Following an exciting day of qualifying, the E3 Spark Plugs NHRA Nationals concludes with Sunday eliminations at 9 a.m. (EDT). The qualifying leaders in each of the four Mello Yello series professional classes include Steve Torrence (Top Fuel), Tommy Johnson Jr. (Funny Car), Jason Line (Pro Stock) and Eddie Krawiec (Pro Stock Motorcycle). Although there hasn't been an NHRA national event in nearly five months its worth noting that Torrence and Johnson both graced the winner's circle the last time NHRA held an event at Wild Horse Pass Motorsports Park near Phoenix.
More racers seem to approve of the two-round qualifying format although it made for some tense moments on Saturday. World champion Funny Car drivers Jack Beckman and Ron Capps each flirted with a rare DNQ before securing spots int the field. Likewise, the battle for spots in Pro Stock was furious with 21 drivers competing for just 16 positions but in the end, every driver currently in the top ten made the show. It's also worth noting that with no Countdown to the Championship, every round win counts towards the season-long championship battle.
Many things about this event are different, including the scheduled 9 a.m. local start time, which should allow crew chiefs to take advantage of cooler weather conditions. Lucas Oil Raceway Indianapolis also received a significant amount of rain overnight, adding another variable to the equation.
In addition to the Mello Yello series pros, winners will also be crowned on Sunday in the Oakley Motorsports Top Dragster and Top Sportsman classes as well as the JEGS Super Quick eighth-mile series.
You can catch the action all weekend on the FOX Network (noon Eastern time) and NHRA.tv.
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Sunday, July 12 FOX tv will televise two and a half hours of final eliminations coverage at noon (ET).