Clay Millican will start the 13th race of his reborn partnership with tuner Mike Kloeber from pole position at a track the two have enjoyed plenty of success. Millican will get a bye run in the first round before facing the winner of the No. 7 and No. 8 car battle of Brittany Force and Dom Lagana.
Millican made a 3.795-second pass at 326.71-mph to qualify No. 1 in the second session. He followed that up with a tire-smoking 5.991-second pass in the third qualifying session. The Parts Plus / Laris Motorsports Insurance team did not make a pass in the first session due to an issue with the delay box, a problem that plagued the team at the Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Nationals in Norwalk. That problem appears to be a thing of the past.
"Mike Kloeber and I have been friends for a long time and pretty much everything I do in the race car I learned from him," said Millican. "He got me with basically zero experience and it's been really fun. I had a lot of years driving when he wasn't tuning my car and he said, 'there's a lot of things you learned that I think are really great and maybe some things that we shouldn't do anymore.' It's really great because when you have a teacher that left a big impression on you, it really makes a difference."
The Tennessee native was followed closely in the qualifying order by a pair of Kalitta Motorsports Top Fuelers. Richie Crampton and Doug Kalitta, each of whom are looking for their second wins of the 2019 campaign, slid into the second and third qualifying spots with 3.825 and 3.844 hits. Crampton will race No. 13 qualifier Audrey Worm from the No. 2 spot, his highest qualifying position of the 2019 season.
Antron Brown made the best run of the third qualifying session to improve to the No. 4 position. His 3.848-second pass at 321.73-mph earned him three bonus points and a matchup against No. 11 qualifier Cameron Ferre. Brown is looking for his first win since the 2018 Seattle event, which came nearly a calendar year ago. The Matco Tools Top Fueler appears to have turned a corner after qualifying in the top half five races in a row and is looking for its first final since the Richmond event six races ago.
The fourth qualifying session was rained out. That means the first time crew chiefs will get a crack at cooler conditions will be first thing on Sunday morning.
The first round of eliminations at the NHRA New England Nationals is set for 11 a.m. You can catch all the action live on NHRA.tv or by checking out coverage on FS1 at 1 p.m. Eastern.