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Brittany Force, Robert Hight, Eddie Krawiec secure poles at Arby's NHRA Southern Nationals

John Force Racing secured the nitro poles at the Arby's NHRA Southern Nationals alongside Eddie Krawiec after a rain-shortened day at Atlanta Dragway.
04 May 2019
Jacob Sundstrom, NHRA National Dragster Associate Editor
Race coverage
Brittany Force

John Force Racing snagged the nitro poles at the Arby's NHRA Southern Nationals, the seventh stop on the 24-race NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series tour. Robert Hight (Funny Car), Brittany Force (Top Fuel) and Eddie Krawiec (Pro Stock Motorcycle) are the pole sitters at Atlanta Dragway after a rain-shortened day of qualifying. 

Stevie "Fast" Jackson took the pole in the E3 Spark Plugs Pro Mod Series. Eliminations are set to begin at 11 a.m. Eastern. 

TOP FUEL NO. 1 QUALIFIER BRITTANY FORCE: "We're right where we want to be this weekend. We picked up some points, we're No. 1 and we've got the best ladder heading into race day. This is already our third No. 1 qualifier of the season but we want more. We want more wins, we want more No. 1 qualifiers and that's the mindset (crew chief) Dave Grubnic has."

"All of my family has won here. Courtney won here, Ashley's first win was here, my dad has won here, so yeah it's a big place for my family. My sister has been sending me texts all weekend saying, 'go get it! This is our race track!' Plus, it's my dad's birthday, so we're really hoping to get it done this weekend." 

FUNNY CAR NO. 1 QUALIFIER ROBERT HIGHT: "My confidence level is very high right now. I knew that if we didn't improve we'd be in the bottom half of the field, but when you have Jimmy Prock... instead of making a safe run, he went ahead and went with what he thought the track could handle. So, it was either going to get down there or it was going to smoke the tires."

"I don't ever worry about what Jimmy is doing or try to change what he does because if you do that you're just not going to get the same results. Because if you do that he'll be second guessing himself. You just have to let him do what he does and so far how can you argue with what we're doing?"

PRO STOCK MOTORCYCLE NO. 1 QUALIFIER EDDIE KRAWIEC: "It's good to come out here off the track and run the way we did. We've been side-by-side the whole time and we've just never had motorcycles the way we did the way we did this weekend where they've been this consistent. They're literally within thousandths of one another and are just trading numbers going down the race track."

"Atlanta has been very good to me over the years. This is the home of my first win back in 2009, we finished late at night because it rained, if you can believe that, and we ended up having the winner's circle under the tower because it was pouring down rain. This is the place of my first win so it's definitely special. I think I have four wins here and it's just one of those things that you just feel comfortable when you get here."

QUALIFYING ROUND RECAPS

TOP FUEL

Top Fuel Q3: Jordan Vandergriff made the quickest run of the third session but was unable to move up the field thanks to the warm conditions at Atlanta Dragway. The Southern California Auto Club Road to the Future contender made a 3.799-second pass and will remain in the No. 5 position with one Top Fuel session remaining at the Arby’s NHRA Southern Nationals. 

Antron Brown moved up to the No. 9 position, and that would be the biggest story if not for the entrance of Luigi Novelli into the fray. The veteran racer ran a 4.079 and as such bumped Terry McMillen right out of the picture. Cameron Ferre holds the bump with a 4.31, which puts the pressure on McMillen with one session to go. 

FUNNY CAR

Funny Car Q3: Tommy Johnson Jr. made the quickest pass of the third session before it was temporarily suspended due to rain. Paul Lee made the second-quickest run, a 4.113-second hit, to move to eighth. We will get back under way when the track is dried off and the rain has moved past Atlanta Dragway. 

***

Robert Hight took over the No. 1 spot when qualifying resumed at the Arby’s NHRA Southern Nationals with a 3.92-second hit. That put him two-hundredths ahead of previous pole-sitter J.R. Todd and three-hundredths ahead of teammate and birthday boy John Force. 

PRO STOCK MOTORCYCLE

Pro Stock Motorcycle Q3: Eddie Krawiec rode past teammate Andrew Hines to take over pole position at the Arby’s NHRA Southern Nationals. Hines was ahead of Krawiec at 60-feet and 330-feet, but Krawiec crept away from Hines the further down the track the Harley-Davidson duo went and leads his teammate by .004-second with one session remaining. 

Hector Arana Jr. is .01-second behind Krawiec (and .006-second behind Hines) and earned one bonus point for being the third-quickest bike in the penultimate Pro Stock Motorcycle session. Angelle Sampey, the third Harley-Davidson rider, improved by more than a hundredth to get into the quick half of the field. Kelly Clontz continues to hold onto the bump spot with a 7.076, an improvement of two-hundredths of a second.