Denver: Friday qualifying summary

Cannon, Kalitta, Johnson and Hines lead qualifying at Mopar Parts Mile-High Nationals. MORRISON, Colo. -- Scotty Cannon continued his hot streak in Funny Car competition by leading the qualifying order Friday at the Mopar Parts Mile-High...

Cannon, Kalitta, Johnson and Hines lead qualifying at Mopar Parts Mile-High Nationals.

MORRISON, Colo. -- Scotty Cannon continued his hot streak in Funny Car competition by leading the qualifying order Friday at the Mopar Parts Mile-High Nationals at Bandimere Speedway.

Doug Kalitta, Allen Johnson and Matt Hines also were qualifying leaders at the $1.8 million race, the 13th of 23 events in the $50 million NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series.

Cannon, who earned his first career No. 1 qualifying position two weeks ago in St. Louis and finished that race with his second career runner-up finish when he lost to John Force on a foul start, clocked a 5.075 second run at 301.20 mph in his Oakley Pontiac Firebird.

"It makes it fun to race when you are running like this and I've got to give the credit to my team," said Cannon, who recorded his first and only other career final round finish at this event in 2000. "The key to winning is putting together a good team and Don (Schumacher) has certainly done that with this group. I'd like to think we're over the hump and getting closer to that first win. All I need to do is go a mile on Sunday. At the last race I went three-quarters-of-a-mile. I know a win would be great for this team and really give us even more confidence."

Kalitta moved to the front of the Top Fuel pack with a 4.723 at 313.66 in his Mac Tools dragster. Runaway Top Fuel points leader Larry Dixon, who surprised everyone by failing to qualify at the last race, rebounded with a sixth place effort at 4.848 at 294.43 in his Miller Lite dragster.

"I am pretty happy with that (run)," said Kalitta, a two-time runner-up at this event. "I think we have a good chance of keeping the top spot, but you never know. We've had some success at this track in the past and hopefully this will be the weekend that turns our season around. We've been having problems getting past second round lately and we would like to go four rounds on Sunday."

Johnson clocked a run of 7.280 at 189.44 in his Dodge Neon to lead the 16-car order. Ron Krisher set a track record speed in a Chevy Cavalier at 189.76, but qualified ninth with a time of 7.312.

Hines posted a 7.565 at 178.85 on a Suzuki to pace the Pro Stock Motorcycle category.

Qualifying continues Saturday with sessions at 11 a.m. and 3 p.m.

-nhra-

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Series NHRA
Drivers Matt Hines , John Force , Doug Kalitta , Ron Krisher , Scotty Cannon , Allen Johnson