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John Force qualifies No. 1 at NHRA Thunder Valley Nationals

The Funny Car legend is No. 1 for the third time this season at the NHRA Thunder Valley Nationals
15 Jun 2019
Jacob Sundstrom, NHRA National Dragster Associate Editor
Race coverage
John Force

John Force will chase down his 150th win from the No. 1 spot at the NHRA Thunder Valley Nationals. He will receive a bye run in the first round because of the 15-car field, getting the 16-time champion one step closer to another incredible milestone in his unprecedented career. Force achieved the No. 1 mark on the back of a 3.911-second pass at 326.95-mph. 

Related: Funny Car Ladder

Force made a very competitive 4.026-second pass to solidify his race day tune-up. The Brian Corradi-tuned Chevy Camaro earned one bonus point and enters race day in a very strong position. 

"I'm in the game and I'm feeling good," said Force. "We've got a single in the first round and that should give us a chance to test what we can do and to get into it. After that we're going to try to go some rounds."

The top 12 teams made runs quicker than 4.2-seconds in preparation for what figures to be a warm day of Funny Car racing on Sunday. Terry Haddock is qualified 12th and will race defending world champion J.R. Todd. The fourth and final session featured teams dialing in their race day setups; some found more success than others. 

Tommy Johnson Jr. will race Don Schumacher Racing teammate Matt Hagan in the first round and will have lane choice because of the pass he made in the final qualifying session. Johnson ran a 4.002 to move from No. 9 to No. 8, flipping positions with Hagan and earning lane choice in the process. Johnson earned his first win in a year and a half two races ago; Hagan is chasing his second win of 2019. 

Bob Tasca III made a strong run right behind Johnson to secure a pair of bonus points in his Eric Lane/Jon Schaffer tuned Ford Motorcraft Mustang. He went 4.003 and will start the day from the No. 3 spot, his best qualifying position of the 2019 season. He gets a shot at Jim Campbell in the first round. 

Don Schumacher Racing competitor Ron Capps also made a solid hit after struggling on Friday. The NAPA Auto Parts Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat got down the strip in 4.029-seconds. Capps is qualified seventh and will race Blake Alexander, who is driving the Jim Head-fielded Ford Mustang, in the first round. 

Race day begins with Top Fuel eliminations at noon Eastern. You can catch eliminations live on NHRA.tv or tune in to FS1 at 2 p.m. for all the action.