2023 NHRA ROUTE 66 NATIONALS - EVENT RESULTS
SUNDAY FINAL - MILLICAN, WILKERSON, GLENN & HERRERA WIN IN NHRA’S CHICAGO RETURN AT GERBER COLLISION & GLASS NHRA ROUTE 66 NATIONALS
Top Fuel veteran Clay Millican powered to his first win in five years, claiming the victory over Josh Hart on Sunday in the final round of the Gerber Collision & Glass NHRA Route 66 Nationals presented by PEAK Performance at Route 66 Raceway.
Tim Wilkerson (Funny Car) Dallas Glenn (Pro Stock) and Gaige Herrera (Pro Stock Motorcycle) also won at the sixth of 21 races during the 2023 NHRA Camping World Drag Racing Series season. It was also NHRA’s first race at Chicago’s Route 66 Raceway since 2019.
Millican delivered a run of 3.801-seconds at 328.94 mph in his 11,000-horsepower Parts Plus/Rick Ware Racing dragster to slip past Hart’s 3.808 at 324.28, handing the driver his first victory since 2018, which also took place in Chicago, and Rick Ware Racing its first NHRA win. It’s the fourth career win for Millican, who entered the weekend without a round win in 2023 but knocked off Shawn Langdon, Doug Kalitta and defending world champ Brittany Force to reach the final round.
Chicago and Route 66 Raceway continued to be a special place for Millican as he enjoyed every moment of his memorable victory on Sunday.
“I still love my job. I’ve been doing it a long time and I’m not done yet,” said Millican, who was 12th in points entering the weekend. “This is huge for this team. We’ve been struggling and it’s been tough. We got all new parts and pieces from Rick Ware, and they believed in us. For a little while, it looked like we were better with the old stuff, but I think we’ve got it figured it out and hopefully we can go out and get some more of these this year.
“My very first (NHRA Top Fuel) race was at this racetrack and 20 years later I won this race. Now 25 years later, we did it again. This group of people never quit and never stop, and they turned this car around flawlessly today.”
Hart reached the final round for the first time this season and fifth time overall with wins against Antron Brown, Jacob McNeal and T.J. Zizzo. Steve Torrence stayed in the points lead in the class.
In Funny Car, Wilkerson picked up his first victory in 33 races, with his run of 3.966 at 325.14 in his 11,000-horsepower SCAG Power Equipment/ Levi Ray & Shoup Ford Mustang enough to get past defending world champion Ron Capps in the final round. It’s the 23rd career win for the fan-favorite veteran and first since the fall Charlotte race in 2021. The thrilling win also gave JCM Racing its first Funny Car win after Wilkerson joined the organization in the off-season.
He reached the final round by racing past Blake Alexander, Alex Laughlin and John Force, making his best run of eliminations in the final round against Capps. The victory also bumped him to fifth in points, with Matt Hagan maintaining the points lead despite a first-round loss.
“I was just thinking I didn’t need to screw this up again,” Wilkerson said. “We made some nice runs all weekend long and my team did a great job, so I can’t really complain about a thing. We’re very excited about this team.
"To be this close to home; I have so many people out there, so this is very exciting. I didn't have the best car – Capps had a better car than I did all day long – but it worked out better for us in the finals. I did a lot better job tuning than I did driving, but I was consistent, and that's what we needed to be able to win this race because the track was tricky."
Capps, who won the Mission #2Fast2Tasty NHRA Challenge on Saturday, defeated Terry Haddock, Bob Tasca III and Chad Green to reach the final round before his chutes deployed at about half-track against Wilkerson. It’s the third final round appearance for Capps in 2023 and the 143rd in his career. He also moved to second in points.
With his car continuing to perform at a high level, Glenn again made the most of it during Pro Stock eliminations, as the points leader got past Deric Kramer in the final round with a pass of 6.562 at 209.95 in his RAD Torque Systems Chevrolet Camaro. That gives Glenn three wins this season for his KB Titan Racing team and the seventh in his career. After setting a track record to qualify No. 1, Glenn got past Chris McGaha, teammate Greg Anderson and Jerry Tucker on Sunday to reach the final round.
He put together another consistent performance in the final round against Kramer, cruising to another victory and strengthening an already commanding points lead in the loaded Pro Stock category.
“You get a car this good, you just want to capitalize on it,” Glenn said. “I definitely feel like I’ve got a really good car. I didn’t feel like I drove my best today, but luckily it was good enough. It feels good now, but it can change in a heartbeat in this class. We’re just going to try to keep improving because I know all these other teams are trying really hard. We definitely need to step up and keep the hammer down, but I’m definitely enjoying this moment.”
Kramer advanced to his second straight final round this year on the strength of round wins against Mason McGaha, Cristian Cuadra and Aaron Stanfield.
Herrera stayed perfect on the season in Pro Stock Motorcycle, going 6.717 at 201.25 in the final round on his Vance & Hines / Mission Foods Suzuki to beat Chip Ellis and claim his third straight win. As impressive as his first two winning weekends have been, Herrera was on another level in Chicago, putting together a dominant weekend that included shattering the track record by a huge margin with a run of 6.672, qualifying No. 1 and winning the Mission #2Fast2Tasty NHRA Challenge.
On Sunday, he finished things off with four strong performances, riding past Ron Tornow, Marc Ingwersen and teammate Eddie Krawiec to reach the final round. He raced past Ellis in the finals, building on his points lead and claiming the victory at his home track, where Herrera was making his first career appearance.
“It gives me a whole lot of confidence having a bike like this,” said Herrera, who made the second, third and fourth-quickest runs in class history this weekend. “This whole Vance & Hines team has this bike on rails and it takes a lot of weight off my shoulders. To get a third straight win and do it in front of these friends, it means a lot. I’m so excited about this.
“You couldn’t draw it up any better than this. We’ve got a lot of friends and family here, and it’s a special one. It’s just a dream right now for us.”
Ellis advanced to his 15th career final round thanks to wins against Chris Bostick, rookie Chase Van Sant and Hector Arana Jr.
The NHRA Camping World Drag Racing Series returns to action June 2-4 with the 10th annual NHRA New England Nationals at New England Dragway in Epping, N.H.
Final finish order (1-16) at the 23rd annual Gerber Collision & Glass Route 66 NHRA Nationals presented by PEAK Performance at Route 66 Raceway. The race is the sixth of 21 events in the NHRA Camping World Drag Racing Series.
1. Clay Millican; 2. Josh Hart; 3. Brittany Force; 4. T.J. Zizzo; 5. Jacob McNeal; 6. Leah
Pruett; 7. Doug Kalitta; 8. Austin Prock; 9. Kyle Wurtzel; 10. Tony Schumacher; 11. Justin
Ashley; 12. Shawn Langdon; 13. Antron Brown; 14. Steve Torrence; 15. Spencer Massey; 16. Mike Salinas.
1. Tim Wilkerson; 2. Ron Capps; 3. Chad Green; 4. John Force; 5. Bob Tasca III; 6. Robert
Hight; 7. Cruz Pedregon; 8. Alex Laughlin; 9. Terry Haddock; 10. Blake Alexander; 11. Matt
Hagan; 12. Dale Creasy Jr.; 13. Alexis DeJoria; 14. J.R. Todd; 15. Bobby Bode; 16. Mike
1. Dallas Glenn; 2. Deric Kramer; 3. Aaron Stanfield; 4. Jerry Tucker; 5. Greg Anderson; 6.
Cristian Cuadra; 7. Bo Butner; 8. Troy Coughlin Jr.; 9. Erica Enders; 10. Camrie Caruso; 11. Kyle Koretsky; 12. Mason McGaha; 13. Chris McGaha; 14. Shane Tucker; 15. Matt Hartford; 16. Fernando Cuadra Jr..
PRO STOCK MOTORCYCLE:
1. Gaige Herrera; 2. Chip Ellis; 3. Eddie Krawiec; 4. Hector Arana Jr; 5. Joey Gladstone; 6.
Matt Smith; 7. Chase Van Sant; 8. Marc Ingwersen; 9. Steve Johnson; 10. Kelly Clontz; 11. Angie Smith; 12. Ryan Oehler; 13. Jianna Evaristo; 14. John Hall; 15. Chris Bostick; 16. Ron Tornow.
SATURDAY QUALIFYING - CARUSO CLAIMS NHRA PRO STOCK ALL-STAR CALLOUT WIN; ASHLEY, CAPPS AND HERRERA GET MISSION #2FAST2TASTY NHRA CHALLENGE VICTORIES DURING ACTION-PACKED DAY IN CHICAGO
Camrie Caruso drove to the win at the first NHRA Pro Stock All-Star Callout, claiming the victory over Aaron Stanfield on Saturday as part of the Gerber Collision & Glass NHRA Route 66 Nationals presented by PEAK Performance at Route 66 Raceway.
In the Mission #2Fast2Tasty NHRA Challenge, Justin Ashley (Top Fuel) Ron Capps (Funny Car) and Gaige Herrera (Pro Stock Motorcycle) won the bonus event in Chicago. Mike Salinas (Top Fuel), Robert Hight (Funny Car) Dallas Glenn (Pro Stock) and Herrera (Pro Stock Motorcycle) also qualified No. 1 at the sixth of 21 races during the 2023 NHRA Camping World Drag Racing Series season.
Caruso, who was seeded eighth in the eight-car field specialty race, went 6.524-seconds at 211.03 mph in her Tequila Comisario Chevrolet Camaro in the final round to slip past Stanfield’s 6.525. The 2022 NHRA Rookie of the Year claimed her first career Pro Stock win earlier this year, following with an impressive performance in her first appearance at Route 66 Raceway, which is hosting its first NHRA Camping World Drag Racing Series race since 2019.
“I told the guys at the beginning of the year I want to win all the specialty races this year, as well as obviously as many races as possible,” Caruso said. “This Pro Stock All-Star Callout gave us another chance to bring home a trophy at a racetrack I've never been to before. This was a whole bunch of new and first-time excitement for us this weekend. We managed to get it done. I'm excited and I couldn't be more thankful.
“After the first round we had to change engines. We hurt the engine pretty good and couldn't continue with it. We won and we didn't really have a whole lot of time to come back up for the final, but the guys pushed through and made it happen. They gave me a great car and it all worked out in the end.”
Glenn claimed his first No. 1 qualifier with a track-record run of 6.510 at 210.70 in his RAD Torque Systems Camaro. It came in the opening round of the Callout, but Glenn left the starting line too soon, ending his shot at a double-win weekend. Still, the points leader was enthused about his car in what is Glenn’s first Pro Stock appearance in Chicago.
“That run had extra pressure with the Callout race, but I went red. I knew I was red before red light came on,” Glenn said. “I just knew I was letting go early but the run just felt awesome. I was kicking myself the whole time but somehow, I accidently managed to hit every shift absolutely perfect and keep it dead straight. It was a very nice run and it definitely should be some good momentum going into tomorrow.”
Charlotte winner Deric Kramer jumped to second in the final session with a pass of 6.515 at 210.11, while Bo Butner’s 6.519 at 210.21 in the last qualifier sent him to third.
In Top Fuel, Ashley became the first two-time winner in the Mission #2Fast2Tasty NHRA Challenge, going 3.728 at 331.12 in his 11,000-horsepower Phillips Connect Toyota dragster to knock off Austin Prock’s 3.742. Ashley won the bonus event in Pomona and followed it up with another fantastic performance in Chicago, getting past Antron Brown in the opening round on a holeshot on Saturday and following with a victory against Prock thanks in part to an outstanding .046 reaction time.
“It's very exciting, this deal does mean a lot to us. It's a new deal and we're really grateful for Mission Foods and how they've put on this challenge,” Ashley said. “Anytime you add an additional opportunity to race and collect bonus points along the way I think it's special and I think it means a lot. It was a really exciting day, a great day, and I think we did a good job of running well and setting the tone for ourselves going into tomorrow. This place is beautiful and to be able to see the attendance today was really encouraging.”
Salinas’ 3.686 at 333.41 from Friday in his Gerber Collision & Glass/Scrappers Racing dragster held up for his first No. 1 qualifier this year. He will open eliminations against Chicago-area native T.J. Zizzo. Prock’s 3.694 from Friday has him second, while Doug Kalitta bumped up to third in the final session after going 3.702 at 329.75.
“This is really big. Some of the higher ups at Gerber were on the line with us and they’re very pleased with what we did,” Salinas said. “It’s packed here. It’s pretty cool to be back here with all the fans. I was No. 1 qualifier here in 2019 so it’s pretty cool. I just want to finish it better than I did then (when he was runner-up in 2019).”
Capps picked up his first win in the Mission #2Fast2Tasty NHRA Challenge, going 3.941 at 328.30 in his 11,000-horsepower NAPA Auto Parts Toyota GR Supra. The reigning world champion was set to face Terry Haddock in the finals of the specialty race, but Haddock’s car broke on the starting line, helping hand the victory to Capps, who was thrilled to win the bonus event for the first time.
“Every driver and crew chief and team that I talked to about this Mission deal was pumped,” Capps said. “They turned Saturday qualifying and made it insane. It really drives you and gets you going, so it’s a great program. When we saw the first one happen and we weren’t in it, we were bummed. Those points are so important and it’s such a great program, and I’m so excited we were finally able to win one.”
Hight maintained the top spot in Funny Car thanks to his impressive 3.831 at 335.07 from Friday in his 11,000-horsepower Cornwell Tools/Auto Club Chevrolet Camaro SS. It gave Hight his first No. 1 qualifier of the year as he also closed Saturday with the quickest run of the day during the final session. He’ll open eliminations against Dale Creasy Jr., looking for his second straight win this year. Cruz Pedregon’s 3.889 at 327.59 gave him second and J.R. Todd’s 3.906 at 333.00 was third.
“We’ve been changing some combinations around a little bit and we’ve qualified No. 2 a couple times this year. We’ve been right there this year,” Hight said. “There’s a lot of great cars. It’s great timing to be No. 1 at the first race with Cornwell Tools. It’s going to be a battle tomorrow but it’s going to be fun. The fans are the ones who win in deals like this.”
Herrera continued to be nearly unstoppable in Pro Stock Motorcycle, crushing the Route 66 Raceway record books and earning the first Mission #2Fast2Tasty NHRA Challenge victory in the category as well. He easily held onto the No. 1 qualifier with another massive run in the final round of the challenge, dispatching Chase Van Sant with a run of 6.672 at 200.32 on his Vance & Hines/Mission Foods Suzuki. It’s the quickest run in Route 66 Raceway history in the category, eclipsing the mark he set on Friday.
He added another 6.677 in his opening-round win against Jianna Evaristo in the Mission #2Fast2Tasty NHRA Challenge before his standout run against Van Sant. It also gave the points leader his third straight No. 1 qualifier to open the season as he looks to win at his home track in his first appearance at Route 66 Raceway. Herrera will face Ron Tornow in the opening round.
“It means a lot. Obviously, Mission is a big sponsor for us, and for Mission to put this on and to be part of it is just a big deal alone,” Herrera said. “But to be able to get the win means a lot to the whole team and myself to be able to do that for Mission. (Crew chief) Andrew (Hines) has this thing on rails and it's the baddest bike out here. It's showing. They're flexing their horsepower for sure.
“It would mean a lot to win here (on Sunday). It's my first time racing here, having a lot of friends and family here. It's special. The amount of support I have and everything. If I'm able to get a win here tomorrow, it would definitely be a special one.”
Chip Ellis took the second spot with a 6.756 at 200.68 and Hector Arana Jr. qualified third thanks to his 6.759 at 201.85.
Eliminations for the Gerber Collision & Glass Route 66 NHRA Nationals presented by PEAK Performance begin at 11 a.m. CT on Sunday at Route 66 Raceway.
Sunday's first-round pairings for eliminations for the 23rd annual Route 66 NHRA Nationals presented by PEAK Performance at Route 66 Raceway, the sixth of 21 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. Mike Salinas, 3.686 seconds, 333.41 mph vs. 16. T.J. Zizzo, 3.795, 325.92; 2. Austin Prock, 3.694, 331.20 vs. 15. Tony Schumacher, 3.793, 328.94; 3. Doug Kalitta, 3.702, 329.75 vs. 14. Kyle Wurtzel, 3.780, 319.90; 4. Justin Ashley, 3.717, 332.10 vs. 13. Jacob McNeal, 3.774, 318.54; 5. Antron Brown, 3.720, 330.55 vs. 12. Josh Hart, 3.770, 329.91; 6. Shawn Langdon, 3.721, 331.77 vs. 11. Clay Millican, 3.769, 330.47; 7. Spencer Massey, 3.722, 326.95 vs. 10. Brittany Force, 3.765, 334.82; 8. Steve Torrence, 3.735, 326.48 vs. 9. Leah Pruett, 3.736, 331.94.
Did Not Qualify: 17. Doug Foley, 3.805, 316.52; 18. Will Smith, 3.851, 317.87; 19. Buddy Hull, 3.952, 264.86; 20. Lex Joon, 5.057, 215.58; 21. Jacob Opatmy, 5.196, 123.77.
Funny Car -- 1. Robert Hight, Chevy Camaro, 3.831, 335.07 vs. 16. Dale Creasy Jr., Dodge Charger, 5.478, 133.25; 2. Cruz Pedregon, Charger, 3.889, 327.59 vs. 15. Alexis DeJoria, Toyota Supra, 5.017, 232.23; 3. J.R. Todd, Supra, 3.906, 333.00 vs. 14. Bob Tasca III, Ford Mustang, 4.996, 243.77; 4. Matt Hagan, Charger, 3.938, 329.42 vs. 13. Alex Laughlin, Charger, 4.069, 298.21; 5. Tim Wilkerson, Mustang, 3.939, 326.71 vs. 12. Blake Alexander, Mustang, 4.045, 281.95; 6. Ron Capps, Supra, 3.941, 328.30 vs. 11. Terry Haddock, Mustang, 4.044, 311.56; 7. Chad Green, Mustang, 3.983, 321.42 vs. 10. Bobby Bode, Mustang, 4.017, 299.26; 8. John Force, Camaro, 3.988, 322.81 vs. 9. Mike McIntire, Toyota Camry, 3.994, 318.09.
Did Not Qualify: 17. Justin Schriefer, 5.554, 136.12; 18. Chris King, 5.629, 135.41.
Pro Stock -- 1. Dallas Glenn, Chevy Camaro, 6.510, 210.70 vs. 16. Chris McGaha, Camaro, 6.578, 210.14; 2. Deric Kramer, Camaro, 6.515, 210.11 vs. 15. Mason McGaha, Camaro, 6.574, 208.97; 3. Bo Butner, Camaro, 6.519, 210.21 vs. 14. Shane Tucker, Camaro, 6.558, 210.24; 4. Troy Coughlin Jr., Camaro, 6.519, 209.52 vs. 13. Kyle Koretsky, Camaro, 6.553, 209.46; 5. Camrie Caruso, Camaro, 6.524, 211.03 vs. 12. Jerry Tucker, Camaro, 6.550, 209.20; 6. Aaron Stanfield, Camaro, 6.525, 210.18 vs. 11. Erica Enders, Camaro, 6.542, 208.23; 7. Cristian Cuadra, Ford Mustang, 6.529, 210.31 vs. 10. Fernando Cuadra Jr., Mustang, 6.537, 209.36; 8. Matt Hartford, Camaro, 6.531, 210.90 vs. 9. Greg Anderson, Camaro, 6.533, 210.50.
Did Not Qualify: 17. David Cuadra, 6.578, 209.39; 18. Fernando Cuadra, 6.581, 209.23; 19. Alan Prusiensky, 6.661, 206.64; 20. Robert River, 7.033, 194.97.
Pro Stock Motorcycle -- 1. Gaige Herrera, Suzuki, 6.672, 200.32 vs. 16. Ron Tornow, Victory, 6.928, 195.22; 2. Chip Ellis, EBR, 6.756, 200.68 vs. 15. Chris Bostick, EBR, 6.915, 194.63; 3. Hector Arana Jr, EBR, 6.759, 201.85 vs. 14. John Hall, Buell, 6.900, 195.39; 4. Eddie Krawiec, Suzuki, 6.770, 198.52 vs. 13. Jianna Evaristo, Suzuki, 6.888, 195.96; 5. Joey Gladstone, Suzuki, 6.774, 198.20 vs. 12. Ryan Oehler, EBR, 6.863, 196.42; 6. Matt Smith, Suzuki, 6.781, 198.44 vs. 11. Kelly Clontz, Suzuki, 6.858, 196.07; 7. Chase Van Sant, Suzuki, 6.785, 199.29 vs. 10. Steve Johnson, Suzuki, 6.834, 196.59; 8. Angie Smith, EBR, 6.800, 201.43 vs. 9. Marc Ingwersen, EBR, 6.827, 197.10.
Did Not Qualify: 17. Peggy Llewellyn, 6.959, 190.38; 18. Wesley Wells, 8.078, 179.21.
Saturday's final results from the 23rd annual Route 66 NHRA Nationals presented by PEAK Performance at Route 66 Raceway.
#2Fast2Tasty Top Fuel Challenge -- Justin Ashley, 3.728 seconds, 331.12 mph def. Austin Prock, 3.742 seconds, 325.37 mph.
#2Fast2Tasty Funny Car Challenge -- Ron Capps, Toyota Supra, 3.941, 328.30 def. Terry Haddock, Ford Mustang, Broke.
#2Fast2Tasty Pro Stock Motorcycle Challenge -- Gaige Herrera, Suzuki, 6.672, 200.32 def. Chase Van Sant, Suzuki, 6.785, 199.29.
NHRA Pro Stock All-Star Callout -- Camrie Caruso, Chevy Camaro, 6.524, 211.03 def. Aaron Stanfield, Camaro, 6.525, 210.18.
Final round-by-round results from the 23rd annual Route 66 NHRA Nationals presented by PEAK Performance at Route 66 Raceway, the sixth of 21 events in the NHRA Camping World Drag Racing Series:
#2FAST2TASTY NHRA TOP FUEL CHALLENGE:
ROUND ONE -- Justin Ashley, 3.746, 329.99 def. Antron Brown, 3.736, 327.27; Austin Prock, 3.737, 327.43 def. Brittany Force, 3.765, 334.82;
FINAL -- J. Ashley, 3.728, 331.12 def. A. Prock, 3.742, 325.37.
#2FAST2TASTY NHRA FUNNY CAR CHALLENGE:
ROUND ONE -- Terry Haddock, Ford Mustang, 4.044, 311.56 def. Matt Hagan, Dodge Charger, 4.565, 184.40; Ron Capps, Toyota Supra, 4.127, 259.36 def. Bob Tasca III, Mustang, 4.996, 243.77;
FINAL -- R. Capps, 3.941, 328.30 def. T. Haddock, Broke.
#2FAST2TASTY NHRA PRO STOCK MOTORCYCLE CHALLENGE:
ROUND ONE -- Chase Van Sant, Suzuki, 6.807, 199.17 def. Angie Smith, 6.832, 197.25; Gaige Herrera, Suzuki, 6.677, 200.77 def. Jianna Evaristo, Suzuki, 12.222, 62.92;
FINAL -- G. Herrera, 6.672, 200.32 def. C. Van Sant, 6.785, 199.29.
NHRA PRO STOCK ALL-STAR CALLOUT:
ROUND ONE -- Camrie Caruso, Chevy Camaro, 6.535, 210.83 def. Cristian Cuadra, Ford Mustang, 23.199, 30.57; Aaron Stanfield, Camaro, 6.532, 210.50 def. Kyle Koretsky, Camaro, 6.559, 210.50; Troy Coughlin Jr., Camaro, 6.519, 209.52 def. Matt Hartford, Camaro, 6.531, 210.90; Erica Enders, Camaro, 6.554, 210.01 def. Dallas Glenn, Camaro, Foul - Red Light;
SEMIFINALS -- A. Stanfield, 6.527, 209.88 def. E. Enders, 6.574, 208.62; C. Caruso, 6.540, 211.20 def. T. Coughlin Jr., 6.964, 146.29;
FINAL -- C. Caruso, 6.524, 211.03 def. A. Stanfield, 6.525, 210.18.
FRIDAY QUALIFYING - HIGHT, SALINAS, BUTNER HERRERA EARN PROVISIONAL NO. 1 SPOTS AT GERBER COLLISION & GLASS NHRA ROUTE 66 NATIONALS
On a day filled with tracks records, Robert Hight set two in Funny Car, powering to the provisional No. 1 position on Friday as the NHRA Camping World Drag Racing Series returned to Route 66 Raceway for the Gerber Collision & Glass NHRA Route 66 Nationals presented by PEAK Performance.
Mike Salinas (Top Fuel), Bo Butner (Pro Stock) and Gaige Herrera (Pro Stock Motorcycle) are also the provisional No. 1 qualifiers at the sixth of 21 races during the 2023 NHRA Camping World Drag Racing Series season.
The opening round is also set for the first NHRA Pro Stock All-Star Callout after the drivers made their selections on Friday. Points leader Dallas Glenn, who is seeded first, got the opening pick and selected five-time world champion Erica Enders. Matt Hartford followed by picking Troy Coughlin Jr. and Kyle Koretsky tabbed Aaron Stanfield as his first-round opponent. That set Cristian Cuadra and Camrie Caruso as the final first-round pairing, as four KB Titan Racing cars will take on four Elite Motorsports cars to kick off the callout.
Debuting a new look on his car, Hight made the quickest Funny Car run in 2023, going 3.831-seconds at 335.07 mph in his 11,000-horsepower Cornwell Tools/Auto Club Chevrolet Camaro SS and shattering the previous track record he set in 2017. If it holds, it would be his first No. 1 qualifier this season and 78th in his career at the NHRA’s first race in Chicago since 2019. Coming off a victory at the most recent event in Charlotte, Hight turned in an incredible performance on Friday.
“That actually surprised me,” Hight said. “(Crew chief Jimmy Prock) kept saying in Charlotte there was so much more left in this car and sure enough there was. It was such a smooth run and when it’s that smooth it doesn’t feel that fast. What’s amazing is to come back to a track we haven’t raced at in that many years and to pick up right like that is pretty impressive.”
Cruz Pedregon’s 3.889 at 327.59 put him in the second spot and J.R. Todd’s 3.906 at 333.00 was third best of the session.
Salinas dipped into the 3.60s to lead the way in Top Fuel, rolling to the No. 1 spot with a pass of 3.686 at 333.41 in his 11,000-horsepower Gerber Collision & Glass/Scrappers Racing dragster. If it holds, it would give Salinas his first No. 1 spot of the season. The veteran has enjoyed success at Chicago over the years, qualifying No. 1 at NHRA’s last appearance at the track in 2019 and also finishing as the runner-up.
“It was really good. We’ve worked really hard on the car the last few weeks,” Salinas said. “The last time we raced here, we were the No. 1 qualifier and the run we made tonight, we did that three times in testing. We know we have a great car, and we just have to carry this over to tomorrow and then Sunday. I think there’s going to be some really good runs tomorrow because the track is really, really good.”
Austin Prock went to second with a 3.694 at 331.20 and Justin Ashley’s 3.717 at 332.10 has him in the third position.
Butner came into the weekend looking to turn around his 2023 Pro Stock season and the former world champion took a big step on Friday, going 6.522 at 207.94 in his Johnson’s Horsepowered Garage Chevrolet Camaro. It set the track E.T. record and also puts Butner in line for his first No. 1 spot this season and 13th in his career. Currently ninth in points, Butner could make a big move if his weekend follows Friday’s performance.
“This is one of my favorite tracks and it’s good to be back here,” Butner said. “I missed this place, and it didn’t miss a beat. We haven’t been on it in four years and to go out and get a track record, that was great. The Elite team worked really hard in testing this week and that really paid off. It was a great run, and we were excited about it. I think the team found something in the cars.”
Cristian Cuadra is second after he went 6.529 at 210.31 and Stanfield’s 6.534 at 210.14 puts him third.
Herrera laid waste to both ends of the track record in Chicago while also continuing his dominant season in Pro Stock Motorcycle, delivering a stunning run of 6.677 at 202.45 on his Vance & Hines/Mission Foods Suzuki. After winning the first two races of the season, Herrera kept up his torrid pace on Friday, just missing out on the quickest run in class history. But he stayed on track for his third straight No. 1 qualifier with an unbelievable run to kick off qualifying.
“I live about an hour away from here, so this is my home track and it’s really cool to be back here in Joliet,” Herrera said. “I’ve got a lot of friends and family here, so to go out here and be No. 1, it means a lot to me. I’ve been here many times to watch, but that was my first pass down the track, so do that on my first run was pretty cool. The people at the shop put in a lot of work and I’m just glad to be part of it.”
Chip Ellis is currently second with a 6.756 at 200.68 and Hector Arana Jr. took third after a run of 6.759 at 201.85. In the Mission #2Fast2Tasty NHRA Challenge on Saturday, Herrera will take on Jianna Evaristo, while Angie Smith will race Chase Van Sant in the semifinal rematches from Gainesville.
Qualifying continues at 1 p.m. CT on Saturday at the Gerber Collision & Glass Route 66 NHRA Nationals presented by PEAK Performance at Route 66 Raceway.
Friday's results after the first one of three rounds of qualifying for the 23rd annual Route 66 NHRA Nationals presented by PEAK Performance at Route 66 Raceway, sixth of 21 events in the NHRA Camping World Drag Racing Series. Qualifying will continue Saturday for Sunday's final eliminations.
Top Fuel -- 1. Mike Salinas, 3.686 seconds, 333.41 mph; 2. Austin Prock, 3.694, 331.20; 3. Justin Ashley, 3.717, 332.10; 4. Doug Kalitta, 3.722, 331.61; 5. Spencer Massey, 3.722, 326.95; 6. Shawn Langdon, 3.745, 331.12; 7. Leah Pruett, 3.756, 318.62; 8. Jacob McNeal, 3.774, 318.54; 9. Will Smith, 3.851, 303.57; 10. T.J. Zizzo, 4.178, 208.62; 11. Antron Brown, 4.207, 201.37; 12. Josh Hart, 4.542, 167.32; 13. Steve Torrence, 4.609, 159.04; 14. Doug Foley, 5.537, 122.28; 15. Jacob Opatmy, 6.071, 103.44; 16. Tony Schumacher, 6.117, 102.45. Not Qualified: 17. Buddy Hull, 7.310, 95.32; 18. Lex Joon, 7.796, 90.77; 19. Brittany Force, 8.067, 78.10; 20. Clay Millican, 8.290, 83.85; 21. Kyle Wurtzel, 8.348, 83.22.
Funny Car -- 1. Robert Hight, Chevy Camaro, 3.831, 335.07; 2. Cruz Pedregon, Dodge Charger, 3.889, 327.59; 3. J.R. Todd, Toyota Supra, 3.906, 333.00; 4. John Force, Camaro, 4.442, 192.00; 5. Tim Wilkerson, Ford Mustang, 5.323, 173.90; 6. Terry Haddock, Mustang, 6.960, 95.24; 7. Matt Hagan, Charger, 7.133, 91.63; 8. Chad Green, Mustang, 7.396, 104.21; 9. Chris King, Charger, 7.397, 88.89; 10. Ron Capps, Supra, 7.746, 88.62; 11. Bob Tasca III, Mustang, 7.803, 85.73; 12. Bobby Bode, Mustang, 7.814, 85.17; 13. Alexis DeJoria, Supra, 7.916, 92.63; 14. Dale Creasy Jr., Charger, 8.410, 85.82; 15. Mike McIntire, Toyota Camry, 8.440, 80.73; 16. Alex Laughlin, Charger, 8.548, 73.32. Not Qualified: 17. Blake Alexander, 11.716, 54.98; 18. Justin Schriefer, 12.307, 84.70.
Pro Stock -- 1. Bo Butner, Chevy Camaro, 6.522, 208.94; 2. Cristian Cuadra, Ford Mustang, 6.529, 210.31; 3. Aaron Stanfield, Camaro, 6.534, 210.14; 4. Fernando Cuadra Jr., Mustang, 6.537, 209.36; 5. Dallas Glenn, Camaro, 6.538, 209.49; 6. Greg Anderson, Camaro, 6.542, 209.79; 7. Erica Enders, Camaro, 6.542, 208.23; 8. Camrie Caruso, Camaro, 6.549, 210.77; 9. Matt Hartford, Camaro, 6.557, 209.69; 10. Kyle Koretsky, Camaro, 6.573, 209.49; 11. Mason McGaha, Camaro, 6.574, 208.97; 12. David Cuadra, Mustang, 6.578, 209.39; 13. Fernando Cuadra, Mustang, 6.581, 209.23; 14. Jerry Tucker, Camaro, 6.589, 209.39; 15. Alan Prusiensky, Dodge Dart, 6.669, 206.64; 16. Shane Tucker, Camaro, 6.729, 200.41. Not Qualified: 17. Robert River, 7.207, 192.03; 18. Chris McGaha, 8.400, 204.85; 19. Troy Coughlin Jr., 16.682, 87.91.
Pro Stock Motorcycle -- 1. Gaige Herrera, Suzuki, 6.677, 202.45; 2. Chip Ellis, EBR, 6.756, 200.68; 3. Hector Arana Jr, EBR, 6.759, 201.85; 4. Matt Smith, Suzuki, 6.798, 198.47; 5. Angie Smith, EBR, 6.800, 201.43; 6. Chase Van Sant, Suzuki, 6.812, 199.49; 7. Marc Ingwersen, EBR, 6.866, 193.99; 8. Kelly Clontz, Suzuki, 6.885, 190.89; 9. Chris Bostick, EBR, 6.915, 194.63; 10. Joey Gladstone, Suzuki, 6.927, 174.10; 11. Ron Tornow, Victory, 6.928, 195.22; 12. John Hall, Buell, 6.948, 195.48; 13. Peggy Llewellyn, Suzuki, 6.975, 185.79; 14. Steve Johnson, Suzuki, 7.073, 191.65; 15. Eddie Krawiec, Suzuki, 9.371, 96.34; 16. Wesley Wells, Suzuki, 10.537, 166.56. Not Qualified: 17. Jianna Evaristo, 11.754, 67.29; 18. Ryan Oehler, 15.052, 51.74.