Del Worsham Sets Early Bristol Mark

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Del Worsham topped the NHRA Funny Car qualifying charts Friday at Bristol (Tenn.) Dragway. (NHRA Photo)
Del Worsham topped the NHRA Funny Car qualifying charts Friday at Bristol (Tenn.) Dragway. (NHRA Photo)
Del Worsham topped the NHRA Funny Car qualifying charts Friday at Bristol (Tenn.) Dragway. (NHRA Photo)

BRISTOL, Tenn. – Del Worsham raced to the qualifying lead in Funny Car Friday during a rain-shortened day of action at the Ford NHRA Thunder Valley Nationals at Bristol Dragway.

Persistent rain showers in the area forced NHRA officials to cancel the day’s second session midway through Funny Car’s final attempt. Brittany Force (Top Fuel) and Shane Gray (Pro Stock) also were qualifying leaders at the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series event.

Worsham, the 2011 Top Fuel world champion, set both ends of the track record in his DHL Toyota Camry with a performance of 3.992 seconds at 319.45 mph. Worsham, who was the No. 1 qualifier at Bristol last season, seeks a third career win at Bristol.

“To come back here at Bristol and do it again is pretty exciting,” Worsham said. “The run was smooth and clean. Everybody on the team went after it. This is definitely a great track at Bristol with great fans.”

Worsham has shown championship form this season with two semifinal finishes and one runner-up finish. The veteran California driver, who currently sits in fourth in the points standings, is in position to repeat his winnings ways at Bristol.

“We’ve been making some great runs this season,” Worsham said. “It’s bittersweet that a few guys did not get a run because of the rain, but we hope we can continues where we left off tomorrow.”

Tim Wilkerson’s Levi Ray & Shoup Ford Mustang holds the second position with a 4.013 at 317.72. Three-time Bristol winner Ron Capps sits in third with a performance of 4.024 at 316.38 in his NAPA Auto Parts Dodge Charger.