John Force reached another milestone in his amazing career, locking down his 160th career No. 1 qualifying effort thanks to his Friday run of 3.834. Force and his BlueDef Camaro had a mixed Saturday, with a tire-smoker in Q3 and a 3.937 in Q4 that was only sixth-best of the session but none of that mattered as much as being the No. 1 qualifier like his daughter, Brittany, in Top Fuel.
“Any time you can do something with your kids makes it pretty special and be part of it,” he said. “My wife loves it and will make for a good evening. Friday was prime conditions and we ran good both passes and we didn’t think anyone would top Brittany or me; we were just trying to get down the racetrack. We pushed it hard and smoked the tires on the first run then came back and ran .93. That’s good enough to race with tomorrow.”
Robert Hight and J.R. Todd remained Nos. 2 and 3 behind the 16-time world champ but Bob Tasca III made one of the day’s most impressive runs, a 3.880 with his Mustang, to take over the No. 4 position. Ron Capps held onto No. 5 despite not running in the threes on either Saturday pass in the NAPA Dodge with teammate Matt Hagan just behind him in sixth.
Tim Wilkerson had the final 3.8-second pass, a 3.895 in Q4, for the No. 7 spot and Paul Lee slotted eighth with an impressive 3.912 and was quickest of Q3 with a 3.920.
Cruz Pedregon flirted with not qualifying as he went to the starting line in Q4 not in the field but fired back with a 4.000 to take the No. 14 spot. Jim Campbell (4.07) and Jeff Arend (4.112) also made runs that bumped out Texans Terry Haddock and Todd Simpson. Simpson was not able to return Saturday to defend his spot in the field after hitting the guardwall on his Friday night pass.