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Schumacher Rolls To Provisional Pole In Thunder Valley

| , RacinToday.com Saturday, June 20 2015

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Tony Schumacher drove to the qualifying lead in Top Fuel Friday at the NHRA Thunder Valley Nationals at Bristol Dragway.

Tim Wilkerson (Funny Car) and Chris McGaha (Pro Stock) also were qualifying leaders at the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series event in northeast Tennessee.

Schumacher ran a track record 3.768-second pass at 323.58 mph in his U.S. Army dragster to lead the category after the first two sessions. Schumacher, the eight-time and defending world champ, is looking for his fourth No. 1 qualifier at Bristol and third of the season.

“We talk about what needs to happen each run,” said Schumacher, who was the No. 1 qualifier and winner last weekend at Epping. “[Crew chiefs] Mike [Green] and Neal [Strausbaugh] gave me a really good car. I just go out there and use it properly.”

Three-time world champ Larry Dixon qualified second in his C&J Energy Services dragster following a 3.769 at 326.24, a time that was knocked off in the final run of the night by Schumacher. Spencer Massey, third in Top Fuel points, is qualified third with a 3.778 at 326.63 in his Red Fuel dragster, the top speed so far. J.R. Todd and 2012 Top Fuel world champ Antron Brown are provisionally qualified fourth and fifth.

Wilkerson raced to the Funny Car top spot with a 4.027 at 318.32 in his Levi, Ray & Shoup Ford Shelby Mustang. Wilkerson, who most recently won at Atlanta, is looking for his first No. 1 qualifier since the fall Charlotte race in 2012. He qualified No. 1 at Bristol in 2007.

“The thing is running way too easy,” said Wilkerson. “That’s a little concerning but as long as I keep that in my head and not try to be “Guerilla Tim”, I’ll be OK.”

Two-time Bristol winner Del Worsham is second after his 4.034 at 319.07 in the DHL Toyota Camry. Two-time and defending world champ Matt Hagan ran his Rocky Boots Dodge Charger R/T to a 4.035 at 318.09 at his home track, putting him in the third spot. Jack Beckman and Don Schumacher Racing teammate Ron Capps round out the provisional top five.

In Pro Stock, McGaha powered to a performance of 6.647 at 206.67 in his Harlow Sammons Racing Chevy Camaro to top the qualifying leaderboard. With two sessions remaining, McGaha is looking for his sixth career No. 1 qualifier and fourth of the season.

McGaha was third overall following the opening session and then his crew made the right adjustments to push him to first in the final qualifying round of the day.

“I was expecting everyone to turn the wick up,” said McGaha, who is looking for his second No. 1 in a row after Epping. “But they didn’t so here we are. We are trying not to jinx ourselves by being No. 1 but here we are.”

Defending world champ and defending event winner Erica Enders drove her Racing in Red Chevy Camaro to a 6.655 at 206.10 to claim the provisional second position. Four-time world champ and three-time season winner Greg Anderson is third following a 6.656 at 206.73 in his Summit Racing Chevy Camaro. Greeneville, Tenn. native Allen Johnson and Shane Gray were fourth and fifth overall.

Qualifying for Sunday’s noon eliminations wraps up on Saturday with sessions at 12:30 p.m. and 3 p.m.

 

BRISTOL, Tenn. — Friday’s results after the first two of four rounds of qualifying for the 15th annual NHRA Thunder Valley Nationals at Bristol Dragway, 11th of 24 events in the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series.  Qualifying will continue Saturday for Sunday’s final eliminations.

Top Fuel — 1. Tony Schumacher, 3.768 seconds, 323.58 mph; 2. Larry Dixon, 3.769, 326.24; 3. Spencer Massey, 3.778, 326.63; 4. J.R. Todd, 3.790, 318.62; 5. Antron Brown, 3.805, 312.21; 6. Dave Connolly, 3.807, 314.02; 7. Clay Millican, 3.812, 318.17; 8. Richie Crampton, 3.845, 318.47; 9. Brittany Force, 3.856, 309.27; 10. Doug Kalitta, 3.856, 313.44; 11. Leah Pritchett, 3.861, 319.60; 12. Terry McMillen, 3.897, 315.86.  Not Qualified: 13. Pat Dakin, 3.958, 310.91; 14. Chris Karamesines, 4.037, 300.53; 15. Shawn Langdon, 4.097, 277.77; 16. Steve Torrence, 4.483, 173.16; 17. Troy Buff, 4.594, 173.05; 18. Cory McClenathan, 4.938, 149.58.

 

Funny Car — 1. Tim Wilkerson, Ford Mustang, 4.027, 318.32; 2. Del Worsham, Toyota Camry, 4.034, 319.07; 3. Matt Hagan, Dodge Charger, 4.035, 318.09; 4. Jack Beckman, Charger, 4.038, 313.80; 5. Ron Capps, Charger, 4.048, 317.49; 6. Robert Hight, Chevrolet Camaro, 4.053, 318.02; 7. Alexis DeJoria, Camry, 4.054, 311.20; 8. Courtney Force, Chevy Camaro, 4.072, 308.99; 9. Tommy Johnson Jr., Charger, 4.117, 303.16; 10. Chad Head, Camry, 4.121, 303.23; 11. Cruz Pedregon, Camry, 4.149, 289.51; 12. John Force, Camaro, 4.163, 310.27.  Not Qualified: 13. John Hale, 4.190, 294.31; 14. Paul Lee, 4.208, 273.83; 15. Tony Pedregon, 4.321, 226.35; 16. Jeff Diehl, 4.322, 263.77.

 

Pro Stock — 1. Chris McGaha, Chevy Camaro, 6.647, 206.67; 2. Erica Enders, Camaro, 6.655, 206.86; 3. Greg Anderson, Camaro, 6.656, 206.83; 4. Allen Johnson, Dodge Dart, 6.658, 206.83; 5. Shane Gray, Camaro, 6.660, 206.86; 6. Drew Skillman, Camaro, 6.661, 206.45; 7. Vincent Nobile, Camaro, 6.662, 206.45; 8. Jonathan Gray, Camaro, 6.674, 205.85; 9. Rodger Brogdon, Camaro, 6.683, 206.99; 10. Richie Stevens, Dart, 6.685, 206.16; 11. Larry Morgan, Camaro, 6.686, 206.64; 12. Jason Line, Camaro, 6.689, 206.35.  Not Qualified: 13. Bo Butner, 6.694, 205.32; 14. Kenny Delco, 6.716, 204.17; 15. John Gaydosh Jr, 6.748, 203.52; 16. Dave River, 6.826, 202.06; 17. Alan Prusiensky, 6.828, 201.55; 18. V. Gaines, 7.938, 127.16.

 

| , RacinToday.com Saturday, June 20 2015
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