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Record Indy Funny Car field has some connections to past record fields

Five rounds of Funny Car qualifying at the 2019 Chevrolet Performance U.S. Nationals helped create a record-breaking field of 16 qualifiers with Justin Schriefer’s 4.005 sitting on the bump spot. Qualifiers John Force, Ron Capps, and Tommy Johnson Jr. all have connections to previous record fields.
02 Sep 2019
Phil Burgess, NHRA National Dragster Editor
Feature
Justin Schriefer

Five rounds of Funny Car qualifying at the 2019 Chevrolet Performance U.S. Nationals helped create a record-breaking field of 16 qualifiers with Justin Schriefer’s 4.005 sitting on the record bump spot. The old record was 4.029 set at the 2016 Auto Club NHRA Finals.

Fifteen Funny Cars qualified in the three-second zone, matching the total from the 2016 Finals, but the field fell just .006-second shy of giving the sport its first all-three field.

The first all-four-second field was set in Phoenix in 2001 on a quarter-mile racing distance and accomplished in the event’s first two qualifying sessions, the result of a new 660-foot concrete launch pad installed at the track and cool conditions. Nineteen cars ultimately qualified in the four-second range.

Four drivers -– John Force, Ron Capps, Tommy Johnson Jr., and Del Worsham -- were part of all three of those record fields. Force qualified No. 2 in the 2001 Phoenix field, No. 4 in the 2016 Finals field, and then No. 3 this weekend. Capps qualified sixth, fifth, and fourth this weekend. Johnson ranked ninth, third, and 10th. Worsham qualified for the 2001 Phoenix race in the No. 14 spot, in Pomona in No. 8 slot, and, although he wasn’t driving this weekend, tuned nitro rookie Ray Martin into this year's Indy field in the No. 13 spot.

Jack Beckman, who leads this record field, also led the previous quickest field at the 2016 Finals. Other drivers (besides Force, Capps, and Johnson) who qualified in both of the most recent quickest fields were Robert Hight, Matt Hagan, Tim Wilkerson, Paul Lee, and Cruz Pedregon.

Here's a look at those fields:

2019 CHEVROLET PERFORMANCE U.S. NATIONALS
(quickest field in history, Sept. 1, 2019)
1.Jack Beckman3.861
2.Matt Hagan3.874
3.John Force3.876
4.Ron Capps3.882
5.J.R. Todd3.883
6.Robert Hight3.884
7.Shawn Langdon3.887
8.Bob Tasca III3.894
9.Paul Lee3.900
10.Tommy Johnson Jr3.909
11.Tim Wilkerson3.923
12.Cruz Pedregon3.949
13.Ray Martin3.962
14.Jonnie Lindberg3.968
15.Bob Bode3.982
16.Justin Schriefer4.005

 

2016 AUTO CLUB NHRA FINALS
(previous record field, Nov. 12, 2016)
1.Jack Beckman3.825
2.Courtney Force3.869
3.Tommy Johnson Jr.3.873
4.John Force3.879
5.Ron Capps3.883
6.Robert Hight3.889
7.Matt Hagan3.894
8.Del Worsham3.912
9.Tim Wilkerson3.920
10.Jeff Arend3.930
11.Paul Lee3.935
12.Chad Head3.945
13.Cruz Pedregon3.950
14.Dave Richards3.975
15.Jim Campbell3.977
16.John Bojec4.029

 

2001 CHECKER SCHUCKS KRAGEN NATIONALS
(First all-four-second field, Sept. 16, 2011)
1Dean Skuza4.805
2John Force4.823
3Whit Bazemore4.835
4Scotty Cannon4.847
5Bruce Sarver4.848
6Ron Capps4.849
7Chuck Etchells4.854
8Frank Pedregon4.873
9Tommy Johnson Jr.4.893
10Jim Epler4.895
11Tony Pedregon4.900
12Jerry Toliver4.910
13Bob Gilbertson4.913
14Del Worsham4.915
15Al Hofmann4.937
16Gary Densham4.961