Rookie Neff tops qualifying at Thunder Valley Nationals

Updated: May 16, 2008, 10:02 PM ET
Associated Press

BRISTOL, Tenn. -- Rookie Mike Neff topped Funny Car qualifying Friday in the O'Reilly NHRA Thunder Valley Nationals at Bristol Dragway.

Neff, seeking the first No. 1 qualifying position of his career, drove his Ford Mustang to a 4.783-second pass at 321.04 mph to become the provisional top qualifier.

Tony Schumacher and Kurt Johnson also were No. 1 qualifiers in their respective categories at the eighth of 24 events on the NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series.

Defending POWERade Series champion Schumacher drove to a 4.502 at 327.59 in Top Fuel. Coming off his win in Madison, Ill., Pro Stock's Kurt Johnson drove his Chevy Cobalt to a track record time of 6.687 at 206.16 to lead the 16-car field. He is in position to earn his second No. 1 qualifier of the season, 29th of his career and first at Bristol.

Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press