NHRA Kansas Nationals Saturday photo gallery
Saturday, May 24, 2014

News and views from the NHRA Kansas Nationals Last update: 9 p.m.
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An early morning threat of rain didn’t damper the racing appetite of the locals. Fans turned out a plenty for the final day of qualifying at the NHRA Kansas Nationals.

NHRA’s Safety Safari presented by AAA has been working overtime the past few weekends to keep the tracks dry, first in Atlanta last weekend and now in Topeka over the past 48 hours.

Even before the sun officially came out, it was time for Alexis DeJoria’s team to unload the car and get ready to go racing.

Deric Kramer isn’t having the best weekend so far. His American Ethanol Dodge Avenger was pretty squirrely off the line in Q3, but he managed to save it from hitting the wall. He'll enter eliminations qualified No. 15.

Allen Johnson quietly made a move up the Pro Stock ladder in Saturday’s final qualifying session. His 6.620-second pass was third best of the session and eventually landed him in the sixth spot on the ladder.

The new-look Dote Racing dragster kept all eight cylinders lit in the first session to propel Leah Pritchett to a 3.827 that moved her solidly into the Top Fuel field.

Mac Tools Top Fuel dragster driver Doug Kalitta, with son Mitchell, earned bonus points by running a 3.778, the third-quickest run of the early session.

Driver/owner/tuner Tim Wilkerson’s strong qualifying effort in the Levi, Ray & Shoup Ford Mustang was highlighted by a 4.066, 314.75 in the first Funny Car action of Saturday qualifying.

Funny Car points leader Robert Hight moved up in the field with a strong 4.040, 314.75, the best run of the second qualifying round.

Shane Gray leads the trio of Gray Motorsports Chevy Camaros into Sunday’s eliminations. His 6.613-second effort in Q2 held up for the third spot on the ladder, setting him for a first-round showdown with No. 14 Steve Kent.

Nobody in Pro Stock is more feared than Erica Enders-Stevens right now. The current class points leader rattled off a pair of 6.606-second runs on Saturday and will enter eliminations qualified second.

Tony Schumacher’s second 3.7-second run in three qualifying attempts yielded a best of 3.771 in the U.S. Army dragster that was good enough for the No. 5 position.

Brittany Force made a career-best run in her new Castrol Edge dragster to overtake J.R. Todd for the No. 1 spot in Top Fuel. She ran a monstrous 3.746 at a track-record 329.75 mph.

Jeff Arend recorded a 4.072 to qualify in the top half of the Funny Car field for the first time this season in Jim Dunn’s Grime Boss Dodge Charger.

Courtney Force unseated father John from the top spot with a 4.009 at 322.96 mph, the fifth fastest speed in Funny Car history, to qualify No. 1 along with sister Brittany.

The first family of drag racing -- John, Laurie, Courtney, and Brittany Force -- met with the media following Courtney and Brittany topping the qualifying sheet in their respective classes, Funny Car and Top Fuel.

NHRA Kansas Nationals Friday photo gallery