Joliet: Friday summary, Dunn sets record

JOLIET, Ill. - Mike Dunn stole the show Friday at the Lucas Oil NHRA Nationals setting the national speed record at 330.55 mph and an elapsed time of 4.559 seconds. Dunn's Top Fuel dragster ran over 330 mph for the third time this season and is...

JOLIET, Ill. - Mike Dunn stole the show Friday at the Lucas Oil NHRA Nationals setting the national speed record at 330.55 mph and an elapsed time of 4.559 seconds. Dunn's Top Fuel dragster ran over 330 mph for the third time this season and is the third fastest run this season. Del Worsham, Mike Edwards, Antron Brown and Don Smith led their respective divisions at the $2 million NHRA Winston Drag Racing event at Route 66 Raceway.

Although Dunn has run faster than 330.55 mph this season, he was able to back up the run within the required one percent with a second round pass at 329.02. "We've been chasing the speed record for a while and tonight everything just came together," Dunn said. "We know that this Yankees dragster has a ton of horsepower that will run big speed. If you can run fast without jeopardizing elapsed-time, you have it figured out. I think tonight we put our stamp of approval that we are the new speed kings of the sport."

Worsham's run of 4.831 at 315.19 in the first round put his Mountain Dew Pontiac Firebird Funny Car in the top slot. If he can maintain the top spot through Saturday's qualifying, this will be Worsham's second pole of the season. "You would think because of the chance of rain you have to back it down a little bit," Worsham said. "With a track like here in Chicago that is so good, if you back down you could do like we did in Topeka and come out and shake the tires and possibly drop a cylinder You just have to grab the bull and go with it. We took our chances, gambled a little bit and it hung on."

Edwards topped the Pro Stock division with a pass of 6.876 at 200.02 in his Young Life Chevrolet Cavalier. Edwards, who also is Ron Krisher's crew chief, also tuned Krisher's car to the No. 2 spot. "I haven't seen the graph, but in my car it felt like it was perfect." said Edwards. "I am really happy with my car even though we need little bit more on his, I am pretty happy with both of them."

Brown led the Pro Stock Motorcycle field with a pass of 7.229 at 184.95 while Smith set the Route 66 Raceway track elapsed time record in Pro Stock Truck with a run of 7.446 at 180.91 in a Chevy S-10. Smith is coming off a win in Topeka last weekend while Brown is seeking his fourth pole of the year.

NBA forward Tom Hammonds gave everyone a scare when his Winnebago Chevrolet Cavalier made contact with the wall and flipped during Friday's second qualifying session. Hammonds emerged from the car shaken but unhurt. "I feel like I took charge into Shaquille O'Neal but other than that I am fine," said Hammonds. "These cars take safety to the utmost concern. I wouldn't get in here and drive at over 200 mph if I didn't feel safe in the car. It's a tribute to how safe these cars are. It's just a bump in the road for us and we've got to regroup and come back."

Hammonds will attempt to configure another Jerry Bickel Chevrolet for his 6'9" frame and attempt to qualify Saturday.

Qualifying will continue Saturday at 12:10 and 2:50 p.m. and the Holley Pro Stock Truck Dominator Duel will start at noon, 2:45 and 4:30 p.m.

-NHRA

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Series NHRA
Drivers Antron Brown , Mike Dunn , Del Worsham , Ron Krisher , Tom Hammonds , Mike Edwards