Saturday is the final day of qualifying for the 38th annual Lucas Oil NHRA Nationals with two more professional qualifying sessions set for 1:30 and 4:30 p.m. Central time to set the fields for Sunday’s final eliminations.
Top Fuel points leader Steve Torrence was Friday's leader with a 3.738, while Mike Salinas and his Scrappers team are close behind at 3.743. Torrence predicted that Saturday's cooler weather meant that he was not locked into the top spot and with more than half the field in the 3.7s there is every reason to believe him.
Matt Hagan, already a two-time winner this season, led a quick opening day in Funny Car with a 3.890, in a field that already has ten drivers in the three-second zone. Hagan has been one of the class' performance leaders lately with a win in Epping and a runner-up in Sonoma. Securing the top spot in Brainerd would certainly be a bonus as he looks to improve his position during the Countdown to the Championship.
The Pro Stock field is predictably close with Minnesota native Jason Line driving his Summit Racing Equipment Camaro to the provisional pole with a 6.606. Line led after both sessions, garnering six additional qualifying bonus points on the day. Erica Enders, who like like is seeking her first win of the season, is a close second with a 6.616 from her Melling/Elite Performance Camaro.
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