Cruz Pedregon leads Funny Car qualifying

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ENGLISHTOWN, N.J. (AP) - Cruz Pedregon raced to the Funny Car qualifying lead Friday in the NHRA Summernationals at Old Bridge Township Raceway Park.

Pedregon, a two-time Funny Car season champion, powered his Toyota Camry to a track-record performance of 3.959 seconds at 310.48 mph. Pedregon’s time, the quickest ever in the 10,000-horsepower category, will become an NHRA national record if he can certify the run by posting another time within one percent of the mark.

“It would mean more than words could say,” Pedregon said about the possibility of setting the national record at this event. “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.”

Doug Kalitta led the Funny Car field, Allen Johnson topped the Pro Stock lineup, and Eddie Krawiec was the leader in Pro Stock Motorcycle.

Kalitta had a 3.756 at 327.03 in his Kalitta Motorsports-owned dragster. Kalitta won at Gainesville, Florida, and leads the Top Fuel standings.

In 2008 at Old Bridge, Kalitta’s cousin, Scott Kalitta, was killed after his Funny Car burst into flames and crashed during qualifying. As a safety measure, all Top Fuel and Funny Car races were reduced from a quarter-mile to 1,000 feet.

Johnson, coming off a win last weekend in Topeka, Kansas, topped the Pro Stock qualifying order with a 6.502 at 213.00 in a Dodge Dart, setting the track record for time. Krawiec set a track Pro Stock Motorcycle speed record with his 6.801 at 197.80 on a Harley-Davidson.

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