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2014 Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Nationals Friday photo gallery
Friday, July 04, 2014

News and views from the Summit Racing
Equipment NHRA Nationals
Last update: 10:10 p.m.
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It's a star-spangled day at "America's Racetrack," Summit Racing Equipment Motorsports Park, and fans have come out in large numbers to enjoy the Fourth of July with some on-track fireworks of the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series and to look forward to the Bader family's famous fireworks show that will conclude the day.

Courtney Force (above) also is in patriotic mode as she signed autographs for fans. (Below) Toyota teammates Del Worsham, right, and Alexis DeJoria also obliged fans as they prepared for their runs later today.

As always, the famous $1-for-a-pound Norwalk ice cream is a big attraction; the lines are already forming.

  Meanwhile, action goes on in the pits as the teams prepare for their first two of four qualifying runs, which will take place at 4:45 and 7:15 p.m.

(Above) Epping winner Tony Schumacher's U.S. Army team unloads their fast machine while (left) defending Top Fuel event champ Khalid alBalooshi is reunited with his lucky fan, Jacob Delling.

(Below) Crewman Jimmy Wingo got to work repairing a set of headers for the Make-A-Wish Funny Car. 

Tommy Johnson Jr. has a special guest with him during this segment of the schedule, nephew Gage, who helped uncle Tommy fold the parachute for the Make-A-Wish Dodge.

"The Surfer," California Funny Car racer Jeff Diehl, is on the road for the next five weeks, running this event, followed by a Canadian match race, and then the entire Western Swing. Rob Wendland is turning the wrenches.

Eddie Krawiec (above) and John Hall (below) both broke Hector Arana Jr.’s three-year-old track mark of 6.887 with respective passes of 6.861 and 6.882. Hall’s B.R.A.K.E.S. Buell broke the record first, followed by Krawiec’s session-ending blast aboard his Harley; Krawiec’s speed of 194.77 mph tied Michael Ray’s track speed mark.

Ron Krisher’s three-year-old track e.t. record in Pro Stock (6.583) was broken five times during the opening qualifying session, topped by the 6.523 of points leader Erica Enders-Stevens (above) and the Elite Motorsports Camaro. Mike Edwards’ year-old 209.92 speed record was felled three times, with Enders-Stevens also ending up with that record at 212.63. (Below) Travis Mazza, son of the late national event-winning Super-class driver Mike Mazza, is making his Pro Stock debut with his MoldStar Mustang, under the guidance of Larry Morgan. He shut off on his first run and turned off early and did not get a time slip.

NHRA Members and site subscribers can find in-depth event coverage on NationalDragster.net.

Cruz Pedregon (above) led the way in the first Funny Car session with a 4.077 from the Snap-on Tools Toyota, just a few ticks ahead of Ron Capps’ 4.083 in the special-edition NAPA Dodge (below), which is part of NAPA’s month-long "NAPA Get Back Give Back" campaign to raise funds for the Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund that provides support for the families of U.S. military personnel lost in service to our nation and for those severely wounded in the performance of their duties in Afghanistan and/or Iraq.

Doug Kalitta (above), already a five-time low qualifier this season with the Mac Tools dragster, has the early lead again in Top Fuel after Q1 with a 3.788 at 326.48 mph. Former three-time world champ Larry Dixon (below) looked good in his first outing since Houston with a fifth-best 3.844 in the Bob Vandergriff Racing Total Equipment and Service entry. Dixon will run most of the rest of the season with Vandergriff.

The Ohio Outlaw AA/Gassers put on a great show between sessions with long, smoky burnouts and wild wheelstands from a variety of vintage machines.

Jerry Savoie (above) sent some shock waves through the Pro Stock Motorcycle field with a 6.865 at 195.48 mph aboard his White Alligator Racing Suzuki to grab the No. 2 spot behind Eddie Krawiec, who improved on his field-leading 6.861 with a 6.844. Hector Arana Sr. (below) broke the track speed record with a run of 196.16 on his Lucas Oil Buell.

Shane Gray (above), the low qualifier in Bristol and Epping, made another move for the top spot with a 6.527 that fell just shy of the 6.523 set earlier in the day by Erica Enders-Stevens, who then came back to match Gray’s pass and earn three bonus points by having a faster speed than Gray. Allen Johnson (below) had the round’s third-best time, a 6.532, with his Dodge Dart.

Del Worsham (above) just missed having Summit Racing Equipment Motorsports Park’s first three-second run after posting a 4.000 in the DHL Toyota, which broke John Force’s year-old track record of 4.021 and moved him to the No. 1 spot. Courtney Force (below) wasn’t as quick but, as has been the case lately, was very fast, and her 321.42-mph blast on a 4.10 pass broke her own track record of 319.67.

Doug Kalitta (above) improved on his field-leading 3.788 with a 3.771 under the lights to solidify his hold on the No. 1 spot in Top Fuel with the Mac Tools dragster. Steve Torrence (below) gave it a ride with the Capco Contractors machine with a 3.799, good for the No. 2 spot.

  Bob Motz’s spectacular jet-powered Kenworth truck (above), a longtime favorite of Norwalk race fans, was the last vehicle down the track Friday before fans turned their eyes skyward for a spectacular Bader family fireworks show to celebrate the Fourth of July in style. 

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