Brittany Force, Matt Hagan, and Jason Line are professional the low qualifiers at the 38th annual Lucas Oil NHRA Nationals in Brainerd so all three should be favored to win titles during today's final eliminations. Winning any event is difficult, but after an overnight thunderstorm doused Brainerd Int'l Raceway, conditions today will be far different than they were for the first two days of qualifying.
Force and her Advance Auto Parts/Carquest team weren't able to show their true potential until Saturday's final qualifying session but the statement they made was a powerful one with a 3.722 that stole the top spot from points leader Steve Torrence. Force was in second place in the Mello Yello standings as recently as Denver, but recently slipped to fourth. With a strong showing at the final two events of the regular season, second is easily within her grasp.
The Funny Car field is solid with the top 12 qualifiers in the three-second zone but no one ran quicker than Hagan, who tallied a 3.890 to claim the green hat. Hagan is coming into Brainerd on a hot streak after a win in Epping and a runner-up finish in Sonoma, and a respectable semifinal two weeks ago in Seattle. The two-time champion already has two wins on the season.
For Pro Stock low qualifier Line, Brainerd Int'l Raceway is a special place since it's his home track and he's surrounded by family and friends. So far, Line has done a lot to impress his large fan base with the quickest run in each of the four qualifying sessions on Friday and Saturday. Line is searching for his first win of the season and today might be his best opportunity to get it.
Winners will also be crowned today in a full slate of Lucas Oil Series sportsman categories and the Mickey Thompson Top Fuel Harley class.
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