NHRA - National Hot Rod Association


Salinas, Tasca, Anderson and Gladstone retain number-one qualifying positions going into Sunday

During Saturday’s qualifying from the 2022 Menards NHRA Nationals Presented By PetArmor, where air temperatures were likened to the surface of the sun, man and machine coped with the heat in preparation for race day.
13 Aug 2022
David Kennedy
Race coverage
Salinas, Tasca, Anderson and Gladstone retain their number-one qualifying positions going into raceday

Race cars are built to battle heat in all its forms. With horsepower comes an inferno that must be channeled into race-winning work. On days like Saturday’s qualifying from the 2022 Menards NHRA Nationals Presented by PetArmor, we see that NHRA race cars now handle the heat better than the drivers. Greg Anderson and Bob Tasca III were both heard likening today’s conditions to that of the surface of the sun. Yet they were both amazed at how stable and consistent the track remained all day.

The challenge of handling the heat reminded us of this line from John F. Kennedy’s “Moon speech,” given on the football field at Rice University in 1961. Kennedy was talking about a Saturn V rocket, but the similarities to NHRA Camping World Drag Racing Series cars seem appropriate.

We’re paraphrasing: "[We’re going to build a craft] capable of standing heat and stresses several times more than have ever been experienced, fitted together with a precision better than the finest watch, carrying all the equipment needed for propulsion, guidance, control, communications, and survival…causing heat about half that of the temperature of the sun—almost as hot as it is here today—and do all this, and do it right, and do it first…then we must be bold.”

Bob Tasca III's boldness continues to grow. He powered to the number-one qualifying spot for the second straight race on Saturday at Heartland Motorsports Park, securing the top position in Funny Car at the 33rd annual Menards NHRA Nationals presented by PetArmor. Tasca’s run of 3.930-seconds at 323.81 mph in his Ford Mustang held up from Friday, giving the veteran his ninth career No. 1 qualifier. He’ll look for his second win in three races on Sunday, as well as his first career victory in Topeka.

“That track is so good out there and this air is so hard to make power, but this Mustang showed them we’re out here making some real horsepower,” Tasca said. “Hats off to the guys, but I’ll tell you one thing, we got a yellow (No. 1 qualifier) hat in Seattle, and we didn’t get to trade it in for a blue (winner’s) hat. Tomorrow, we want to trade this thing in for a blue hat.”

Mike Salinas (Top Fuel), Greg Anderson (Pro Stock) and Joey Gladstone (Pro Stock Motorcycle) also qualified No. 1 at the 14th of 22 races during the 2022 NHRA Camping World Drag Racing Series season. Salinas, a four-time winner this year, clinched his third No. 1 qualifier of 2022 on the strength of a 3.754 at 323.19 from Friday in his dragster.

Anderson picked up his second straight No. 1 with his 6.623 at 205.44 from Friday in his Chevrolet Camaro. It’s also the defending world champ’s 120th career No. 1 qualifier.

Gladstone, the most recent event winner in the class, earned his first career No. 1 qualifier thanks to Friday’s run of 6.831 at 195.08 on his Suzuki.

Track records: 
Top Fuel - 3.660 seconds by Tony Schumacher, May 2017; 334.90 mph by Clay Millican, May 2018
Funny Car – 3.802 seconds by Matt Hagan, May 2017; 338.85 mph by Matt Hagan, May 2017
Pro Stock - 6.515 seconds by Erica Enders, May 2015; 211.43 mph by Erica Enders, May 2015
Pro Stock Motorcycle-7.381 seconds by Matt Hines, Sept. 1997; 182.88 mph by Matt Hines, Sept. 1996

2021 event winners: 
Brittany Force, John Force, Dallas Glenn

Most victories
Scott Kalitta, 6, TF; John Force, 10, FC; Warren Johnson, 5; John Meyers, 4

Sunday's schedule: 
NHRA Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series eliminations begin at 8:00 a.m.
NHRA Camping World Drag Racing Series eliminations begin at 10:30 a.m.

Sunday, August 14: FS1 will televise qualifying coverage at 1:00 to 2:00 p.m. (ET).
Sunday, August 14: FS1 will televise finals coverage at 2:00 to 5:00 p.m. (ET).