2021 NHRA CAROLINA NATIONALS - EVENT RESULTS
SUNDAY - WILKERSON, HART, KORETSKY AND SAMPEY EARN WINS AT DEWALT NHRA CAROLINA NATIONALS
After going winless for five years, Funny Car veteran Tim Wilkerson now has two wins in the past three weeks, driving to the victory on Sunday at the DeWalt NHRA Carolina Nationals at zMAX Dragway.
Josh Hart (Top Fuel), Kyle Koretsky (Pro Stock) and Angelle Sampey (Pro Stock Motorcycle) also picked up wins at the 15th of 20 races during the 2021 NHRA Camping World Drag Racing Series season and the second race in the Countdown to the Championship playoffs.
Taking on Cruz Pedregon in the final round, Wilkerson powered to a run of 3.927-seconds at 331.36 mph in his 11,000-horsepower Levin, Ray & Shoup Ford Shelby Mustang, picking up his second victory this month and the 22nd in his career. Wilkerson also moved to sixth in points, taking out three competitors in front of him in the standings en route to the win on Sunday. He knocked off Bob Tasca, No. 1 qualifier John Force and points leader Ron Capps en route to the finals, praising the work of a team that put in an impressive amount of work on a busy day.
“It was tremendous pressure today and a crazy day,” said Wilkerson, who now has two victories at zMAX Dragway. “It was a tough day and we barely made it to the rounds in the semifinals and finals. I’m very proud of my guys. We were thrashing and I’m worn out. Sometimes, there’s too much time to stare at the (car) and make changes. Today, I made wholesale changes and lived with them, and it worked out.”
Pedregon took down Dave Richards, J.R. Todd and Alexis DeJoria to reach the final round for the fourth time this season, 79th time overall and the second time at Charlotte this season. Capps moved into the points lead, with defending world champ Matt Hagan trailing him by five points. Force is 25 points back after losing in the semifinals against Wilkerson when he hit a timing block.
In Top Fuel, Hart continues to impress in his standout rookie season. He picked up the second victory in his career in just his eighth start, beating points leader Brittany Force on a holeshot in the final round. Hart went 3.770 at 324.12 in his 11,000-horsepower R&L Carriers dragster, which was enough to hold off Force’s 3.751 at 320.05. Hart was a stellar .044 on the starting line, reaching the final round by knocking off Alex Laughlin, Mike Salinas and Justin Ashley. Hart and his team made their quickest run of eliminations in the final round, carrying on a brilliant first year in the class.
“We just planned on getting our feet wet and building the team this year, and that has obviously been accelerated,” Hart said. “The team has gelled together right away and I think the results are showing. I’m glad to be out here and the real magic happens in the pits. The guys are awesome and watching them is like a well-orchestrated symphony, and that’s where the praise needs to go. I’ve got a lot of confidence in (crew chief) Ron Douglas and I’m happy I could return the favor for them in the final round.”
Force, who qualified No. 1 for the eighth straight race, reached the final round for the fifth time in 2021 and 28th time in her career with wins against Artie Allen, Spencer Massey and three-time defending champ Steve Torrence. She now has a 21-point lead over Torrence.
Koretsky denied Greg Anderson a chance at history in Pro Stock and in the process picked up his first career win, going 6.629 at 207.27 in his Lucas Oil Chevrolet Camaro to beat Anderson’s 6.639 at 208.20 in a battle of KB Racing teammates. Anderson was going for his 98th career victory to set the all-time wins mark in Pro Stock, but Koretsky chased him down at the finish line. Koretsky knocked off Cristian Cuadra, rookie Dallas Glenn, who won the spring race in Charlotte, and Wally Stroupe to reach the final round, and then finished the job in thrilling fashion to earn his first career win in his 21st career start after coming up short in three previous final rounds.
“I’m out here living my dream,” Koretsky said. “KB Racing supplies me with the best power out here and my team just works flawlessly. This is huge and what I’ve wanted my whole life. Pro Stock is the most competitive class out there, and we always looked up to Greg. I just raced Greg Anderson in the final round and picked up the first Wally for my family. It feels great and I needed to get this done.”
Anderson advanced to the final round for the seventh time this season and 165th time overall, defeating Fernando Cuadra, Troy Coughlin Jr. and Erica Enders along the way. Breaking the tie with Warren Johnson will have to wait, but Anderson did extend his points lead to 65 over Enders. Koretsky moved to third and is 91 points out of first.
After coming close on a couple recent occasions, Sampey broke through with the victory in the final round in Pro Stock Motorcycle, chasing down Joey Gladstone with a run of 6.861 at 196.62 on her Mission Foods/Vance & Hines Suzuki. Sampey was late on the starting line, but she had enough at the finish line to slip past Gladstone, earning her first win this season and 44th in her career. She took out Ryan Oehler and then teammates Andrew Hines and Eddie Krawiec to reach the final round, also moving to second in points behind Steve Johnson.
“I’ve struggled this year on the Suzuki. It’s been a rocket ship and I’m getting close to where I need to be,” Sampey said. “This race, I didn’t think I was going to make it to the final. I wanted to win it for my team and I feel like we raced our butts off today. I’m very excited and proud to have my win light come on, and I definitely dedicate this Wally to southern Louisiana.”
Gladstone reached the finals for the second time this year after defeating Jianna Salinas, Cory Reed and points leader Johnson. Sampey pulled to within 17 points of Johnson, with defending world champ Matt Smith 30 points back.
The NHRA Camping World Drag Racing Series returns to action Sept. 24-26 with the NHRA Midwest Nationals at the World Wide Technology Raceway in St. Louis.
SATURDAY - B. FORCE, J. FORCE, STANFIELD AND JOHNSON EARN NO. 1 QUALIFIERS AT NHRA CAROLINA NATIONALS
Funny Car points leader John Force drove his way to the No. 1 spot for the 163rd time in his career, taking the top qualifying position on Saturday at the DeWalt NHRA Carolina Nationals at zMAX Dragway.
Brittany Force (Top Fuel), Aaron Stanfield (Pro Stock) and Steve Johnson (Pro Stock Motorcycle) also qualified No. 1 at the 15th of 20 races during the 2021 NHRA Camping World Drag Racing Series season and the second race in the Countdown to the Championship playoffs.
J. Force’s run of 3.860-seconds at 332.18 mph from Friday in his 11,000-horsepower PEAK Antifreeze and Coolant Chevrolet Camaro held up, earning his third No. 1 qualifier of the season. His daughter, Brittany, joined him at the top in Top Fuel, marking the fifth time the father and daughter have shared the No. 1 spot together in their career, and the second time in the past three races. The standout Force combo both qualified No. 1 at each of the two Charlotte races this season as well. J. Force will now look for his fourth win this season taking on a loaded Funny Car ladder.
“It’s going to be tough, but it feels really good for my guys and we’ll see how it goes tomorrow,” J. Force said. “I love to see Brittany do well. She’s got a lot of my personality, she’s a good racer and I’m proud of her. It’s exciting for me to watch her excel. It’s Countdown time and now it’s time to show your stuff. There’s 5-6 cars (in Funny Car) that can take the lead and we’ll see how it goes.”
Force’s teammate, Robert Hight, stayed second in qualifying thanks to his 3.878 at 330.07 and Cruz Pedregon rounded out the top three after his run of 3.879 at 323.58 on Friday.
B. Force stayed atop Top Fuel thanks to her standout run of 3.662-seconds at 331.85 mph on Friday in her 11,000-horsepower Monster Energy dragster. It is her eighth straight No. 1 qualifier, which is the longest qualifying streak in a single season in Top Fuel history, 10th this season and 30th in her career. Force also made the quickest run in each of the three qualifying sessions for the second straight race, giving her a one-point lead over Steve Torrence heading into eliminations, where she will open raceday against Artie Allen in the first round.
“There’s nothing like getting three solid runs in down the racetrack in qualifying before going into eliminations,” B. Force said. “We feel good about it and we had solid consistent runs, and we’re looking to have a long day. For us, we want to throw down every single run and grab the best number we can, and that seems to work for our team. We have to stay focused and we’re going into this one round at a time. To share No. 1 (with her father), it’s special and something I’ll always remember.”
Mike Salinas moved up to second in the final qualifying session with a strong run of 3.679 at 314.53. Clay Millican is third after going 3.708 at 322.96. Torrence qualified fifth with a 3.739 at 321.35.
For the first time in his Pro Stock career, Stanfield is the No. 1 qualifier as his run of 6.575 at 208.59 in his Janac Brothers Chevrolet Camaro held up from Friday. Looking to make a big move after a second round exit in the Countdown to the Championship opener, Stanfield did that in qualifying and will take on Wally Stroupe in the first round of eliminations. Competing in his first Countdown to the Championship, Stanfield, who is third in points, is searching for his fourth win this season.
“It’s really cool and a testament to how hard these guys at Elite Motorsports work,” Stanfield said of qualifying No. 1 for the first time. “I’m the lucky one who gets to be behind this really fast hot rod and it’s been a blast. Hopefully we can carry momentum into raceday. If I can stay on my game behind the wheel and we make the right calls, hopefully we can have a long day.”
Defending world champ Erica Enders stayed second thanks to her 6.578 at 208.49 from Friday and Greg Anderson qualified third with his 6.580 at 208.39 from the first qualifying round. The points leader made the quickest two qualifying runs on Saturday, taking momentum into Sunday as he attempts to pick up his 98th career win and move past Warren Johnson for the most wins in Pro Stock history.
Johnson turned in another standout day on his Mac Rak/Slick 50 Suzuki, improving from Friday’s run and qualifying No. 1 with a stellar pass of 6.788 at 197.74 in Pro Stock Motorcycle. It gives Johnson his second No. 1 qualifier this season, marking the first time in his career he has qualified No. 1 two times in a season. The points leader dominated in qualifying, making the quickest run in all three sessions and taking plenty of momentum into eliminations. Johnson is after his second straight win in the playoffs and following his impressive performance in qualifying, he feels good heading into raceday.
“I love the education of this. I’m learning so much,” said Johnson, who also won the spring race at Charlotte earlier this year. “We were pretty darn proud of that run and I’m proud as heck with how we’re running. I’m extremely pleased with this and we’ve never run like this before. It was all really, really small adjustments. The first run (Saturday), we got to learn from Q1 and we made little tiny adjustments and I rode it better.”
Angelle Sampey qualified second with a 6.848 at 195.05 and defending world champ Matt Smith is third, going 6.851 at 199.40 on his final qualifying run.
In the E3 Spark Plugs NHRA Mod Pro Mod Drag Racing Series presented by J&A Service, Justin Bond drove to the No. 1 spot in his ProCharger-powered Bahrain 1 Racing Camaro with a run of 5.775 at 246.71. It is his third No. 1 qualifier in four races and his fifth this season. Indy winner Jeffrey Barker is second after going 5.784 at 250.18 and points leader Jose Gonzalez is third with a 5.786 at 247.93.
Eliminations for the DeWalt NHRA Carolina Nationals at zMAX Dragway begin at 10:30 a.m. ET on Sunday.
To purchase general-admission or reserved seats, call 800-455-FANS (3267). Tickets also are available online at www.zmaxdragway.com. For more information about the NHRA visit www.NHRA.com.
Sunday's first-round pairings for eliminations for the 13th annual DeWalt NHRA Carolina Nationals at zMax Dragway, the 15th of 20 events in the NHRA Camping World Drag Racing Series. Pairings based on results in qualifying, which ended Saturday. DNQs listed below pairings.
Top Fuel -- 1. Brittany Force, 3.662 seconds, 331.85 mph vs. 16. Arthur Allen, 4.439, 180.19; 2. Mike Salinas, 3.679, 314.53 vs. 15. Joe Morrison, 4.069, 267.96; 3. Clay Millican, 3.708, 322.96 vs. 14. Shawn Langdon, 3.879, 293.92; 4. Billy Torrence, 3.729, 325.85 vs. 13. Doug Foley, 3.871, 298.34; 5. Steve Torrence, 3.739, 321.35 vs. 12. Doug Kalitta, 3.869, 305.84; 6. Justin Ashley, 3.756, 324.05 vs. 11. Leah Pruett, 3.804, 321.50; 7. Josh Hart, 3.760, 320.36 vs. 10. Alex Laughlin, 3.793, 315.19; 8. Antron Brown, 3.764, 318.99 vs. 9. Spencer Massey, 3.769, 321.58.
Funny Car -- 1. John Force, Chevy Camaro, 3.860, 332.18 vs. Bye; 2. Robert Hight, Camaro, 3.878, 330.07 vs. 15. Terry Haddock, Ford Mustang, 4.190, 287.17; 3. Cruz Pedregon, Dodge Charger, 3.879, 323.58 vs. 14. Dave Richards, Mustang, 4.116, 287.23; 4. Matt Hagan, Charger, 3.891, 330.55 vs. 13. Tony Jurado, Mustang, 4.099, 274.44; 5. Ron Capps, Charger, 3.895, 326.00 vs. 12. Jim Campbell, Charger, 4.053, 313.80; 6. J.R. Todd, Toyota Camry, 3.899, 326.08 vs. 11. Mike McIntire, Camry, 4.026, 283.97; 7. Alexis DeJoria, Camry, 3.907, 328.62 vs. 10. Blake Alexander, Mustang, 3.947, 318.24; 8. Tim Wilkerson, Mustang, 3.913, 327.27 vs. 9. Bob Tasca III, Mustang, 3.921, 326.56.
Pro Stock -- 1. Aaron Stanfield, Chevy Camaro, 6.575, 208.59 vs. 16. Wally Stroupe, Camaro, 6.665, 205.54; 2. Erica Enders, Camaro, 6.578, 208.49 vs. 15. Alan Prusiensky, Dodge Dart, 6.660, 205.41; 3. Greg Anderson, Camaro, 6.580, 208.39 vs. 14. Fernando Cuadra, Ford Mustang, 6.645, 207.82; 4. Kyle Koretsky, Camaro, 6.595, 207.18 vs. 13. Cristian Cuadra, Mustang, 6.632, 208.14; 5. Dallas Glenn, Camaro, 6.597, 208.68 vs. 12. Kenny Delco, Camaro, 6.630, 207.11; 6. Troy Coughlin Jr., Camaro, 6.599, 206.51 vs. 11. Vincent Nobile, Camaro, 6.628, 207.59; 7. Mason McGaha, Camaro, 6.602, 207.69 vs. 10. Chris McGaha, Camaro, 6.617, 207.59; 8. Deric Kramer, Camaro, 6.606, 208.17 vs. 9.
Matt Hartford, Camaro, 6.613, 207.59.
Did Not Qualify: 17. Fernando Cuadra Jr., 6.669, 205.72; 18. Richie Stevens, 6.706, 205.01; 19. Rob Tucker, 6.743, 200.71; 20. Marty Robertson, 16.227, 52.70.
Pro Stock Motorcycle -- 1. Steve Johnson, Suzuki, 6.788, 197.74 vs. 16. Chris Bostick, 7.100, 175.78; 2. Angelle Sampey, Suzuki, 6.848, 195.05 vs. 15. Ryan Oehler, EBR, 7.027, 193.38; 3. Matt Smith, EBR, 6.851, 199.40 vs. 14. Michael Phillips, Suzuki, 7.024, 191.35; 4. Joey Gladstone, Suzuki, 6.883, 195.05 vs. 13. Jianna Salinas, Suzuki, 7.008, 191.32; 5. Karen Stoffer, Suzuki, 6.890, 195.90 vs. 12. Cory Reed, Suzuki, 6.998, 191.29; 6. Eddie Krawiec, Buell, 6.901, 197.33 vs. 11. Jim Underdahl, Suzuki, 6.985, 193.46; 7. Andrew Hines, Buell, 6.903, 196.24 vs. 10. Kelly Clontz, Suzuki, 6.955, 191.67; 8. Angie Smith, EBR, 6.911, 196.50 vs. 9. Scotty Pollacheck, EBR, 6.923, 192.96.
Did Not Qualify: 17. Charles Poskey, 7.172, 189.82; 18. Ron Tornow, 7.222, 187.03; 19. David Barron,
FRIDAY - B. FORCE, J. FORCE, STANFIELD AND JOHNSON CLAIM PROVISIONAL NO. 1 SPOTS AT NHRA CAROLINA NATIONALS
Both Brittany and John Force enjoyed another impressive performance in qualifying on Friday, as each raced their way to provisional No. 1 positions in Top Fuel and Funny Car, respectively at the DeWalt NHRA Carolina Nationals at zMAX Dragway.
Aaron Stanfield (Pro Stock) and Steve Johnson (Pro Stock Motorcycle) are also the provisional No. 1 qualifiers at the 15th of 20 races during the 2021 NHRA Camping World Drag Racing Series season and the second race in the Countdown to the Championship playoffs.
It marks the second time in three races the father-daughter duo have powered to the top, with B. Force tying her track record set earlier this year with a run of 3.662-seconds at 331.85 mph in her 11,000-horsepower Monster Energy dragster. She is aiming for eighth straight No. 1 qualifier and 10th this season to continue her incredible string of top qualifiers.
“It always feels good to come out and run No. 1 and right now it’s about gaining as many bonus points as we can,” B. Force said. “(Crew chief) David Grubnic set our number and we actually stepped up on it. It’s pretty impressive for our team. There’s a lot on the line and we want to win, but right now we’re focusing on one weekend at a time and run at a time.”
Clay Millican is currently qualified second after going 3.708 at 322 and Mike Salinas rounds out the top three with a 3.709 at 308.92.
In Funny Car, J. Force blasted to a run of 3.860 at 332.18 in his 11,000-horsepower PEAK Antifreeze and Coolant Chevrolet Camaro SS, continuing his strong pace to open the Countdown to the Championship. If it holds, it would be the third No. 1 qualifier this season for the Funny Car points leader and the 163rd in his career. Force picked up a final round berth last weekend at the first playoff race.
“The points are all jammed up and everybody is within a few points of each other trying to win,” J. Force said. “We’re trying to stay in the game and we’re in the hunt. This track here, it’s just an excellent race track. Everyone is running pretty good out here and we’re excited to be here. I love it, I”m healthy and I just want to race with these kids.”
Force’s teammate, Robert Hight, qualified in the second position through one round after going 3.878 at 330.07 and Cruz Pedregon, who qualified No. 1 last weekend in Reading, is right behind in third with a run of 3.879 at 323.58.
Stanfield made a huge run in Pro Stock and is now in line for his first career No. 1 qualifier after going 6.575 at 208.59 in his Janac Brothers Chevrolet Camaro. Dueling with points leader and defending world champ Erica Enders, Stanfield made a big move on Friday as he looks to get on track in the Countdown to the Championship. Stanfield, currently third in points, lost in the second round at the first playoff race, but picked up some valuable qualifying points in the first session. Enders, who qualified No. 1 in Reading, is right behind in the second spot after going 6.578 at 208.49 and Anderson, who is trying to move past Warren Johnson for the most wins in Pro Stock history, ran 6.580 at 208.39 to qualify third.
Things continue to roll in a great direction for Johnson, as the points leader vaulted to the top spot on his Mac Rak/Slick 50 Suzuki with a strong run of 6.807 at 196.47. It was a run that separated himself from the competition in Pro Stock Motorcycle, as Angelle Sampey qualified second with a 6.848 at 195.05. If it holds, Johnson would qualify No. 1 for the second time this season and sixth time overall. It would also mark the first time in Johnson’s career that he has qualified No. 1 twice in one season. It would be the latest mark in Johnson’s impressive season, as he has two victories and leads the Countdown to the Championship for the first time in his career.
He also has momentum at zMAX Dragway as Johnson won the spring race at the facility in May, picking up his first win in seven years. Sampey made a solid run to sit second, while defending world champ Matt Smith, who is second in points, went 6.852 at 197.42 to currently qualify third.
Qualifying continues at 1:30 p.m. ET on Saturday at the DeWalt NHRA Carolina Nationals at zMAX Dragway.
To purchase general-admission or reserved seats, call 800-455-FANS (3267). Tickets also are available online at www.zmaxdragway.com. For more information about the NHRA visit www.NHRA.com.
FRIDAY SPORTSMAN QUALIFYING
1 4 J/AA Frank Aragona, Freehold NJ, '32 Bantam 7.370 8.00 -0.630
2 1235 D/SMA Peter D'Agnolo, Rochester NY, '10 Colbalt 8.400 8.93 -0.530
3 277 A/SM Larry Pritchett, Clarkrange TN, '09 Sunfi 7.896 8.42 -0.524
4 2211 F/AA Van Puckett, Monroe GA, '05 Cavalier 8.022 8.52 -0.498
5 17 G/EA Michelle Costa, Freehold NJ, '32 Bantam 8.393 8.82 -0.427
SUPER STOCK (FINAL)
1 177 GT/IA Herbie Null Jr, Greencastle PA, '87 Camaro 9.687 10.65 -0.963
2 29 GT/MA Don Shuford, Connelly Springs NC, '87 Cam 10.250 11.20 -0.950
3 3163 GT/G Jim Schaechter, Cumming GA, '03 Cavalier 9.284 10.20 -0.916
4 131 GT/FA Sterling Simmons, Chesterfield VA, '05 Ca 9.354 10.25 -0.896
5 2074 SS/CA Brian Oakes, Taylorsville NC, '69 Camaro 9.162 10.05 -0.888
6 1 GT/JA Bryan Worner, Duncannon PA, '90 Camaro 9.985 10.80 -0.815
7 1949 GT/HA Ronnie Huntzberry, Hagerstown MD, '06 Cob 9.690 10.50 -0.810
8 226 GT/QA Taylor Dunahoo, Roanoke VA, '93 Mustang 10.943 11.75 -0.807
9 2 SS/IA Byron Worner, Duncannon PA, '94 Camaro 9.895 10.70 -0.805
10 159 FSS/F Victor Cagnazzi, Mooresville NC, '20 Cama 9.400 10.20 -0.800
1 2952 B/SA Jeff Longhany, Wade NC, '00 Corvette 10.139 11.25 -1.111
2 3321 B/SA Marion Stephenson, Williamsport IN, '15 C 10.192 11.25 -1.058
3 1967 K/SA Jim Marshall, Indian Land SC, '78 Camaro 11.609 12.65 -1.041
4 1778 B/SA Joe Santangelo, Marlborough CT, '69 Camaro10.250 11.25 -1.000
5 25 G/SA Morgan Wilson, Laurens SC, '69 Nova 11.034 12.00 -0.966
6 2109 J/SA Korey Alexander, Maple Hill NC, '78 Camaro11.554 12.45 -0.896
7 5737 FS/AA Chris Vang, Sterling CO, '17 Camaro 8.512 9.40 -0.888
8 1925 G/SA Tim Barrett, Fort Ann NY, '69 Camaro 11.125 12.00 -0.875
9 131 E/SA Sterling Simmons Jr., Chesterfield VA, '0 10.830 11.70 -0.870
10 1135 F/SA Nick Reiter, Warminster PA, '68 Barracuda 10.982 11.85 -0.868
TOP DRAGSTER (Q1)
1 3 Danny Nelson, Batesville AR, Racecraft-BROD 6.121 217.98 217.98
2 2114 Steve Furr, Harrisburg NC, dragster-Chevy 6.145 227.50 227.50
3 2124 Jeff Strickland, Red Bay AL, American-Chevy 6.180 222.73 222.73
4 7 Alan Kenny, Kutztown PA, Page-STIN 6.216 223.25 223.25
5 5 JB Strassweg, Evansville IN, Miller-Chevy 6.303 212.63 212.63
6 46 Darian Boesch, Kenner LA, dragster-Chevy 6.308 226.81 226.81
7 710V Taylor Vetter, Las Vegas NV, RaceTech-Chevy 6.326 219.76 219.76
8 18 Ken Moses, Colonia NJ, American-AJPE 6.485 207.46 207.46
9 2923 Greg Slack, Albemarle NC, Race Tech-Ford 6.890 191.29 191.29
10 1440 Al Miller, Chester MD, Miller-Chevy 6.942 192.93 192.93