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JOHNSON JR., PRITCHETT AND LINE ARE NO. 1 QUALIFIERS SATURDAY AT PHOENIX

Tommy Johnson Jr. set the Funny Car track elapsed-time record to secure the No. 1 qualifier position at the 33rd annual NHRA Arizona Nationals on Saturday at Wild Horse Pass Motorsports Park.

Leah Pritchett (Top Fuel) and Jason Line (Pro Stock) were also No. 1 qualifiers in their respective categories at the second of 24 events on the 2017 NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series schedule.

COURTNEY FORCE LEADS FUNNY CAR QUALIFYING ON DAY ONE AT PHOENIX

On Friday's first run of the weekend, Courtney Force’s Advance Auto Parts nitro Funny Car was blistering fast.

The run – 3.838-seconds at 332.67 mph – which was a track record for elapsed time and mph at Wild Horse Motorsports Park.

PRITCHETT TAKES TOP FUEL PROVISIONAL NO. 1 WITH RECORD-SETTING PERFORMANCE

Top Fuel driver Leah Pritchett has been living the dream since qualifying No. 1 and winning the season-opening Winternationals (Feb. 12) and she has yet to wake up.

Pritchett, who is part of the Don Schumacher Racing stable, made history at the Arizona Nationals Friday.

LINE GRABS PROVISIONAL NO. 1 PRO STOCK SPOT

 

The word in NHRA’s Pro Stock circles in the offseason was teams were going to be on even ground with Summit Racing teammates Jason Line, Greg Anderson and Bo Butner when the 2017 season started. That hasn’t happened.

Line, qualified No. 1 and beat Anderson in the finals of the season-opening Winternationals, and then Friday Line grabbed the provisional No. 1 spot in qualifying with a 6.509-second lap at 212.19 mph at the NHRA Arizona Nationals.

For good measure, Anderson is second on the qualifying ladder with a 6.522-second run. Butner is fifth at 6.542 seconds.

THE LOGIC OF RADIAL TIRES AND 3000 HORSEPOWER WITH KEITH HANEY

Keith Haney doesn't even try to defend the logic. Because, in his words, there isn't any logic which can rationalize a person bolting radial tires to a nearly 3000-horsepower racing vehicle.

"A dumb person does it," Haney admits.

Those are Haney's words, not this writer's.

Haney races in the Radial vs. The World division, a staple of the radial drag racing movement. Essentially, he's got a Pro Modified capable entry with radial tires underneath.

PRITCHETT SETS NATIONAL RECORD; C. FORCE AND LINE LEAD QUALIFYING FRIDAY AT ARIZONA NATIONALS

Leah Pritchett set the Top Fuel elapsed-time national record with her second session pass during the 33rd annual NHRA Arizona Nationals at Wild Horse Pass Motorsports Park on Friday.

Courtney Force (Funny Car) and Jason Line (Pro Stock) were also the provisional No. 1 qualifiers in their respective categories at the second of 24 events on the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series season.

PRITCHETT BALANCING JOY, FOCUS ON HER TOP FUEL ROLL

As Leah Pritchett sat in the cockpit, being towed through the staging lanes at Auto Club Raceway at Pomona, a wave of nostalgia splashed over this California girl from nearby Redlands.
 
As odd as its sounds for somebody who’s just 28 years old, her career began at the fabled facility 20 years ago, when she competed in the NHRA’s Jr. Dragster program. But her thoughts flashed back to those days she and her older sister Lindsey rolled out of bed at four in the morning and piled into the family pick-up with dad Ron, with the Jr. Dragster hanging off the back of the truck.

KALITTA HAS GAUDY STATS JUST ONE RACE INTO SEASON

At the start of this NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series season, the looming questions regarding the early Top Fuel class championship seemed to be “Who can stop Antron Brown?” . . . then “Who can stop Leah Pritchett?”
 
But a rather quiet, serious, bespectacled husband and father of two from Michigan probably had another question: “Hey, what about me?!”

TJ, CODY COUGHLIN CHEERING FOR EACH OTHER THIS WEEKEND

The last name Coughlin is well-known in the motorsports world, especially in drag racing.

The family has numerous wins and world championships to its name.

PSM RACER GLADSTONE LANDS TRIM-TEX SPONSORSHIP

As Joey Gladstone prepares to compete in his first full season in NHRA’s Pro Stock Motorcycle class in the Mello Yello Series, he received a huge boost Thursday.

Trim-Tex, a drywall bead powerhouse, will be sponsoring Gladstone for the upcoming campaign. The season-opening NHRA Pro Stock Motorcycle race is the Gatornationals, March 16-19 in Gainesville, Fla.

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