Bristol Pennzoil Qualifying report

BRISTOL, Tenn. (July 9) -- The field for the Inaugural Winston Showdown was officially set Friday evening at Bristol Dragway with the completion of the fourth and final professional qualifying session. Now the real racing can begin. One thing...

BRISTOL, Tenn. (July 9) -- The field for the Inaugural Winston Showdown was officially set Friday evening at Bristol Dragway with the completion of the fourth and final professional qualifying session. Now the real racing can begin.

One thing is certain, the all-star grouping of drivers and interesting first-round pairings will virtually assure fans of a day of drag racing they will remember for a long time.

Pennzoil Pro Stock driver Mike Thomas, who has already won the crowd over with his University of Tennessee-themed hot rod, thrilled his adoring fans once again in Round 4 by recording the session's second quickest lap. Thomas, who hails from Knoxville, blistered Thunder Valley's strip with a 7.075-second blast at 194.63 mph to jump from 11th place in the standings into the No. 4 position. It was the largest move of the day.

"We're building momentum every round," an excited Thomas said. "We have such a killer baseline on this car now. We're set for a battle tomorrow. I wish we could fire it up right now. I'm ready to go."

Thomas will open the elimination rounds against his good friend Mike Edwards, who qualified 13th with a 7.103-second lap at 194.07 mph. Thomas certainly knows what Edwards is capable of doing on the track. He has been leasing motors to him since March.

"I wish I could open up against someone else but you just can't think about stuff like that when you get on the track," Thomas said. "I'm just thinking that we could really use this race as a springboard to success in the second half of the season. If we could get on a roll and win go some rounds over the course of the next few races, we could really charge up the points standings.

"And you can't overlook what winning here at our home track would mean to all of us on the Pennzoil crew. Our family and friends are all here and the fans have been unbelievably nice to us all weekend. I'd love to have a victory party right here with about 50,000 of my closest friends."

Saturday's elimination rounds begin at 2:30 p.m. EST.

Be part of something big

Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series NHRA
Drivers Mike Thomas