Mike Salinas powered his Scrappers Racing dragster to the day’s only 3.6-second blast, a 3.694, to take over the field lead in Top Fuel halfway through qualifying. Salinas, who already has three No. 1 qualifying efforts this season led a very quick pack through the day’s two runs.
“I think that [tuner Alan Johnson] was shooting for a .68, so that was pretty close, said Salinas, who also qualified No. 1 in Las Vegas, Charlotte, and Chicago. “The car has a lot left in it; I think Alan is just testing the water. It’s really smooth, really clean, really nice. Having a good run today gives you the recipe for the rest of the weekend, and as long a we do our job we’ll have a great showing.
“There is nobody out there who’s messing around -- the Torrences, Brittany [Force] Clay [Millican] who are all stepping up. You have to bring you’re a game on Sunday or you’re going home early.”
Leah Pritchett paced the field in a very quick opening qualifying session with a 3.725 that was nearly two-hundredths quicker than points leader Steve Torrence’s 3.744 but when she was unable to improve in Q2 she slid all the way to the No. 5 spot.
Brittany Force looked for a while like she would earn the No. 1 spot with her CarQuest-liveried dragster after putting down a 3.702 and Torrence followed her down the track with a 3.705, a number that was quickly matched by Clay Millican, but at a slower speed for the No. 4 spot.
Richie Crampton (3.740), Shawn Reed (3.744), and Doug Kalitta (3.751) all made runs of 3.75 or quicker, with Reed’s pass a career best in the Hughes Oilfield/Bob Vandergriff Racing dragster.
Scott Palmer, representing the event sponsor, put up a fine 3.764 and was joined in the 3.70s by Terry McMillen (3.766), three-time defending event champ Antron Brown (3.769), and rookie Austin Prock (3.778).
Cameron Ferre (4.102) and Ron Smith, who lost his Q2 run after leaving before the Tree was activated, round out the field.
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