CONCORD, N.C. (September 16, 2017) It was yet another gorgeous day here at Z Max Dragway and the fields are set after today’s final two qualifying sessions. With crystal clear skies and warm track temperatures that closely resemble what tomorrow’s conditions will look like, drivers and crew chiefs dialed in their hot rods for raceday.
There wasn’t a change within the top three qualifiers from yesterday’s qualifying sessions. Doug Kalitta walked away with the pole after his 3.723 second pass at 329.50 mph. As a man of few words Kalitta said, “This is one track I’ve yet to win at, I’d love to get a win here and check that off the list.”Kalitta will race Chris Karamesines in round one on Sunday. Steve Torrence’s 3.724 second run at 327.51 mph was good enough to be off-pole. Papa John’s Pizza driver, Leah Pritchett will start from the third spot with a 3.725 second ET at 327.98 mph. Antron Brown, Clay Millican, Brittany Force, Richie Crampton, and Shawn Langdon also secured their way into the quick eight.
Similarly to Top Fuel, the Funny Car category also failed to see any of the top three change positions from Q1 & Q2. Courtney Force nabbed the top spot with her Q2 run of 3.891 seconds at 330.07 mph. “We honestly wish we could’ve run better in the heat throughout the other sessions,” Force revealed. “I think we’re just overpowering the track right now which isn’t the worst problem to have, our car is obviously real aggressive but I’m looking forward to tomorrow.” Force will race Bob Gilbertson in the opening round of competition. J.R. Todd is second after making his 3.898 second lap at 329.18 mph in Q1. Don Schumacher Racing’s Tommy Johnson Jr. is third with his 3.901 second pass at 325.06 mph. Jack Beckman, Alexis Dejoria, Robert Hight, Tim Wilkerson, and Cruz Pedregon help make up the top half of the field.
No one could get around Tanner Gray, Greg Anderson, and Bo Butner’s qualifying times from yesterday so the top three will stay the same in Pro Stock as well. 18-year-old Tanner Gray qualified No. 1 after making a clean pass in Q1 of 6.559 seconds at 210.50 mph. “I think today we were pretty much setup for tomorrow with the track being hot and stuff like that,” Gray said. “I’m very confident with the car I’ve got and how I’m driving. I’m excited, I don’t see any reason we’re not going to win tomorrow.” Gray will run Val Smeland in the first round on race day. Pro Stock veteran, Greg Anderson will start off-pole thanks to his 6.567 second run at 210.73 mph. Anderson’s teammate, Bo Butner is third with his 6.573 second effort at 210.77 mph. Jason Line, Chris McGaha, Jeg Coughlin, Drew Skillman, and Alex Laughlin round out the top eight qualifiers.
Pro Stock Motorcycle
Vance & Hines teammates, Andrew Hines and Eddie Krawiec locked down the top two spots. Andrew Hines took the pole with his time of 6.825 seconds at 196.50 mph. “We feel real good about what we did today. Hines said, “Obviously keeping the number one spot was priority for Harley-Davidson and Vance & Hines so today was about learning for tomorrow. Conditions being pretty consistent all weekend long. Today was more like raceday so just massaging a bit more on the tuneup.” Hines will go up against Charlie Sullivan in the first round of competition. Eddie Krawiec is off-pole after making a 6.836 second pass at 195 mph. Jerry Savoie is qualified third with his 6.838 second run at 196.1 mph. Hector Arana Jr., Scotty Pollacheck, LE Tonglet, Matt Smith, and Angie Smith are also qualified on the top half of the ladder.