- Torrence uses track record run to secure first No. 1 qualifier of season
- Hagan holds onto top spot in Funny Car as DSR has three quickest qualifiers in the class
- Dominant qualifying run continues for Anderson with his fifth No. 1 of 2018
- Hines overtakes Arana Jr. in final qualifying run to notch top spot in Pro Stock Motorcycle
JOLIET, IL – June 2, 2018 – (Motor Sports Newswire) – The 2018 NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series season continued Saturday as Steve Torrence held on to the Top Fuel No.1 qualifying position at the 21st annual JEGS Route 66 NHRA Nationals at Route 66 Raceway.
Matt Hagan (Funny Car), Greg Anderson (Pro Stock) and Andrew Hines (Pro Stock Motorcycle) also qualified first in their respective categories at the ninth of 24 events on the 2018 NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series schedule.
Torrence remained in the top spot after setting both ends of the track record with a pass of 3.677-seconds at 333.58 mph in his Capco Contractors dragster during the second qualifying pass on Friday. The defending event winner and current Top Fuel points leader recorded his first No. 1 qualifier on the season, as he looks to build upon his category-best three victories this season.
“Yesterday had some pretty optimal conditions which allowed for us to have that strong run, but it is definitely a huge confidence booster to go into race day knowing my team has a strong handle on the tune-up,” Torrence said. “I think we are getting really close to having the most consistent car we have ever had, and it’s fun to be driving this racecar right now.”
Torrence will take on Luigi Novelli in the first round of eliminations on Sunday.
The defending Top Fuel world champion Brittany Force qualified second for the weekend with a 3.721 at 329.34 in her Advance Auto Parts/Monster Energy dragster on Friday, as she will face off against Kyle Wurtzel in eliminations.
Hagan stayed atop the Funny Car class with a run of 3.917 at 326.79 in his Mopar Express Lane Dodge Charger R/T recorded during his second qualifying pass on Friday. The two-time world champion locked in his second No. 1 qualifier of the season and first since the season-opening event in Pomona, where he also earned his lone victory on the year.
“We’ve had to regroup this season and make some wholesale changes, and even though it’s taken some time to get here but I feel like our car is running strong now,” Hagan said. “Our confidence has definitely grown, and we are blessed to have that No. 1 qualifier heading into race day.”
Hagan faces off with Jonnie Lindberg in the elimination round. Hagan’s teammate Ron Capps qualified second and matches up with Justin Schriefer for Sunday’s first round of eliminations.
Anderson held onto the top spot in Pro Stock after driving to a 6.546 at 211.03 in his Summit Racing Equipment Chevrolet Camaro during the second round of qualifying on Friday night. He now has 98 career No. 1 qualifiers and five this season, the most in the class.
“To have 98 career No. 1 qualifiers is quite a feather in the cap for this whole KB Racing Team, and to have low E.T. of every session this weekend is a good feeling going into Sunday,” Anderson said. “I’ve had a great qualifying car all year so far but we haven’t been able to get it done on Sunday, which we will try to change tomorrow.”
Anderson will go head-to-head with David River in the elimination round. Tanner Gray remained in second after his 6.556 at 210.18 from Friday, as he prepares for Wally Stroupe in the first round.
The Pro Stock Motorcycle class was once again led by Andrew Hines, who used a 6.849 at 194.83 on his Screamin’ Eagle Vance & Hines Harley-Davidson in the final pass of the day to reclaim the top spot.
“We had a really good motorcycle today and this track is really good for us, but all-in-all my team is doing a great job and we are all feeling good about racing here tomorrow,” Hines said. “We threw everything we could at the track today, but it all worked out and it’s nice to get down the track so quick.”
Hines will line up against Cory Reed in the first round.
Hector Arana Jr. secured the second qualifying spot after a 6.852 at 197.45 in the final qualifying pass on Saturday, as he prepares for Marc Ingwersen on Sunday.
Eliminations begin at 12 p.m. EST on Sunday at Route 66 Raceway.
JOLIET, IL — Sunday’s first-round pairings for eliminations for the 21st annual JEGS Route 66 NHRA Nationals at Route 66 Raceway, the ninth 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. Steve Torrence, 3.677 seconds, 333.58 mph vs. 16. Luigi Novelli, 3.982, 273.05; 2. Brittany Force, 3.721, 329.34 vs. 15. Kyle Wurtzel, 3.973, 294.88; 3. Tony Schumacher, 3.749, 329.99 vs. 14. Billy Torrence, 3.900, 301.87; 4. Clay Millican, 3.753, 326.48 vs. 13. Pat Dakin, 3.841, 323.74; 5. T.J. Zizzo, 3.771, 326.48 vs. 12. Scott Palmer, 3.839, 326.24; 6. Blake Alexander, 3.781, 328.06 vs. 11. Richie Crampton, 3.817, 319.52; 7. Antron Brown, 3.781, 327.19 vs. 10. Leah Pritchett, 3.797, 328.30; 8. Doug Kalitta, 3.786, 321.96 vs. 9. Terry McMillen, 3.796, 323.97.
Did Not Qualify: 17. Terry Haddock, 4.020, 289.82; 18. Chris Karamesines, 4.130, 231.56; 19. Bill Litton, 4.156, 246.66.
Funny Car — 1. Matt Hagan, Dodge Charger, 3.917, 326.79 vs. 16. Jonnie Lindberg, Ford Mustang, 4.463, 263.36; 2. Ron Capps, Charger, 3.921, 325.92 vs. 15. Justin Schriefer, Charger, 4.155, 277.72; 3. Jack Beckman, Charger, 3.944, 322.81 vs. 14. Dale Creasy Jr., Dodge Stratus, 4.112, 314.46; 4. Courtney Force, Chevy Camaro, 3.966, 327.66 vs. 13. Jim Campbell, Charger, 4.085, 311.13; 5. Cruz Pedregon, Toyota Camry, 3.969, 320.05 vs. 12. Robert Hight, Camaro, 4.073, 267.85; 6. John Force, Camaro, 3.971, 324.59 vs. 11. Tim Wilkerson, Mustang, 4.055, 308.78; 7. Shawn Langdon, Camry, 3.980, 326.08 vs. 10. Tommy Johnson Jr., Charger, 4.011, 323.35; 8. Bob Tasca III, Mustang, 3.981, 320.43 vs. 9. J.R. Todd, Camry, 4.007, 322.88.
Did Not Qualify: 17. Bob Bode, 4.502, 239.19; 18. John Lawson, 4.748, 190.35.
Pro Stock — 1. Greg Anderson, Chevy Camaro, 6.546, 211.03 vs. 16. Dave River, Chevy Cobalt, 6.950, 197.28; 2. Tanner Gray, Camaro, 6.556, 210.21 vs. 15. Wally Stroupe, Camaro, 6.813, 203.43; 3. Matt Hartford, Camaro, 6.559, 209.95 vs. 14. Mark Hogan, Pontiac GXP, 6.803, 202.21; 4. Jason Line, Camaro, 6.560, 210.67 vs. 13. Tim Freeman, Camaro, 6.629, 208.39; 5. Vincent Nobile, Camaro, 6.564, 210.87 vs. 12. Chris McGaha, Camaro, 6.600, 209.14; 6. Jeg Coughlin, Camaro, 6.579, 209.07 vs. 11. Alex Laughlin, Camaro, 6.587, 209.72; 7. Erica Enders, Camaro, 6.581, 210.18 vs. 10. Drew Skillman, Camaro, 6.585, 209.49; 8. Deric Kramer, Camaro, 6.582, 209.75 vs. 9. Bo Butner, Camaro, 6.584, 210.14.
Pro Stock Motorcycle — 1. Andrew Hines, Harley-Davidson, 6.849, 194.83 vs. 16. Cory Reed, Buell, 7.038, 189.87; 2. Hector Arana Jr, Buell, 6.852, 197.45 vs. 15. Marc Ingwersen, Buell, 7.026, 187.55; 3. Eddie Krawiec, Harley-Davidson, 6.862, 194.49 vs. 14. Kelly Clontz, Suzuki, 7.005, 191.27; 4. Matt Smith, Victory, 6.871, 194.83 vs. 13. Steve Johnson, Suzuki, 6.987, 190.51; 5. Jerry Savoie, Suzuki, 6.881, 193.90 vs. 12. Jim Underdahl, Suzuki, 6.975, 192.19; 6. LE Tonglet, Suzuki, 6.891, 194.66 vs. 11. Scotty Pollacheck, Suzuki, 6.969, 191.76; 7. Angie Smith, Buell, 6.920, 192.66 vs. 10. Joey Gladstone, Suzuki, 6.965, 191.65; 8. Hector Arana, Buell, 6.930, 194.41 vs. 9. Ryan Oehler, Buell, 6.948, 191.46.
Did Not Qualify: 17. Mark Paquette, 7.039, 189.42; 18. Karen Stoffer, 7.047, 189.63; 19. Angelle Sampey, 7.060, 189.66.
To purchase general-admission or reserved seats, call 888-629-RACE (7223) or 815-722-5500. Tickets also are available online at www.route66raceway.com. To honor the Salute to First Responders, military and first responders can save 20 percent on general admission tickets at the gate. For more information about the NHRA visit www.NHRA.com.
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 E3 Spark Plugs NHRA Pro Mod Drag Racing Series presented by J&A Service. 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 four racing facilities: Atlanta Dragway in Georgia; Gainesville Raceway in Florida; 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