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Flav-R-Pac NHRA Northwest Nationals Saturday preview

It’ll be another warm day at Pacific Raceways for Day 2 of the Flav-R-Pac NHRA Northwest Nationals with temperatures again predicted to be in the mid-90s and two qualifying sessions scheduled to set the fields for Sunday’s eliminations.
30 Jul 2022
Phil Burgess, NHRA National Dragster Editor
Race coverage
Flav-R-Pac NHRA Northwest Nationals

It’ll be another warm day at Pacific Raceways for Day 2 of the Flav-R-Pac NHRA Northwest Nationals with temperatures again predicted to be in the mid-90s at an event that some racers have jokingly dubbed “the North Sweat Nationals.”

Two qualifying sessions are scheduled today to set the fields for Sunday’s eliminations, where champions will be crowned here for the first time since 2019.

World champ Steve Torrence, hoping to break a seasonlong win drought, leads the Top Fuel field into battle from the pole position after a 3.819 pass in Friday’s lone session. The tea has been working on a new tune-up since the season started and Torrence believes they’re getting close to perfecting it, and this weekend’s hot weather will let them learn how to run in the late-summer hat that will mark the last four events of the regular season.

Perennial low qualifier Brittany Force finds herself in the unfamiliar No. 10 spot after a rough 4.30 pass Friday but you can bet that she’ll be out to shine today for her sponsor, which also in the event sponsor, as she seeks to maintain her slim points leader over Mike Salinas.

With just 12 cars entered for the event, qualifying No. 1 could lead to a semifinal bye run for the polesitter (or, potentially, anyone else in the top half of the restructured eliminations ladder: Nos. 1, 12, 6, or 7) so you can bet that Bob Tasca III would love to hold onto his top spot.

Tasca, who won his first race of the season and the 10th of his career last weekend in Sonoma, clocked a solid 3.965, one of just two three-second passes Friday. Alexis DeJoria (3.99) had the only other car to make a sub-four-second pass, although seven cars followed them in the 4.0-second zone.

Pro Stock points leader Erica Enders fronts the Pro Stock field with her Elite Camaro, and, like Tasca, she’ll hope to stay there as Pro Stock’s 15-car field will reward a first-round bye to the No. 1 qualifier.

Enders grabbed the No. 1 spot with a 6.608 that was matched by world champ Greg Anderson, but Enders’ superior speed gave her the No. 1 spot. She acknowledged that her run was not perfect and that there’s still more performance untapped, so it’s a good bet that the battle for No. 1 will continue through both sessions today.

Track records: 
Top Fuel - 3.685 sec. by Antron Brown, Aug. ’16; 331.61 mph by Steve Torrence, Aug. ‘18.
Funny Car – 3.832 sec. by Del Worsham Aug. ’16; 334.15 mph by Jack Beckman, Aug. ’16.
Pro Stock - 6.488 sec. by Chris McGaha, Aug. ’15; 213.40 mph by C. McGaha, Aug. ’15.

2019 event winners: 
Austin Prock, Top Fuel; John Force, Funny Car; Matt Hartford, Pro Stock.

Most victories
Joe Amato, 5, TF; John Force, 9, FC; Bob Glidden, 6

NHRA Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series racing starts at 9:45 a.m.
NHRA Camping World Drag Racing Series: two rounds of qualifying, at 1:15 and 4 p.m. 

Saturday, July 30: FS1 will televise one hour of qualifying coverage at 2 p.m. (ET).
Sunday, July 31: FS1 will televise one-and-a-half hours of qualifying coverage at 2:30 p.m. (ET).
Sunday, July 31: FOX will televise three hours of live finals coverage at 4 p.m. (ET).