LAS VEGAS, Nev. (October 28, 2017) The third and fourth qualifying sessions are in the books and the fields are set for the NHRA Toyota Nationals at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. As the second to last race of the season, teams are doing all they can to make sure their machines are amongst the quickest in all four qualifying session in order to pick up the extra bonus points that are awarded to the three fastest cars of each round. Similar to yesterday, the weather was in the mid-eighties and the track temperature averaged just over one hundred degrees for both the third and fourth sessions.
Tony Schumacher picked up the fourth No. 1 qualifier of this season and the eighty-fourth of his career with his 3.673 second lap at 332.67 mph from Q2. Schumacher gave quite the passionate interview in the media center last night in regards to performing on raceday. That fire seemed to trickle down to the team as well as they went low of the final session. Schumacher was still fired up when he talked to the press tonight. “None of us showed up to be decent. None of us showed up for the Army car hoping to be average and finish six, so quit running six. Quit being sixth, seventh qualifier. Quit getting beat. Quit losing. We are a winning team with winning quality people and winning sponsor and winning everything. Let’s get back to that form,” he said. “Whether [the team] heard it or not, it was from the heart. I wasn’t saying ‘you guys can’t get the job done.’ I was saying you do and have often get the job done; let’s get back there.”
This is the eight-time World Champion’s fourth No. 1 qualifying spot of the season and the eighty-fourth of his career. Schumacher will square off against Troy Buff in the first round of racing. Points leader, Steve Torrence qualified second with his 3.694 second pass at 330.15 mph that he made in the second session last night. Clay Millican moved up nine spots into third in the final session with his 3.707 second effort at 311.99 mph. Brittany Force, Doug Kalitta, Terry McMillen, Shawn Langdon, and Leah Pritchett help make up the “quick eight” qualifiers of the field.
In the fourth and final session of qualifying, Jack Beckman, set both the track ET record and the speed record. Beckman had the top spot from the second session last night but made a blistering run down the track in 3.854 seconds at 335.57 mph to retain the pole position and gather bonus points that are available during qualifying. “It’s always nice before eliminations to eat away at the points lead of the car ahead of you and put a little distance on the ones behind you,” Beckman explained.
This is Beckman’s first No. 1 position of the year and the twenty-second of his career. He’ll have Jim Campbell in the first round of competition on race day. Courtney Force stayed second with her 3.878 second effort at 331.77 mph from Q2. Robert Hight’s run from Q2 also held up and kept him in third. Hight ran a lap of 3.880 seconds at 329.99 mph last night. Matt Hagan, J.R. Todd, Ron Capps, Cruz Pedregon, and Jonnie Lindberg are also qualified on the top eight rungs of the ladder.
Yesterday’s second session proved to be the best for the door slammer class. Greg Anderson stayed atop the ladder to take the No. 1 spot with his 6.663 second run at 204.74 mph from yesterday’s evening session. “I love racing here in Vegas, it’s my team owner’s home track, and it just means a whole lot more to me. I’ve had a lot of special weekends here and I’m hoping to create another one this weekend and so far it’s off to a great start,” Anderson said. “Proud of my guys, my Chevy’s been spot on all through qualifying and I expect it to be all through tomorrow. Hopefully, I can do so as a driver tomorrow.”
This is Anderson’s fifth No. 1 qualifier thus far in the 2017 season and the ninety-second of his career. He will face Alan Prusiensky in round one on Sunday. Drew Skillman’s 6.664 second pass at 205.32 mph from the second session has him off-pole. Greg Anderson’s KB Racing stablemate, Bo Butner stayed third with his Q2 run of 6.672 seconds at 205.51 mph. Jason Line, Jeg Coughlin Jr., Erica Enders, Chris McGaha, and Matt Hartford are also qualified in the top eight.
Pro Stock Motorcycle
Points leader Eddie Krawiec’s 6.936 second pass at 191.76 mph from yesterday’s second qualifying session held on to take the pole position. “I’m happy with the way my bike’s performing, I just need to go there an stayed focused and as they say ‘race’, win-lights, that’s what gets you points so that’s all that I’m concerned about right now at this point,” Krawiec told the media.
This is Krawiec’s fifth No. 1 qualifier this season and the thirty-seventh of his career. Krawiec will race John Hall in the opening round of eliminations tomorrow. Hector Arana Jr. will start second tomorrow with his 6.940 second run at 191.87 mph from Q2. In the final session of qualifying, LE Tonglet jumped up five positions to take the third spot with a solid 6.953 second lap at 192.36 mph. Andrew Hines, Scotty Pollacheck, Angie Smith, Hector Arana, and Jerry Savoie round out the top half of the qualifying ladder.
Final eliminations for the NHRA Toyota Nationals will begin tomorrow at 11 A.M. PST.