CONCORD, N.C. (September 15, 2017) The skies were sunny and clear for the first two qualifying sessions at Z Max Dragway in North Carolina. The NHRA Carolina Nationals is the first of six playoff events in the countdown to the championship for each of the four professional categories.
Doug Kalitta’s Mac Tools dragster rocketed to the top spot today with his Q2 time of 3.723 seconds and speed of 329.50 mph. “We haven’t got the Wally yet the year so hopefully we’re saving it for the last six races this year, just hoping to have a strong finish here,” Doug told the media. U.S. Nationals winner and Top Fuel points leader, Steve Torrence isn’t far off Kalitta’s time. Torrence posted a 3.724 second elapsed time at 327.51 mph. Meanwhile, Leah Pritchett is currently third with her quick 3.725 second run at 327.98 mph. Antron Brown, Brittany Force, Richie Crampton, Clay Millican, and Scott Palmer help round out the top eight provisional qualifiers.
Courtney Force and her Advanced Auto Parts Funny Car made a statement in Q2 with a 3.891 second lap time at 330.07 mph. Force was one of two drivers who made passes in the 3.80 second range today. “I feel like we have even more than we showed on that racetrack so I’m really excited for tomorrow,” Force said. J.R. Todd had the top spot after Q1 until Force took it away in Q1. Even so, Todd pulled off a 3.898 second lap at 329.18 mph in Q2 to hold onto the second spot. Tommy Johnson Jr.’s 3.901 second run at 325.06 mph was good enough for third. Jack Beckman, Alexis, Dejoria, Robert Hight, Cruz Pedregon, and Tim Wilkerson are currently qualified on the top half of the ladder.
Pro Stock rookie and class standout, Tanner Gray is leading the field with his 6.559 second effort at 210.50 mph. “I think it’s really cool we came out here and went low for both sessions and we’re kinda inching [the points lead] forward slowly.” Greg Anderson’s 6.567 second lap at 210.73 mph puts him off-pole. Anderson’s KB Racing teammate, Bo Butner is third with his 6.573 second run at 210.77 mph. Jason Line, Chris McGaha, Jeg Coughlin, Drew Skillman, and Alex Laughlin are also in the top half of the field.
Pro Stock Motorcycle
Vance & Hines Screamin’ Eagle Harley-Davidson rider, Andrew Hines is sitting on the provisional pole after making his Q2 run of 6.825 seconds at 196.50 mph. “We’ve been working on these things night and day, non-stop for the past few months. Finally to get some runs at them is a breath of fresh air,” Hines spoke of the feat. The defending world champion, Jerry Savoie is off-pole thanks to his Q1 lap time of 6.838 seconds and 196.10 speed. Hector Arana Jr. is third with his 6.840 second run at 196.07 mph in Q2. Eddie Krawiec, LE Tonglet, Matt Smith, Chip Ellis, and Scotty Pollacheck are the top eight qualifiers headed into tomorrow’s final two sessions.