Records fall during first day of qualifying at NHRA Nationals

Race fans were treated to a pair of national records Friday during Top Fuel and Funny Car qualifying rounds at the 36th annual Lucas Oil NHRA Nationals.

Leah Pritchett (Top Fuel) and Robert Hight (Funny Car) ran national elapsed-time record runs in their respective categories. Tanner Gray (Pro Stock) and Hector Arana Jr. (Pro Stock Motorcycle) were also provisional qualifying leaders at the 17th of 24 events on the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series.

Leah Pritchett set a national record in Top Fuel.

Leah Pritchett set a national record Friday in Top Fuel.

Robert Hight broke a record in Funny Car.

Robert Hight broke a national record Friday in Funny Car.

Pritchett piloted her Papa John’s Pizza dragster to the quickest run in NHRA history with a pass of 3.640 seconds at 330.63 mph to close out the second qualifying session, while Hight’s 3.793-second pass at 338.00 mph in his Auto Club of Southern California Chevrolet Camaro SS also landed him in the record books.

Pritchett held the previous Top Fuel national record of 3.658 seconds set in Phoenix at the beginning of the season.

“We’ve looked forward to this night session for a long time,” Pritchett said. “Knowing that Brainerd, this track, this surface, the conditions and what NHRA is able to do to it, lays down the ground work for us to pull out the most power possible. That’s what this team did. They have been working tirelessly at finding small amounts of power here, there and everywhere and to be able to put it on the track tonight was incredible.”

Rounding out the top three heading into Saturday’s qualifying session are Brittany Force, who ran a 3.685-second pass at 333.16 mph in her Monster Energy machine and Doug Kalitta with a 3.694-second pass at 330.31 mph in his Mac Tools dragster.

Hector Arana, Jr., Pro Stock Motorcycle

Hector Arana, Jr., Pro Stock Motorcycle

Hight’s pass was the first 3.7-second run in Funny Car history. He also holds the Funny Car national speed record of 339.87 mph, set recently at Sonoma Raceway.

“I could tell it was running fast and I saw the 3.79 on the scoreboard,” Hight said. “It’s just something you dream about. There are so many things that have to happen and work together for it all to come together. It’s not that easy. This is a big milestone. To be part of a milestone as a driver, this was big for me.”

Matt Hagan in his Mopar Express Lane Dodge Charger R/T qualified second iswith a 3.807-second pass at 336.57 mph and 16-time world champion John Force is third in his PEAK Coolant & Motor Oil Chevrolet Camaro SS.

In Pro Stock, rookie Gray holds the No. 1 position with a 6.607-second run at 208.617 mph in his Gray Motorsports / Vavoline Chevrolet Camaro, holding off points leader Bo Butner who is second with a 6.617-second run at 207.69 mph in his Jim Butner’s Auto Chevrolet Camaro.

“We went out there and made a conservative run for (first qualifying session) to make sure we could get some data,” Gray said. “It kind of paid off. If you can go out there and make, obviously, a fast run, but just a solid run to collect data then it sets you up really good for sessions like this. I’m very fortunate to be able to drive this thing and it’s going well right now.”

Pro Stock veteran and 2012 world champion Allen Johnson is in the third position with a 6.622-second run at 206.86 mph.

Arana Jr. leads the Pro Stock Motorcycle field after running 6.879 seconds at 194.24 mph on his Lucas Oil Buell in the second qualifying session.

“It feels good to be up here. It’s been a while. It’s about time,” Arana Jr. said “We’re really working hard and we got the bike running well and it just seems that there’s something that just gets right by us. Hopefully this is the weekend where that turns around. We feel pretty confident that we still have room to improve off that run so we’re excited to see what happens tomorrow.”

Matt Smith qualified second with 6.884 seconds at 195.22 mph on his Polaris Racing Victory and Scott Pollacheck is  third on his Suzuki Extended Protection Suzuki with 6.908 seconds at 193.54 mph.

Qualifying at the Lucas Oil NHRA Nationals will continue Saturday at 12:50 p.m.

RESULTS

Friday’s results after the first two of four rounds of qualifying for the 36th annual Lucas Oil NHRA Nationals at Brainerd International Raceway, 17th of 24 events in the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series. Qualifying will continue Saturday for Sunday’s final eliminations.

Top Fuel: 1. Leah Pritchett, 3.640 seconds, 331.53 mph; 2. Brittany Force, 3.685, 333.16; 3. Doug Kalitta, 3.694, 330.31; 4. Tony Schumacher, 3.695, 329.42; 5. Clay Millican, 3.706, 324.67; 6. Steve Torrence, 3.709, 330.15; 7. Antron Brown, 3.723, 321.73; 8. Scott Palmer, 3.768, 328.22; 9. Shawn Langdon, 3.859, 265.43; 10. Terry McMillen, 4.053, 239.87; 11. Troy Coughlin Jr., 4.664, 157.78; 12. Rob Passey, 8.808, 60.51. Not Qualified: 13. Chris Karamesines, broke.

Funny Car: 1. Robert Hight, Chevy Camaro, 3.793, 338.00; 2. Matt Hagan, Dodge Charger, 3.807, 336.57; 3. John Force, Camaro, 3.852, 334.15; 4. Courtney Force, Camaro, 3.863, 335.98; 5. Tommy Johnson Jr., Charger, 3.880, 329.58; 6. Jack Beckman, Charger, 3.886, 333.25; 7. Tim Wilkerson, Ford Mustang, 3.898, 329.26; 8. Ron Capps, Charger, 3.928, 325.14; 9. J.R. Todd, Toyota Camry, 3.937, 327.98; 10. Alexis DeJoria, Camry, 3.947, 330.31; 11. Del Worsham, Camry, 3.985, 321.27; 12. Jonnie Lindberg, Camry, 3.988, 326.63; 13. Dale Creasy Jr., Charger, 4.315, 224.02; 14. Bob Bode, Charger, 4.855, 168.62; 15. Brian Stewart, Mustang, 5.015, 150.73; 16. Jim Campbell, Charger, 9.537, 67.32. Not Qualified: 17. Cruz Pedregon, 9.804, 83.54.

Pro Stock: 1. Tanner Gray, Chevy Camaro, 6.607, 208.17; 2. Bo Butner, Camaro, 6.617, 207.69; 3. Allen Johnson, Dodge Dart, 6.622, 206.86; 4. Drew Skillman, Camaro, 6.628, 208.65; 5. Jason Line, Camaro, 6.633, 207.59; 6. Greg Anderson, Camaro, 6.635, 207.43; 7. Shane Gray, Camaro, 6.637, 207.50; 8. Vincent Nobile, Camaro, 6.670, 207.02; 9. Jeg Coughlin, Camaro, 6.671, 208.30; 10. Erica Enders, Camaro, 6.679, 208.10; 11. Alan Prusiensky, Dart, 6.716, 205.60; 12. Deric Kramer, Dart, 6.727, 205.51; 13. John Gaydosh Jr, Chevrolet Camaro, 6.746, 205.47; 14. Mark Hogan, Pontiac GXP, 6.838, 201.49; 15. Dave River, Chevy Cobalt, 10.681, 85.19.

Pro Stock Motorcycle: 1. Hector Arana Jr, Buell, 6.879, 194.24; 2. Matt Smith, Victory, 6.884, 195.22; 3. Scotty Pollacheck, Suzuki, 6.908, 193.54; 4. Eddie Krawiec, Harley-Davidson, 6.939, 195.56; 5. Andrew Hines, Harley-Davidson, 6.946, 195.00; 6. Angie Smith, Buell, 6.947, 191.08; 7. Karen Stoffer, Suzuki, 6.963, 192.08; 8. Joey Gladstone, Suzuki, 6.965, 192.85; 9. Steve Johnson, Suzuki, 6.975, 191.32; 10. LE Tonglet, Suzuki, 6.998, 194.10; 11. Freddie Camarena, Suzuki, 7.056, 191.81; 12. Jerry Savoie, Suzuki, 7.061, 189.52; 13. David Hope, Buell, 7.119, 186.10; 14. Jim Underdahl, Suzuki, 7.184, 183.10; 15. Angelle Sampey, Victory, 7.492, 167.68; 16. Cory Reed, Victory, 9.215, 94.07. Not Qualified: 17. Andie Rawlings, 13.377, 58.68.

Leave a Reply

Optimization WordPress Plugins & Solutions by W3 EDGE