Like every driver on the NHRA circuit Mike Edwards savored two weeks off before the pro classes ran in the Lucas Oil NHRA Nationals Friday at Brainerd International Raceway.
But it's not like Edwards, or any other driver, takes two weeks off to work on their tans. Edwards and his crew worked diligently for two weeks following completion of the Fram Autolite Nationals July 26 at Sonoma, Calif.
The work of Edwards and his crew was evident in the first two rounds of qualifying Friday as he was the top finisher in both runs.
"It's 24-7," Edwards said. "You've got to do it. It's a tough class, it's competitive. There are a lot of good cars in this class, the Summit cars, Jeg (Coughlin), the Johnsons (Warren and Kurt), those guys they're not letting up. They're working.
"You can't open the door. If you do they will slam it on you."
The Oklahoma resident slammed the door on the competition Friday, dashing to the lowest elapsed time (6.732 seconds) and the top speed (204.94 mph).
"I'm not sure about (Saturday) but today it went pretty good for us," Edwards said. "Actually, we probably made a better run the first run (6.732 at 204.70). The first qualifying run, we made a couple adjustments. We thought they were going to be better, they were little bit worse, but we still made a nice run.
"Hats off to my guys in the shop and all the guys here, They're making good calls."
Edwards' crew made the right calls regarding the weather, which reached 90-plus degrees and corresponding humidity that made the drag strip slippery in spots.
"The track was pretty good for us, both runs," Edwards said. "We just missed it a little bit tonight. (Saturday and Sunday), I think it's supposed to be a little bit cooler so today we probably throw it out the window.
"Any time you can get cooler temperatures for these aspirated engines they like that."
Second in season points, trailing Jeg Coughlin by 60, Edwards said he's not thinking about the Countdown to the Championship, which begins Sept. 17-20 at Charlotte, N.C. He qualified for the Countdown July 12 at Denver.
Edwards has won three races and finished second five times in 15 total Pro Stock events.
'We're just trying to win every race we go to right now," he said. "Every round you can win that's what we're trying to do. We go round to round, and try to see where we end up after Indy (Sept. 7). It's kind of all bottled down to one after that."
Allen Johnson was the No. 2 qualifier Friday with a 6.741 ET at 204.26 mph.
MIKE BIALKA may be reached at email@example.com and at 855-5861.
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