LAS VEGAS, Nev. (April 1, 2017) Right on the heels of high winds and a major dust storm that left the racing surface unrecognizable, the DENSO Spark Plug NHRA Nationals are underway at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.This marks the 4th race of the 2017 NHRA season schedule.
Steve Torrence led the Top Fuel field during the first day of qualifying. The Texas-native ran 3.720 seconds at 327.03 mph. Meanwhile, Gainesville race winner, Tony Schumacher cruised into the provisional second rung on the qualifying ladder with a 3.739 second pass at 326.87 mph. John Force Racing driver, Brittany Force, gave her best effort of 3.760 seconds at 323.58 mph for the third spot. Points leader Leah Pritchett, Clay Millican, Antron Brown, Troy Coughlin Jr., and Scott Palmer round out the top eight qualifiers.
Preseason testing standout, Courtney Force rocketed to the top of the provisional pole with a track record elapsed time of 3.867 seconds at 327.66 mph. Funny Car points leader, Matt Hagan made a solid run that put him in second with a time of 3.868 seconds at 330.63 mph. LRS driver, Tim WIlkerson ran 3.876 seconds at 331.28 mph, which secured him the third qualifying spot as well as the top speed of the meet thus far. Ron Capps, Alexis DeJoria, J.R. Todd, Cruz Pedregon, and Jack Beckman help makeup the top half of the field.
Not surprisingly, KB Racing’s Jason Line is the current number one qualifier in the door-slammer class. Line put up a 6.647 second pass at 206.29 mph. Elite Motorsports’ Jeg Coughlin is currently on a qualifying high after gaining the second spot on the ladder with a 6.652 second lap at 206.92 mph. Fellow KB Racing driver Bo Butner is sitting pretty in third with a 6.652 second run at 205.79 mph. Greg Anderson, Tanner Gray, Vincent Nobile, Shane Gray, and Drew Skillman are also qualified in the top eight. The majority of the field struggled a bit with the winds and lack of downforce on the cars and will look to improve upon their results tomorrow.