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The 2018 NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series continued Friday evening as Clay Millican set the Top Fuel track speed record at the NHRA Southern Nationals Powered by Mello Yello at Atlanta Dragway.
Robert Hight (Funny Car), Greg Anderson (Pro Stock), and Matt Smith (Pro Stock Motorcycle) are provisional qualifying leaders at the seventh of the 24 events on the 2018 NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series schedule.
Millican piloted his Parts Plus / Great Clips dragster to a pass of 3.758 seconds and track record speed of 331.12 mph during the second round of qualifying. He currently holds the national elapsed time record which was set at Pomona earlier this season. Millican is seeking his third No. 1 qualifier of the season and 13th of his career.
“To go 331 mph in Atlanta is pretty cool,” Millican stated. “The car is the quickest in the world and I’m proud of that. We’ve had a little problem when it’s hot outside. What surprised me is that this car is starting to run speed because last year we didn’t run speed."
Coming off his win at the NGK Spark Plugs NHRA Four-Wide Nationals, Steve Torrence piloted his Capco Contractors dragster to the No. 13 qualifying position.
Defending Funny Car world champion Hight’s second qualifying pass of 3.952 at 327.59 in his Auto Club of Southern California Chevrolet Camaro took him to the top of the category. He is striving for his second No. 1 qualifier of the season and 59th of his career.
“I’m pretty impressed with that run,” Hight stated. “If you look at all the other runs, the others were in the right lane. The left lane is a little trickier here. To get the No. 1 spot out of the left lane is pretty impressive. We haven’t run that well in a couple of races.”
Pro Stock veteran Anderson currently holds the top spot after driving to a 6.593 at 210.11 run in his Summit Racing Equipment Chevrolet Camaro. He is seeking his fourth No. 1 qualifier and first victory of the season
“Qualifying No. 1 is great, but usually means it's by thousandths of a second,” Anderson said. “That’s how close the class is. So, anyone can still win on Sunday, but I’ve gotten a ton of bonus points this year the way my car has qualified. That is going to help in the long run.”
In Pro Stock Motorcycle, Smith currently sits in the No. 1 qualifier position with a 6.882 at 196.13 on his Victory Magnum during the first round of qualifying. He chose to sit out the second round.
“We made a pretty good pass the first run,” Smith stated. “We decided to save parts and pieces. For Saturday, we’re going down one pass. I think we’ll be pretty good and if the weather is good we should be able to put a good time down.”
Reigning Pro Stock Motorcycle champion Eddie Krawiec is currently seeded second overall.
Qualifying continues at the NHRA Southern Nationals Powered by Mello Yello at 11:15 a.m. on Saturday.