The Dodge NHRA Mile-High Nationals presented by Pennzoil rolls to a conclusion today with Sportsman cars on the track at 8 a.m. following Saturday's rain showers. Final eliminations in the Mello Yello pro categories racing kicks off with Top Fuel at 11 a.m. Eastern and will be followed by Funny Car, Mountain Pro Stock and Pro Stock Motorcycle.
Steve Torrence was the quickest driver in each Top Fuel session and clinched his seventh pole position of the year under the lights last night. Torrence has already clinched the regular season title, but he admits that a Western Swing sweep would look nice on his resume.
It took three sessions for Funny Car drivers to break into the three-second zone and Robert Hight earned the top spot by virtue of his 3.976 on his Auto Club Camaro followed by Tommy Johnson Jr. with a 3.978. The Funny Car ladder is somewhat jumbled since four of the best cars in the class did not get to run last night when rain interrupted the final session. That should make for some interesting pairings during today's eliminations.
Pro Stock featured a surprise low qualifier with Elite team boss Richard Freeman taking the top spot for the first time in his career. Freeman is just the 65th different driver to qualify in Pro Stock. Ironically, there have been 67 different winners in the class. Freeman's Elite Motorsports teammate, Erica Enders, will get a bye run in the opening round after Kenny Delco crashed his Camaro during the final session on Saturday. Delco emerged from the wreckage under his own power but his car is heavily damaged.
One of the most impressive performances of the weekend came from Pro Stock Motorcycle low qualifier Matt Smith, who rode his Denso EBR to a 7.132 to lead the field by six-hundredths. Smith also set top speed of the event at 188.31 mph.
All the excitement of today's final rounds will be broadcast on live on FOX TV from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. (Eastern). You can also catch the action live on NHRA.tv, and the full TV schedule is available here at any time.
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