Englishtown: Friday qualifying report

HEAD TAKES PROVISIONAL TOP SPOT IN FUNNY CAR; DIXON, ANDERSON, RIVAS ALSO PROVISIONAL NO. 1 QUALIFIERS IN ENGLISHTOWN ENGLISHTOWN, N.J. -- After nearly 15 years since his last No. 1 qualifier, Funny Car driver Jim Head raced to the provisional...

HEAD TAKES PROVISIONAL TOP SPOT IN FUNNY CAR; DIXON, ANDERSON, RIVAS ALSO PROVISIONAL NO. 1 QUALIFIERS IN ENGLISHTOWN

ENGLISHTOWN, N.J. -- After nearly 15 years since his last No. 1 qualifier, Funny Car driver Jim Head raced to the provisional top spot Friday at the place he last collected his No. 1 qualifier, the Lucas Oil NHRA SuperNationals.

Larry Dixon, Greg Anderson and Chris Rivas were also No. 1 qualifiers in their respective categories at the 11th of 24 events on the NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series.

Head drove his Head Racing Toyota Solara to a 4.803-second pass at 320.51 mph to become the provisional top qualifier. It would be Head's second career No. 1 qualifier, with his first coming in 1993 in Englishtown in the Top Fuel category.

"The conditions of the track were really good," said Head. "I thought the guys running after us would've had a lower number though. Fifteen to twenty minutes at that time of night is a really big thing."

Current Funny Car points leader Tim Wilkerson sits 10th after two rounds of qualifying, while defending event winner Tommy Johnson Jr. did not record a successful qualifying run on Friday and will get two more chances to get in the field of 16 on Saturday.

New Jersey native Antron Brown took the provisional top spot in Top Fuel, driving his Matco Tools dragster to a 4.502 at 326.24. It's would be Brown's second No. 1 qualifier of the season, and third at Englishtown, with his previous two at the track coming in Pro Stock Motorcycle.

"This track is the hometrack for me, I only lived 25 minutes away," said Brown, who grew up in Chesterfield, N.J. "It was about 22 years ago at this racetrack at the Summernationals, we were watching all these guys like Snake, Kenny Bernstein, Don Garlits, all those guys, and I always had that dream that I wanted to do that one day, but you never put it in perspective because you never think you'll actually be there."

Defending world champion Tony Schumacher sits in the ninth spot while Larry Dixon did not record a successful qualifying run on Friday and will get two more chances to get in the field of 16 on Saturday.

Defending event winner in Pro Stock, Greg Anderson, drove his Summit Racing Pontiac GXP to the provisional top spot with a 6.599 run at 209.23. It would be his second of the season, 64th of his career, fourth at Raceway Park and second consecutive in at the track.

"These Pro Stock cars are so close right now," said Anderson. "It's just who makes the right call at the right time and this was obviously the right time. You've got to make the most of it when the times are right and tonight the times were right."

Current points leader Kurt Johnson just missed the top spot of the day, coming in second, while defending world champion Jeg Coughlin sits in the 12th spot.

Following up his win in Chicago just one event previous, Pro Stock Motorcycle rider Chris Rivas rode his G-Squared/S&S Buell to a 6.932 at 191.21 and the provisional No. 1 qualifying spot. It would be Rivas' second consecutive career and season No. 1 qualifier.

"After the Chicago race I told the guys, 'you're going back to the shop, but don't touch the bike. Leave everything alone and we can use all the same parts, it's all still good,'" said Rivas. "I told them as long as they leave everything alone we can keep doing the same thing."

Current points leader Andrew Hines sits fourth while defending event winner Craig Treble is 12th.

Qualifying continues Saturday with sessions at noon and 2:30 p.m. Sunday's eliminations begin at 11 a.m.

-credit: nhra

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About this article
Series NHRA
Drivers Jim Head , Antron Brown , Jeg Coughlin , Larry Dixon , Kurt Johnson , Tony Schumacher , Greg Anderson , Don Garlits , Craig Treble , Tim Wilkerson , Chris Rivas , Andrew Hines , Tommy Johnson Jr.