Gateway Friday Recap

Bernstein, Wilkerson Overcome Hot Track To Take Top Spots After Two Rounds by Ed Dykes MADISON, Ill. - Kenny Bernstein continued his hot streak on the NHRA tour, qualifying at the head of the Top...

Bernstein, Wilkerson Overcome Hot Track To Take Top Spots After Two Rounds

by Ed Dykes

MADISON, Ill. - Kenny Bernstein continued his hot streak on the NHRA tour, qualifying at the head of the Top Fuel Dragster field on the first day of the 2nd annual Sears Craftsman Nationals today at Gateway International Raceway.

Driving the Bud King dragster in the hometown of his sponsor, Bernstein ran the quarter-mile in 4.649 seconds at 309.70 miles per hour, both new track records, in the Friday evening session. The Texas native, who has won the last two events on the tour, overcame a very hot and slick racetrack, one of few drivers to make full passes in both sessions.

Tim Wilkerson took the JCIT Firebird to the top spot in Funny Car, running 5.064 seconds at 293.54 miles per hour to knock fan favorite John Force down to the second slot. Wilkerson complemented a track surface that many other drivers were complaining about, and said that he expected to run even quicker in the final day of qualifying tomorrow.

Veteran Warren Johnson ended up on top of the Pro Stock pack, qualifying just ahead of his son Kurt with a track record 7.012 second 197.06 miles per hour pass. Thirty-six Pro Stock cars made qualifying runs today; Robert Patrick's Ford anchors the qualified field in the sixteenth spot.

In Pro Stock Motorcycle, Matt Hines continued to dominate the class, qualifying in the number one spot with a 7.448 second 184.46 miles per hour run. The class' distaff racers, Stephanie Reaves and Angelle Seeling, are qualified at eighth and ninth, respectively.

The Pro Stock Trucks made their final qualifying runs today, with their eliminations scheduled for Saturday. John Lingenfelter ended up atop the field, covering the quarter-mile in 7.805 seconds at 173.14 miles per hour in the category's first year on the tour. This was Lingenfelter's first #1 qualifier, registered when dominant Larry Kopp stumbled during the day's last session.

Darrell and Lisa Gwynn celebrated the birth of their first child tonight at 9:34 pm EDT. Kathie Brianne Gwynn, a 5-pound 9-ounce baby girl, was delivered at Memorial West Hospital in Pembroke Pines, Florida. Gwynn, who was paralyzed after a tragic crash in his Top Fuel Dragster in 1990, owns the Mopar Top Fuel Dragster currently driven by Mike Dunn.

Final eliminations for the Pro Stock Trucks and qualifying in the remaining professional categories will continue Saturday, along with eliminations for several hundred Federal-Mogul sportsman racers in attendance. Action starts at 8:00am, with the professional qualifying sessions scheduled for 11:00am and 3:00pm.

Results provided by the FastNews Network, courtesy of Summit Racing Equipment ** http://www.summitracing.com/ **

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About this article
Series NHRA
Drivers Matt Hines , Robert Patrick , Mike Dunn , Kenny Bernstein , Warren Johnson , Stephanie Reaves , Larry Kopp , John Lingenfelter , Tim Wilkerson