After a long and rain-delayed opening day of qualifying that was ultimately rewarding as five of the six existing track record were broken, teams will enter Saturday with some trepidation and a not especially friendly weather forecast.
Points leaders Brittany Force (Top Fuel) and Matt Hagan (Funny Car) head into what is hoped will be two more qualifying sessions while Angie Smith in Pro Stock Motorcycle will try to hold on for just her second No. 1 qualifying position.
Force broke both ends of the Top Fuel track record with a pass of 3.710 at 335.82 mph in her Flav-R-Pac dragster. The speed was the eighth fastest in class history and her ninth entry on the top 10 list of speeds.
Force, already a two-time winner this season, will hope for more runs Saturday for crew chief David Grubnic to get a raceday tune-up as a series of pursuers are not far behind her field-leading pass.
Hagan, who hails from Christiansburg, Va., delighted the homestate crowd with a 3.914 at 335.82 for the provisional No. 1 in Funny Car. The speed was another track record but the e.t. was a few ticks shy of John Force’s 3.899 track record, set in 2019.
Not a lot of Funny Cars made it down the track Friday so there’s lots of work to be done for the majority of the teams if they get runs in on Saturday.
Smith, whose only other low qualifier award came last year in Sonoma, made the first (and so far only) 200-mph Pro Stock Motorcycle pass in Virginia Motorsports Park history aboard her Denso Buell but she’s also got a lot of riders chasing her, including points leader Steve Johnson and her own husband, Matt. With just 15 bikes on the grounds, holding onto the No. 1 spot would guarantee a bye run in the first round.