Top Fuel pilot Clay Millican set the national elapsed time record for the category under the lights at the AAA Insurance NHRA Midwest Nationals at Gateway Motorsports Park.
Robert Hight (Funny Car) Greg Anderson (Pro Stock) and Andrew Hines (Pro Stock Motorcycle) are also current No. 1 qualifiers in their respective categories at the third of six playoff events during the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series Countdown to the Championship.
Millican raced his Parts Plus / Great Clips dragster to a 3.631-second pass at 330.39 mph at the home race for Stringer Performance during the second round of qualifying. He is chasing his fifth No. 1 qualifier of the season and 10th of his career.
“That run is 100-percent is David Grubnick doing his thing,” Millican stated. “He is the baddest dude out here right now and I don’t think anybody can argue that. He does it his way, there’s no shared information and it’s done with group of young guys. That’s Doug Stringer’s car that I get to go out and stomp on that loud pedal in.”
Tony Schumacher an eight-time world champion, ran a 3.680 pass at 327.66 in his U.S. Army dragster to put him in the second spot and Doug Kalitta is currently third in his Mac Tools dragster after a 3.681 at 331.85 run.
Hight set the track elapsed time record with his pass of 3.830 at 333.91 in his AAA Missouri Chevrolet Camaro SS Funny Car. Hight also set the track speed record at 338.60 during his first qualifying session. He is in pursuit of his seventh No. 1 qualifier of the season and 56th of his career.
“It’s more fun to sit back and watch my team work and you know what they’re up against when the conditions are like this,” Hight said. “No one is really talking but they’re focused on what they’re doing because they’re trying to make record run. We got six more points today, we were low each session. Forget records or anything else that’s what we’re here for.”
Teammate John Force follows in the No. 2 position in his PEAK Coolant & Motor Oil Chevrolet Camaro SS with a pass of 3.832 at 334.65 and points leader Ron Capps drove his NAPA Auto Parts Dodge Charger R/T to a pass of 3.849 at 332.51.
In Pro Stock, Anderson currently holds the top spot after driving to a 6.525 at 211.03 in his Summit Racing Equipment Chevrolet Camaro during his second pass of the day. He is in pursuit of his fourth No. 1 qualifier of the season.
“The conditions, weather and atmosphere didn’t change that much between the first run and second run,” Anderson stated. “The race track is maxing out the track gripper and it’s as good of a race track you’ll ever ever get and when you get conditions like that you need to just throw everything at it.”
Teammate and reigning world champion Jason Line is in the No. 2 position with a pass of 6.553 at 211.66 in his Summit Racing Equipment Chevrolet Camaro and Drew Skillman follows in this third after a run of 6.535 at 211.56 in his Ray Skillman Chevrolet Camaro.
Hines took the lead in the Pro Stock Motorcycle class with a 6.802 at 196.19 in his Screamin’ Eagle Vance & Hines Harley-Davidson during his first pass on Friday. He is seeking his second No. 1 qualifier of the season and 40th of his career.
“This sets the tone for the last three (races),” Hines said. “We need to come out of here strong and if we can maintain the No. 1 spot and get some more bonus points that would be awesome. We just need to do some damage on Sunday. It’s always good for team morale when you come out of the box and go Q1 to low and hopefully it will stick.”
Current reigning world champion Jerry Savoie currently sits second in his White Alligator Racing Suzuki after a pass of 6.817 at 197.28 and Scott Pollacheck is third in his Extended Protection Suzuki with a run of 6.820 at 195.28.
Qualifying resumes of the AAA Insurance NHRA Midwest Nationals at 1:15 p.m. and 3:45 p.m.Saturday afternoon at Gateway Motorsports Park.