Texan Bradshaw leads Houston Top Fuel qualifying

Updated: March 30, 2008, 6:36 PM ET
Associated Press

BAYTOWN, Texas -- Odessa native Alan Bradshaw and the three other provisional No. 1 qualifiers from Friday night retained their top spots Saturday in the O'Reilly NHRA Spring Nationals at Houston Raceway Park.

Cruz Pedregon (Funny Car), Kurt Johnson (Pro Stock) and Matt Smith (Pro Stock Motorcycle) rounded out the No. 1 qualifiers at the fourth of 24 races in the NHRA POWERade Series.

In the nitro classes, Bradshaw's time of 4.526 seconds at 323.50 mph held up in Top Fuel and no one in Funny Car got close to Pedregon's 4.834-second pass at 314.97 from Friday night except Pedregon, whose 4.86-second pass in Saturday's first session was far and away the best Funny Car pass of the day.

His reward for dominating qualifying in the ultra-competitive Funny Car class will be a first-round matchup Sunday with four-time world champion Gary Scelzi.

"Bring it on. I feel like if we're going to be successful, we're going to have to beat guys like that," said Pedregon, who will enter Sunday's final eliminations in second place after points-leader Robert Hight failed to qualify.

In the stock classes, Kurt Johnson's 6.638-second pass at 208.42 mph from Friday was good enough to earn him the No. 1. Smith led the two-wheelers with a 6.929-second pass at 191.38 mph that was set on Friday and held up Saturday.


Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press