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Robert Hight, Steve Torrence, Aaron Stanfield and Matt Smith take provisional No. 1 spots at DENSO Spark Plugs NHRA Four-Wide Nationals in Las Vegas

by racedaysaeditor | Posted on Saturday, April 17th, 2021

Courtesy of the NHRA

LAS VEGAS – Robert Hight put together a standout performance in Funny Car on Friday, racing to the provisional No. 1 spot in NHRA Camping World Drag Racing Series action at the DENSO Spark Plugs NHRA Four-Wide Nationals at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

Robert Hight on Friday at the Denso Spark Plugs Four-Wide Nationals at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. NHRA photo

Steve Torrence (Top Fuel), Aaron Stanfield (Pro Stock) and Matt Smith (Pro Stock Motorcycle) are also provisional No. 1 qualifiers in their respective categories at the second race of the 2021 NHRA Camping World Drag Racing Series season.

It is also the first four-wide race in the NHRA in two years and Hight didn’t waste any time jumping to the top spot, powering to a run of 3.922-seconds at 327.59 mph in his 11,000-horsepower Auto Club Chevrolet Camaro SS. If it holds, it would be his 69th career No. 1 qualifier. After racing to the runner-up spot at the season-opener in Gainesville, Hight was motivated to get back to racing in Las Vegas and that was apparent on Friday.

Steve Torrence on Friday at the Denso Spark Plugs Four-Wide Nationals at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. NHRA photo

“I’m glad we’re back finally running a schedule that’s a little more normal,” Hight said. “A month off after a runner-up finish is not much fun because, honestly, I lost that as a driver in the final. J.R. (Todd) did a better job (in the final round at Gainesville), I’ve thought about it 1,000 times in my mind, and I’m ready to get back out there and start racing and redeem myself.”

Defending world champ Matt Hagan claimed the No. 2 spot on Friday with a run of 3.946 at 325.22 and John Force is currently third after going 3.954 at 324.75.

Aaron Stanfield on Friday at the Denso Spark Plugs Four-Wide Nationals at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. NHRA photo

Steve Torrence rocketed to the No. 1 position in Top Fuel with a run of 3.741 at 328.94 in his 11,000-horsepower Capco Contractors dragster in the final quad of the day. If it holds, it would give Torrence, who has won three straight Top Fuel world titles, the top spot for the second consecutive race and the 29th time in his standout career. Clay Millican sits second, seeking his first career four-wide victory, with a 3.788 at 321.58, while Shawn Langdon is third with his 3.796 at 310.05.

In Pro Stock, rising star Aaron Stanfield led the way and looks to track down his first career No. 1 qualifier in the class. Stanfield, who picked up his first career win in Pro Stock late last year, went 6.671 at 205.66 in his Janac Brothers Racing Chevrolet Camaro to make the top run on Friday, putting him in prime position to finish in the top spot for the first time in his young career. Points leader Greg Anderson, who won the opening race of the season, is currently second after going 6.683 at 205.01 and second-year driver Mason McGaha is a spot behind with his run of 6.686 at 205.41 in the same quad.

Matt Smith on Friday at the Denso Spark Plugs Four-Wide Nationals at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. NHRA photo

It was the Matt and Angie Smith show in Pro Stock Motorcycle qualifying on Friday, as M. Smith took the top spot and his wife followed in second. It’s an ideal start for both considering it is their sponsor’s race, and M. Smith continues to impress to open his 2021 campaign. The defending world champ started the year with a win in Gainesville and ran well on his Denso Auto Parts/Stockseth/Matt Smith Racing EBR in Las Vegas, going 6.891 at 195.96. If it holds up, it would give M. Smith his first top qualifier of the year and the 44th in his standout career. A. Smith, who won in Vegas to close out the 2020 season, is currently second with a run of 6.909 at 195.51, and teammate Scotty Pollacheck is third thanks to his 6.939 at 195.17.

Qualifying continues Saturday at the DENSO Spark Plugs NHRA Four-Wide Nationals at 1:00 p.m. PT.

LAS VEGAS — Results Friday after the first one of three rounds of qualifying for the 21st annual DENSO Spark Plug NHRA Four-Wide Nationals at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, second of 22 events in the NHRA Camping World Drag Racing Series. Qualifying will continue Saturday for Sunday’s final eliminations.

Top Fuel — 1. Steve Torrence, 3.741 seconds, 328.94 mph; 2. Clay Millican, 3.788, 321.58; 3. Shawn Langdon, 3.796, 310.05; 4. Billy Torrence, 3.800, 323.04; 5. Justin Ashley, 3.821, 301.20; 6. Greg Carrillo, 3.827, 317.49; 7. Antron Brown, 3.840, 314.83; 8. Leah Pruett, 3.938, 260.51; 9. Jim Maroney, 4.014, 305.98; 10. Troy Buff, 4.667, 163.95; 11. Brittany Force, 5.067, 133.74; 12. Todd Paton, 5.272, 134.90; 13. Cameron Ferre, 6.305, 107.62. Not Qualified: 14. Doug Kalitta, DQ’ed.

Funny Car — 1. Robert Hight, Chevy Camaro, 3.922, 327.59; 2. Matt Hagan, Dodge Charger, 3.946, 325.22; 3. John Force, Camaro, 3.954, 324.75; 4. Cruz Pedregon, Charger, 3.960, 323.50; 5. Bob Tasca III, Ford Mustang, 3.963, 325.77; 6. J.R. Todd, Toyota Camry, 3.980, 325.14; 7. Tim Wilkerson, Mustang, 3.998, 314.24; 8. Blake Alexander, Mustang, 4.049, 273.33; 9. Alexis DeJoria, Camry, 4.089, 264.49; 10. Jim Campbell, Charger, 4.090, 305.49; 11. Chad Green, Mustang, 4.122, 300.86; 12. Terry Haddock, Mustang, 4.159, 299.06; 13. Chris Morel, Charger, 4.183, 270.21; 14. Bobby Bode, Mustang, 4.608, 178.50; 15. Jonnie Lindberg, Mustang, 5.147, 157.71; 16. Ron Capps, Charger, 6.844, 98.23. Not Qualified: 17. Alex Miladinovich, 7.732, 86.31; 18. Jeff Diehl, 9.574, 64.91; 19. Steven Densham, 18.483, 889.91.

Pro Stock — 1. Aaron Stanfield, Chevy Camaro, 6.671, 205.66; 2. Greg Anderson, Camaro, 6.683, 205.01; 3. Mason McGaha, Camaro, 6.686, 205.41; 4. Deric Kramer, Camaro, 6.686, 205.22; 5. Aaron Strong, Camaro, 6.689, 204.79; 6. Troy Coughlin Jr., Camaro, 6.696, 204.39; 7. Val Smeland, Camaro, 6.705, 205.22; 8. Chris McGaha, Camaro, 6.705, 205.01; 9. Kyle Koretsky, Camaro, 6.707, 204.85; 10. Kenny Delco, Camaro, 6.712, 205.41; 11. Fernando Cuadra Jr., Ford Mustang, 6.735, 203.86; 12. Alex Laughlin, Camaro, 6.740, 204.76; 13. Dallas Glenn, Camaro, 6.756, 204.42; 14. Alan Prusiensky, Dodge Dart, 7.180, 157.95; 15. Matt Hartford, Camaro, 15.942, 63.27; 16. Erica Enders, Camaro, 16.321, 79.69. Not Qualified: 17. Cristian Cuadra, 16.643, 48.28; 18. Fernando Cuadra, 23.024, 30.91.

Pro Stock Motorcycle — 1. Matt Smith, EBR, 6.891, 195.96; 2. Angie Smith, EBR, 6.909, 195.51; 3. Scotty Pollacheck, EBR, 6.939, 195.17; 4. Ryan Oehler, EBR, 6.953, 193.24; 5. Steve Johnson, Suzuki, 6.962, 192.77; 6. Chip Ellis, Harley-Davidson, 6.970, 193.54; 7. Karen Stoffer, Suzuki, 6.985, 192.74; 8. Cory Reed, Suzuki, 7.070, 191.81; 9. Freddie Camarena, Suzuki, 7.134, 189.68; 10. Jerry Savoie, Suzuki, 7.515, 178.24; 11. Angelle Sampey, Suzuki, 7.880, 187.86; 12. Kelly Clontz, Suzuki, 10.710, 96.35.

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