POMONA, CA. (NOV. 12, 2016) The 2016 NHRA Mello Yello Championship is finally on its last race of the season. World championships are still up for grabs in Funny Car, Pro Stock, and Pro Stock Motorcycle. Today kicked off the first of two days of qualifying.
Newly-crowned 2016 Top Fuel world champion, Antron Brown captured the provisional pole with a 3.713 @ 326.56 mph run in Q2. This was an improvement on his 3.735 @ 322.27 mph pass in Q1, which also had him on pole. Vegas winner, Steve Torrence is stalking Brown’s qualifying position with a 3.316 @ 326.96 mph lap. Leah Pritchett and her newly-formed team are still showing their qualifying strength, in Q2 they posted the time of 3.726 @ 328.62 mph. The top half of the field whose times carry over into tomorrow also include: Shawn Langdon, Tony Schumacher, and J.R. Todd.
Southern California native, Jack Beckman posted the fastest time of the day in Q2 with 3.865 @ 332.84 mph. He claimed both the track ET record as well as the speed record. Beckman’s teammates Ron Capps and Matt Hagan are in a battle for the championship this weekend. Capps, who is the mathematical favorite for the big trophy with a 86 point lead, is currently qualified third with a 3.883 @ 323.66 mph pass. Robert Hight, Matt Hagan, and Tommy Johnson Jr. are in the top half of the field going into Saturday’s qualifying sessions.
The race to the championship is heating up between KB Racing’s drivers, Jason Line and Greg Anderson. Line, who is ahead of Anderson in the points was also able to lead his teammate in Q2. Line boasted a 6.656 @ 211.16 mph run while Anderson put up a nice 6.676 @ 210.70 mph. Line and Anderson’s teammate, Bo Butner’s 6.580 @ 210.44 mph effort helped the team go 1-2-3 going into the last two qualifying sessions on Saturday. Alex Laughlin, Shane Gray, and Vincent Nobile have provisionally qualified in the top half of the field.
Pro Stock Motorcycle
The mother of all battles is currently underway in the two-wheel class. Going into Q2, Jerry Savoie, Eddie Krawiec, and Andrew Hines were all tied in points for the championship lead. At the end of Q2, Savoie walked away on top of the provisional qualifying ladder and with a two point lead over Eddie Krawiec. 6.844 @ 195.93 mph, is Savoie’s run that gives him the edge over the rest of his competitors. Angelle Sampey, Hector Arana, and Steve Johnson make up the top half of the field that will carry over to tomorrow.