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Brittany Force, Robert Hight, Greg Anderson and Steve Johnson claim provisional No. 1 spots at Texas NHRA Fall Nationals

by Mike Haag | Posted on Saturday, October 9th, 2021

By Mike Haag, Raceday San Antonio

ENNIS, Texas – Top Fuel dragster driver Brittany Force made a loud statement by lighting up the scoreboard in a big way on Friday night during the opening two rounds of qualifying at the 36th annual Texas NHRA Fall Nationals at the Texas Motorplex.

Brittany Force. NHRA photo

Force, behind the wheel of her Monster Energy dragster, rocketed to the top of the leaderboard with a record run of 3.637-seconds at 335.32 mph, which was the fifth quickest run in NHRA history. She also collected the Stampede of Speed $15,000 bonus awarded that was given to the low qualifier of the second session.

Force now has the provisional No. 1 spot going into Saturday’s final two rounds of qualifying which will be held at 1 p.m. and 5 p.m. The elimination rounds are set for Sunday at 11 a.m.

“That was a killer run,” Force said. “We were going for mid-3.60s, so when they told me what I ran on the top end, that was really impressive. With (crew chief) David Grubnic and Mac Savage, you can’t put that past them. They’re capable of running crazy numbers and setting records. We’re off to a good start to this weekend and the great thing is we get two more qualifying runs (Saturday).”

If Force’s time holds up Saturday, it would mark the 11th No. 1 qualifier for the 2017 Top Fuel champion.

Current points leader Steve Torrence was second fastest in his Capco Contactors dragster after posting a run clocked at 3.678 at 326.48 mph. Torrence, who is aiming for his fourth championship title, is the defending event winner here in Top Fuel at the Texas Motorplex.

Mike Salinas was third fastest with a run of 3.680 at 330.47. Other drivers who are currently in the top 16 are Justin Ashley, Billy Torrence, Josh Hart, Antron Brown, Shawn Langdon, Doug Kalitta, Alex Laughlin, Clay Millican, Leah Pruett, Krista Baldwin, Buddy Hall, Joe Morrison and Keith Hurt. Mitch King has not qualified.

Robert Hight. NHRA photo

In the Funny Car class Robert Hight grabbed the provisional his No. 1 qualifying spot by recording a run of 3.878 at 331.94 mph in his AAA Texas Chevrolet Camaro SS. Hight also claimed the $15,000 bonus that was awarded for low ET of the round.

“It was a crazy run, kind of like what the doctor ordered for this AAA Texas team, Hight said. “We’ve struggled here lately and to come out an get six extra points today for the low of each session shows that we still got it. We’ve put too much pressure on ourselves and we are just going to have fun from here on out. We are along way back but if we win three or four of these races then we are right back in this thing.”

Hight is currently tied with Tim Wilkerson for seventh in the point standings and he trails points leader Matt Hagan by 160 points. If his time holds up on Saturday it will mark his 70th No. 1 qualifier. Hight, who has 53 career wins, has won twice this season. A win here Sunday would be his fifth at the Texas Motorplex.

Ron Capps, driver of the NAPA Auto Parts Dodge SRT Hellcat, was second fastest after running a 3.882 at 329.34. Cruz Pedregon was third with a 3.892 at 325.14 and Hagan, the defending world champ and current points leader, was fourth fastest with a 3.897 at 332.34. Hagan enters the weekend fresh off a victory at St. Louis two weeks ago.

Other drivers who are currently in the top 16 are Bob Tasca III, Alexis DeJoria, Wilkerson, Jim Campbell, Blake Alexander, Terry Haddock, John Force, Jeff Arend, Paul Lee, Dale Creasy Jr., Jeff Diehl and J.R. Todd. Todd Simpson and  Jack Wyatt are not qualified.

Greg Anderson. NHRA photo

In Pro Stock qualifying points leader Greg Anderson took the provisional No. 1 spot in his HendrickCars.com Chevrolet Camaro by posting a run of 6.553 at 209.23 mph. Anderson, who made the quickest run in both sessions, collected the $2,500 bonus money.

“We had a ball tonight,” Anderson said. “I was watching the whole session and obviously being last we got to watch everyone and I talked to myself and said if I could rip off a .56 I have a chance at this thing.  I knew it was going to take something special. Obviously, my car is blazingly fast and it’s just incredible. I never thought we could run a .55.”

Anderson enters this weekend’s race leading the standings by 17 points over defending NHRA Pro Stock champion Erica Enders. Should his No. 1 qualifying hold up Saturday it would be his 10th No. 1 qualifier this season and 116 of his career. A victory Sunday would be Anderson’s 98th career win and he would become the all-time leader in the class.

Dallas Glenn was the second fastest with a run of 6.567 at 209.14. Enders, the defending world champion, was third with a time of 6.571 at 206.67.

Other drivers who are currently in the top 16 are Rodger Brogdon, Aaron Stanfield, Chris McGaha, Kyle Koretsky, Vincent Nobile, Matt Hartford, Mason McGaha, Kenny Delco, Troy Coughlin, Alan Prusiensky, Deric Kramer, Fernando Cuadra and Richie Stevens. Christian Cuadra, Fernando Cuadra Jr., John Callahan and Marty Robertson have not qualified.

Steve Johnson. NHRA photo

In Pro Stock Motorcycle qualifying Steve Johnson posted the fastest time with a 6.756 at 198.44 mph on his Mac Rak Suzuki. Matt Smith, who is ranked third in the standings, was second fastest at 6.772, followed by Sampey at 6.809, Hector Arana at 6.854 and Chris Bostick at 6.878. Johnson holds a 17-point lead over Sampey in the standings.

Smith, winner of four Pro Stock Motorcycle races this season, won the $1,500 bonus for posting the fastest time of the round. The defending champion is 30 points out of first place in the rankings.

If Johnson’s time holds on Saturday it will be his third No. 1 qualifier of the season. Johnson is seeking his first championship title.

Other drivers who are currently in the top 16 are Karen Stoffer, Jim Underdahl, Jerry Savoie, Scotty Pollacheck, Angie Smith, Joey Gladstone, Andrew Hines, Eddie Krawiec, Jianna Salinas, Ryan Oehler and Michael Phillips. Kelly Clontz, David Barron and Michael Ray have not qualified.

Interviews:

Brittany Force – 

 

Robert Hight – 

 

Greg Anderson – 

 

ENNIS, Texas — Friday’s results after the first two of four rounds of qualifying for the 36th annual Texas NHRA FallNationals at Texas Motorplex, 17th of 20 events in the NHRA Camping World Drag Racing Series. Qualifying will continue Saturday for Sunday’s final eliminations.

Top Fuel — 1. Brittany Force, 3.637 seconds, 335.32 mph; 2. Steve Torrence, 3.678, 326.48; 3. Mike Salinas, 3.680, 330.47; 4. Justin Ashley, 3.687, 329.58; 5. Billy Torrence, 3.715, 327.98; 6. Josh Hart, 3.728, 325.14; 7. Antron Brown, 3.743, 326.79; 8. Shawn Langdon, 3.754, 321.88; 9. Doug Kalitta, 3.795, 321.88; 10. Alex Laughlin, 3.796, 320.66; 11. Clay Millican, 3.809, 287.23; 12. Leah Pruett, 3.897, 268.81; 13. Krista Baldwin, 3.998, 307.79; 14. Buddy Hull, 4.220, 283.79; 15. Joe Morrison, 4.328, 215.20; 16. Keith Murt, 4.832, 164.29.

Not Qualified: 17. Mitch King, 7.243, 83.68.

Funny Car — 1. Robert Hight, Chevy Camaro, 3.878, 331.94; 2. Ron Capps, Dodge Charger, 3.882, 329.34; 3. Cruz Pedregon, Charger, 3.892, 325.14; 4. Matt Hagan, Charger, 3.897, 332.34; 5. Bob Tasca III, Ford Mustang, 3.911, 330.80; 6. Alexis DeJoria, Toyota Camry, 3.917, 327.51; 7. Tim Wilkerson, Mustang, 3.936, 327.27; 8. Jim Campbell, Charger, 3.974, 316.08; 9. Blake Alexander, Mustang, 3.986, 320.05; 10. Terry Haddock, Mustang, 4.061, 310.55; 11. John Force, Camaro, 4.122, 248.43; 12. Jeff Arend, Chevy Monte Carlo, 4.183, 248.75; 13. Paul Lee, Charger, 4.183, 247.43; 14. Dale Creasy Jr.,

Charger, 4.227, 273.05; 15. Jeff Diehl, Camry, 4.298, 231.87; 16. J.R. Todd, Camry, 4.537, 293.28.

Not Qualified: 17. Todd Simpson, 7.199, 95.93; 18. Jack Wyatt, broke.

Pro Stock — 1. Greg Anderson, Chevy Camaro, 6.553, 209.23; 2. Dallas Glenn, Camaro, 6.567, 209.14; 3. Erica Enders, Camaro, 6.571, 206.67; 4. Rodger Brogdon, Camaro, 6.580, 209.56; 5. Aaron Stanfield, Camaro, 6.591, 207.24; 6. Chris McGaha, Camaro, 6.602, 208.94; 7. Kyle Koretsky, Camaro, 6.603, 208.01; 8. Vincent Nobile, Camaro, 6.604, 206.26; 9. Matt Hartford, Camaro, 6.611, 208.62; 10. Mason McGaha, Camaro, 6.614, 208.33; 11. Kenny Delco, Camaro, 6.619, 208.52; 12. Troy Coughlin Jr., Camaro,

6.623, 206.42; 13. Alan Prusiensky, Dodge Dart, 6.632, 205.69; 14. Deric Kramer, Camaro, 6.643, 207.46; 15. Fernando Cuadra, Ford Mustang, 6.662, 208.10; 16. Richie Stevens, Camaro, 6.680, 205.47.

Not Qualified: 17. Cristian Cuadra, 6.688, 206.35; 18. Fernando Cuadra Jr., 6.746, 205.32; 19. John Callahan, 9.254, 101.19; 20. Marty Robertson, 11.061, 99.40.

Pro Stock Motorcycle — 1. Steve Johnson, Suzuki, 6.756, 198.44; 2. Matt Smith, EBR, 6.772, 200.83; 3. Angelle Sampey, Suzuki, 6.809, 197.74; 4. Hector Arana Jr, EBR, 6.854, 198.73; 5. Chris Bostick, 6.878, 197.22; 6. Karen Stoffer, Suzuki, 6.890, 196.02; 7. Jim Underdahl, Suzuki, 6.890, 195.73; 8. Jerry Savoie, Suzuki, 6.894, 194.32; 9. Scotty Pollacheck, EBR, 6.896, 196.24; 10. Angie Smith, EBR, 6.898, 197.08; 11. Joey Gladstone, Suzuki, 6.907, 195.70; 12. Andrew Hines, Buell, 6.924, 193.77; 13. Eddie Krawiec, Buell, 6.940, 198.76; 14. Jianna Salinas, Suzuki, 6.949, 193.13; 15. Ryan Oehler, EBR, 6.962, 195.25; 16. Michael Phillips, Suzuki, 6.991, 192.41. Not Qualified: 17. Kelly Clontz, 6.992, 191.24; 18. David Barron, 7.189, 180.19; 19. Michael Ray, 17.121, 33.31.

About the Author

Mike Haag has covered motorsports in San Antonio and South Texas for more than 33 years. In addition to covering motorsports for the San Antonio Express-News for nearly 28 years, Mike also has co-hosted TrackSmack with Dawn Murphy for 16 race seasons. In addition to being a writer, Mike taught high school English and Journalism for 30 years before retiring in May, 2020.