POMONA, Calif. --
Gary Densham (Funny Car) and V. Gaines (Pro Stock) also were qualifying leaders at the 2013 Mello Yello Drag Racing Series season opener at Auto Club Raceway at Pomona.
Bernstein drove his Protect the Harvest/MAV TV dragster to the provisional No. 1 spot with a 3.761 second pass at 325.22 mph in the Top Fuel class. If the performance holds, it will be the 15th No. 1 of his career.
"The Protect the Harvest/MAV TV car came out of the gates real good," Bernstein said. "It felt like a really good run. It's nice to be in that No.1 right now. There's a lot of racing left. That win at the end of the year gave us a tremendous boost of confidence. The competition is so tight. This weekend is going to be even tougher."
Veteran Funny Car driver Densham powered his Densham Motorsports Dodge Charger to the qualifying lead with a performance of 4.053 at 307.09.
"We have been very fortunate to qualify at every race and have a lot of fun doing it," said Densham. "It was a good run. I feel I got the best team in drag racing. They do more with less than anybody out here and I think we've proved that every time we come out here. We'll carry on the best we can. It's gonna be a great weekend."
In Pro Stock, Gaines secured the qualifying lead with a 6.538 pass at 211.49 mph in his Kendall Oil Dodge Avenger.
"We had a really good end of last year and made a lot of progress," Gaines said. "We've got a hot car and a fantastic engine program. We are looking forward to this year. For a single-car team to do what we're doing I think it is phenomenal. It's extremely gratifying when you're doing it all yourself."
Jason Line was second in Pro Stock with a 6.541 at 212.43 in his Summit Racing Chevy Camaro followed by Mike Edwards, who posted a 6.545 at 212.26 in his Interstate Batteries/I Am Second Pontiac GXP.
Qualifying continues Friday at 2 p.m. followed by the final two qualifying sessions Saturday at noon and 2 p.m. Eliminations are scheduled for Sunday at 11 a.m.
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