NHRA - National Hot Rod Association


John Force continues chase for 17th championship with St. Louis pole

28 Sep 2019
Jacob Sundstrom, NHRA National Dragster Associate Editor
Race coverage
John Force

John Force captured his first pole since the NHRA Thunder Valley Nationals in June as he marched towards his unprecedented 17th championship. He made a 3.842-second pass at 334.4-mph in the final qualifying session to take his fourth pole of the season. 

Force has reached two-straight final rounds and three in four races. He has won twice in 2019 and 151 times in his incredible career and will be chasing No. 152 when he races Terry Haddock in the first round on Sunday. 

He bumped Matt Hagan off pole position with his late pass. Hagan ran a 3.854 to take his Sandvik Coromant Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat to the No. 2 spot, bouncing back from a No. 9 effort in Reading, the last event on tour. Hagan will take on Jim Campbell in the first round.

John Force breaks his 17-year Indy drought, puts Chevy back in winner's circle

Jack Beckman, who entered St. Louis as the leader in Funny Car and the most recent winner on tour, qualified in the No. 9 position. He will face defending champion J.R. Todd in the first round. The two qualified .004-second apart, giving Todd lane choice over the former Funny Car and Super Comp champion. 

Haddock qualified on the bump spot, holding Jack Wyatt and Dale Creasy Jr. out of the field. Wyatt and Creasy were involved in a scary incident during the final qualifying incident, as Creasy crossed the centerline in front of Wyatt. The veteran racers avoided contact with one another. 

Tim Wilkerson's Levi, Ray and Shoup Ford Mustang Funny Car drove through a fiery explosion that ended with the body in shreds int he final qualifying session. The veteran driver will have a lot of work to do to prepare for his first-round matchup with Jonnie Lindberg. Lindberg, who drives for  Jim Head, is qualified in his best position since the Richmond event in 2018. 

Race day is set to begin at 11 a.m. Central at World Wide Technology Raceway with Top Fuel. You can catch all the action live on NHRA.tv. Coverage begins on FS1 at 12 Central.