NHRA Funny Car driver Cruz Pedregon posted the quickest Funny Car run in history on Friday at the Toyota NHRA Summernationals at Old Bridge Township Raceway Park in Englishtown, New Jersey, and held onto the top spot through Saturday’s sessions. Doug Kalitta (Top Fuel), Allen Johnson (Pro Stock) and Eddie Krawiec (Pro Stock Motorcycle) also took No. 1s in their respective categories.
Pedregon, a two-time NHRA Funny Car champion, drove his Snap-on Tools Toyota Camry to a track record performance of 3.959 seconds at 310.48 mph to lead the field. Pedregon’s time will become an NHRA national record if he can certify the run by posting another time within one percent of the mark during the weekend.
Pedregon faces Terry Haddock in round one of eliminations on Sunday. Del Worsham, Robert Hight, John Force and Jack Beckman round out the top five in Funny Car.
“It would mean more than words could say,” said Pedregon following Friday’s pass. “Even if we don’t back it up, to have the quickest time slip for Funny Car is an honor. It’s something that my team and I have worked really hard for."
Kalitta took the Top Fuel No. 1 with a pass of 3.748 seconds at 327.66 mph; he’ll face Clay Millican in the first round. Rookie Richie Crampton qualified No. 2, followed by Shawn Langdon, Steve Torrence and Brittany Force.
“So far, the thing has been running strong, going consistently down the track all of our qualifying runs,” said Kalitta. “I’m just real proud of those guys and looking forward to tomorrow. Conditions should be good tomorrow. It’s a little cooler than it normally is here, so I think that’s helping everybody with the performance. It should be a fun day here tomorrow, I’m thinking.”
Johnson (6.472 seconds/214.35 mph) narrowly beat Erica Enders-Stevens (6.473 seconds/215.55 mph) for the Pro Stock No. 1; Johnson set the new national e.t. with his pass, while Enders-Stevens set the new national speed record with her qualifying pass. Johnson faces Chris McGaha in the first round. Shane Gray, Jason Line and Rodger Brogdon round out the top five in Pro Stock.
"Before we ran Erica and her crew chief [Rickie Jones] came over and told me, 'Don't do anything heroic,” said Johnson. “But I couldn't help it.”
Former Englishtown track manager Krawiec took the No. 1 spot in PSM with a pass of 6.747 seconds at 1998.90 mph; Krawiec faces Angie Smith in round one on Sunday. Hector Arana Jr. took spot No. 2, followed by Andrew Hines, Matt Smith and John Hall.
"Obviously it's great to be back in New Jersey and to be running so well," said Krawiec. "Now, I just need to do my job tomorrow.”
Final eliminations for the Toyota NHRA Summernationals begin Sunday at 11 a.m. ET. Keep up with the action at www.nhra.com.
Quotes in this piece provided by the NHRA.
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