Twelve Funny Car drivers qualified in the three-second zone and it became clear in round one that it was going to take no less than a similar pass to continue in eliminations.
No. 2 qualifier John Force, gunning for career win No. 150, blasted to a 3.937, the best run of the round, to defeat Cruz Pedregon while No. 1 qualifier Ron Capps went 3.961 to beat tire-smoking Bob Bode.
“Fast Jack” Beckman was exactly that with a 3.950 to beat up-in-smoke Jonnie Lindberg and Bristol winner Bob Tasca III joined the parade with a 3.957 alongside double-stepping red-lighting Matt Hagan. World champ J.R. Todd took down points leader Robert Hight with a 3.978 after the Auto Club Chevy’s engine went sour on the top end.
The round kicked off with a wild race, with Shawn Langdon edging Blake Alexander, whose mount exploded at the finish line. Alexander was checked out by medical staff onsite and cleared.
Second-round pairings (lane choice first): Ron Capps vs. Tommy Johnson Jr.; Jack Beckman vs. Shawn Langdon; John Force vs. J.R. Todd; Bob Tasca III vs. Paul Lee