place yesterday under similar weather conditions. But it was still a tick slower than Thomas’ Thursday evening run of 7.107 seconds at 193.46 mph. Officially, that nighttime lap will remain as his best of the weekend and keeps Thomas in the No. 11 position on the ladder.
“If we can improve as much in tonight’s evening session as we improved in the daytime session, we should be right near the top of the field,” Thomas said. “I have no reason to think that won’t happen. We’re basically still tuning the car and now that we have three full runs under our belt, we know exactly what we can and cannot do out there.
“The left lane is the one that has been producing the quickest times so far and that’s where we’ll be tonight when the cooler temperatures come into play. This appears to be playing right into our hands. I like to save my best pass for the last one and give whoever I’m racing tomorrow something to think about.”
The final qualifying session begins at 8:30 p.m. this evening. Due to his victory last season in Chicago, Thomas is assured of a spot in tomorrow’s first round of elimination racing. His starting position and first-round opponent will be determined after Round 4.