ENNIS, Texas – Brittany Force rocketed to both ends of the track record on Friday at Texas Motorplex, blasting to the provisional No. 1 spot in Top Fuel at the 36th annual Texas NHRA FallNationals.
Robert Hight (Funny Car), Greg Anderson (Pro Stock) and Steve Johnson (Pro Stock Motorcycle) are also the provisional No. 1 qualifiers at the 17th of 20 races during the NHRA Camping World Drag Racing Series season and the fourth race in the Countdown to the Championship playoffs.
Force made the fifth-quickest run in NHRA history in her 11,000-horsepower Monster Energy dragster, powering to a run of 3.637 seconds at 335.32 mph to jump to collect the $15,000 bonus on Friday night to fast-qualifer in the final session.
It was also the seventh-fastest run in Top Fuel history. If it holds, it would give Force her 11th No. 1 qualifier of the season and the 31st in her career. Her streak of eight straight No. 1 qualifiers was snapped at the most recent race in St. Louis, but Force and her team got back on track Friday in Dallas.
“That was a killer run,” Force said. “We were going for mid-3.60s, so when they told me what I ran on the top end, that was really impressive. With [crew chief] David Grubnic and Mac Savage, you can’t put that past them. They’re capable of running crazy numbers and setting records. We’re off to a good start to this weekend and the great thing is we get two more qualifying runs [Saturday].”
Points leader Steve Torrence drove to the second spot after his time of 3.678 at 326.48 mph The Texan is the defending winner of the event and has won at his home track at two of the past three years. Mike Salinas took third after his 3.680 at 330.47 mph.
In Funny Car, Hight ended Friday night under the lights at Texas Motorplex in impressive fashion with his run of 3.878 at 331.94 mph in his 11,000-horsepower AAA Texas Chevrolet Camaro SS.
Should that hold, Hight would clinch his second No. 1 qualifier this season and 70th in his career. After struggling in recent races, Hight made the quickest run in each qualifying session, with his second run giving him the $15,000 bonus for the quickest run and a thrilling double-up for John Force Racing. Hight is seeking his third win of the season.
Ron Capps made a standout run earlier in the second session and is currently second after going 3.882 at 329.34 mph, and Cruz Pedregon is third with a 3.892 at 325.14 mph. Defending world champ and points leader Matt Hagan, who won the most recent race in St. Louis, went 3.897 at 332.34 mph and is fourth.
Anderson continued to be a dominant force in qualifying in Pro Stock, rolling to the No. 1 position after going 6.553 at 209.23 mph in his HendrickCars.com Chevrolet Camaro.
If it holds, it would give the points leader his 10th No. 1 qualifier in 15 Pro Stock races and 116 in his career. Anderson made the quickest run in both qualifying sessions, with the run under the lights also giving him a $2,500 bonus. Anderson wants to finish the deal this weekend to not only help his chances for a fifth world title, but give him 98 career wins, which would be the most in Pro Stock history.
Rookie Dallas Glenn is currently in the second spot after going 6.567 at 209.14 mph. Defending world champ Erica Enders went 6.571 at 206.67 mph to sit in the third spot.
Points leader Johnson made his first pass count on Friday in Pro Stock Motorcycle, going to the No. 1 position with a run of 6.756 at 198.44 mph on his Mac Rak Suzuki.
ohnson is on track to clinch the top spot for the third time this season, which would be by far a career-best in a single season for the veteran. He entered the weekend 17 points ahead of Angelle Sampey and made a strong run to get going. Johnson has led at every stop in the Countdown as he seeks his first world championship and third win this season.
Defending world champ Matt Smith, who is 30 points out of first, is currently second after his run of 6.772 at 200.83, setting the track speed record. He also earned the $1,500 bonus check from Texas Motorplex after making the quickest run of the second qualifying session under the lights. Sampey is third after running 6.809 at 197.74 mph.
Qualifying continues at 12 p.m. Central Standard Time on Saturday at the Texas NHRA FallNationals at Texas Motorplex.