Englishtown: Friday qualifying summary

Bernstein, Medlen, Anderson and Hines Pace Qualifying at K&N Filters SuperNationals ENGLISHTOWN, N.J. - Rookie Eric Medlen raced to the top of the Funny Car order Friday after the first day of qualifying at the 35th annual K&N Filters NHRA ...

Bernstein, Medlen, Anderson and Hines Pace Qualifying at K&N Filters SuperNationals

ENGLISHTOWN, N.J. - Rookie Eric Medlen raced to the top of the Funny Car order Friday after the first day of qualifying at the 35th annual K&N Filters NHRA SuperNationals at Old Bridge Township Raceway Park.

Brandon Bernstein (Top Fuel), Greg Anderson (Pro Stock) and Andrew Hines (Pro Stock Bike) also lead qualifying in their respective categories at the $2.1 million NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series event.

Medlen drove his Castrol Syntec Ford Mustang to a 4.830-second run at 317.72 mph to lead the category after two sessions. Qualifying continues at 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. Saturday. Final eliminations are set for 11 a.m. on Sunday.

"About 150 feet out there it started shaking real bad," Medlen said. "But with this car I always give it a chance to dry up. This time though it just kept doing it and I said, 'the heck with it, I'm not lifting' because I knew it was Friday night and you might as well go for it."

Medlen has not yet earned a No. 1 qualifier in his short career.

"I don't know if it will hold, but I hope it does," Medlen said. "We were almost No. 1 in Pomona (Calif.) but John (Force, car owner and teammate) took it from us on the last day. I told him that I thought he should have been nice to the new guy and he reminded me that he was being nice by letting me drive in the first place. It's hard to argue with that."

Bernstein went 4.565 at 325.85 in his Budweiser dragster to lead Top Fuel. This is the site of his 2003 crash that kept him out of racing for the remaining 15 events of the season.

"I've gotten into a mindset where this is just another strip and that's pretty much how I approached it today," Bernstein said. "But, of course, we do have some history here so it certainly feels great to be No. 1 after all that happened last year. It's a great feeling.

"I tried not to look at the walls, which I never do anyway. I stuck to the usual routine I have. Once the car starts you pretty much do the same procedure each time. You just go out there and do your job."

Anderson drove his Vegas General Construction Pontiac Grand Am to the top of Pro Stock with a 6.783 pass at 202.97. The No. 2 qualifier, Steve Johns, was close behind at 6.796 at 204.05.

"Our dominance seems to be diminishing," Anderson said. "The two Grumpy (Jenkins) powered cars continue to get better and better each week. We still have about the same gap on the rest of the guys but those two (Johns and teammate Dave Connolly) are here to stay."

Hines rode his Screamin' Eagle Vance & Hines Harley-Davidson to a 7.112 run at 189.60 to pace Pro Stock Bike. Hines has been the No. 1 qualifier at all but one race (four times) this season.

"I think everyone thought it was going to be faster than it actually was in the second round," Hines said. "For us, it was a simple matter of our lucky tire finally dying. We've had the same one on since [two races ago in] Chicago and that time it just spun all the way down the track. It's time for a new one."

-nhra-

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Series NHRA
Drivers Greg Anderson , Brandon Bernstein , Andrew Hines , Eric Medlen , Dave Connolly , Steve J