Joliet: Friday qualifying summary

Bernstein, Sarver, Yates and Savoie lead qualifying at Chicagoland Dodge Dealers NHRA Nationals. JOLIET, Ill. - Kenny Bernstein led Top Fuel qualifying Friday at the fifth annual Chicagoland Dodge Dealers NHRA Nationals at state-of-the-art Route...

Bernstein, Sarver, Yates and Savoie lead qualifying at Chicagoland Dodge Dealers NHRA Nationals.

JOLIET, Ill. - Kenny Bernstein led Top Fuel qualifying Friday at the fifth annual Chicagoland Dodge Dealers NHRA Nationals at state-of-the-art Route 66 Raceway.

Bruce Sarver, Jim Yates, and Angelle Savoie also were the leaders of their respective categories at the $1.9 million race, the 10th of 23 events in the $50 million NHRA POWERade Drag racing Series.

Bernstein blasted his Budweiser King dragster down the quarter-mile in 4.562 seconds at 325.06 mph to lead the 16-car order after the first day of qualifying action.

"I just give credit to (crew chief) Tim Richards and the team and setting the car up tremendously," said Bernstein, the defending NHRA POWERade Top Fuel champion. "We're just tickled to run that good and tomorrow we will start again in the sunshine and hope we can keep it going and keep up with everybody else. It was just a really good run and the track is just awesome We'll take it and not be greedy."

Sarver powered his White Cap Toyota Celica to the finish line in a career-best time of 4.760 at 316.23 to pace the Funny Car field. Sarver is making his third consecutive start in the Celica after former Top Fuel champion Gary Scelzi stepped out of the driver's seat after six races . In his first race back Sarver made it to the final round and last week he secured the No. 1 qualifying spot.

"I knew it was going good when I took off, but not that quick," said the 40-year-old Sarver. "The track was absolutely perfect. We felt real confident coming here after testing at Topeka (Kan.) last week. I'm back in the car and I'm comfortable. Hopefully, if this spot holds, I can break my streak of losing in the first round every time I have been the top qualifier."

Yates posted the best Pro Stock numbers when he clocked a pass of 6.862 at 200.65 in his Splitfire/Peak Pontiac Grand Am to lead the category. Tom Hammonds, who has not qualified for the last four events, occupies the No. 2 slot in his Winnebago Chevy Cavalier.

Savoie led all Pro Stock Motorcycle riders, logging the quickest run at 7.212 at 185.18 atop her CVEC Racing Suzuki.

Qualifying continues Saturday at 11:15 a.m.

-nhra-

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Series NHRA
Drivers Bruce Sarver , Kenny Bernstein , Gary Scelzi , Tom Hammonds , Tim Richards