Englishtown: Bazemore, Bernstein among Friday leaders

ENGLISHTOWN, N.J. -- Whit Bazemore tied the second-quickest Funny Car run in NHRA history Friday at Old Bridge Township Raceway Park to lead qualifying for the 32nd annual Matco Tools SuperNationals presented by Racing Champions. ...

ENGLISHTOWN, N.J. -- Whit Bazemore tied the second-quickest Funny Car run in NHRA history Friday at Old Bridge Township Raceway Park to lead qualifying for the 32nd annual Matco Tools SuperNationals presented by Racing Champions. Kenny Bernstein, Mark Pawuk and Antron Brown also were qualifying leaders in their respective pro categories. Bazemore powered his Matco Tools Pontiac Firebird to a career-best 4.787-second effort with a speed of 309.56 mph to take the top spot at the $2 million race, the eighth of 24 events in the $50 million NHRA Winston Drag Racing Series. "I was surprised that it ran a 78 (4.78)," Bazemore said. "I knew it was a low 80 -- you just know when it's a good run. I knew the track was there and the car felt like it was really haulin' down there. That's what we were hoping for. The performance has been there all year, but we just didn't get it all together until now. I think we can get the (national) record." The run is the quickest for Funny Car since NHRA mandated the 90-percent nitromethane rule in 2000, and ties John Force, who posted a 4.787 in 1998 at the Texas Motorplex in Dallas, for second-quickest in history. Tony Pedregon, who qualified second with a 4.801, holds the quickest pass in NHRA history, a 4.779-second run, set in 1999 at Gainesville (Fla.) Raceway. Bernstein was quickest in Top Fuel, clocking a 4.561 at 322.58 in his Budweiser King dragster. Pawuk led the Pro Stock field with a 6.832 at 200.17 in his Summit Racing Pontiac Grand Am. Brown paced the Pro Stock Motorcycle lineup by clocking a 7.173 at 183.24 on his Team 23 Suzuki. Qualifying continues Saturday at 1 p.m.

-NHRA

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Series NHRA
Drivers Antron Brown , Kenny Bernstein , Mark Pawuk , Tony Pedregon , Whit Bazemore , John Force