The famed NHRA Western Swing will come to its conclusion today without another sweep, but that’s not to say that a number of teams haven’t met their goals.
Top Fuel low qualifier Brittany Force’s and her Flav-R-Pac team have sown incredible resilience the last two events, struggling in qualifying and then rebounding on raceday, and the points leader hopes that the same thing will happen today. In addition to her own success – her fifth No. 1 qualifier of the season – she has to be glad to see her chief nemesis, Mike Salinas, also having his own struggles in qualifying.
For just the second time this season, Salinas will not have lane choice in round one when he squares off against Shawn Langdon, who had a great showing in qualifying with passes of 3.848, 3.856, and 3.847 while Salinas only got down the track once with a 3.87.
Funny Car polesitter Bob Tasca III will hope to continue the success his team discovered with their win last weekend in Sonoma. Their dual 3.95s lead the Funny Car pack by a solid four-hundredths of a second and with Sunday conditions expected to mirror the previous two days, he’s definitely the odds on favorite.
Tasca may have recorded two of the event’s three three-second passes – Alexis DeJoria had the other – but there were also 17 passes in the 4.0s to nip at his heels.
The battle between Greg Anderson and Erica Enders will rage on again, just as it has for the last decade. Enders beat Anderson on a holeshot in the final round in Sonoma and then qualified just ahead of him here Friday – based on top speed after identical 6.608 passes – but Anderson got the last laugh with a brutal 6.604 in Q2 to take over the qualifying lead and proclaim that he’s got the best car he’s had all year.
The final qualifying session saw a lot of the Pro Stock teams finally come to grips with the hot weather and hot track, so Anderson and Enders will have to be on their games on the starting line to fend off the challengers.
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.
Joe Amato, 5, TF; John Force, 9, FC; Bob Glidden, 6
NHRA Camping World Drag Racing Series eliminations begin at 10:30 a.m.
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).