BAYTOWN, TX – April 30, 2016 – (Motor Sports Newswire) – Texas native Steve Torrence raced to the Top Fuel qualifying lead Friday at the NHRA SpringNationals, the sixth event of the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series.
Tim Wilkerson (Funny Car) and Greg Anderson (Pro Stock) were also qualifying leaders in their categories at Royal Purple Raceway near Houston.
Torrence, winner of the season-opening Winternationals, piloted his Capco Contractors/Torrence Racing dragster to a track record 3.724-second pass at 329.42 mph during Friday’s second qualifying session. The Kilgore, Texas native is two sessions away from securing his fourth No. 1 qualifier of the season and third in-a-row.
“Houston is one of the racetracks I get to call home. It is really gratifying to be able to run well in front of the home town crowd and all the friends and family I’ve grown up racing with,” Torrence said. “Just have a lot of support here.”
Doug Kalitta is currently in the No. 2 spot, racing his Mac Tools dragster to a 3.743 at 324.36, while Clay Millican and his Parts Plus/Great Clips dragster sit in third with a matching time of 3.743 but slower speed of 323.12.
Two-time world champion Antron Brown and his Matco Tools dragster are in fifth and points leader Brittany Force is seventh in her Monster Energy dragster.
In Funny Car, Wilkerson set a career best and track record time of 3.899 at 327.59 in his Levi, Ray & Shoup Ford Shelby Mustang. Wilkerson, the 2004 SpringNationals winner, has two wins this season in Phoenix and Charlotte, N.C. and is hoping to earn his first No. 1 qualifier of the year.
“I’m pretty happy with that performance,” Wilkerson said. “I knew it was a pretty fast run because [the car] went out there in the middle of the track and really took off. Usually when it does that it’s marching pretty hard.”
Alexis DeJoria is second with a 3.910 at 324.90 in her Tequila Patron Toyota Camry and is trailed by Courtney Force and her Traxxas Chevy Camaro with a 3.915 at 320.66.
Defending world champion Del Worsham set the track record for speed with a 328.06 run in his DHL Toyota Camry and is currently in the fourth spot while current Funny Car points leader, Robert Hight, is in fifth.
In Pro Stock, Anderson powered his Summit Racing Equipment Chevy Camaro to a 6.589 at 210.41. Anderson, eyeing his third No. 1 qualifier of the year, has two wins so far this season in Pomona, Calif. and Gainesville, Fla.
“I couldn’t be more proud of my guys and what they do with our race cars. It’s just a dream to drive right now,” said Anderson, a four-time Pro Stock world champion. “That run tonight was beyond what I thought we could run. That was pretty darn close to a perfect run. We usually get out of the car saying, ‘We did this wrong and we did that wrong,’ but I can’t pick anything apart on that run. It was a very, very nice run. Probably the nicest run I’ve had all year long.”
Anderson’s Ken Black Racing teammates Jason Line and Bo Butner currently sit in the second and third spots with a 6.602 at 209.92 and a 6.623 at 208.91, respectively.
Line and his Summit Racing Equipment Chevy Camaro have not qualified outside of second or missed a finals appearance so far this season.
Butner, in his Bill Butner Auto Chevy Camaro, will be racing for his first Pro Stock victory after finishing runner-up to Line two consecutive times in Charlotte and Las Vegas.
Two-time and defending world champion Erica Enders is in the sixth position. Enders will be racing for her third consecutive victory at Royal Purple Raceway.
The final two qualifying sessions of the NHRA SpringNationals will be at 1 p.m. and 3:30 p.m. on Saturday at Royal Purple Raceway.
BAYTOWN, TX — Friday’s results after the first two of four rounds of qualifying for the 29th annual SpringNationals at Royal Purple Raceway, sixth of 24 events in the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series. Qualifying will continue Saturday for Sunday’s final eliminations.
1. Steve Torrence, 3.724 seconds, 329.42 mph; 2. Doug Kalitta, 3.743, 324.36; 3. Clay Millican, 3.743, 323.12; 4. Richie Crampton, 3.752, 314.31; 5. Antron Brown, 3.753, 321.58; 6. Shawn Langdon, 3.760, 325.06; 7. Brittany Force, 3.761, 298.54; 8. Tony Schumacher, 3.766, 322.19; 9. Terry McMillen, 3.819, 314.02; 10. Kebin Kinsley, 3.870, 310.05; 11. Troy Buff, 3.884, 311.70; 12. J.R. Todd, 3.889, 300.53. Not Qualified: 13. Terry Haddock, 4.124, 276.46; 14. Scott Palmer, 4.137, 222.18; 15. Leah Pritchett, 5.199, 139.20; 16. Rob Passey, 7.090, 95.52.
1. Tim Wilkerson, Ford Mustang, 3.899, 327.59; 2. Alexis DeJoria, Toyota Camry, 3.910, 324.90; 3. Courtney Force, Chevy Camaro, 3.915, 320.66; 4. Del Worsham, Camry, 3.923, 328.06; 5. Robert Hight, Camaro, 3.953, 324.98; 6. Ron Capps, Dodge Charger, 3.953, 321.27; 7. Tommy Johnson Jr., Charger, 3.969, 315.56; 8. Chad Head, Camry, 3.972, 315.86; 9. Matt Hagan, Charger, 3.982, 327.43; 10. John Force, Camaro, 4.005, 322.11; 11. Cruz Pedregon, Camry, 4.103, 289.07; 12. Todd Simpson, Camaro, 4.224, 293.86. Not Qualified: 13. Bob Bode, 4.971, 157.47; 14. Jack Beckman, 7.005, 87.69; 15. John Hale, 7.015, 93.13.
1. Greg Anderson, Chevy Camaro, 6.589, 210.41; 2. Jason Line, Camaro, 6.602, 209.92; 3. Bo Butner, Camaro, 6.623, 208.91; 4. Drew Skillman, Camaro, 6.632, 208.75; 5. Allen Johnson, Dodge Dart, 6.635, 208.97; 6. Erica Enders, Dart, 6.635, 208.91; 7. Vincent Nobile, Camaro, 6.639, 208.42; 8. Alex Laughlin, Camaro, 6.644, 208.49; 9. Chris McGaha, Camaro, 6.646, 208.39; 10. Shane Gray, Camaro, 6.653, 209.01; 11. Jeg Coughlin, Dart, 6.655, 208.10; 12. Aaron Strong, Camaro, 6.683, 207.21. Not Qualified: 13. V. Gaines, 6.701, 208.07.