Sonoma: Series Friday qualifying report

BECKMAN IN POSITION FOR FIRST NO. 1 OF 2010 Dixon, Allen Johnson and Matt Smith also pace respective fields SONOMA, Calif. -- Jack Beckman is in position to earn his first No. 1 qualifier of the season at the halfway point of qualifying at...

BECKMAN IN POSITION FOR FIRST NO. 1 OF 2010
Dixon, Allen Johnson and Matt Smith also pace respective fields

SONOMA, Calif. -- Jack Beckman is in position to earn his first No. 1 qualifier of the season at the halfway point of qualifying at the 23rd annual FRAM-Autolite NHRA Nationals.

The other provisional No. 1 qualifiers at the 15th of 23 events in the NHRA Full Throttle Series season were Larry Dixon (Top Fuel), Allen Johnson (Pro Stock) and Matt Smith (Pro Stock Motorcycle).

Because of a late delay in the night qualifying session, the second Top Fuel qualifying session was cancelled due to curfew and that left Dixon, who paced the field with a 3.839-second pass at 317.79 mph in the first session, as the overnight leader.

"We only got that one session in, but I'm glad it was a good one for us. It was a great run (but) gosh, I was disappointed we didn't get another shot at it. Bummer," said Dixon, who drives the Al-Anabi dragster.

Beckman paced the Funny Car field early with a 4.063-second pass at 311.56 mph in his Valvoline/MTS Dodge Charger and he had to wait out five pairs before it was official. It would be just the third No. 1 of his career.

"I told the crew guys, 'I try never to get emotionally wrapped up in this deal, but man would it be cool if everybody else smoked the tires and we ended up No. 1," Beckman said. "I was very surprised that we outlasted those 10 cars (and) I think tomorrow it's going to be extremely difficult for someone to get in under that."

In Pro Stock, Allen Johnson led the field with a 6.545 at 210.77 in his Team Mopar Dodge Avenger that set both ends of the track record. If it holds up, it would be his third No. 1 of 2010 and the 10th of his career.

"The conditions to 300 feet ... that was the best conditions we've seen in awhile," Johnson said. "The track's awesome. The air's awesome and I made a 'decent' run. Hopefully that'll hold."

In Pro Stock Motorcycle, Matt Smith claimed the provisional pole on the Al-Anabi Buell with a 6.912-second pass at 191.32 mph.

"Right now I'm happy. Our Al-Anabi V-Twin is running awesome and I can't say enough for it," Smith said. "The morning will be a fast session because we usually have a tailwind. If we have a tailwind and the air is this good, you'll see some 87s or 88s."

Qualifying at the 23 annual FRAM-Autolite NHRA Nationals concludes with the third and fourth sessions on Saturday when the fields will be set for Sunday's final eliminations.

-source: nhra

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Series NHRA
Drivers Larry Dixon , Jack Beckman , Allen Johnson , Matthew Smith