Reading: Friday qualifying summary

MOHNTON, Pa. - Tony Schumacher raced to the quickest run in NHRA history to lead Top Fuel qualifying Friday at the Lucas Oil Nationals at Maple Grove Raceway. Tony Pedregon, Jeg Coughlin and Shawn Gann also led their respective categories at the...

MOHNTON, Pa. - Tony Schumacher raced to the quickest run in NHRA history to lead Top Fuel qualifying Friday at the Lucas Oil Nationals at Maple Grove Raceway.

Tony Pedregon, Jeg Coughlin and Shawn Gann also led their respective categories at the $1.8 million race, the 18th of 23 events in the $50 million NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series.

Schumacher blasted his U.S. Army dragster to a run of 4.465 seconds at 328.78 mph to lead the Top Fuel order. Schumacher must record a run of 4.509 or quicker this weekend to certify the run as a national record, which earns 20 bonus points. The professional categories had just one round of qualifying because of heavy rain delays.

"It was a great run," Schumacher said. "That was as perfect as anyone has seen. I think it is absolutely possible to back it up for the national record.

"Every bone in my body cracked, it was such a great run. We didn't change much from our setup in Indy when we ran the 4.499, but the air here just helped us."

Pedregon powered his Castrol Syntec Ford Mustang to a performance of 4.803 at 316.67 to lead Funny Car qualifying.

"I'm sure glad we got that session in," Pedregon said. "Not to mention to be able to run the quick time of the round. This run comes at a good time for us. We've struggled at the last five races losing in the first round four times. Last year, this is about the time we started to make our run. This is a real morale booster."

Coughlin led the Pro Stock order with a pass of 6.760 at 203.03 in his Jeg's Mail Order Chevy Cavalier.

"We're excited to be the (top qualifier)," Coughlin said. "After watching several of the early cars get loose in third and fourth gear, we felt we had a very aggressive tune up. It struck the tires in third gear, but I drove through it and when the 6.76 came up on the board we were happy to be low."

Gann paced the Pro Stock Bike field with a run of 7.135 at 183.34 on his Mac Tools Suzuki.

"It was almost a perfect run," Gann said. "The 60-foot time wasn't as good as we'd like, but it was a really nice pass. It was rolling."

Qualifying continues with two sessions on Saturday at 10 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. Final eliminations start at 11 a.m. on Sunday.

-nhra-

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About this article
Series NHRA
Drivers Jeg Coughlin , Tony Pedregon , Tony Schumacher , Shawn Gann