2018 NHRA SPRINGNATIONALS - EVENT RESULTS
SUNDAY - B. FORCE, TODD AND HARTFORD ARE VICTORIOUS AT NHRA SPRINGNATIONALS
J.R. Todd captured his first career back-to-back Funny Car victory Sunday afternoon at the 31st annual NHRA SpringNationals at Royal Purple Raceway.
Brittany Force (Top Fuel) and Matt Hartford (Pro Stock) were also victorious in their respective categories at the fifth of 24 events on the Mello Yello Drag Racing Series schedule.
Todd powered his DHL Toyota Camry to a pass of 3.955-seconds at 313.29 mph to defeat defending world champion Robert Hight in the final round. He is the third driver in Royal Purple Raceway history to have won in both Top Fuel and Funny Car. This is his second win of the season and 13th of his career.
“It’s nice to have this much momentum early in the season,” Todd stated. “We struggled really bad last season and didn’t really turn around till probably the Western Swing. It’s nice as Kalitta Motorsports to come out swinging at these races this year.”
Todd defeated Tommy Johnson Jr., Jeff Diehl and Tim Wilkerson before entering the final round. Hight drove past Todd Simpson, Jonnie Lindberg and Jack Beckman before entering his second final round of the season and 66th career final round.
Force, the defending Top Fuel world champion, piloted her Monster Energy dragster to a pass of 3.762 at 299.46 to defeat Terry McMillen in the final round. She is the seventh different John Force Racing driver to win at Royal Purple Raceway and she completes the cycle of all Force family members have one at the facility. This is her first victory of the season and eighth of her career.
“We kind of struggled a little bit today,” Force said. “The tires were spinning and I’m trying to drive the thing down there and try to get it to the finish line. I didn’t know where the guy was next to me, but it was just about getting down there first. Saw our win lights come on in the final round and that was the most important one.”
Force drove past Terry Haddock, Doug Kalitta and Tony Schumacher to reach her first final round of the season 18th of her career. McMillen defeated Antron Brown, Billy Torrence and No. 1 qualifier Leah Pritchett before entering his fourth career final round.
In Pro Stock, Matt Hartford drove to his first career winner’s circle after taking down the hometown hero Erica Enders. His pass of 6.552 at 211.36 in his Total Seal Chevrolet Camaro was enough to make him the 66th different Pro Stock driver to win in NHRA history.
“We started in the back half of the field today and had to work our way through,” Hartford stated. “We earned this. We did a better job with our car today than the other teams. My driving is not why we won today and that is a fact. My crew tuned the car enough for us to be able to drive around her [Enders] at the end.”
Hartford faced Chris McGaha, Tanner Gray and Jeg Coughlin Jr. to enter the first final round of his career. Enders took down Vincent Nobile, Rodger Brogdon and No. 1 qualifier Greg Anderson.
The Mello Yello Drag Racing Series continues April 27-29 at the NGK Spark Plugs NHRA Four-Wide Nationals at zMAX Dragway in Charlotte, N.C.
SATURDAY - PRITCHETT, HIGHT AND ANDERSON SECURE NO. 1 QUALIFYING POSITIONS
Leah Pritchett set the Top Fuel elapsed time track record during the final qualifying session on Saturday to secure the top spot at the 31st annual NHRA SpringNationals at Royal Purple Raceway.
Robert Hight (Funny Car) and Greg Anderson (Pro Stock) are also No. 1 qualifiers in their respective categories at the fifth of 24 events on the 2018 NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series schedule.
Defending event champion Pritchett raced her Mopar Dodge dragster to a pass of 3.680-seconds at 326.00 mph. This is her first No. 1 qualifier of the season and eighth of her career.
“We’ve been developing our confidence the last couple of races,” Pritchett stated. “To be able to put it on the track is phenomenal. We know we need to be exceptional because our competition is exceptional.”
Pritchett will line up against Terry Brian in round one of eliminations on Sunday. Defending world champion Brittany Force locked-in the No. 2 spot after a 3.701 at 313.80 in her Monster Energy dragster. Tony Schumacher is seeded third and will face William Litton.
Hight’s final qualifying pass of 3.894 at 317.27 in his Auto Club of Southern California Chevrolet Camaro took him to the top of the Funny Car category. This is his first No. 1 qualifier of the season, second at Houston and 58th of his career.
“This is going to be a new ball game tomorrow,” Hight said. “With fresh asphalt and the sun being out; these cars are going to spin. It’s definitely going to be fun. Two of our Chevy’s are one and two (in Funny Car) which shows we have good combinations.”
Hight will face-off against Todd Simpson Sunday morning in the first round. Teammate Courtney Force sits in the No. 2 position with a pass of 3.911 at 295.14 in her Advance Auto Parts Chevrolet Camaro and two-time world champion Matt Hagan rounds out the top three.
John Force was unable to qualify for Sunday’s eliminations, which is the first time since Charlotte 2008 that he did not advance past the qualifying rounds. He sat sixth overall on the career qualifying records with 221 consecutive events prior to Houston.
“That is hard for me. You earn what you get. We didn’t put it in the show. We couldn’t get to half-track,” said Force. “We have had a lot of problems all year. At least I got my final shot to get in and I didn’t make it. I will be here tomorrow rooting on Robert, Courtney and Brittany. I’ll be signing autographs for all the fans.”
Anderson, four-time Pro Stock world champion, remained atop the field Saturday with his pass of 6.492 at 213.00 in his Summit Racing Equipment Chevrolet Camaro from the first qualifying session on Friday. He notched his third consecutive No. 1 qualifier of the season and is seeking his first victory of the year.
“I haven’t had great Sunday’s yet,” Anderson stated. “I know I’m going to break through one of these days though. The weather is going to be great again tomorrow. I feel good about it, I’m excited and so far it’s just been a great weekend.”
Anderson will race Steve Graham in the first round of eliminations. Jeg Coughlin Jr. qualified in the No. 2 position with a pass of 6.504 at 212.36 in his JEGS.com/Elite Performance Chevrolet Camaro and Tanner Gray is third.
Eliminations at the NHRA SpringNationals begin at 11 a.m. on Sunday at Royal Purple Raceway.
Sunday's first-round pairings for eliminations for the 31st 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. Leah Pritchett, 3.680 seconds, 326.00 mph vs. 16. Terry Brian, 4.275, 284.62; 2. Brittany Force, 3.701, 320.20 vs. 15. Terry Haddock, 4.081, 287.17; 3. Tony Schumacher, 3.703, 322.73 vs. 14. Bill Litton, 3.927, 306.60; 4. Billy Torrence, 3.737, 317.87 vs. 13. Kebin Kinsley, 3.819, 313.51; 5. Antron Brown, 3.740, 324.98 vs. 12. Terry McMillen, 3.783, 314.31; 6. Clay Millican, 3.746, 315.78 vs. 11. Mike Salinas, 3.766, 313.73; 7. Doug Kalitta, 3.748, 320.05 vs. 10. Richie Crampton, 3.766, 316.23; 8. Scott Palmer, 3.754, 318.17 vs. 9. Steve Torrence, 3.759, 313.88.
Did Not Qualify: 17. Terry Totten, 4.636, 216.34.
Funny Car -- 1. Robert Hight, Chevy Camaro, 3.894, 317.27 vs. 16. Todd Simpson, Dodge Charger, 4.318, 288.33; 2. Courtney Force, Camaro, 3.911, 313.58 vs. 15. Jeff Diehl, Toyota Camry, 4.151, 283.49; 3. Matt Hagan, Charger, 3.913, 311.85 vs. 14. Ron Capps, Charger, 4.077, 305.77; 4. Jack Beckman, Charger, 3.918, 317.42 vs. 13. Richard Townsend, Camry, 4.026, 308.99; 5. Cruz Pedregon, Camry, 3.918, 301.94 vs. 12. Del Worsham, Camry, 4.017, 307.51; 6. Tim Wilkerson, Ford Mustang, 3.925, 311.41 vs. 11. Shawn Langdon, Camry, 3.994, 311.34; 7. Tommy Johnson Jr., Charger, 3.926, 313.00 vs. 10. J.R. Todd, Camry, 3.989, 313.37; 8. Jonnie Lindberg, Camry, 3.927, 316.52 vs. 9. Bob Tasca III, Mustang, 3.938, 314.09.
Did Not Qualify: 17. Jim Campbell, 4.341, 273.05; 18. John Force, 4.625, 222.29.
Pro Stock -- 1. Greg Anderson, Chevy Camaro, 6.492, 213.00 vs. 16. Steve Graham, Camaro, 6.775, 205.60; 2. Jeg Coughlin, Camaro, 6.504, 212.36 vs. 15. Alan Prusiensky, Dodge Dart, 6.621, 208.65; 3. Tanner Gray, Camaro, 6.507, 211.99 vs. 14. John Gaydosh Jr, Chevrolet Camaro, 6.592, 210.93; 4. Vincent Nobile, Camaro, 6.513, 212.29 vs. 13. Erica Enders, Camaro, 6.548, 210.67; 5. Jason Line, Camaro, 6.518, 211.99 vs. 12. Rodger Brogdon, Camaro, 6.545, 210.50; 6. Chris McGaha, Camaro, 6.525, 212.79 vs. 11. Matt Hartford, Camaro, 6.532, 212.73; 7. Drew Skillman, Camaro, 6.527, 212.29 vs. 10. Bo Butner, Camaro, 6.532, 211.79; 8. Deric Kramer, Camaro, 6.528, 211.93 vs. 9. Alex Laughlin, Camaro, 6.530, 211.33.
FRIDAY - HAGAN, B. FORCE AND ANDERSON PRELIMINARY NO. 1 QUALIFIERS
Matt Hagan powered to the Funny Car qualifying lead under the lights Friday evening at the 31st annual NHRA SpringNationals at Royal Purple Raceway.
Brittany Force (Top Fuel) and Greg Anderson (Pro Stock) are also provisional qualifying leaders in their respective categories at the fifth of 24 events on the 2018 NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series schedule.
Hagan sits atop the Funny Car category with a run of 3.913-seconds at 308.78 mph in his Pennzoil/Mopar Dodge Charger R/T. He’s chasing the top position as he aims for his second No. 1 qualifier of the 2018 campaign and 32nd of his career.
“Really happy with my guys right now,” Hagan said. “They laid down some great runs and the car has been phenomenal. I’m very confident in what they’re doing. It helps me as a driver to allow me to do what I need to do.”
Defending world champion Robert Hight sits second after a 3.921 at 313.15 in his Auto Club of Southern California Chevrolet Camaro, while Jonnie Lindberg is third.
Force leads the Top Fuel class with a run of 3.701 at 313.80 in her Monster Energy dragster posted during the second qualifying session. The defending Top Fuel champion is seeking her first No. 1 qualifier of the season in her new car after wrecking at Pomona earlier this year.
“It’s been pretty much a whirlwind of a season,” Force stated. “We’ve been running our 2017 car the last few races while we built this new dragster. This was our testing and none of us knew how it was going to go. To come out second run and be able to go number one is pretty amazing.”
Tony Schumacher is currently qualified second with a 3.711 at 322.73 in his U.S. Army dragster and Billy Torrence rounds out the top three.
In Pro Stock, Anderson currently holds the top spot after resetting both ends of the track record with a pass of 6.492 at 213.00 in his Summit Racing Equipment Chevrolet Camaro during his first round of qualifying. He is looking for his third consecutive and 96th career No. 1 qualifying position after earning top spots in Gainesville and Las Vegas.
“You don’t get conditions like this but maybe once or twice a year,” Anderson said. “Great day for me. Not only once but twice. We’ve got a great car over there and we’ll go faster tomorrow.”
Jeg Coughlin Jr. is currently qualified in the second spot with a 6.504 at 212.36 as he hopes to capitalize on the momentum he found last year as the No. 1 qualifier.
Qualifying continues at 1:30 p.m. on Saturday.
SUPER STOCK (FINAL)
1 445 GT/IA Aaron Stanfield, Bossier City LA, '87 Cam 9.507 10.65 -1.143
2 402 FSS/C David Janac, Caldwell TX, '16 Mustang 8.576 9.65 -1.074
3 4373 SS/CS Ashton Hudson, Dallas TX, '98 Escort 9.256 10.30 -1.044
4 4411 FSS/E Phillip Giles, Flatonia TX, '14 Camaro 9.021 10.05 -1.029
5 49 SS/GA Jimmy Hidalgo Jr., Donaldsonville LA, '99 9.540 10.55 -1.010
6 4192 FSS/G Brett Candies, Thibodaux LA, '10 Mustang 9.241 10.25 -1.009
7 4343 SS/GA Craig Gualtiere, Amarillo TX, '67 Nova 9.574 10.55 -0.976
8 43 FGT/H Jacob Pitt, Mansfield TX, '03 Stratus 9.400 10.35 -0.950
9 400N GT/OA Norvell Bowers, Sulphur Springs TX, '83 F 10.505 11.45 -0.945
10 79 SS/IA Mike Cotten, Cave Creek AZ, '70 Barracuda 9.758 10.70 -0.942
STOCK (FINAL ORDER)
1 4446 FS/C J. Allen Sherman, Pasadena TX, '15 Camaro 9.083 10.30 -1.217
2 473 FS/C Arthur Kohn, Richmond TX, '14 Camaro 9.226 10.30 -1.074
3 402 FS/AA David Janac, Caldwell TX, '15 Camaro 8.336 9.40 -1.064
4 4274 C/SA Jacob Pitt, Mansfield TX, '69 Barracuda 10.342 11.40 -1.058
5 5018 F/SA Corey Hopkins, North Branch MN, '69 Dart 10.815 11.85 -1.035
6 7 FS/C Jeff Lopez, Irving TX, '18 Camaro 9.270 10.30 -1.030
7 339L C/SA Randi Lyn Shipp, Floyds Knobs IN, '67 Fir 10.383 11.40 -1.017
8 400D B/SA Slate Cummings, Hammond LA, '00 Corvette 10.234 11.25 -1.016
9 4520 C/SA David Latino, Donaldsonville LA, '00 Corv 10.386 11.40 -1.014
10 429 FS/C Brian Massingill, Houston TX, '15 Camaro 9.303 10.30 -0.997
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SUPER GAS (RD 1 WINNERS)
1 4582 S/G Roger Warren, Jacksonville TX, '63 Corvet 9.902 9.90 0.002
2 458C S/G Jim Repka, Wylie TX, '00 Camaro 9.907 9.90 0.007
3 473C S/G James Carter, Forney TX, '63 Corvette 9.908 9.90 0.008
4 4866 S/G John Salter, Katy TX, '02 Grand Am 9.910 9.90 0.010
5 4311 S/G Jeff Lopez, Irving TX, '63 Corvette 9.910 9.90 0.010
6 457M S/G Joleigh Mitchell, Ennis TX, '79 Malibu 9.912 9.90 0.012
7 448A S/G Daryl Patton, Highlands TX, '23-T Ford 9.913 9.90 0.013
8 41 S/G Jackson Collier, Benton LA, '68 Camaroc 9.914 9.90 0.014
9 4189 S/G Alan Savage, Mexia TX, '57 Corvette 9.916 9.90 0.016
10 4175 S/G Travis Salter, Baytown TX, '67 Camaro 9.917 9.90 0.017
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