CONCORD, N.C. (Sept. 16, 2016) The Countdown to the championship is on. The NHRA Carolina Nationals marks the first of seven races that will determine the champion in each of the four professional categories.
Doug Kalitta currently leads the field going into Saturday’s two qualifying rounds. Kalitta’s 3.721 at 327.11 mph pass gives him the provisional number one spot. Brittany Force and Tony Schumacher are close behind him with 3.729 and 3.730 runs respectively. Making his Top Fuel debut is Cameron Ferre. Ferre has had a steady rise through the ranks starting out as a jr. dragster competitor who worked his way up into Super Comp and Top Alcohol Dragster classes. As of round two of qualifying he currently sits 16th.
During Q1, Tommy Johnson Jr. was sitting 16th. After Q2, he is currently the new track ET record holder with a 3.876 at 323.43 lap. His teammate, Ron Capps, is provisionally second with a time of 3.878. Alexis Dejoria is rebounding nicely since making her return to the driver’s seat with a track MPH record of 331.04 mph. Dejoria took a few weeks off to recover from a fractured hip that she sustained after she hit the wall in Sonoma, California.
Jason Line threw down a 6.581 at 210.41 mph run in Q2 to sit atop the provisional Pro Stock ladder. His teammates, Bo Butner and Greg Anderson are currently 6th and 7th with two more qualifying sessions to go. This goes to show that other competitors in the class are finally starting to gain some ground on the dominating KB Racing team. Defending champ, Erica Enders-Stevens got off to a shaky start this weekend. Her first pass, 6.678, was only good enough for 13th. In between the first and second rounds her team decided to change engines at the last minute. If it wasn’t for an oil down caused by the pair before her, Enders would have missed her second run. Sadly, the Elite Motorsports’ team effort was not rewarded. Enders’ second pass down the track only resulted in a 6.724 at 206.76 mph.
Pro Stock Motorcycle
Qualifying front-runner, Jerry Savoie is on the provisional pole with two more qualifying sessions to go. Savoie made a fast run down the track at 6.850 at 195.19 mph. Angelle Sampey isn’t far off in 2nd after she ran 6.861 at 195.82 mph. Points leader, Andrew Hines, is currently 5th. His teammate, Eddie Kracwiec, is 7th at the moment. The Vance & Hines Harley-Davidson riders haven’t always been the strongest qualifiers this season, but the pair get the job done on raceday. Hines and Krawiec will look to pick up power going into Saturday’s two remaining sessions.