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Pedregon tops Funny Car qualifying

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CONCORD, N.C. (AP) - Funny Car driver Cruz Pedregon raced to his fourth No. 1 qualifying position of the season at the Carlyle Tools NHRA Carolina Nationals on Saturday.

Morgan Lucas led the Top Fuel field, Jason Line was quickest in Pro Stock and Matt Smith topped the Pro Stock Motorcycle division.

Pedregon retained the No. 1 qualifying position in his Toyota Camry Funny Car with the run of 3.980 seconds at 319.22 mph he posted Friday.

``We're still excited that we were able to run that 3.98,'' Pedregon said. ``We feel great to run the second quickest run in Funny Car. To be at 278 mph at half track is great. In the big picture, tomorrow is going to be the day that we all forget about that 3.98 and hopefully have a good day and have the race round wins and points to show our efforts for the weekend.''

Pedregon can certify the run as a national record on Sunday if he posts a pass of 4.020 or quicker. The two-time Funny Car champion faces Bob Gilbertson in the first round of eliminations.

In Top Fuel, no one bettered Lucas's run of 3.749 at 324.51 in his dragster from Friday and Lucas earned his 10th No. 1 of his career and second of the season. Defending Top Fuel world champion Antron Brown failed to qualify for the event, the first time he hasn't made a starting field in 110 races.

In Pro Stock, defending event winner Line earned his first No. 1 qualifying position of the season with his pass of 6.541 at 211.93 he posted Friday night. This is his 34th in his career and his fifth at zMAX Dragway.

In Pro Stock Motorcycle, Smith heads into eliminations with his performance of 6.874 at 192.90 on a Buell. This is his fourth No. 1 qualifying position of the season and 22nd of his career.

Eliminations begin Sunday at noon at the first of six races in the Countdown to the Championship, NHRA's playoffs.

The Associated Press News Service

Copyright 2015
The Associated Press
All Rights Reserved

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