Bristol Qualifying - Mostly Wet

Special to by Bill King Weather gnomes for the Farmer's Almanac check the NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series schedule each year for the date of O'Reilly Thunder Valley Nationals at Bristol Dragway and then confidently forecast rain...

Special to by Bill King

Weather gnomes for the Farmer's Almanac check the NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series schedule each year for the date of O'Reilly Thunder Valley Nationals at Bristol Dragway and then confidently forecast rain for that weekend. The FA editors earned high marks again this past Friday and Saturday as steady rain kept the NHRA Safety Safari's blowers, zambonis and sweepers toiling into the dwindling twilight.

One round of Top Fuel and Funny Car and two rounds of Pro Stock managed to slither down a very green racetrack midday Saturday with poles going to Brandon Bernstein (McKinney/TFX Top Fueler), Eric Medlin (Mustang Funny Car) and Pro Stock championship leader Dave Connolly (Cavalier).

The NHRA rulebook dictated that Sunday's race ladders for the three Pro classes be set according to first round times, with a starting position guaranteed to any driver in the top 10 in points not already on one of the 16 ladder rungs. As a consequence, Ron Capps (eighth in points) bumped Frank Pedregon off the bottom of the Funny Car ladder and Ron Krisher (fifth in Pro Stock coming to Bristol) sent Larry Morgan home. Morgan, by the way, is sponsored by Zmax, the additive company owned by Bruton Smith, who also owns Bristol Dragway - no promoter's option this weekend.

The right lane proved particularly squirrelly Saturday despite yielding quick times to Bernstein, who steered out of the "groove" toward the centerline to log a 4.539sec/324.83mph lap in the Budweiser King and to Connolly, who put on a drifting exhibition while posting a surprising 6.814/201.25 pass, 0.02sec clear of Warren Johnson's Grand Am.

Don Schumacher Racing's pair of point leaders - Tony Schumacher (Top Fuel) and Whit Bazemore (Funny Car) - wound up 14th and 11th, respectively.

TOP FUEL Final Qualifying

1) Brandon Bernstein, Lake Forest, CA (McKinney/TFX) 4.539sec/324.83mph
2) Morgan Lucas, Corona, CA (Hadman/TFX) 4.561/325.61
3) David Grubnic, Ypsilanti, MI (McKinney/TFX) 4.619/318.09
4) Scott Kalitta, Ypsilanti, MI (Attac/TFX) 4.639/325.92
5) Rod Fuller, Las Vegas, NV (Hadman/TFX) 4.652/324.83
6) Doug Kalitta, Ypsilanti, MI (Attac/TFX) 4.664/316.60
7) Larry Dixon, Indianapolis, IN (McKinney/TFX) 4.685/310.34
8) Scott Weis, Ashland, VA (Attac/FTX) 4.749/320.05
9) Cory McClenathan, Anaheim, CA (Hadman/BAE) 4.813/298.54
10) Doug Herbert, Cherryville, NC (McKinney/BAE) 4.904/283.37
11) Bruce Litton, Indianapolis, IN (Hadman/TFX) 4.943/265.38
12) Mitch King, Galveston, TX (Hadman/BAE) 5.118/265.43
13) John Smith, Williamston, TX (McKinney/BAE) 5.211/275.06
14) Tony Schumacher, Long Grove, IL (Hadman/FTX) 8.212/153.54
15) Scott Palmer, Highlandville, MO (McKinney/BAE) 9.838/96.15
16) David Baca, Brentwood, CA (McKinney/BAE) 10.802/83.57
DNQ: Luigi Novelli

FUNNY CAR Final Qualifying

1) Eric Medlin, Yorba Linda, CA (Mustang/TFX) 4.806sec/325.22mph
2) Robert Hight, Yorba Linda, CA (Mustang/TFX) 4.811/326.63
3) Gary Scelzi, Fresno, CA (Stratus/TFX) 4.814/322.19
4) John Force, Yorba Linda, CA (Mustang/TFX) 4.821/314.39
5) Del Worsham, Chino Hills, CA (Monte Carlo/BAE) 4.849/318.09
6) Tommy Johnson Jr., Avon, IN (Monte Carlo/TFX) 4.857/318.02
7) Tim Wilkerson, Springfield, IL (Monte Carlo/BAE) 4.872/313.58
8) Tony Bartone, Long Island City, NY (Monte Carlo/KB) 4.878/314.61
9) Jeff Arend, San Dimas, CA (Monte Carlo/BAE) 4.923/312.78
10) Bob Gilbertson, Gastonia, NC (Monte Carlo/BAE) 4.926/312.78
11) Whit Bazemore, Indianapolis, IN (Stratus/TFX) 4.948/308.78
12) Tony Pedregon, Chino Hills, CA (Monte Carlo/TFX) 5.021/272.78
13) Cruz Pedregon, Camarillo, CA (Monte Carlo/TFX) 5.093/313.15
14) Gary Densham, Bellflower, CA (Monte Carlo/BAE) 5321/236.09
15) Jack Wyatt, Corydon, IA (Firebird/BAE) 5.504/250.00
16) Ron Capps, Carlsbad, CA (Stratus/TFX) Points
DNF: Frank Pedregon, Phil Burkhart Jr., Jim Head

PRO STOCK Final Qualifying

1) Dave Connolly, Elyria, OH (Cavalier) 6.814sec/201.25mph
2) Warren Johnson, Sugar Hill, GA (Grand Am) 6.834/201.58
3) Kurt Johnson, Sugar Hill, GA (Cobalt) 6.837/200.83
4) Jeg Coughlin, Delaware, OH (Stratus) 6.839/201.01
5) V Gaines, Lakewood, CO (Stratus) 6.839/200.50
6) Greg Stanfield, Boosier City, LA (Cavalier) 6.843/200.38
7) Jason Line, Terrell, NC (Grand Am) 6.846/200.56
8) Richie Stevens, New Orleans, LA (Stratus) 6.847/200.53
9) Greg Anderson, Concord, NC (Grand Am) 6.848/200.50
10) Mike Edwards, Coweta, OK (Grand Am) 6.852/200.68
11) Rickie Smith, King, NC (Cavalier) 6.854/200.62
12) Kenny Koretsky, Richboro, PA (Stratus) 6.863/200.68
13) Jim Yates, Occoquan, VA (Grand Am) 6.863/200.47
14) Ben Watson, Concord, CA (Cavalier) 6.864/198.64
15) Allen Johnson, Greeneville, TN (Stratus) 6.864/199.37
16) Ron Krisher, Warren, OH (Cavalier) Points
DNQ: Larry Morgan, Ronnie Humphrey, Kevin Lawrence, John Mahoney, Mike Thomas, Jim Cunningham, Bob Benza, Dave Howard, Dave Strouse, Barry Grant, Dave Northrop, Erica Enders, Mark Pawuk, Josh King

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About this article
Series NHRA
Drivers Jim Head , Doug Herbert , Bruce Litton , Bob Benza , Frank Pedregon , Jeg Coughlin , Larry Dixon , Mark Pawuk , Kurt Johnson , Warren Johnson , Scott Weis , Bob Gilbertson , Tony Pedregon , Tony Bartone , Del Worsham , Whit Bazemore , Ron Capps , John Force , Tony Schumacher , Gary Scelzi , Doug Kalitta , Greg Anderson , Ron Krisher , Jim Cunningham , Larry Morgan , David Baca , David Grubnic , Gary Densham , Cruz Pedregon , Cory McClenathan , Scott Kalitta , Greg Stanfield , Mitch King , Ben Watson , Kenny Koretsky , Tim Wilkerson , Brandon Bernstein , Bill King , Barry Grant , Allen Johnson , Jack Wyatt , Scott Palmer , Luigi Novelli , Morgan Lucas , Jason Line , Rickie Smith , Jeff Arend , Ronnie Humphrey , Don Schumacher , Dave Northrop , Robert Hight , Kevin Lawrence , Dave Howard , Rod Fuller , Dave Connolly , Mike Edwards , Tommy Johnson Jr.
Teams Williams