Englishtown: Friday qualifying report

PEDREGON, DIXON, JOHNSON AND HINES LEAD QUALIFYING AT K&N FILTERS SUPERNATIONALS ENGLISHTOWN, N.J. -- Cruz Pedregon raced to the qualifying lead in Funny Car Friday at the K&N Filters Supernationals presented by Advance Auto Parts at Old...

PEDREGON, DIXON, JOHNSON AND HINES LEAD QUALIFYING AT K&N FILTERS SUPERNATIONALS

ENGLISHTOWN, N.J. -- Cruz Pedregon raced to the qualifying lead in Funny Car Friday at the K&N Filters Supernationals presented by Advance Auto Parts at Old Bridge Township Raceway Park.

Pedregon, whose last victory came at the historic quarter-mile drag strip in 2000, covered the distance in 4.791 seconds at 316.45 mph in his Advance Auto Parts Chevy Monte Carlo.

"That was a little bit of a surprise," Pedregon said. "Wes (Cerny, crew chief) told me before the run that he had it set up a little aggressively and to keep it in the groove. I had it straight enough for the No. 1 spot. We've been knocking on the door here lately. The track held up and I felt we could hang in the top five with that run, but nobody was better tonight."

Larry Dixon, Kurt Johnson and Andrew Hines also were qualifying leaders at the $2 million race, the 11th of 23 events in the NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series.

Dixon, who has won NHRA races on the last four Father's Day weekends, led Top Fuel with a 4.482 at a track record speed of 332.26 in his Miller Lite dragster.

"After the run they told us we ran a .48 and I asked if they had the right car," Dixon said. "I am really happy for (crew chief Dick) LaHaie. He doesn't get a lot of shots on Friday. We made two great runs today. The track is more than capable of handling big speeds and I think there are cars that can run a big number this weekend. There are a lot of fast cars here this weekend. I just look for win lights and don't care how fast we go."

Johnson was quickest in Pro Stock, covering the distance in 6.675 at 206.10 in his ACDelco Chevy Cobalt.

"We figured the track would hold 60s today," Johnson said. "We were pleased with that run. The challenge for us here is to keep the car going straight. We've had a problem with that the last three races. Our goal today was to make two straight runs. I can celebrate for the next 12 hours and we'll see what happens tomorrow. If we get some cloud cover we may see some quicker runs."

Hines paced the Pro Stock Motorcycle order with a 7.107 at 189.02 on his Screamin' Eagle Vance & Hines Harley-Davidson.

"We made a few changes from the first session to the second," Hines said. "The first run was actually quicker, but there was some bumps in that lane that slowed us down. It's great to have Screamin' Eagle at the top of the charts."

The defending POWERade Series champion, who has had three No. 1 qualifying performances this season, hasn't won since this race one year ago.

"We've had 10 different finalists and five different winners," Hines said. "Some guys who didn't qualify last year have tuned up their bikes this year and the competition has never been better."

-nhra-

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Series NHRA
Drivers Larry Dixon , Kurt Johnson , Cruz Pedregon , Andrew Hines