Schumacher, Wilkerson, McGaha lead Friday fields in Bristol

Tony Schumacher drove to the qualifying lead in Top Fuel Friday at the NHRA Thunder Valley Nationals at Bristol Dragway.

Schumacher ran a track record 3.768-second pass at 327.50 mph in his dragster to lead the category after the first two sessions. Schumacher, the eight-time and defending world champ, is looking for his fourth No. 1 qualifier at Bristol and third of the season.

“We talk about what needs to happen each run," said Schumacher, who was the No. 1 qualifier and winner last weekend at Epping. “Mike [Green] and Neal [Strasbaugh] give me a really good car. I just go out there and use it properly."

Tim Wilkerson (Funny Car) and Chris McGaha (Pro Stock) also were qualifying leaders at the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series event in northeast Tennessee.

Wilkerson raced to the Funny Car top spot with a 4.027 at 318.32 in his Ford Shelby Mustang. Wilkerson, who most recently won at Atlanta, is looking for his first No. 1 qualifier since the Fall Charlotte race in 2012. He qualified No. 1 at Bristol in 2007.

In Pro Stock, McGaha ran a 6.647 at 206.67 in his Chevy Camaro to top the qualifying leaderboard. With two sessions remaining, McGaha is looking for his sixth career No. 1 qualifier and fourth of the season.

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