Baytown: Friday qualifying summary

Bernstein, Densham, Anderson and Brown Earn Top Qualifying Spots at O'Reilly Spring Nationals BAYTOWN, Texas - Texas native Brandon Bernstein raced to the provisional No. 1 qualifying position Friday during the 17th annual O'Reilly NHRA Spring...

Bernstein, Densham, Anderson and Brown Earn Top Qualifying Spots at O'Reilly Spring Nationals

BAYTOWN, Texas - Texas native Brandon Bernstein raced to the provisional No. 1 qualifying position Friday during the 17th annual O'Reilly NHRA Spring Nationals at Houston Raceway Park.

Gary Densham, Greg Anderson and Antron Brown also led their respective categories at the $1.9 million race, the fifth of 23 events in the $50 million NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series. It is the second of 15 national events for the Pro Stock Bike category.

Bernstein used a 4.516-second pass at 320.58 mph in his Budweiser dragster to lead the Top Fuel category after two rounds of qualifying. If he can stay in the No. 1 position, it will be the first top spot of the season and third in his young career.

"Tim (Richards, crew chief) and the guys really had it hopped up," Bernstein said. "We knew it was getting cooler and the track was getting tight. We saw a couple of good runs in front of us and knew we could turn in a good run."

Densham ran a 4.846 at 311.20 in his Auto Club Ford Mustang to lead the Funny Car class. Densham was the No. 1 qualifier in Phoenix earlier this season and has sixth other top qualifiers in his career.

Anderson drove his Pontiac Grand Am to the top in Pro Stock, setting the elapsed time track record with a 6.693 run at 205.44.

In the first four races of the season, Anderson has set seven of eight possible track records. He has been the No. 1 qualifier at every race dating back to the Chicago 2 event in September. If he can hang on to the top spot this weekend, Anderson will have a 10-race streak at the top.

"We were hoping it would be a little cooler than it was," Anderson said. "We were thinking we could go after the national record if it was in the 50s and 60s. But that really isn't our main concern right now because we already have the national record anyway. Our main concern is running quicker than everyone else."

Brown paced the two-wheel category, setting a track record time of 7.074 at 187.94 on his U.S. Army Suzuki. Brown has six top qualifying positions in his career going into the weekend.

Qualifying continues Saturday with sessions at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. Final eliminations are set for 11 a.m. Sunday.

-nhra-

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Series NHRA
Drivers Antron Brown , Greg Anderson , Gary Densham , Brandon Bernstein