Seattle: Friday qualifying report

BURKART, FULLER AND LINE TAKE QUALIFYING LEAD AT SCHUCK'S AUTO SUPPLY NHRA NATIONALS KENT, Wash. -- Phil Burkart Jr. raced to the qualifying lead Friday with a 4.898 second pass at 316.75 mph, which earned him the provisional Funny Car lead at...

BURKART, FULLER AND LINE TAKE QUALIFYING LEAD AT SCHUCK'S AUTO SUPPLY NHRA NATIONALS

KENT, Wash. -- Phil Burkart Jr. raced to the qualifying lead Friday with a 4.898 second pass at 316.75 mph, which earned him the provisional Funny Car lead at the 19th annual Schuck's Auto Supply NHRA Nationals presented by Lucas Oil at Pacific Raceways.

Burkart was joined by Top Fuel driver Rod Fuller and Pro Stock points leader Jason Line as qualifying leaders at the $1.4 million race, the 14th of 23 on the POWERade Drag Racing Series. Two qualifying sessions remain Saturday for Sunday's 11 a.m. eliminations.

Thirteen-time Funny Car champion John Force continues to track down points leader Ron Capps with a No. 2 qualifying effort. His 4.903 at 316.52 mph in his Castrol GTX Ford Mustang placed him just behind Burkart's event sponsor favorite Checker Schuck's Kragen Chevy Monte Carlo and seven spots ahead of Capps' 4.968 in his Brut Dodge Charger.

If Burkart can hang on to the position, it would be his first career No. 1 qualifying position.

"This is awesome," Burkart said. "My PR guy, Bob Wilber, just came over and said, 'Come on, we gotta go.' I was like, 'OK, where are we going?' I've never been No. 1 before, even on Friday night. I didn't know I had to [talk to the media.] This is cool.

"I feel like this has been coming for a long time with this team. Maybe this will kick it off for us and we'll be the breakthrough team of the second half of the season."

When Fuller made his 4.578-second, 322.19-mph run in his Valvoline/David Powers Homes Top Fuel dragster it was considerably quicker than anyone else in the class had posted to that point, bringing big smiles from crew chief Lee Beard and team owner David Powers. Brandon Bernstein later drew close with a 4.599 at 319.75 mph in his Budweiser/Lucas Oil dragster, but Fuller's E.T. kept him on top.

"The sun went down for us and Lee dove into the [timing] box a few times before we ran," Fuller said. "He had that look in his eye like he was going for it. What a place for this to happen for me because the last year I ran as a Sportsman, I ran Division 6, so this was my area and so many of my buddies have stopped by today to say hi."

New Top Fuel points leader Doug Kalitta drove to third place overall with a 4.656 at 324.28 mph in his Mac Tools dragster. Former points leader Melanie Troxel is 12th with a 4.748 in her Skull Shine/Torco Race Fuels dragster.

Line's Summit Racing Pontiac GTO remains the quickest car in Pro Stock as he posted a 6.690 at 206.80 mph to earn provisional low qualifier honors by .036 seconds through two rounds of time trials. Line, who moved into the series lead last weekend at Denver, already has a career-high three No. 1 qualifiers this year.

"That felt really good in the car and I guess the scoreboard agreed," Line said. "It was pretty stout. I'm usually over optimistic before each run as far as what the number's gonna be but to go 6.690, almost a 6.68-something, is pretty good. I'd say we got all of it out of that run."

-nhra

Be part of something big

Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series NHRA
Drivers Ron Capps , John Force , Doug Kalitta , Phil Burkart , Melanie Troxel , Brandon Bernstein , Jason Line , David Powers , Rod Fuller