BAYTOWN, TX – April 22, 2017 – (Motor Sports Newswire) – Courtney Force secured the Funny Car No. 1 qualifier Saturday at the 30th annual NHRA SpringNationals at Royal Purple Raceway. Clay Millican (Top Fuel) and Jeg Coughlin Jr. (Pro Stock) were also No. 1 qualifiers in their respective categories at the fifth event of 24 on the 2017 NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series schedule.
Defending race winner, Force, set both ends of the track record with a pass of 3.851-seconds at 330.23 mph in her Advance Auto Parts Chevy Camaro during Friday’s qualifying to earn her 12th career No. 1 qualifier.
“It definitely feels good to come back to a track that we were able to win at last year,” Force said. “I feel like we’ve got a more consistent race car which was a goal coming off of Las Vegas testing. I feel like we’re heading in the right direction.”
In the first round of eliminations Force, who will be in pursuit of her first victory this season, will face Jeff Diehl. Ron Capps is qualified second with a 3.884 at 326.56 in his NAPA Auto Parts Dodge Charger R/T and will race Todd Simpson and John Force and his PEAK Chevy Camaro are in third and will line up against Del Worsham.
Millican piloted his Parts Plus / Great Clips dragster to the fifth No. 1 qualifier of his career with a track elapsed time record of 3.722 at 328.22. He will face Steve Chrisman in the first round.
“It is really cool for me to qualify No. 1 by a thousandth,” Millican stated. “Since we did qualify No. 1, my plan is to go out there and stomp on that loud pedal four times and turn on that win light four times. These races are getting harder and harder, but we have a good car.”
Defending world champion, Antron Brown, is qualified second with a 3.723 pass at 322.50 in the Matco Tools dragster and will face Terry Haddock. Doug Kalitta is in the third qualifying position.
In Pro Stock, Coughlin Jr.’s 6.557 pass at 210.70 in his JEGS.com / Elite Performance Chevy Camaro held up from Friday to clench his first No.1 qualifying position since 2014. He won his first race here in the fall of 1997 after only two starts in Pro Stock.
“Car feels great and the track is really holding up nicely,” Coughlin Jr. said. “This is the site where I started my Pro Stock career 20 years ago. To get my first professional win here was extremely special. This was like the Disney Land of race tracks for Pro Stock as I was coming into the class.”
Bo Butner is second with a 6.560 at 210.80 in his Jim Butner’s Auto Chevy Camaro and will line up against Alan Prusiensky in the first round of eliminations. Veteran Greg Anderson and his Summit Racing Equipment Chevy Camaro are qualified third and race Richie Stevens, husband of two-time world champion Erica Enders, in round one.
Eliminations for the 30th annual NHRA SpringNationals begin at 11 a.m. on Sunday. Catch the action on FOX Sports 1 beginning at 6 p.m. ET.
BAYTOWN, TX — Sunday’s first-round pairings for eliminations for the 30th annual NHRA SpringNationals at Royal Purple Raceway, the fifth of 24 events in the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series. Pairings based on results in qualifying, which ended Saturday. DNQs listed below pairings.
Top Fuel — 1. Clay Millican, 3.722 seconds, 325.69 mph vs. 16. Steven Chrisman, 5.767, 119.17; 2. Antron Brown, 3.723, 322.50 vs. 15. Terry Haddock, 3.980, 301.74; 3. Doug Kalitta, 3.731, 327.03 vs. 14. Terry McMillen, 3.891, 316.97; 4. Steve Torrence, 3.743, 321.58 vs. 13. Shawn Reed, 3.869, 320.43; 5. Brittany Force, 3.745, 327.27 vs. 12. Troy Coughlin Jr., 3.862, 316.82; 6. Leah Pritchett, 3.747, 326.87 vs. 11. Scott Palmer, 3.832, 316.52; 7. Bob Vandergriff, 3.781, 320.43 vs. 10. Shawn Langdon, 3.825, 314.53; 8. Tony Schumacher, 3.783, 321.50 vs. 9. Troy Buff, 3.810, 289.01.
Funny Car — 1. Courtney Force, Chevy Camaro, 3.851, 330.23 vs. 16. Jeff Diehl, Toyota Solara, 11.833, 68.24; 2. Ron Capps, Dodge Charger, 3.884, 326.56 vs. 15. Todd Simpson, Camaro, 8.421, 85.90; 3. John Force, Camaro, 3.890, 325.53 vs. 14. Del Worsham, Toyota Camry, 4.139, 267.00; 4. Robert Hight, Camaro, 3.894, 329.67 vs. 13. Jim Campbell, Charger, 4.126, 299.73; 5. Cruz Pedregon, Camry, 3.897, 324.98 vs. 12. J.R. Todd, Camry, 4.016, 322.65; 6. Jack Beckman, Charger, 3.907, 327.90 vs. 11. Matt Hagan, Charger, 3.974, 322.19; 7. Tommy Johnson Jr., Charger, 3.934, 321.12 vs. 10. Jonnie Lindberg, Camry, 3.961, 323.50; 8. Tim Wilkerson, Ford Mustang, 3.946, 322.34 vs. 9. Alexis DeJoria, Camry, 3.946, 323.43.
Pro Stock — 1. Jeg Coughlin, Chevy Camaro, 6.557, 210.70 vs. Bye; 2. Bo Butner, Camaro, 6.560, 211.03 vs. 13. Allen Johnson, Dodge Dart, 6.645, 208.84; 3. Greg Anderson, Camaro, 6.563, 211.10 vs. 12. Alan Prusiensky, Dart, 6.625, 209.01; 4. Erica Enders, Camaro, 6.573, 210.44 vs. 11. Richie Stevens, Dart, 6.615, 208.52; 5. Tanner Gray, Camaro, 6.575, 210.57 vs. 10. Alex Laughlin, Camaro, 6.611, 209.36; 6. Jason Line, Camaro, 6.576, 211.20 vs. 9. Vincent Nobile, Camaro, 6.604, 209.59; 7. Drew Skillman, Camaro, 6.587, 210.87 vs. 8. Chris McGaha, Camaro, 6.598, 210.14.
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 24 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 program 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; Gainesville Raceway 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