LAS VEGAS, Nev. (April 1, 2017) The qualifying fields are set for the 2017 DENSO Spark Plugs NHRA Nationals. The weather conditions today seemed to parallel the ones we’re supposed to see on raceday. Giving drivers, tuners, and fans a good idea of the numbers they’re likely to see the cars run tomorrow.
Steve Torrence picked up his first number one qualifier of the season with a 3.720 second lap at 327.35 mph. Torrence, who made his low-ET run during the first qualifying session says that it’s not unusual from he and his team to perform well right off the trailer. “We’ve trended to making the right decisions initially which has compounded into success throughout the weekend and throughout the times we’ve been here in the past.”
Latest Top Fuel race-winner, Tony Schumacher qualified second with a 3.739 second pass at 326.82 mph. Doug Kalitta will start Sunday’s eliminations from the third spot after he posted a 3.758 second run at 318.69 mph. Brittany Force, Leah Pritchett, Clay Millican, Troy Coughlin Jr., and Antron Brown help round out the top half of the raceday-set field.
Courtney Force will start tomorrow’s elimination round from the number one position. During Friday’s qualifying, she made a 3.867 second run at 327.66 mph. This is her 11th number on qualifier of her career.
“To head down there, set a 3.86 for the track record, it definitely felt good. It was a great run for us and we’re excited about it. Dan Hood, Ronny Thompson, my crew chiefs have done an incredible job,” Courtney said. “After Phoenix and Gainesville we definitely needed to change things around,” she explained. Matt Hagan is currently off-pole with a 3.868 second lap at 330.63 mph. Tim Wilkerson is qualified third at 3.876 seconds at 331.28 mph. Ron Capps, Jack Beckman, Tommy Johnson Jr., John Force, and Alexis DeJoria are the top eight qualifiers in the category and will have lane choice in round one.
KB Racing’s Jason Line stayed number one on the qualifying ladder with his time of 6.647 seconds at 206.29 mph. “The strategy is to go up there and go as fast as you can every time. Obviously try to do the best job you can to get every little bit of performance out of the racecar,” said Line. After an engine change going into Saturday’s two sessions, Line is confident that they got the data they needed in order to be competitive on Sunday. “We should have a good hot rod tomorrow,” he said. Jeg Coughlin Jr. got his Chevy Camaro into the second spot with a 6.652 second run at 206.92 mph. Line’s teammate, Bo Butner’s time of 6.655 seconds at 205.79 mph will have him starting from the number three spot. Greg Anderson, Tanner Gray, Vincent Nobile, Chris McGaha, and Drew Skillman also round out the top half of the door-slammer field.