For the second time this year, the stars of the NHRA Camping World Drag Racing Series go four-wide for eliminator glory, making for a wild and sometimes confusing final day of eliminations.
After two days of qualifying at zMAX Dragway, fields were set for the NGK NTK NHRA Four-Wide Nationals which will race to its four-wide conclusion today.
Other than running four cars at a time instead of two, the other wrinkle for the four-wide events is that the first two finishers in each “quad” advance to the next round, meaning that a driver could finish second in each of the first two rounds and still reach the final round, where anything can happen.
Brittany Force will start from the pole for the 22nd time in her career hoping to duplicate her Top Fuel win at the 2016 Four-Wide Nationals in Charlotte. She has a tough quad with quick-leaving Justin Ashley and steady Clay Millican plus Joe Morrison going against her. She didn’t make it down the track on either run Saturday, making for a big Sunday question mark.
Steve Torrence qualified No. 2, had Saturday’s best run, and has won five of the last six four-wide events between Charlotte and Las Vegas, so he’s an obvious early favorite. Doug Kalitta, who barely qualified, will also have a tough go with Gatornationals champ Josh Hart and Billy Torrence as two-thirds of his opposition, along with Kyle Wurtzel.
Shawn Langdon, who won Funny Car at the 2019 Four-Wides here, will be looking to make history as the first to win it in both nitro classes, but he’ll have to finish ahead of at least one of two Don Schumacher Racing teammates, Leah Pruett and Antron Brown, plus rookie Krista Baldwin, to advance.
First-round Top Fuel quads:
Brittany Force vs. Joe Morrison vs. Justin Ashley vs. Clay Millican
Josh Hart vs. Kyle Wurtzel vs. Billy Torrence vs. Doug D Kalitta
Steve Torrence vs. Artie Allen vs. Doug Foley vs. Mike Salinas
Leah Pruett vs. Krista Baldwin vs. Antron Brown vs. Shawn Langdon
John Force, who won the first-ever four-wide Funny Car event at zMAX in 2010 and was runner-up here in 2014 and 2018, will square off with a trio of hard-charging privateers -- Dale Creasy Jr., Mike McIntire Jr., and Dave Richards -- in round one, all eager to take down the king. McIntire and Richards both ran in the 4.0s in qualifying so they’re certainly capable.
Las Vegas four-wide winner Bob Tasca III won’t have it easy either in a quad that includes three-time world champ Robert Hight and No. 2 qualifier Alexis DeJoria but Blake Alexander in Jim He ad’s machine.
Two-time Vegas four-wide winner J.R. Todd will have to tackle tough out Tim Wilkerson as well as terry Haddock and Jim Campbell to advance while world champ Matt Hagan and teammate on Capps will seek to outlast Cruz Pedregon and Cory lee to reach the semifinals.
First-round Funny Car quads:
John Force vs. Dale Creasy Jr. vs. Mike McIntire Jr. vs. Dave Richards
J.R. Todd vs. Terry Haddock vs. Tim Wilkerson vs. Jim Campbell
Alexis DeJoria vs. Robert Hight vs. Bob Tasca III vs. Blake Alexander
Ron Capps vs. Cory Lee vs. Cruz Pedregon vs. Matt Hagan
Pro Stock points leader Greg Anderson has done just about everything in 2021, qualifying No. 1 at every race and winning two of the first three events. The only thing he hasn’t done is win the four-wide event, as he stumbled in the second-round quad in Las Vegas. He’ll try to change that on Sunday in his HendrickCars.com Chevrolet Camaro, and Anderson certainly looked impressive in qualifying, as he made three of the top four runs over the three sessions.
Erica Enders won the four-wide race in Las Vegas and had one fantastic qualifying run on Saturday, so she’ll be among the favorites as well. Aaron Stanfield was also consistent throughout qualifying in Charlotte, as was Kyle Koretsky, who is looking for his first career win.
First-round Pro Stock quads:
Greg Anderson vs. Cristian Cuadra vs. Deric Kramer vs. Troy Coughlin Jr.
Kyle Koretsky vs. Fernando Cuadra Jr. vs. Chris McGaha vs. Val Smeland
Aaron Stanfield vs. Fernando Cuadra vs. Matt Hartford vs. Dallas Glenn
Erica Enders vs. Aaron Strong vs. Mason McGaha vs. Kenny Delco
After Saturday’s historic, record-breaking qualifying sessions, what will the riders in Pro Stock Motorcycle do for an encore during eliminations on Sunday? With more ideal conditions expected, the records set on Saturday could be in jeopardy.
Eddie Krawiec posted the big speed numbers, making the fastest run in class history with his run of 203.49, but it was Scotty Pollacheck who posted the quickest time, shattering the track record with a 6.736 to qualify No. 1. He struggled on Friday but looked good on Saturday, and with both of his two career wins coming from the No. 1 spot, Pollacheck could be the favorite to win his first four-wide event.
Steve Johnson’s 6.738 from Saturday shows he’s a legitimate contender and he advanced to the final quad in Las Vegas, while Hector Arana Jr. might be one to watch as well after making two huge qualifying runs on Saturday. Without question, it should be fun to watch.
First-round Pro Stock Motorcycle quads:
Scotty Pollacheck vs. James Underdahl vs. Angie Smith vs. Karen Stoffer
Hector Arana Jr. vs. Ryan Oehler vs. Joey Gladstone vs. Angelle Sampey
Steve Johnson vs. Kelly Clontz vs. Andrew Hines vs. Chip Ellis
Matt Smith vs. Cory Reed vs. Eddie Krawiec vs. Jerry Savoie
You can catch the action all weekend on FOX Sports 1 and NHRA.tv.
Sunday, May 16, FS1 will televise qualifying coverage from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. (ET)
Sunday, May 16, FS1 will televise final eliminations from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. (ET)