Points leaders top Tricky Tipster's Reading rankings

Fresh off their wins in Charlotte and moves to the top of the standings in their respective classes, Doug Kalitta (Top Fuel), Robert Hight (Funny Car), Tanner Gray (Pro Stock), and Eddie Krawiec (Pro Stock Motorcycle) are NHRA National Dragster's Tricky Tipster's favorites for wins at the Dodge NHRA Nationals.
21 Sep 2017
NHRA National Dragster staff
Tricky Tipster

For more than five decades, NHRA National Dragster's famed Tricky Tipster has tested his prognosticating skills prior to each national event, putting odds on the top eight racers he thinks have the best shot at victory in Tricky Tipster. This week, Tricky Tipster handicaps the Dodge NHRA Nationals.

Funny Car | Pro Stock | Pro Stock Motorcycle
Doug Kalitta
Doug Kalitta • Mac Tools
This is the first time he’s been at the top of the coveted Tipster rankings this season, but after a clutch performance in Charlotte, don’t you think he’s earned it?
ODDS: 3-1
Antron Brown
Antron Brown • Matco Tools
OK, who saw that one coming? The guy who usually shines in the Countdown suffered a rare second-round loss, and he’s now part of a seven-way dogfight for the Top Fuel title. Of course, he’s still one of the favorites.
ODDS: 4-1
Steve Torrence
Steve Torrence • Capco Contractors
Everything has been so perfect for this team this year that it was almost a given that they’d have a bad race at some point. It’s just that no one expected it during the first Countdown event. How they rebound in Reading will likely have a big impact on their title hopes going forward.
ODDS: 5-1
Leah Pritchett
Leah Pritchett • Papa Johns’s Pizza/Dodge
A first-round loss in Charlotte was not part of the plan, but this is a team with four wins this year and a very quick car. A win here and all is forgiven.
ODDS: 7-1
Tony Schumacher
Tony Schumacher • U.S. Army
He’s got five wins in Reading with the most recent one coming in 2014. If he is to make a serious run at another Mello Yello championship, he’s probably going to need to be semifinals or better this time around.
ODDS: 9-1
Brittany Force
Brittany Force • Monster Energy
She was able to hang around in the points battle by reaching the semi’s in Charlotte. Another semi would be helpful, but a victory would really be welcomed at this point in the season.
ODDS: 11-1
Clay Millican
Clay Millican • Parts Plus/Great Clips
The 3.725 that crew chief David Grubnic whipped up in Charlotte as the first pair was a thing of beauty. If they can repeat that here, the Stringer team will have a long day on Sunday.
ODDS: 12-1
Richie Crampton
Richie Crampton • SealMaster
Counting his Drag Week adventure, he spent seven straight days in a race car. He’s been out of a Top Fuel car for nearly a year but don’t think anyone can say he’s rusty.
ODDS: 14-1

Robert Hight
Robert Hight • Auto Club Chevy
Now that he’s got the points lead, it’s going to take some effort to wrestle it away. The Funny Car field is deep, but this is the best car by a smidge.
ODDS: 2-1
J. R. Todd
J.R. Todd • DHL Toyota
Ranked No. 2 this week? Hey, why the heck not? He backed up his Indy win with a strong semifinal finish in Charlotte. With 95 points to make up, he’s still very much alive in the championship discussion.
ODDS: 4-1
Ron Capps
Ron Capps • NAPA Dodge
The reigning Mello Yello champ didn’t come this far to only get this far. Holeshot loss in Charlotte was painful, but a strong Reading event will fix that in no time.
ODDS: 5-1
Courtney Force
Courtney Force • Advance Auto Parts Chevy
In qualifying, this car is almost untouchable, but race day has been a different story. An impressive final-round drive in Charlotte might have been the breakthrough the team has been looking for.
ODDS: 7-1
Tommy Johnson Jr.
Tommy Johnson Jr. • Make-A-Wish Dodge
He is the defending Reading event champ, which should provide a spark for another solid outing. There are about seven legit title contenders at this point, and if he wants to stay in that group, a couple of round-wins are almost mandatory.
ODDS: 9-1
Alexis DeJoria
Alexis DeJoria • Tequila Patron Toyota
She didn’t make the Countdown and therefore can’t win the championship, but she can sure have a say in who does. This is not a car we’d want to see in the other lane right now.
ODDS: 11-1
Matt Hagan
Matt Hagan • Mopar Express Lane Dodge
How in the world can you handicap this team right now? On their best days, they’ve got the potential to lap the field. Lately, nothing has gone right. Still, they’re going to break through sooner or later.
ODDS: 13-1
John Force
John Force • Peak Chevy
It was a coin-toss between he and Jack Beckman for the final spot. Both have had success in Reading, but the 16-time champ got the nod by the slimmest of margins.
ODDS: 15-1

Tanner Gray
Tanner Gray • Gray Motorsports Camaro
After running the table in Charlotte, there is a very real possibility that the next NHRA Mello Yello Pro Stock champion will be barely old enough to vote.
ODDS: 2-1
Greg Anderson
Greg Anderson • Summit Racing Camaro
He didn’t enjoy the final round in Charlotte, but earlier wins over Drew Skillman and Bo Butner were huge for his championship hopes. He’s driving well with a fast car.
ODDS: 3-1
Bo Butner
Bo Butner • Butner Auto Camaro
Making it to the semifinals in the first race of the Countdown is awesome. Having a .050 light is not. He’s better than that and will be eager to prove it in Maple Grove.
ODDS: 4-1
Drew Skillman
Drew Skillman • Skillman Auto Group Camaro
He came into Charlotte as the hottest driver in the class and then the wheels came off when he qualified No. 7 and lost in the second round. We’ll give him a mulligan for that and assume a better outing is on the horizon.
ODDS: 6-1
Jason Line
Jason Line • Summit Racing Camaro
Two-time Reading champ could really use a win here. His car was fantastic at zMAX Dragway, and despite a loss, his driving was fairly solid.
ODDS: 8-1
Erica Enders
Erica Enders • Melling Camaro
It isn’t an exaggeration to say this is a make-or-break event. She must cut into Gray’s 114-point lead in order to remain in contention for a third world title. Given her ability to hit the Tree, it’s not out of the question.
ODDS: 10-1
Allen Johnson
Allen Johnson • Marathon Petroleum Dart
This is a Dodge-backed event, and it would be fitting for the Dodge flagship to turn in a strong performance. He’s been much improved lately.
ODDS: 12-1
Chris McGaha
Chris McGaha • Harlow Sammons Camaro
Former Reading winner was very quick during qualifying in Charlotte, but a nasty red-light appeared in round one. That prevented what otherwise could have been a productive day. Expect a better showing this time.
ODDS: 14-1

Eddie Krawiec
Eddie Krawiec • Screamin’ Eagle Harley-Davidson
It’s been a while since he won his last world championship. If he keeps up his current pace, that wait won’t be much longer.
ODDS: 3-1
Andrew Hines
Andrew Hines • Screamin’ Eagle Harley-Davidson
Losing the Charlotte final hurt because he started well back in the points standings. Regardless, this is a bike that should be able to win any race on the tour.
ODDS: 7-2
LE Tonglet
LE Tonglet • Nitro Fish Suzuki
Picked a bad time to have his first bad race in a while. He’s vowed to make a quick comeback, and there is no reason to doubt him. He’s been here before.
ODDS: 4-1
Jerry Savoie
Jerry Savoie • White Alligator Suzuki
Remember last year when he started the Countdown in the No. 6 spot and lost in the first round in Charlotte and still won the title? He’s already well ahead of that pace.
ODDS: 5-1
Hector Arana Jr.
Hector Arana Jr. • Lucas Oil Buell
Opened the Countdown with a strong semifinal showing that could easily have turned into a final. Good chance he wins one of the last five events of the season.
ODDS: 6-1
Matt Smith
Matt Smith • Polaris Victory Magnum
Hard to imagine a more frustrating situation: he’s got a bike that can win but can’t string together four solid runs. Deserved a better fate in Charlotte than a quarterfinal.
ODDS: 8-1
Scotty Pollacheck
Scotty Pollacheck • Suzuki Extended Protection Suzuki
Looked great in qualifying in Charlotte, and his 6.864 in the first round was a stunner. After that, the wheels came off. Still rates as a contender, though.
ODDS: 10-1
Angie Smith
Angie Smith • Denso Spark Plugs Buell
Threw away a certain victory in Charlotte on a red-light start. Thankfully, she’s only got to wait a week for a do-over. This bike is good enough to surprise a few people.
ODDS: 14-1