CONCORD, NC – April 23, 2016 – (Motor Sports Newswire) – Two-time Funny Car world champ Matt Hagan reset both ends of the zMAX Dragway track record in racing to the qualifying lead Friday in a rain-shortened day of action at the NHRA Four-Wide Nationals presented by Lowes Foods.
NHRA teams were only able to get in one of the two scheduled qualifying sessions before persistent rain showers moved into the area late in the afternoon. Qualifying continues Saturday with sessions scheduled for 2 and 4 p.m. Sunday’s finals are set to begin at noon.
Steve Torrence (Top Fuel), Greg Anderson (Pro Stock) and Eddie Krawiec (Pro Stock Motorcycle) also were qualifying leaders at the distinctive event which features NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series teams competing in a four-lane configuration.
Hagan powered his Mopar Express Lane/ Rocky Boots Dodge Charger to the qualifying lead in Funny Car with a track-record performance of 3.941 seconds at 323.50 mph.
Hagan held off his old arch-rival, 16-time Funny Car world champion John Force, for the top spot. Force qualified second with a 3.946 at 323.50 in his Peak Antifreeze Chevy Camaro. Both drivers are past winners of the unique event.
“We needed that for our team, for [crew chief] Dickie Venables, for everybody that’s been digging deep, working hard, trying to figure this stuff out,” said Hagan, who is off to a slow start this year with three first round losses in the first four events. “That was one good run. We’re happy for this Mopar to run that well right off the trailer.”
Past Four-Wide Nationals No. 1 qualifier and finalist Chad Head was third in his Head Racing Toyota Camry with a 3.967 at 315.49 and Ron Capps rebounded from his DNQ in Las Vegas by qualifying fourth in his NAPA Auto Parts Dodge with a 3.986 at 319.67. Las Vegas winner Alexis DeJoria is fifth in her Tequila Patron Camry with a 4.005 at 310.98. Her Kalitta Motorsports teammate, defending world champ Del Worsham, anchors the 12th spot in his DHL Camry.
Torrence, who won the season-opening NHRA Winternationals in Southern California but has struggled on race day in the last three events, paced the Top Fuel category with a 3.736 at 326.48 in his Capco Contractors dragster.
“We’ve had a really good car all season long but we’ve had three first round losses in a row and sort of stumped our toe,” Torrence said. “The same thing happened in Las Vegas [two weeks ago], we had an awesome car in qualifying and the track conditions changed and it bit us in the first round. The car has run unbelievable. That gives you a huge vote of confidence going into the next qualifying round and ultimately sets up the weekend for what you can build off of a lot better.”
Series points leader Brittany Force was second in her Monster Energy dragster, posting a 3.771 at 319.90. Gatornationals runner-up Terry McMillen qualified third in his Amalie Xtermigator dragster with a 3.833 at 314.17 and defending world champ Antron Brown rounded out the top five with a 3.838 at 315.49 in his Matco Tools dragster.
In Pro Stock, local favorite Anderson, who lives in nearby Mooresville, kept his early season momentum going by racing to the top of the order with a 6.577 at 209.65 in his Summit Racing Equipment Chevy Camaro. The four-time world champ has won two races this season in the new-look Pro Stock class, which features electronic fuel injection, flat hoods, shorter wheelie-bars and a 10,500 RPM rev-limiter.
“Honestly it looked bleak today with the forecast and we were thankful to get in one round,” said Anderson, a two-time winner of the Four-Wide Nationals. “We got some intel today. It has become very clear that the pack has made some gains. Now it’s time to get back to work and find some more performance for tomorrow to try and hang on to No. 1. The good news is we have great weather for the rest of the weekend. The track is perfect and we can tune ‘em up and try to run better tomorrow.”
Last year’s top rookie Drew Skillman was second with a 6.583 at 209.72 in his Ray Skillman Chevy Camaro and points leader Jason Line is third with a 6.585 at 209.10 in his Summit Racing Equipment Camaro. Defending world champ Erica Enders sits eighth in her Elite Motorsports Dodge Dart with a 6.644 at 207.08.
Three-time Pro Stock Motorcycle world champ Krawiec was quickest in the two-wheel category, riding his Screamin’ Eagle Vance & Hines Harley-Davidson to a 6.818 at 192.85.
“It made an awesome run,” Krawiec said. “Crew chief Matt [Hines] made all the right decisions and it ran killer to the first 60-foot and the track was good. In our quad we had four guys all go 80s. It’s really neat when you have that and it worked out with all the reaction times being close. So it probably was some neat finish line stuff for a picture. The end result was my Harley went 6.81. It was an awesome lap and I am looking forward to tomorrow.”
Louisiana alligator farmer Jerry Savoie is second on his White Alligator Racing Suzuki with a 6.841 at 197.62 and two-time defending Four-Wide Nationals winner Andrew Hines is third on his Screamin’ Eagle Vance & Hines Harley-Davidson with a 6.851 at 192.77.
CONCORD, NC — Results Friday after the first one of three rounds of qualifying for the seventh annual NHRA Four-Wide Nationals presented by Lowes Foods at zMax Dragway, fifth of 24 events in the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series. Qualifying will continue Saturday for Sunday’s final eliminations.
1. Steve Torrence, 3.736 seconds, 326.48 mph; 2. Brittany Force, 3.771, 319.90; 3. Terry McMillen, 3.833, 314.17; 4. Antron Brown, 3.838, 315.49; 5. Doug Kalitta, 3.844, 315.64; 6. Leah Pritchett, 3.880, 314.02; 7. Tony Schumacher, 3.915, 259.36; 8. Smax Smith, 4.301, 278.35; 9. Shawn Langdon, 7.770, 93.52; 10. Richie Crampton, 8.248, 86.83; 11. Clay Millican, 12.594, 82.80.
1. Matt Hagan, Dodge Charger, 3.941, 323.50; 2. John Force, Chevy Camaro, 3.946, 323.50; 3. Chad Head, Toyota Camry, 3.967, 315.49; 4. Ron Capps, Charger, 3.986, 319.67; 5. Alexis DeJoria, Camry, 4.005, 310.98; 6. John Hale, Charger, 4.104, 311.99; 7. Tim Wilkerson, Ford Mustang, 4.402, 291.82; 8. Cruz Pedregon, Camry, 4.729, 175.73; 9. Daniel Wilkerson, Mustang, 5.433, 136.94; 10. Dave Richards, Mustang, 7.793, 88.33; 11. Courtney Force, Camaro, 7.810, 85.65; 12. Del Worsham, Camry, 7.957, 83.65; 13. Tommy Johnson Jr., Charger, 8.761, 86.46; 14. Bob Tasca III, Mustang, 11.928, 75.56; 15. Jack Beckman, Charger, 12.175, 71.88; 16. Robert Hight, Camaro, 14.164, 75.18.
1. Greg Anderson, Chevy Camaro, 6.577, 209.65; 2. Drew Skillman, Camaro, 6.583, 209.72; 3. Jason Line, Camaro, 6.585, 209.10; 4. Shane Gray, Camaro, 6.602, 208.68; 5. Vincent Nobile, Camaro, 6.605, 209.46; 6. Bo Butner, Camaro, 6.608, 208.91; 7. Chris McGaha, Camaro, 6.635, 208.20; 8. Erica Enders, Dodge Dart, 6.644, 207.08; 9. Jeg Coughlin, Dart, 6.660, 207.37; 10. John Gaydosh Jr, Chevrolet Camaro, 7.226, 190.97; 11. V. Gaines, Dart, 7.433, 204.98; 12. Kenny Delco, Camaro, 9.412, 100.05; 13. Allen Johnson, Dart, 12.924, 88.85; 14. Alex Laughlin, Camaro, 14.392, 92.21; 15. Deric Kramer, Dart, 15.391, 49.78.
Pro Stock Motorcycle
1. Eddie Krawiec, Harley-Davidson, 6.818, 192.85; 2. Jerry Savoie, Suzuki, 6.841, 197.62; 3. Andrew Hines, Harley-Davidson, 6.851, 192.77; 4. Angelle Sampey, Buell, 6.856, 193.38; 5. Michael Ray, Buell, 6.861, 196.02; 6. Hector Arana, Buell, 6.877, 195.45; 7. LE Tonglet, Suzuki, 6.884, 195.17; 8. Karen Stoffer, Suzuki, 6.886, 194.97; 9. Brian Pretzel, Suzuki, 6.891, 194.07; 10. Matt Smith, Victory, 6.893, 195.22; 11. Scotty Pollacheck, Buell, 6.897, 193.10; 12. Jim Underdahl, Suzuki, 6.905, 196.07; 13. Shawn Gann, Buell, 6.915, 195.03; 14. Steve Johnson, Suzuki, 6.916, 192.55; 15. Mike Berry, Buell, 6.945, 194.24; 16. Angie Smith, Victory, 6.967, 190.86. Not Qualified: 17. Cory Reed, 6.996, 190.57; 18. Hector Arana Jr, 7.013, 190.35; 19. Joe DeSantis, 7.034, 190.54; 20. David Hope, 7.037, 189.34; 21. Katie Sullivan, 7.048, 185.43; 22. Chip Ellis, 7.094, 188.46; 23. Lance Bonham, 7.249, 186.20.