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Millican, C. Force, Coughlin, Smith finish atop qualifying fields in Norwalk

Clay Millican in Top Fuel and Jeg Coughlin in Pro Stock took over the qualifying leads Saturday at the Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Nationals and are joined atop their fields by Friday leaders Courtney Force (Funny Car) and Matt Smith (Pro Stock Motorcycle).
23 Jun 2018
Posted by NHRA.com staff
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Clay Millican set the Top Fuel track speed record Saturday afternoon during the single round of qualifying due to inclement weather at the Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Nationals at Summit Motorsports Park. 

Courtney Force (Funny Car), Jeg Coughlin Jr. (Pro Stock) and Matt Smith (Pro Stock Motorcycle) are also No. 1 qualifiers in their respective categories at the 12th of 24 events on the 2018 NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series schedule. 

C_Millican.JPGMillican powered to the top spot with a run of 3.750-seconds at 332.67 mph in his Parts Plus / Great Clips dragster during the lone qualifying session on Saturday. This is his sixth No. 1 qualifier on the season as he looks for his fourth career victory. 

“Our goal was to be in the top five,” Millican stated. “Once we did that, that allowed (crew chief) David Grubnic to get after it that last run. We really weren’t expecting a lot different than that. When the car does what we want it to do it makes everyone on the team pretty confident about what’s going on.”

Millican will square up against Dom Lagana for the first round of eliminations. Defending Top Fuel world champion Brittany Force qualified second as she prepares for Terry McMillen on Sunday. 

C_Force.JPGForce remained atop the Funny Car lead with a pass of 3.935 at 327.66 in her Advance Auto Parts Chevrolet Camaro recorded during the lone qualifying run on Friday. The current points leader secured her eighth No. 1 qualifier of the year. 

“I feel like my crew chiefs have it pretty well figured it out this season,” C. Force said. “I’m just really excited to be driving this Funny Car. Having that one good run helps you feel a lot better and confident going into race day.”

She will face-off against John Smith in the first round. 

Ron Capps finds himself qualified second for eliminations as he prepares for Jeff Diehl on Sunday.

J_Coughlin.JPGCoughlin Jr. took the top spot in Pro Stock during the only qualifying session of the weekend Saturday afternoon. His pass of 6.612 at 208.46 in his JEGS.com/Elite Performance Chevrolet Camaro locked-in his first No. 1 qualifier of the season. 

“The forecast looks good for tomorrow and we’d love nothing more than to fine tune over four rounds tomorrow,” Coughlin stated. “This is our first No. 1 of the ’18 season which feels fantastic.”

He matches up against Charlie Westcott for Sunday’s eliminations. 

Jason Line qualified second and will go head-to-head with Kenny Delco in eliminations. 

M_Smith.jpgThe Pro Stock Motorcycle class is led by Smith, who used a 6.866 at 195.39 on his Victory Magnum from his lone qualifying run on Friday to lead the pack on Saturday. He is set to take on Jim Underdahl in the first round on Sunday. 

“We weren’t planning on running this bike this year,” Smith said. “We pulled it out at Charlotte, it’s been a top three bike ever since. We’ve even won a race. I can’t say enough to my guys since we weren’t planning on this.”

Hector Arana Jr. qualified second and prepares for Ryan Oehler in the first round. 

Eliminations begin at 11:00 a.m. ET on Sunday at Summit Motorsports Park.