Dixon, Pedregon and Anderson are qualifying leaders at O'Reilly Summer Nationals TOPEKA, Kan. -- It was just like old times for Larry Dixon Friday at Heartland Park Topeka as he battled a former rival for top qualifying honors at the O'Reilly ...
Dixon, Pedregon and Anderson are qualifying leaders at O'Reilly Summer Nationals
TOPEKA, Kan. -- It was just like old times for Larry Dixon Friday at Heartland Park Topeka as he battled a former rival for top qualifying honors at the O'Reilly Summer Nationals presented by Castrol GTX.
Tony Pedregon and Greg Anderson also were qualifying leaders at the $1.9 million race, the ninth of 23 events in the $50 million NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series.
Dixon led Top Fuel qualifying with a 4.509 second time at 327.11 mph in his Miller Lite dragster, while Kenny Bernstein, who had many quarter-mile battles with Dixon in the last two seasons, was second with a 4.563 at 326.56 in the Budweiser/Lucas Oil dragster. Bernstein, 58, a six-time series champion with 65 career victories, came out of retirement this weekend to sub for his son Brandon, who is recovering from injuries suffered during a crash last weekend at the K&N Filters SuperNationals in Englishtown, N.J.
"To be honest, when you look over at that red car it's no different whether it's Kenny or Brandon in there," Dixon said. "It probably took him half a run to get back up to speed. (Kenny's) not changed one bit. He's so competitive. He's a grizzled warrior out there. He was upset on that run because he felt his car was slow. I'll probably be just like him one day. Right now, I'm just happy to be driving a Top Fuel car."
David Baca was third in his American Racing Wheels dragster with a 4.585 at 317.42, while Doug Herbert was fourth in his Snap-on Tools dragster, recording a 4.615 at 314.97.
Pedregon continued to set the pace in Funny Car, clocking a leading performance of 4.806 at 320.51 in his Castrol Syntec Ford Mustang, which has been the car to beat in the category all season.
"I'm surprised it held up," Pedregon said. "I'm happy with the results. The more races you win, your expectations continue to get higher. It's just human nature to want to continue to move forward. But at the same time I understand this business because we're not going win 'em all. I am just happy for our team because all three of us are getting into form."
Skoal Racing teammates Tommy Johnson Jr. (4.817, 318.17) and Ron Capps (4.820, 315.86) were second and third respectively in identically prepared Chevy Camaros. Pedregon's teammates -- John Force and Gary Densham -- were fourth and sixth overall in their Mustangs.
Anderson remained the driver to beat in Pro Stock, driving his Vegas General Construction Pontiac Grand Am to a track record performance of 6.825 at 202.15.
"It's nice to stay on a roll," Anderson said. "It just shows what kind of team I've got. They're awesome. I just want to ride this wave."
Kurt Johnson was second, powering his ACDelco Chevy Cavalier to a run of 6.838 at 201.76, while Bruce Allen was third in his Speedco Grand Am with a 6.848 at 200.71.
Qualifying continues Saturday at 11 a.m.