ENNIS, TX – October 15, 2016 – (Motor Sports Newswire) – Robert Hight sprinted to the provisional No. 1 qualifier in Funny Car on Friday at the 31st annual AAA Texas NHRA FallNationals.
Antron Brown (Top Fuel), Jason Line (Pro Stock) and Andrew Hines (Pro Stock Motorcycle) were also qualifying leaders in their respective categories at the 22nd event of 24 on the 2016 NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series schedule. The AAA Texas NHRA FallNationals is the fourth race of the six-race NHRA Mello Yello Countdown to the Championship playoffs.
Hight posted a 3.839-second pass at 332.02 mph in his AAA Texas Chevy Camaro SS to take the qualifying lead. His time is the third-quickest Funny Car pass in NHRA history and a Texas Motorplex track record. Hight, a two-time Dallas winner, won earlier this year in Gainesville, Fla., and is eighth in points. He has 48 No. 1 qualifiers in his career and one so far this season, which came recently in St. Louis.
“That was pretty impressive,” said Hight, the 2009 Funny Car world champion. “Going up to that run, (crew chief) Mike Neff told me he thought we could run 3.84. To me, looking at that we’ve never run that and we go up there and run a little quicker at 3.83. That shows he has a great handle on it and I’m not going to question him. My team’s on the right track. All we can do is try to go out and win these last three races.”
Jack Beckman raced to a 3.843 at a track record speed of 333.66 in his Infinite Hero Foundation Dodge Charger R/T to qualify second through Friday. Beckman claimed wins at Chicago and St. Louis earlier this year and currently sits third in the points standings.
Tommy Johnson Jr. powered his Make-A-Wish Dodge Charger R/T to a 3.847 at 325.06 to sit in the third spot. He is followed by three-time 2016 winner Matt Hagan in fourth and Houston winner Courtney Force in fifth.
In Top Fuel, Brown raced to a 3.682 at 330.55 in his Matco Tools dragster to lead the category through two sessions. His time is a Texas Motorplex track record. Brown, the reigning world champion, has 46 No. 1 qualifiers in his career and two this season. He has won six races in 10 final round appearances this year and has control of the points. He won this event in 2012.
“It was an incredible run,” said Brown. “That was a crucial point right there for us in this run for a championship. It got us some more quality points and it put us in the No. 1 spot so far. That car never stopped pulling. It was a little edgy in the beginning and then it was just hauling the mail.”
Leah Pritchett sits second with a 3.698 at 327.43 in her Papa John’s dragster. Pritchett, making her first appearance in the Countdown to the Championship, won earlier this season in Phoenix. She is seventh in points.
Sonoma winner J.R. Todd is third with a 3.723 at 309.27 in his SealMaster dragster. Brittany Force is fourth in her Monster Energy dragster while Shawn Langdon is fifth in his RedFuel / Sandvik Coromant dragster.
Line pushed his Summit Racing Equipment Chevy Camaro to the provisional No. 1 spot in Pro Stock with a 6.568 at 210.34. The two-time world champion has tallied eight victories and five runner-up finishes in 2016. He won this event in 2011 and 2013 and is two sessions away from securing his seventh No. 1 of the season and 48th of his career.
“I think we could’ve (gone faster), but maybe we weren’t willing to be aggressive enough to make that happen,” said Line, who leads the Pro Stock points standings. “We felt like we were reasonably safe with the first run and all-in-all it was a good day for us.”
Greg Anderson, Line’s teammate, raced his Summit Racing Equipment Chevy Camaro to the second spot with a 6.579 at 210.11. Anderson is a four-time Dallas winner and has notched seven wins and six runner-ups this season. He is second in points.
Alex Laughlin, who recently claimed the first win of his career at the event in St. Louis, is third with a 6.586 at 208.46 in his Gas Monkey Garage Chevy Camaro. He is followed by Bo Butner in fourth and Reading, Pa., winner Vincent Nobile in fifth.
In Pro Stock Motorcycle, Hines rode his Screamin’ Eagle Vance & Hines Harley-Davidson to the top spot with a 6.812 at 195.42 in the first session. Hines, the defending world champion, has 38 No. 1 qualifiers in his career and two this season. He currently leads the points with five victories in eight final round appearances this season. He won the AAA Texas NHRA FallNationals in 2014.
“We were hoping to improve (in the second session),” said five-time world champion Hines. “What ultimately happened was it cooled off and the water grains came up with it and took the performance out of the motorcycle. That makes it harder to go through the air because it’s a little thicker and it makes the engine unhappy. Tomorrow I think we’ll have closer weather conditions to what we’ll see on Sunday.”
Hines’ teammate Eddie Krawiec powered to the No. 2 spot with a 6.821 at 195.42 on his Screamin’ Eagle Vance & Hines Harley-Davidson. Krawiec, who won this event in 2013, is second in points with four wins and two runner-ups this season.
Jerry Savoie, an alligator farmer from Louisiana, is third with a 6.831 at 195.68 on his White Alligator Racing Suzuki. Angelle Sampey, who won in Englishtown, N.J., is fourth and NHRA Carolina Nationals winner Chip Ellis is in fifth.
The AAA Texas NHRA FallNationals will resume on Saturday with the final two qualifying sessions at 12:45 and 3:45 p.m. Eliminations are set to begin on Sunday at 11 a.m.
ENNIS, TX — Friday’s results after the first two of four rounds of qualifying for the 31st annual AAA Texas NHRA FallNationals at Texas Motorplex, 22nd of 24 events in the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series. Qualifying will continue Saturday for Sunday’s final eliminations.
Top Fuel — 1. Antron Brown, 3.682 seconds, 330.55 mph; 2. Leah Pritchett, 3.698, 327.43; 3. J.R. Todd, 3.723, 322.96; 4. Brittany Force, 3.727, 322.50; 5. Shawn Langdon, 3.729, 324.44; 6. Richie Crampton, 3.741, 315.64; 7. Doug Kalitta, 3.745, 321.04; 8. Clay Millican, 3.746, 321.04; 9. Tony Schumacher, 3.769, 317.94; 10. Steve Torrence, 3.770, 325.14; 11. Larry Dixon, 3.807, 320.20; 12. Terry McMillen, 3.835, 309.84. Not Qualified: 13. Troy Buff, 3.843, 314.02; 14. Scott Palmer, 3.993, 271.62; 15. Terry Haddock, 4.423, 184.98; 16. Kebin Kinsley, 8.730, 77.98.
Funny Car — 1. Robert Hight, Chevy Camaro, 3.839, 332.02; 2. Jack Beckman, Dodge Charger, 3.843, 333.66; 3. Tommy Johnson Jr., Charger, 3.847, 325.06; 4. Matt Hagan, Charger, 3.851, 330.23; 5. Courtney Force, Camaro, 3.854, 323.50; 6. Del Worsham, Toyota Camry, 3.857, 326.95; 7. Ron Capps, Charger, 3.864, 322.96; 8. John Force, Camaro, 3.873, 329.02; 9. Tim Wilkerson, Ford Mustang, 3.919, 322.19; 10. Cruz Pedregon, Camry, 3.952, 284.99; 11. Chad Head, Camry, 3.957, 322.42; 12. Alexis DeJoria, Camry, 3.961, 321.96. Not Qualified: 13. John Bojec, 4.231, 229.55; 14. John Hale, 4.704, 182.18; 15. Dave Richards, 8.605, 81.58; 16. Brandon Welch, 9.012, 67.72; 17. Todd Simpson, 9.592, 55.47.
Pro Stock — 1. Jason Line, Chevy Camaro, 6.568, 210.34; 2. Greg Anderson, Camaro, 6.579, 210.11; 3. Alex Laughlin, Camaro, 6.586, 210.73; 4. Bo Butner, Camaro, 6.591, 209.39; 5. Vincent Nobile, Camaro, 6.594, 210.34; 6. Allen Johnson, Dodge Dart, 6.610, 209.49; 7. Chris McGaha, Camaro, 6.612, 209.26; 8. Drew Skillman, Camaro, 6.614, 210.67; 9. Shane Gray, Camaro, 6.614, 209.82; 10. Kenny Delco, Camaro, 6.631, 208.46; 11. Shane Tucker, Camaro, 6.641, 208.30; 12. Deric Kramer, Dart, 6.648, 207.78. Not Qualified: 13. Erica Enders, 6.652, 207.75; 14. Jeg Coughlin, 6.658, 207.24; 15. Aaron Strong, 6.673, 207.72; 16. Alan Prusiensky, 6.726, 205.54.
Pro Stock Motorcycle — 1. Andrew Hines, Harley-Davidson, 6.812, 195.42; 2. Eddie Krawiec, Harley-Davidson, 6.821, 195.42; 3. Jerry Savoie, Suzuki, 6.831, 195.68; 4. Angelle Sampey, Buell, 6.858, 194.16; 5. Chip Ellis, Buell, 6.863, 194.60; 6. Hector Arana Jr, Buell, 6.863, 194.94; 7. LE Tonglet, Suzuki, 6.868, 194.24; 8. Cory Reed, Buell, 6.877, 192.38; 9. Matt Smith, Victory, 6.879, 194.04; 10. Steve Johnson, Suzuki, 6.889, 193.99; 11. Hector Arana, Buell, 6.905, 194.77; 12. Melissa Surber, Buell, 6.914, 190.14. Not Qualified: 13. Karen Stoffer, 6.933, 193.79; 14. Shawn Gann, 6.958, 192.30; 15. Angie Smith, 6.981, 191.19; 16. Joey Gladstone, 6.999, 192.19; 17. David Hope, 7.023, 186.10; 18. Joe DeSantis, 7.046, 188.10; 19. John Hall, 7.047, 186.51; 20. Mike Berry, 7.051, 186.25; 21. Lance Bonham, 7.325, 181.59; 22. Gunner Courtney, 7.367, 176.19.
About National Hot Rod Association
Headquartered in Glendora, Calif., NHRA is the primary sanctioning body for the sport of drag racing in the United States. NHRA presents 23 national events featuring the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series, NHRA Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series and NHRA J&A Service Pro Mod Drag Racing Series. NHRA provides competition opportunities for drivers of all levels in the NHRA Summit Racing Series and the NHRA Drags: Street Legal Style presented by AAA. NHRA also offers NHRA Jr. Street for teens and the Summit Racing Jr. Drag Racing League for youth ages 5 to 17. In addition, NHRA owns and operates five racing facilities: Atlanta Dragway in Georgia; Auto-Plus Raceway at Gainesville in Florida; National Trail Raceway in Ohio; Lucas Oil Raceway at Indianapolis; and Auto Club Raceway at Pomona in Southern California. For more information, log on to NHRA.com, or visit the official NHRA pages on Facebook, YouTube and Twitter.
Source: National Hot Rod Association