POMONA, Calif. (February 11, 2017) The fields are set in Top Fuel, Funny Car, and Pro Stock for the Circle K Winternationals. After having the second qualifying session rained out on Friday, drivers and fans were able to enjoy sunny skies for two sessions of qualifying on Saturday.
Leah Pritchett made the fastest official run of her career at 3.672 seconds and 327.90 mph. Pritchett made a 3.654 second pass last weekend at Phoenix testing, but was unable to claim the national ET record because it wasn’t a national event. The Southern-California-native, who got her racing start at Auto Club Raceway as a child in a junior dragster, has her eyes set on hoisting Sunday’s Wally. “[Winning this race], for me, would probably rank above a U.S. Nationals win,” Pritchett exclaimed. Doug Kalitta was able to hang on for the second spot with a 3.686 second run at 329.68 mph. Pritchett’s teammate and defending World Champion, Antron Brown is sitting in third after a 3.695 second lap at 328.06 mph. Brittany Force, Tony Schumacher, Troy Coughlin Jr., Terry McMillen, and Steve Torrence help make up the top 8 in the field.
Matt Hagan improved upon his time from last night and stayed on top of the qualifying ladder, as he made a quick 3.822 second run at an astounding 335.57 mph. Not only was he quickest of the meet with his elapsed time, but also in speed. He tied his national speed record that was set in Topeka, Kansas last year. Hagan was rather matter-of-fact about his feat, “We just went out there and laid down a great number. It just speaks tons for Dickie Venables, I mean, he just rolled out of the box here and been pretty much low just about every session.”Both his elapsed time and speed are his personal best and track records at Auto Club Raceway at Pomona. John Force’s 3.849 second pass at 335.15 mph was good enough for the number 2 spot. Courtney Force ran the same lap time as her father, John, but only had the speed of 330.23 mph, which put her third on the qualifying ladder. Ron Capps, Tim Wilkerson, Cruz Pedregon, Alexis Dejoria, and J.R. Todd are all in the on the top half of the field.
The reigning Pro Stock World Champion, Jason Line was able to get his Chevy Camaro to the top spot with a 6.525 second run at 211.53 mph. Line’s teammate, Greg Anderson is just off pole with A 6.530 second lap at 211.66 mph. The pair, who were a 1-2 punch in the field of Pro Stock last year, appear to be starting off the 2017 season in similar fashion. “To start the year off this way is what you hope for. To be one and two is a great thing for us, so Team Summit is pretty happy right now.,” Line told the media. Mountain View Tires driver, Vincent Nobile will start from the third position tomorrow. His 6.547 second run was matched by Shane Gray in terms of time but his speed of 211.10 secured him his place in the top three for qualifying. Shane Gray, Bo Butner, Erica Enders, Jeg Coughlin Jr., and Chris McGaha are the top 8 qualifiers.