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Schumacher, C. Force, Anderson and Arana Jr. hold onto No. 1 qualifiers at Virginia Motorsports Park

by Mike Haag | Posted on Saturday, June 9th, 2018

Courtesy of the NHRA

DINWIDDIE, Va. — Tony Schumacher was able to parlay his strong Friday qualifying pass to secure the Top Fuel No. 1 qualifier at the inaugural Virginia NHRA Nationals in front of a sellout crowd at Virginia Motorsports Park.

Tony Schumacher. NHRA photo

Courtney Force (Funny Car), Greg Anderson (Pro Stock), and Hector Arana Jr. (Pro Stock Motorcycle) are also No. 1 qualifiers in their respective categories at the 10th of 24 events on the 2018 NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series schedule.

Schumacher powered to the top spot with a run of 3.777-seconds at a track record 327.51 mph in his U.S. Army dragster during the second qualifying session on Friday. The eight-time world champion now has three No. 1 qualifiers on the season, while he chases his first event win of the year.

“We are going to figure out what the track can take tomorrow since it should be a hot day, which is exactly what we want,” Schumacher said. “We have an incredible team, we are continuing to figure things out and trying to get our first win since last year.”

Courtney Force. NHRA photo

Defending Top Fuel world champion Brittany Force qualified second as she prepares for Bill Litton on Sunday.

Force remained atop the Funny Car lead with a pass of 3.983 at 323.35 in her Advance Auto Parts Chevrolet Camaro recorded during her second qualifying run of the weekend. The current points leader secured her sixth No. 1 qualifier of the year and fourth in the past five events.

“My team has been incredible, and having a consistent racecar like this has us feeling good going into race day,” Force said. “It feels awesome to have a No. 1 qualifier hat but it is important for us to continue to go rounds and hopefully end up in the winner’s circle.”

She will face-off against Jeff Diehl in the first round.

Greg Anderson. NHRA photo

Teammate Robert Hight finds himself qualified second for eliminations as he prepares for Cruz Pedregon who looks to rebound after an explosion during the third round of qualifying.

Anderson retained the top spot in Pro Stock after driving to a 6.571 at 210.67 in his Summit Racing Equipment Chevrolet Camaro during the last pass on Friday. The four-time world champion locked in his sixth No. 1 qualifying spot of the season and second consecutive.

“Even though it’s been hot this weekend, this wonderful racetrack is not going to change by tomorrow so we know that can only get better,” Anderson said. “This is a wonderful class right now with competition through the roof, so we know every pair is going to run well and it will be an exciting day.”

Hector Arana Jr. NHRA photo

He matches up with Tommy Lee for Sunday’s eliminations.

The defending Pro Stock world champion Bo Butner qualified second and will go head-to-head with Wally Stroupe in eliminations.

The Pro Stock Motorcycle class is led by Hector Arana Jr., who used a 6.795 at 198.15 on his Lucas Oil Racing TV EBR from his second qualifying run on Friday to lead the pack throughout Saturday. He is set to take on Kelly Clontz in the first round on Sunday.

“We are always trying to run faster each round, but we wanted to figure out which direction we needed to go on Sunday,” Arana Jr. said. “Tonight, we will go through all of the data and notes and try to put a winning combination together for tomorrow.”

Andrew Hines qualified second and prepares for Hector Arana in the first round.

Eliminations begin at 12:00 p.m. on Sunday at Virginia Motorsports Park. 

Media Center Interviews:

Tony Schumacher –


Courtney Force –


Greg Anderson –


Hector Arana Jr. –


DINWIDDIE, Va. — Sunday’s first-round pairings for eliminations for the Inaugural Virginia NHRA Nationals at Virginia Motorsports Park, the 10th of 24 events in the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series. Pairings based on results in qualifying, which ended Saturday. DNQs listed below pairings.

Top Fuel — 1. Tony Schumacher, 3.777 seconds, 327.51 mph vs. Bye; 2. Brittany Force, 3.808, 324.75 vs. 15. Bill Litton, broke; 3. Terry McMillen, 3.816, 323.81 vs. 14. Terry Haddock, 4.249, 215.68; 4. Doug Kalitta, 3.827, 320.36 vs. 13. Dan Mercier, 3.946, 318.39; 5. Leah Pritchett, 3.830, 320.05 vs. 12. Clay Millican, 3.907, 306.05; 6. Steve Torrence, 3.837, 323.81 vs. 11. Scott Palmer, 3.891, 320.05; 7. Mike Salinas, 3.841, 321.19 vs. 10. Antron Brown, 3.878, 319.14; 8. Richie Crampton, 3.863, 314.46 vs. 9. Dom Lagana, 3.869, 323.81. 

Funny Car — 1. Courtney Force, Chevy Camaro, 3.983, 323.35 0vs. 16. Jeff Diehl, Toyota Solara, 4.280, 289.38; 2. Robert Hight, Camaro, 4.039, 318.39 vs. 15. Cruz Pedregon, Toyota Camry, 4.158, 289.94; 3. Ron Capps, Dodge Charger, 4.039, 318.02 vs. 14. Tim Wilkerson, Ford Mustang, 4.152, 302.14; 4. J.R. Todd, Camry, 4.042, 316.15 vs. 13. Bob Tasca III, Mustang, 4.115, 284.75; 5. Jack Beckman, Charger, 4.053, 312.06 vs. 12. Del Worsham, Camry, 4.113, 312.28; 6. Jonnie Lindberg, Mustang, 4.057, 310.98 vs. 11. Matt Hagan, Charger, 4.088, 315.56; 7. John Force, Camaro, 4.065, 317.12 vs. 10. Tommy Johnson Jr., Charger, 4.083, 314.83; 8. Jim Campbell, Charger, 4.070, 311.34 vs. 9. Shawn Langdon, Camry, 4.080, 315.78. 

Did Not Qualify: 17. John Smith, 4.356, 255.19; 18. Phil Burkart, 5.009, 159.89. 

Pro Stock — 1. Greg Anderson, Chevy Camaro, 6.571, 210.67 vs. 16. Tommy Lee, Camaro, 6.951, 198.41; 2. Bo Butner, Camaro, 6.575, 210.14 vs. 15. Wally Stroupe, Camaro, 6.765, 203.80; 3. Jeg Coughlin, Camaro, 6.579, 209.30 vs. 14. John Gaydosh Jr, Chevrolet Camaro, 6.720, 205.98; 4. Vincent Nobile, Camaro, 6.580, 209.62 vs. 13. Val Smeland, Camaro, 6.681, 207.43; 5. Tanner Gray, Camaro, 6.585, 209.92 vs. 12. Kenny Delco, Camaro, 6.657, 208.01; 6. Chris McGaha, Camaro, 6.590, 209.69 vs. 11. Buddy Perkinson, Camaro, 6.627, 209.26; 7. Alex Laughlin, Camaro, 6.591, 209.49 vs. 10. Erica Enders, Camaro, 6.601, 209.82; 8. Jason Line, Camaro, 6.598, 209.69 vs. 9. Drew Skillman, Camaro, 6.599, 209.82. 

Pro Stock Motorcycle — 1. Hector Arana Jr, Buell, 6.795, 199.14 vs. 16. Kelly Clontz, Suzuki, 6.969, 193.10; 2. Andrew Hines, Harley-Davidson, 6.833, 197.02 vs. 15. Hector Arana, Buell, 6.967, 196.70; 3. Matt Smith, Victory, 6.837, 194.69 vs. 14. Cory Reed, Buell, 6.936, 193.05; 4. Eddie Krawiec, Harley-Davidson, 6.850, 195.99 vs. 13. Mark Paquette, Buell, 6.932, 193.74; 5. LE Tonglet, Suzuki, 6.858, 195.39 vs. 12. John Hall, Buell, 6.929, 192.44; 6. Jerry Savoie, Suzuki, 6.863, 195.11 vs. 11. Jim Underdahl, Suzuki, 6.922, 195.31; 7. Scotty Pollacheck, Suzuki, 6.872, 194.07 vs. 10. Joey Gladstone, Suzuki, 6.889, 193.49; 8. Steve Johnson, Suzuki, 6.886, 194.86 vs. 9. Angie Smith, Buell, 6.887, 193.68. 

Did Not Qualify: 17. Ryan Oehler, 6.975, 191.95; 18. Karen Stoffer, 6.987, 191.29; 19. Ron Tornow, 6.995, 190.00; 20. Angelle Sampey, 7.039, 191.84; 21. Andie Rawlings, 7.302, 179.56.0

About the Author

Mike Haag has covered motorsports in San Antonio and South Texas for more than 30 years. In addition to working for the San Antonio Express-News for nearly 28 years, Mike also has co-hosted TrackSmack with Dawn Murphy for 15 race seasons. In addition to being a writer, Mike also teaches English at Floresville High School.

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