Justin Ashley, John Force, and Steve Johnson claimed the top spots in Top Fuel, Funny Car, and Pro Stock Motorcycle on Friday night at zMax Dragway. Now, the challenge will be to hold onto them.
Ashley, who has made a habit of running in the 3.6s lately, sits atop a very competitive Top Fuel field following a 3.669 run from his Phillips Connect dragster under the lights on Friday. Surprisingly, Ashley has never qualified No. 1 in his brief career, but that could change if he can hang on for both of Saturday’s scheduled sessions at the Circle K Four-Wide Nationals.
Leah Pruett continued her recent performance surge with a 3.686 that is good for the second spot in her Dodge Power Brokers dragster. Steve Torrence also found his way into the 3.6s with a 3.694.
Last week’s winner, Brittany Force, is currently seeded No. 7 following a 3.725. She is expected to be someone who could easily challenge Ashley for the top spot in the field.
So far, the record bump spot of 3.77 hasn’t been threatened but that could change tomorrow. Currently, the No. 16 spot is held by Tony Schumacher with a 3.895 but the top 11 dragsters have already run quicker than the old record.
While Ashley is chasing his first low qualifier, Funny Car leader John Force has a chance to pace the field for the 164th time in his amazing career. Under the lights, Force wheeled his Peak Blu Def Camaro to a 3.850 at 334.24 mph to not only lead the field, but also re-set both ends of the zMax Dragway track record.
There are few surprises in the top half of the Funny Car field as Force is followed by Houston winner Matt Hagan (3.867), Ron Capps (3.873), and Cruz Pedregon (3.876). Bob Tasca’s 3.909 holds down the top half of the field.
It takes a 3.909 to make the top half of the Funny Car field, with Bob Tasca III sitting in the No. 8 spot with his Motorcraft Quicklane Ford.
Johnson, fresh off a win in last week’s final NHRA SpringNationals in Houston, is the leader in the clubhouse following a 6.767 on his Suzuki. Johnson expected to run quicker on Friday night but never got to find out after his bike experienced an oil leak on the starting line.
Three-time world champ Angelle Sampey matched Johnson’s elapsed time with a 6.767 of her own but ran two miles-per-hour slower so she’s currently the No. 2 seed.
Reigning world champ Matt Smith, a runner-up a week ago in Houston, ran a competitive 6.837 on his Suzuki, but he’s currently in the No. 9 spot while his wife Angie is eighth with a 6.825.
Saturday’s packed scheduled will also include eliminations in the Lucas Oil Series sportsman classes as well as the conclusion of qualifying in the FuelTech Pro Mod series and Constant Aviation Factory Stock Showdown.
You can catch the action all weekend on FOX Sports 1 and NHRA.tv.
You can follow NHRA on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram to get a closer look at the action.
2021 EVENT WINNERS
Steve Torrence, Top Fuel; John Force, Funny Car; Steve Johnson, Pro Stock Motorcycle.
3.662 seconds by Brittany Force, May 2021; 332.92 mph by Brittany Force, April, 2022
3.850 seconds by John Force, April 2022; 334.24 mph by John Force, Oct. 2019.
PRO STOCK MOTORCYCLE
6.729 seconds by Steve Johnson, May 2021; 203.49 mph by Eddie Krawiec, May 2021
NHRA Camping World Drag Racing Series qualifying will feature two rounds of qualifying on Saturday, April 30 at 1 and 4:30 p.m. Final eliminations are scheduled for noon on Sunday, May 1.
SUNDAY May 1, FS1 will televise one hour of qualifying highlights at 11:00 a.m. (ET)
SUNDAY, May 1 FS1 will televise 3 hours of finals coverage at 7:00 p.m. (ET)