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Brittany Force, J.R. Todd, Erica Enders and Matt Smith put on a show, pick up provisional No. 1 spots at Dodge NHRA Nationals presented by Pennzoil

by racedaysaeditor | Posted on Friday, November 1st, 2019

Courtesy of the NHRA

LAS VEGAS – Brittany Force made the fastest run in NHRA Top Fuel history on Friday at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, blazing to the provisional No. 1 spot during qualifying at the 19th Dodge NHRA Nationals Presented by Pennzoil.

Brittany Force. NHRA photo

J.R. Todd (Funny Car), Erica Enders (Pro Stock) and Matt Smith (Pro Stock Motorcycle) are also provisional No. 1 qualifiers in their respective categories at the fifth of six races in the 2019 NHRA Mello Yello Countdown to the Championship playoffs. The race also serves as the penultimate event of the 24-race 2019 NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series season.

Force’s run of 3.659-seconds in her Advance Auto Parts dragster set the track E.T. record in Las Vegas, while the speed of 338.17 mph gave the former world champ the fastest run in Top Fuel history. It also gives Force both ends of the national record after she made the quickest run in history earlier this year. If it holds, Force would earn her ninth No. 1 qualifier of 2019 and 19th overall. She is also in line for her third top qualifier in the playoffs and fifth in the last seven races.

J.R. Todd. NHRA photo

“A 3.65 is pretty outstanding here in Vegas and this is one of my favorite tracks on the circuit,” said Force, who is third in points. “I would love to win here and we’re off to a great start. We’ll take those bonus points and now we have the speed record, which is pretty awesome. I knew on the other end that was freaking fast and I knew it was a killer run. We need to get that win if we want to go after a championship. We’re in a good position right now, but we have to win this thing.”

Billy Torrence, who won the most recent race to jump into the championship conversation, grabbed the second spot with a 3.662 at 332.34, and Leah Pritchett is third after going 3.681 at 328.38. Points leader Steve Torrence currently sits 10th with a 3.765 at 320.05.

Erica Enders. NHRA photo

Todd, the defending Funny Car world champ, continued to perform well in Las Vegas, grabbing the No. 1 spot on Friday with a blistering pass of 3.856 at 333.58 in his DHL Toyota Camry. Todd, who won in Vegas a year ago en route to his first career world title, is eyeing his third top qualifier this season and 13th in his career. Tommy Johnson Jr. is right behind in second after an impressive run of 3.858 at 327.35, and Bob Tasca III, who went to the final round at the most recent event, is third with a 3.862 at 332.02.

Points leader Robert Hight is currently sixth with a 3.876 at 332.84, while the two drivers closest to him in the points standings, Jack Beckman and John Force, qualified fifth and fourth, respectively.

Matt Smith. NHRA photo

Pro Stock points leader Enders continued to dominate qualifying in the Mello Yello Countdown to the Championship, moving into the top spot with a run of 6.587 at 208.46 in her Melling Performance/Elite Motorsports Chevrolet Camaro. If it holds, it would be Enders’ fourth No. 1 qualifier in five playoff races and 23rd overall. Seeking her third world title, Enders’ two previous title seasons included wins at the fall Vegas race. Bo Butner is second after his run of 6.591 at 208.68, while Greg Anderson, who won the most recent event, went 6.598 at 207.62 to sit third.

Defending Pro Stock Motorcycle world champ Smith set both ends of the track record on his Denso Auto Parts/Stockseth/MSR EBR with a 6.842 at 198.64. Smith, who is looking for his first playoff win in 2019, is in line for his sixth No. 1 this season and 37th in his career. Steve Johnson is second after his 6.872 of 193.93 and Angelle Sampey is a spot behind thanks to her 6.877 at 193.90. Points leader Andrew Hines qualified seventh on Friday with a run of 6.907 at 194.86.

Qualifying continues Saturday at the Dodge NHRA Nationals Presented by Pennzoil at 12:45 p.m. PT.

Media Center Interviews:

Brittany Force –

 

J.R. Todd –

 

Erica Enders –

 

Matt Smith –

 

LAS VEGAS — Friday’s results after the first two of four rounds of qualifying for the 19th annual Dodge NHRA Nationals presented by Pennzoil at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, 23rd of 24 events in the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series.  Qualifying will continue Saturday for Sunday’s final eliminations.

Top Fuel — 1. Brittany Force, 3.659 seconds, 338.17 mph; 2. Billy Torrence, 3.662, 332.34; 3. Leah Pritchett, 3.681, 328.38; 4. Mike Salinas, 3.682, 329.34; 5. Richie Crampton, 3.709, 327.03; 6. Terry McMillen, 3.714, 326.00; 7. Austin Prock, 3.726, 330.96; 8. Shawn Reed, 3.736, 321.04; 9. Doug Kalitta, 3.751, 329.67; 10. Steve Torrence, 3.765, 320.05; 11. Clay Millican, 3.811, 322.04; 12. Antron Brown, 3.888, 250.41; 13. Cameron Ferre, 3.942, 299.33; 14. Troy Buff, 3.945, 261.88; 15. Cory McClenathan, 4.110, 278.40; 16. Scott Palmer, 4.112, 226.32.

Not Qualified: 17. Justin Ashley, 4.136, 213.98; 18. Chris Karamesines, 4.323, 200.29; 19. Rob Passey, 9.116, 84.36; 20. Jim Maroney, 11.078, 66.14.

Funny Car — 1. J.R. Todd, Toyota Camry, 3.856, 333.58; 2. Tommy Johnson Jr., Dodge Charger, 3.858, 327.35; 3. Bob Tasca III, Ford Mustang, 3.862, 332.02; 4. John Force, Chevy Camaro, 3.866, 329.02; 5. Jack Beckman, Charger, 3.872, 335.90; 6. Robert Hight, Camaro, 3.876, 332.84; 7. Tim Wilkerson, Mustang, 3.880, 326.56; 8. Paul Lee, Charger, 3.881, 332.67; 9. Ron Capps, Charger, 3.902, 329.67; 10. Shawn Langdon, Camry, 3.907, 331.61; 11. Matt Hagan, Charger, 3.915, 330.31; 12. Cruz Pedregon, Charger, 3.920, 329.10; 13. Jonnie Lindberg, Mustang, 4.013, 286.62; 14. Terry Haddock, Mustang, 4.149, 264.49; 15. Jim Campbell, Charger, 4.413, 206.10; 16. Steven Densham, Mustang, 6.241, 110.66.  

Not Qualified: 17. Jeff Arend, 8.177, 82.78.

Pro Stock — 1. Erica Enders, Chevy Camaro, 6.587, 208.46; 2. Bo Butner, Camaro, 6.591, 208.68; 3. Greg Anderson, Camaro, 6.598, 207.62; 4. Deric Kramer, Camaro, 6.600, 208.07; 5. Jeg Coughlin, Camaro, 6.602, 208.52; 6. Chris McGaha, Camaro, 6.603, 208.78; 7. Jason Line, Camaro, 6.611, 208.33; 8. Aaron Stanfield, Camaro, 6.620, 208.65; 9. Matt Hartford, Camaro, 6.620, 206.23; 10. Alex Laughlin, Camaro, 6.621, 207.91; 11. Kenny Delco, Camaro, 6.622, 207.91; 12. Fernando Cuadra, Camaro, 6.627, 208.01; 13. Shane Tucker, Camaro, 6.667, 205.44; 14. Val Smeland, Camaro, 6.668, 207.08; 15. Steve Graham, Camaro, 6.678, 205.94; 16. Cristian Cuadra, Ford Mustang, 6.702, 203.40.

Not Qualified: 17. Joey Grose, 6.730, 205.07; 18. Richie Stevens, 6.766, 203.49; 19. Fernando Cuadra Jr., 6.844, 202.15.

Pro Stock Motorcycle — 1. Matt Smith, EBR, 6.842, 198.64; 2. Steve Johnson, Suzuki, 6.872, 193.93; 3. Angelle Sampey, Harley-Davidson, 6.877, 193.90; 4. Eddie Krawiec, Harley-Davidson, 6.880, 196.07; 5. Jerry Savoie, Suzuki, 6.894, 194.46; 6. Karen Stoffer, Suzuki, 6.896, 195.22; 7. Andrew Hines, Harley-Davidson, 6.907, 194.86; 8. Scotty Pollacheck, EBR, 6.924, 194.16; 9. Ryan Oehler, EBR, 6.942, 194.55; 10. Angie Smith, EBR, 6.949, 191.38; 11. Kelly Clontz, Suzuki, 6.991, 190.86; 12. Melissa Surber, Buell, 6.991, 189.66; 13. Hector Arana, EBR, 7.029, 193.74; 14. Hector Arana Jr, EBR, 7.043, 192.00; 15. Ron Tornow, Buell, 7.048, 182.92; 16. Katie Sullivan, Suzuki, 7.049,

191.78.

Not Qualified: 17. Jianna Salinas, 7.075, 188.57; 18. Eiji Kawakami, 7.180, 188.20; 19. Andie Rawlings, 7.926, 129.27.

 

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