POMONA, CA – July 31, 2021 – (Motor Sports NewsWire) – A week after advancing to her first final round of the season, Leah Pruett is on track for her first No. 1 qualifier of 2021 in Top Fuel, taking the provisional top spot in qualifying on Friday during the 61st annual Lucas Oil NHRA Winternationals presented by ProtectTheHarvest.com at Auto Club Raceway at Pomona.
Blake Alexander (Funny Car), Greg Anderson (Pro Stock) and Matt Smith (Pro Stock Motorcycle) are also provisional No. 1 qualifiers in their respective categories at the 10th race of the 2021 NHRA Camping World Drag Racing Series season and the final event of the famed three-race NHRA Western Swing.
Pruett impressed under the lights in Pomona, going 3.780-seconds at 321.88 mph in her 11,000-horsepower Sparkling Ice Spiked dragster. It would give Pruett her first No. 1 qualifier of the season and 13th in his career if it holds, and continue the strong showing for the Don Schumacher Racing team after advancing to the final round in Sonoma last weekend. Pruett is also seeking her second win at Auto Club Raceway at Pomona following her 2017 triumph.
“We’re living up to our expectations and that is being a force to be reckoned with,” Pruett said. “This is a continuation of momentum from Sonoma. We can’t get too excited, but I knew about halfway down the track that we were on a good run. It’s those small little glimpses of success that show us we’re on the right track. This isn’t the Olympics, but we’re after our own gold.”
Mike Salinas went 3.840 at 308.35 in a great side-by-side run with Pruett to take the second position and Buddy Hull is currently third after going 4.105 at 278.69.
Alexander had the run of the evening in Funny Car, blasting to the No. 1 position with his run of 3.961 at 318.84 in his 11,000-horsepower Pronto Auto Service Center/Head Inc. Ford Mustang. Should that number hold up during the two qualifying sessions on Saturday, Alexander would clinch his first career No. 1 qualifier. Alexander, who has two Top Fuel wins, is also searching for his first win in Funny Car. Robert Hight, who won in Sonoma, is right behind Alexander, going 3.962 at 327.11, and Cruz Pedregon is third after his solid run of 3.967 at 317.34
Qualifying continues to treat Anderson very well, as the Pro Stock legend took the provisional No. 1 spot with his run of 6.588 at 209.23 in his HendrickCars.com Chevrolet Camaro. Should it hold, Anderson, the current points leader, would qualify No. 1 for an incredible eighth time in nine Pro Stock races this season. It would also give the four-time champ his 114th career No. 1 qualifier as he chases his 13th Pomona win and 97th career victory, which would tie him with Warren Johnson for the most in Pro Stock history. Erica Enders, the reigning Pro Stock world champ, is second thanks to her 6.590 at 207.15, while Matt Hartford is right behind after his run of 6.593 at 207.82.
Smith’s bid to end the Western Swing on a strong note started in impressive fashion on Friday, as the points leader and defending world champ went 6.806 at 199.20 on his Denso Auto Parts/Stockseth/Matt Smith Racing EBR. If it holds, it would give Smith his third No. 1 qualifier this season and the 46th in his standout career. After winning in Denver to open the Western Swing, Smith will try to close it out with his fourth Pomona win. Teammate Scotty Pollacheck is currently in the second position after his run of 6.865 at 196.64 and Joey Gladstone’s 6.889 at 195.73 rounds out the top three.
Qualifying continues at 3:30 p.m. PT on Saturday at the Lucas Oil NHRA Winternationals presented by ProtectTheHarvest.com.
POMONA, CA — Friday’s results after the first one of three rounds of qualifying for the 61st annual Lucas Oil NHRA Winternationals presented by ProtectTheHarvest.com at Auto Club Raceway at Pomona, 10th of 20 events in the NHRA Camping World Drag Racing Series. Qualifying will continue Saturday for Sunday’s final eliminations.
Top Fuel — 1. Leah Pruett, 3.780 seconds, 321.88 mph; 2. Mike Salinas, 3.840, 308.35; 3. Buddy Hull, 4.105, 278.69; 4. Shawn Langdon, 5.158, 132.46; 5. Steven Chrisman, 5.406, 129.70; 6. Brittany Force, 5.429, 120.68; 7. Antron Brown, 5.792, 116.59; 8. Doug Kalitta, 6.343, 109.52; 9. Jim Maroney, 6.807, 88.33; 10. Justin Ashley, 6.857, 84.46; 11. Clay Millican, 6.951, 82.60; 12. Steve Torrence, 6.956, 81.68; 13. Brandon Welch, broke.
Funny Car — 1. Blake Alexander, Ford Mustang, 3.961, 318.84; 2. Robert Hight, Chevy Camaro, 3.962, 327.11; 3. Cruz Pedregon, Dodge Charger, 3.967, 317.34; 4. Ron Capps, Charger, 3.971, 318.69; 5. Matt Hagan, Charger, 4.009, 312.13; 6. J.R. Todd, Toyota Camry, 4.044, 322.04; 7. Bob Tasca III, Mustang, 4.226, 225.56; 8. Jeff Diehl, Camry, 4.259, 272.23; 9. Jim Campbell, Charger, 4.340, 216.90; 10. John Force, Camaro, 4.552, 283.67; 11. Tim Wilkerson, Mustang, 6.149, 107.49; 12. Bobby Bode, Mustang, 6.589, 102.63; 13. Paul Lee, Charger, 6.748, 100.40; 14. Jason Rupert, Mustang, 6.751, 96.05; 15. Alexis DeJoria, Camry, 7.277, 87.52; 16. Terry Haddock, Mustang, 11.265, 81.39.
Not Qualified: 17. Steven Densham, 13.921, 72.75.
Pro Stock — 1. Greg Anderson, Chevy Camaro, 6.588, 209.23; 2. Erica Enders, Camaro, 6.590, 207.15; 3. Matt Hartford, Camaro, 6.593, 207.82; 4. Kyle Koretsky, Camaro, 6.604, 208.17; 5. Aaron Stanfield, Camaro, 6.605, 206.64; 6. Mason McGaha, Camaro, 6.609, 208.39; 7. Troy Coughlin Jr., Camaro, 6.626, 206.45; 8. Aaron Strong, Camaro, 6.634, 206.86; 9. Kenny Delco, Camaro, 6.636, 208.88; 10. Dallas Glenn, Camaro, 6.644, 208.01; 11. Alan Prusiensky, Dodge Dart, 6.728, 203.58; 12. Rob Tucker, Dart, 8.527, 111.40; 13. Deric Kramer, Camaro, 12.446, 71.31.
Not Qualified: 14. Chris McGaha, broke.
Pro Stock Motorcycle — 1. Matt Smith, EBR, 6.806, 199.20; 2. Scotty Pollacheck, EBR, 6.865, 196.64; 3. Joey Gladstone, Suzuki, 6.889, 195.73; 4. Andrew Hines, Buell, 6.893, 197.39; 5. Angie Smith, EBR, 6.901, 195.42; 6. Eddie Krawiec, Buell, 6.903, 198.44; 7. Jerry Savoie, Suzuki, 6.945, 187.39; 8. Jianna Salinas, Suzuki, 7.056, 187.89; 9. Freddie Camarena, Suzuki, 7.147, 190.19; 10. Cory Reed, Suzuki, 7.160, 182.23; 11. Jim Underdahl, Suzuki, 8.525, 111.62; 12. Karen Stoffer, Suzuki, 9.916, 83.63; 13. Steve Johnson, Suzuki, broke.
Headquartered in Glendora, Calif., NHRA is the primary sanctioning body for the sport of drag racing in the United States. NHRA presents 22 national events featuring the NHRA Camping World Drag Racing Series, NHRA Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series, E3 Spark Plugs Pro Mod Drag Racing Series presented by J&A Service, Factory Stock Showdown and Top Fuel Harley Series. NHRA provides competition opportunities for drivers of all levels in the NHRA Summit Racing Series and the NHRA Drags: Street Legal Style. NHRA also offers the NHRA Jr. Street program for teens and the Summit Racing Jr. Drag Racing League for youth ages 5 to 17. With over 120 Member Tracks, NHRA allows racers to compete at a variety of locations nationally and internationally. NHRA’s Youth and Education Services (YES) Program reaches over 30,000 students annually to ignite their interest in automotive and racing related careers. NHRA’s streaming service, NHRA.tv, allows fans to view all NHRA national events as well as exclusive features of the sport. 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 www.NHRA.com, or visit the official NHRA pages on Facebook, YouTube and Twitter. and YouTube.
Source: National Hot Rod Association