Indianapolis: Powell returns, qualifies

Cristen Powell made a dramatic return to the NHRA Funny Car ranks with an impressive qualifying performance at the U.S. Nationals. Powell's Bazemore Racing Matco Tools Nitrofish Camaro was one of the most consistent cars throughout qualifying...

Cristen Powell made a dramatic return to the NHRA Funny Car ranks with an impressive qualifying performance at the U.S. Nationals. Powell's Bazemore Racing Matco Tools Nitrofish Camaro was one of the most consistent cars throughout qualifying sessions, and posting their best elapsed time of 4.981 seconds with a top speed of 304.60 mph. This eventually placed Powell fifth, and allowed the team to skip the final session in order to better prepare for Monday's final eliminations. Cristen's first round opponent will be No. 12 qualifier Cruz Pedregon.

"So many wonderful things have happened. First, Whit Bazemore hires me to drive his car, and we come out here and nothing breaks. Not only did we qualify 5th, but we had four great runs and felt that we could sit out the fifth session and not really worry about it. We only got bumped one spot, and now we're all set for tomorrow.

"We run Cruz, and have no bad vibes with him, so I'm going to see it as just another race. I hope we go some rounds tomorrow, because I can only imagine what it would be like to win Indy. I would be awestruck.

"I feel like a gift has been given to me, and I'm really excited to be out here with the Matco/Nitrofish Camaro, trying to win rounds and the race. It seems extremely possible. Wayne Dupuy and Chris Cunningham are tuning this car. Everyone's seen it before with Todd Paton in the car, and I'm just another lucky driver that gets to race it, because it is an awesome car. It's got to be one of the most, if not the most, consistent cars out here."

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Series NHRA
Drivers Whit Bazemore , Cruz Pedregon , Todd Paton , Cristen Powell