Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Southern Nationals Friday photo gallery
Friday, May 16, 2014

News and views from the Summit Racing
Equipment NHRA Southern Nationals
Last update: 10:00 p.m.
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The NHRA Mello Yello race teams have begun unloading their hot rods in anticipation of the first of two qualifying sessions today, scheduled for 4:15 and 6:30 p.m.

Meanwhile, work goes on throughout the pits, from the Don Schumacher Racing camp of Top Fuel racer Spencer Massey (above) to the Super Stock pits of Slate Cummings (below).

As we sit on the cusp of the 100th NHRA Pro win by a female racer, a great autograph session was held today. (Above) From left, Courtney Force, Brittany Force, Erica Enders-Stevens, Angie Smith, Kate Sullivan, and Elvira Karlsson. The group posed for photos and signed tons of autographs.

[2:30 p.m.] At an impressively packed special driver/owner meeting in the Mello Yello tent, race teams heard the good news that sales of the brand are up this year over last year, testament to the success of the program.

NHRA Members and site subscribers can get up-to-the-minute, detailed coverage from this weekend's event on

  Two NHRA legends will be shooting to add to their impressive win totals this weekend at Atlanta Dragway.

(Above) John Force, a seven-time winner here, is the sport's all-time winningest driver with 139 victories.

Warren Johnson (left), who lives nearby and is making his 2014 season debut, has 97 wins, second among NHRA Mello Yello drivers and third overall behind Force and Frank Manzo (105 wins).

Eddie Krawiec (right), who won this event the last time that Pro Stock Motorcycle was contested here in 2012, is the No. 12 qualifier after the first session of Pro Stock Motorcycle. Krawiec's pack-leading pass of 6.852 broke Hector Arana Sr.'s 6.863 track record .

"Kalifornia Katie" Sullivan (above) was the surprise No. 6 qualifier with her Suzuki with a 6.949.

(Below) Things didn't go quite as well for Justin Finley, who had to help his bike off the track after it faltered on the starting line.

Local Pro Stock heroes Warren Johnson, near lane, and son Kurt kicked off the first qualifying session with respective runs of 7.069 and 7.426. It's the season debut for both.

[5:45 p.m.] Red-hot Erica Enders-Stevens (above) broke both ends of the 6.557, 211.26 mph track records with a run of 6.528 and 212.53 in her Elite Motorsports Camaro to lead Pro Stock after one session. Chris McGaha (below) is the No. 2 qualifier with a 6.542 in the Camaro with which Mike Edwards won this race last year.

NHRA and Chevrolet unveiled the new Chevrolet Silverados and Suburban that make up the fleet for the famed NHRA Safety Safari as part of Chevrolet's new sponsorship as the Official Truck of NHRA.

John Force (above) has the early lead in Funny Car after running 4.077 in his Castrol GTX Mustang in the first session. Teammate and son-in-law Robert Hight (below), the hottest driver on tour, is No. 2 with a 4.093.

(Above) Clay Millican's Top Fueler sprung a leak on his burnout, creating a massive oildown on the starting line, but the likeable Tennessean earned legions of respect by apologizing firsthand to some of the fans (below).

[7:30 p.m.] Kalitta Racing teammates J.R. Todd (above) and Doug Kalitta (below) monopolized the top of the Top Fuel qualifying sheets after the first session with respective runs of 3.794 and 3.799.

Danny O'Day entertained the fans between sessions with his SuperWinch-backed wheelstander.

[8:30 p.m.] Jimmy Underdahl and his potent Suzuki (above) couldn't knock Eddie Krawiec's 6.852 off the Pro Stock Motorcycle pole, but he did slide into the No. 2 spot with a stout 6.861. Krawiec's Harley teammate, Andrew Hines (below) had the next best pass, a 6.887 on a pass that had him perilously close to the guardwall.

[9 p.m.] Erica Enders-Stevens took full advantage of the delayed schedule to crush out a 6.506 to improve her lead on the field. Her car got loose on the top end, causing her to pull the chutes to a 202-mph finish-line speed or Atlanta Dragway may have seen its first 6.4-second Pro Stock pass. Rodger Brogdon (below) also was impressive with his Camaro, charting a solid 6.530 for the No. 2 spot.

[9:35 p.m.] Alexis DeJoria (above) broke Matt Hagan’s 4.067 year-old track record with a dazzling 4.012-second pass in her Patron XO Café Toyota entry. Her Kalitta Motorsports teammate, Del Worsham (below), grabbed the No. 2 spot a few pairs later with a 4.014 and broke the track record by more than five mph with a 320.005 mph pass to shatter the old mark of 314.90.

[10 p.m.] Steve Torrence (above) roared to the No. 1 spot with his Capco Contractors machine with a 3.765 to lead Top Fuel. Antron Brown seized the No. 2 spot with a 3.788 but a mechanical problem just past the finish caused his Matco Tools entry to go out of control and hit both guardwalls. Brown was not hurt.