Bristol: Friday qualifying report

TROXEL, MEDLEN AND ANDERSON TOP QUALIFYING ORDER AT O'REILLY THUNDER VALLEY NATIONALS BRISTOL, Tenn. -- Top Fuel points leader Melanie Troxel raced to the qualifying lead Friday at the O'Reilly Thunder Valley Nationals at Bristol Dragway and was...

TROXEL, MEDLEN AND ANDERSON TOP QUALIFYING ORDER AT O'REILLY THUNDER VALLEY NATIONALS

BRISTOL, Tenn. -- Top Fuel points leader Melanie Troxel raced to the qualifying lead Friday at the O'Reilly Thunder Valley Nationals at Bristol Dragway and was joined at the top by rookie Hillary Will. It was the first time that women anchored the top two positions in an NHRA qualifying order.

Funny Car was led by Eric Medlen while Greg Anderson topped the Pro Stock lineup at the NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series event.

The day was marred by a spectacular accident involving veteran Top Fuel driver Cory McClenathan, whose FRAM dragster went out of control and crashed near the finish line. McClenathan was reported to be alert and conscious by NHRA emergency services officials and was transported to Bristol Regional Medical Center for observation. A team spokesperson reported later that McClenathan was checked and released from the hospital.

Running in the final pairing of the day, Troxel posted a 4.539 at 324.05 mph in her Skull Shine/Torco Race Fuels dragster to move around Will's 4.562-second effort in her KB Racing dragster.

"I did see that Hillary was No. 1 and we wanted to get around her so it's neat the way it worked out with us being 1-2," Troxel said. "I don't like it when the story is about the novelty of women driving against the guys but when we get in a story based on what we're accomplishing on the track then it's a lot better."

Medlen raced to a track-record elapsed time of 4.755 seconds at 306.53 in his Castrol Syntec Ford Mustang to lead the Funny Car order.

"It was moving around quite a bit and got a little close to the wall so I had to lift early but a 4.75 is good and we'll try to go from there tomorrow," Medlen said.

Three-time Pro Stock champ Anderson led his category with a 6.734 at 204.26 in his Summit Racing Equipment Pontiac GTO.

"We've given everyone the blueprint on how to build a successful team and a lot of people have caught up to us in the performance department," said Anderson, who currently leads the championship chase by 40 points. "It's come down to execution on race day and so far this year a lot of people have out-executed us."

Qualifying continues Saturday with sessions at 12:30 and 3 p.m. Sunday's eliminations start at noon.

-nhra-

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About this article
Series NHRA
Drivers Greg Anderson , Cory McClenathan , Melanie Troxel , Eric Medlen , Hillary Will