2014 Lucas Oil NHRA Nationals Saturday photo gallery
Saturday, August 16, 2014

News and views from the 
Lucas Oil NHRA Nationals

Last update: 7:15 p.m.
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Brainerd Int’l Raceway is set for the final day of qualifying at the 33rd annual Lucas Oil NHRA Nationals, the 17th of 24 events on the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series.

What better venue to enjoy a huge milestone with your significant other than a dragstrip? MountainView Racing Pro Stock Chevy Camaro owners Nick and Irene Mitsos celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary today.

“Big Jim” Dunn, with granddaughter Johnna, is a pleasant sight at this event after the 80-year-old Grime Boss Funny Car crew chief/team owner sat out of the Western Swing to recover from surgery to remove prostate cancer.

Dave Connolly, who is surrounded by rumors that he may have the opportunity to race in Top Fuel next season, reeled off one of the best runs of the third Pro Stock session with a 6.64 in the Charter Communications Chevy Camaro.

Minnesota transplants Greg Anderson (pictured) and Jason Line made the two best runs of the third Pro Stock session with their Summit Racing Equipment Camaros. Line went 6.623, and Anderson went 6.632.

After smoking the tires twice on Friday, Steve Torrence and the Capco Contractors team rebounded by running a 3.90 in the third qualifying session to get solidly in the field.

Sonoma winner Khalid alBalooshi earned a bonus point in the third session with a strong 3.86 effort in the Al-Anabi dragster that was hindered toward the end of the run when his engine let go.

Defending event champion Ron Capps repeated his 4.16 from yesterday with his NAPA Auto Parts Dodge Charger in the third session. Capps and Don Schumacher Racing teammates Matt Hagan and Tommy Johnson Jr. hogged all of the bonus points available in that round.

NHRA Members and site subscribers can get in-depth coverage, notes, and more on NationalDragster.net.

A unique and annual attraction at this event is the Pro Stock Snowmobile class. Fans witness the 8-second, 150-mph sleds compete in heads-up action.

Utilizing Elite Motorsports power at this event, Iowa native and independent Pro Stock campaigner Dave River earned the best starting position of his career at the No. 14 spot.

Four-time Lucas Oil NHRA Nationals winner Jeg Coughlin Jr. will make his drive for five from the No. 5 spot on the ladder in the JEGS.com Dodge Dart.

Much to the delight of the crown, ageless wonder Chris “the Golden Greek” Karamesines ran a clutch 3.94 in the final Top Fuel qualifying session to secure the No. 15 spot in the field.

J.R. Todd ran a 3.98 in the Optima Batteries dragster in the final Top Fuel session and had to sweat out a couple of pairs to learn that he would remain in the field in the No. 16 spot. That temporarily had him matched up against teammate Doug Kalitta in the first round until Antron Brown overtook Kalitta for the No. 1 position with a 3.81.

Del Worsham stepped up to a 4.110 in the final session to put the DHL Toyota in the No. 9 position.

Qualifying was put on hold during the final Funny Car session due to rain. The Safety Safari presented by AAA worked diligently to dry the racing surface for the completion of today’s action.

Eleven-time Lucas Oil NHRA Nationals winner John Force grabbed the No. 1 position for the third time in the last four races and 151st time in his career with a 4.060, 315 in the Castrol GTX High Mileage Ford Mustang. It is the 96th career No. 1 for crew chief Jimmy Prock.