CONCORD, N.C. (Sept. 17, 2016) With the official start of the Countdown beginning on “raceday”, Sunday, teams put their best efforts in to four rounds of qualifying Friday and Saturday at ZMax Dragway in Charlotte, North Carolina.
Doug Kalitta made a clean pass of 3.721 at 327.11 mph to gain the number one qualifier position going into Sunday’s final eliminations. Kalitta, who is sitting a mere 30 points out of first place in the points, will be looking to continue running these types of numbers on Sunday. Brittany Force, Tony Schumacher, Steve Torrence, Shawn Langdon, J.R. Todd, Antron Brown, and Richie Crampton also make up the top 8 qualifiers in the Top Fuel field.
Tommy Johnson Jr. rocketed his way to the pole position with a track ET record of 3.876 at 323.43 mph. The Make-A-Wish driver was able to keep his teammate and points leader, Ron Capps at bay. Capps was a mere two-thousandths of a second off from TJ’s time. With only 16 drivers entered into the Funny Car class at the Carolina Nationals, every competitor will take the tree for tomorrow’s competition. John Force, Alexis Dejoria, Jack Beckman, Tim Wilkerson, and Robert Hight are also in the top half of the Funny Car Field.
KB Racing’s Greg Anderson sits atop the qualifying ladder going into tomorrow’s main event. His 6.578 at 210.50 mph pass bested the other 16 competitors that showed up to try and make it in to the field. Meanwhile, his teammate Jason Line sits in a close second. Vincent Nobile, Shane Gray, Allen Johnson, Alex Laughlin, Bo Butner, and Drew Skillman round out the top half of the field. The shock of the day came from Erica Enders-Stevens, who failed to qualify for the first time since the NHRA Finals in 2010. Her best pass came in Q1 where she laid down a 6.678. Enders-Stevens barely made it up to the starting line in time for Q2 after her team made a last minute engine change. Unfortunately the engine swap only proved to be a step backwards as her car never made a better pass once the change was made.
Pro Stock Motorcycle
Angelle Sampey picks up another green hat to add to her 2016 collection. Her George Bryce tuned Buell went 6.815 at 196.02 mph to go to the top spot. That’s nearly three-hundredths better than the number two seed, Eddie Krawiec. Jerry Savoie, Chip Ellis, LE Tonglet, Andrew Hines, Jim Underdahl, and Hector Arana Jr. help make up the top half of the field going into Sunday eliminations.