Records Fall at NHRA Ford Thunder Valley Nationals Friday Night Qualifying Session
Records shattered under the Friday night lights in Thunder Valley with NHRA's top three classes toppling previous marks. Cooling temperatures and improving track conditions contributed to thrilling speeds and quick times on the opening day of the Ford Thunder Valley Nationals at Bristol Dragway.
Besting his 2009 track record by .001 second, points leader Mike Edwards rocketed to the top of the Pro Stock pack during the evening qualifying session after piloting his machine at a record breaking 207.59 mph with an elapsed time of 6.632. Edwards leads Greeneville's Allen Johnson and Summit Racing driver Jason Line into Saturday's third round of qualifying.
"We tested here a few days ago which helped us correct better after tonight's first run," said Edwards, who has won the last four Pro Stock events in Thunder Valley. "It's almost scary how good we're running, and I feel like we left a little bit out there. Hopefully we can keep this up and bring home a win this weekend."
Funny Car driver Del Worsham, who recalled having one of his scariest driving days ever at Thunder Valley in 2011, was surprised at last night's showing. Following Friday's qualifying runs, Worsham notched a track and career best 4.008 ET at 314.83 mph, placing him ahead of Jack Beckman and Matt Hagan on the leaderboard.
"This place is unreal," said the Villa Park, Calif. resident. "Not just being in the valley with the thunder and header flames, but the track has great grip. We rank tracks based upon ETs and how they hold up when it's hot outside, and even in the heat this place still has great ETs. It's definitely one of the top five tracks on the circuit."
With four record setting sprints already established, it was Don Schumacher Racing driver Spencer Massey's 3.775 ET at 326.79 mph that claimed the No. 1 spot in Top Fuel, besting Hadman teammates Steve Torrence and Clay Millican who finished second and third respectively.
"We've never run great at Bristol, never had anything spectacular happen. Tonight just shows that anything can happen at any time, and that's what makes it exciting," said Massey. "
Saturday's third round of pro qualifying is at 1 p.m., followed by round four at 3 p.m. Thirty minutes after the fourth round, Fan Fest, an autograph session featuring nearly two dozen drivers, takes place in the pit area.
Tickets are still available for those wanting to experience the excitement of straight track racing at Bristol Dragway. To purchase, call (423)-BRISTOL or visit www.ThunderValleyTix.com.