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VIDEO: John Force bolts to top of Funny Car field on Friday in Bristol

16-time champion John Force is the provisional polesitter at the NHRA Thunder Valley nationals. Watch the qualifying highlights here.
14 Jun 2019
Jacob Sundstrom, NHRA National Dragster Associate Editor
Race coverage
John Force

John Force made the second run of the second qualifying session to the tune of a 3.911-second pass at 326.95 mph – and it became apparent the moment Robert Hight’s 3.998-second pass fell from the No. 1 spot that the track record, a 3.88, was in jeopardy of getting leveled as well. 

That never materialized. Force held onto the No. 1 qualifying position, which is provisional until the end of Saturday, when warmer weather will all but assuredly give Force the 158th pole of his career. Hight and tuner Jimmy Prock had one opportunity to steal the pole back but smoked the tires at about 300 feet down the track, giving the boss another moment in the Sun. 

Related: Funny Car Qualifying Order

Bob Tasca III took the next shot at the track, following his former boss (well, racing boss) with a 3.959 in his Eric Lane/Jon Schaffer tuned Funny Car. The Ford Motorcraft team is still battling for a spot in the Countdown to the Championship and is fighting to qualify in the top half of the field in back-to-back races for just the second time all season. He qualified No. 6 at the Menards NHRA Heartland Nationals and broke a two-race losing streak by advancing to the second round with a win over Cruz Pedregon.

Shawn Langdon made the second-best run of the session, a 3.944-second hit at 324.51 mph that earned him a pair of bonus points and a shot at his best qualifying position of the season. He qualified fourth in Chicago at the Route 66 NHRA Nationals and is on a stretch of five races of qualifying in the top half of the field. 

Terry Haddock ran a 4.156 in his first run of the weekend, missing his career best (4.093) by a little more than five hundredths of a second. The team, which brought on Johnny West a couple of months ago, continues to improve as it picks its spots in terms of which qualifying sessions to participate with.