NHRA Carolina Nationals Friday qualifying report

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Doug Kalitta powered to the Top Fuel provisional qualifying lead Friday evening at the 10th annual NHRA Carolina Nationals at zMAX Dragway.

Courtney Force (Funny Car), Tanner Gray (Pro Stock) and Andrew Hines (Pro Stock Motorcycle) are also provisional qualifying leaders in their respective categories at the first of six playoff events during the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series Countdown to the Championship.

Kalitta, currently No. 4 in the standings, started out his Countdown to the Championship run with a 3.723-second pass at 329.50 mph in his Mac Tools dragster. He is aiming for his second No. 1 qualifier of the season as he chases his first victory of the 2017 season. Kalitta earned the No. 1 qualifying position at last year’s NHRA Carolina Nationals before securing a runner-up finish at the event.

“It’s definitely a good day to have a run like this, especially on the first day of the Countdown,” Kalitta said. “The track conditions were excellent, we are really happy with what we pulled off here today and we hope that leads to a strong finish to the season.”

Points leader Steve Torrence sits at second after a 3.724 pass at 327.51 in his Capco Contractors dragster, while Leah Pritchett is in the third slot after a 3.725 at 327.98 putting the top three qualifiers within .002 seconds of each other at the end of day one.

Force leads the Funny Car category after a run of 3.891 at 330.07 in her Advance Auto Parts Chevy Camaro SS during her second pass of the day. She currently leads the category with seven No. 1 qualifying positions as she pursues her first Wally of the year.

“I wasn’t too worried that our first pass wasn’t clean, but I have an amazing team behind me and we definitely went for it on our second run,” Force said. “I’m really excited for tomorrow and happy to be in the top spot, it’s very important for us to be at the top because every point counts in the Countdown.”

Courtney Force

Force leads the Funny Car category after a run of 3.891 at 330.07 mph. Photo by NHRA

Indianapolis winner J.R. Todd is currently in second after a 3.898 at 329.18 in his DHL Toyota Camry Funny Car, while Tommy Johnson Jr. rounds out the top three after his 3.901 at 325.06.

Gray currently holds the top spot after driving to a 6.559 at 210.50 in his Gray Motorsports Valvoline Chevy Camaro during his first Pro Stock pass of the day. He is seeking his fourth No. 1 qualifier of the season as he looks to improve upon his category-best four victories on the season.

“You have to come into the Countdown with a different mindset, because every single point matters,” Gray said. “I’m really happy that we had low E.T. for both sessions and now we are inching closer to that first-place spot in the standings.”

Four-time Pro Stock world champion Greg Anderson earned the second spot in preliminary qualifying with a 6.567 run at 210.73 in his Summit Racing Equipment Chevrolet Camaro, while points leader Bo Butner is third after his 6.573 at 210.77.

Hines finished atop the Pro Stock Motorcycle qualifying order with a 6.825 at 196.50 in his Screamin’ Eagle Vance & Hines Harley-Davidson during his first pass on Saturday. He is aiming for his first No. 1 qualifier of this season and the 39th in his career.

“This is actually what we needed for the Harley team, at least in terms of the Friday results we wanted,” Hines said. “We’ve been working on these bikes night and day for the past few months so to get such strong runs out of them is a huge relief.”

Jerry Savoie currently is in second after his 6.838 run at 196.10 on his White Alligator Racing Suzuki. Hector Arana Jr. rounds out the top three slots after his 6.840 at 196.07 as he chases his first victory of 2017.

Qualifying at the NHRA Carolina Nationals continues at 12:45 p.m. and 3:15 p.m. on Saturday at zMAX Dragway.
 

Tanner Gray

Gray currently holds the top spot after driving to a 6.559 at 210.50 mph. Photo by NHRA

Friday’s results after the first two of four rounds of qualifying for the 10th annual NHRA Carolina Nationals at zMax Dragway, 19th of 24 events in the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series. Qualifying will continue Saturday for Sunday’s final eliminations.

Top Fuel — 1. Doug Kalitta, 3.723 seconds, 329.50 mph; 2. Steve Torrence, 3.724, 327.51; 3. Leah Pritchett, 3.725, 327.98; 4. Antron Brown, 3.728, 331.85; 5. Brittany Force, 3.749, 329.18; 6. Richie Crampton, 3.749, 284.33; 7. Clay Millican, 3.761, 322.96; 8. Scott Palmer, 3.795, 323.89; 9. Pat Dakin, 3.798, 299.73; 10. Dom Lagana, 3.809, 317.87; 11. Wayne Newby, 3.826, 311.13; 12. Terry McMillen, 3.860, 305.22; 13. Shawn Langdon, 3.861, 314.75; 14. Tony Schumacher, 4.481, 175.30; 15. Chris Karamesines, 6.517, 94.65.

Funny Car — 1. Courtney Force, Chevy Camaro, 3.891, 330.07; 2. J.R. Todd, Toyota Camry, 3.898, 329.18; 3. Tommy Johnson Jr., Dodge Charger, 3.901, 325.06; 4. Jack Beckman, Charger, 3.906, 330.47; 5. Alexis DeJoria, Camry, 3.910, 324.51; 6. Robert Hight, Camaro, 3.911, 302.75; 7. Cruz Pedregon, Camry, 3.962, 314.02; 8. Tim Wilkerson, Ford Mustang, 3.976, 317.79; 9. John Force, Camaro, 3.976, 314.31; 10. Matt Hagan, Charger, 3.981, 324.12; 11. Ron Capps, Charger, 4.012, 257.87; 12. Jim Campbell, Charger, 4.066, 309.42; 13. Dave Richards, Mustang, 4.067, 298.67; 14.
Jonnie Lindberg, Camry, 4.763, 166.56; 15. Bob Gilbertson, Chevy Monte Carlo, 5.240, 151.41.

Pro Stock — 1. Tanner Gray, Chevy Camaro, 6.559, 210.50; 2. Greg Anderson, Camaro, 6.567, 210.73; 3. Bo Butner, Camaro, 6.573, 210.77; 4. Jason Line, Camaro, 6.578, 210.18; 5. Chris McGaha, Camaro, 6.582, 209.43; 6. Jeg Coughlin, Camaro, 6.586, 209.98; 7. Drew Skillman, Camaro, 6.586, 209.69; 8. Erica Enders, Camaro, 6.602, 209.75; 9. Allen Johnson, Dodge Dart, 6.603, 209.33; 10. Alex Laughlin, Camaro, 6.609, 209.36; 11. Kenny Delco, Camaro, 6.636, 209.46; 12. Larry Morgan, Camaro, 6.662, 208.14; 13. Shane Tucker, Camaro, 6.676, 206.57; 14. Val Smeland, Camaro, 6.828, 202.15; 15. Alan Prusiensky, Dart, 6.980, 203.58; 16. Vincent Nobile, Camaro, 15.198, 56.49.

Pro Stock Motorcycle — 1. Andrew Hines, Harley-Davidson, 6.825, 196.50; 2. Jerry Savoie, Suzuki, 6.838, 196.10; 3. Hector Arana Jr, Buell, 6.840, 196.07; 4. Eddie Krawiec, Harley-Davidson, 6.854, 194.44; 5. LE Tonglet, Suzuki, 6.866, 195.45; 6. Matt Smith, Victory, 6.873, 195.03; 7. Chip Ellis, Victory, 6.878, 193.74; 8. Scotty Pollacheck, Suzuki, 6.895, 193.35; 9. Karen Stoffer, Suzuki, 6.907, 193.52; 10. Joey Gladstone, Suzuki, 6.917, 193.18; 11. Steve Johnson, Suzuki, 6.946, 193.49; 12. Kelly Clontz, Suzuki, 6.957, 194.83; 13. Angie Smith, Buell, 6.963, 191.97; 14. Melissa Surber, Buell, 6.983, 190.86; 15. Mark Paquette, Victory, 7.065, 188.62; 16. Ron ‘Rat’ Tornow, Buell, 7.130, 186.33. Not Qualified: 17. Lance Bonham, 7.183, 184.09; 18. Charles Sullivan, 7.372, 178.73.


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