DENVER – Advance Auto Parts driver Courtney Force led a John Force Racing 1-2-3 sweep of Funny Car qualifying on Friday at Bandimere Speedway, as her Chevrolet Camaro SS set both ends of the track record.
Force’s pass of 3.889 seconds at 328.30 mph was No. 1, with her dad, PEAK Coolant and Motor Oil driver John Force, sitting No. 2 and Auto Club of Southern California driver Robert Hight No. 3.
“Really cool to see JFR in the 1-2-3 spot,” Courtney Force said. “Really proud of our teams, and we’re hoping to make it a great weekend here.”
Force’s run came immediately after she watched her dad snare the track record in the first qualifying session with a run of 3.899 seconds at 301.87 mph.
The Mopar-powered Dodge Charger R/T Funny Cars from DSR, driven by Ron Capps, Jack Beckman, Tommy Johnson Jr., and Matt Hagan, are eighth, ninth, 11th and 16th, respectively, on Thunder Mountain.
Hagan unveiled a new paint scheme this weekend celebrating Mopar’s 80th anniversary, but struggled in both qualifying sessions on Friday. He and his teammates will all look to improve during Saturday’s final two qualifying attempts.
Records fall on opening day of NHRA Mopar Mile-High Nationals but none belong to DSR; Schumacher bright spot with No. 3 effort
Fans love watching from grandstands carved into the side of a mountain and roaming through the fan-friendly confines of Bandimere Speedway near Denver. Crewmen and drivers enjoy recreational opportunities provided by the scenic area as the three-week Western Swing begins.
But crew chiefs circle it for other reasons because its mile-high, oxygen-choking altitude provides the most unique and challenging racing conditions on the 24-race Mello Yello national tour.
The U.S. Army driver duo of Tony “The Sarge” Schumacher and Antron Brown are third and ninth on the provisional ladder after the opening two rounds of qualifying Friday for this weekend’s NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series 38th annual Mopar Mile-High NHRA Nationals at Bandimere Speedway in Morrison, Colorado.
Schumacher, the eight-time Top Fuel world champion and driver of the U.S. Army Dragster for Don Schumacher Racing (DSR) who won this event a year ago this weekend, laid down a pair of solid runs after rain held up his opening-round run, as well as that of Brown and two other Top Fuel competitors, by 90 minutes. Schumacher and Brown were the first pair to take to the racetrack after the rain delay and “The Sarge” answered with an effort of 3.821 seconds at 321.19 mph placed him third in the order.
Brown’s run of 3.941 seconds at 308.50 mph in the Matco Tools/U.S. Army Dragster for DSR was good for sixth in the opening session.
Two rainouts being rolled into one with at least $1000/win!
LANCASTER, NY – The Joe’s Transmission TNT Super Series heads to Lancaster Dragway this Friday July 21 for the make up race of all make up races! Presented in conjunction with Steve’s Electric and Jan-Cen Motorsports, the event will see more prizes given away than any TNTSS race in history.
With 5 events already either shortened due to rain or washed out completely, the series is adding cash and prizes to this Friday’s race as a thank you to all the racers who have stuck it out so far this season.
Friday will have a guaranteed $1000/win, will pay round money one round earlier than normal (will start with 2nd round losers – so win first round and you are getting paid!) plus bonus prizes to drivers all night long. Things like best reaction time in each round will receive awards.
DENVER – In the span of just three races, Lucas Oil Racing TV rider Hector Arana Jr. has jumped from a distant ninth place in the Pro Stock Motorcycle rankings to a lofty third, just two rounds out of second. Runner-up finishes in Englishtown, N.J., and Chicago, coupled with a semifinal result in Norwalk, Ohio, have done the trick for the 11-time national event winner, and also made him very optimistic about this weekend.
“I’ve felt like I’m on the verge of winning since E-town,” Arana Jr. said. “My riding was down for a few races but now that we’re leaning on Jim (Yates, crew chief) more and more I’ve been able to focus on being a better rider. That comes with having confidence in the bike and I definitely have that now. My next win should be this weekend.”
DENVER – In the anxious moments just before Erica Enders clinched her first Pro Stock championship in Pomona, Calif., John Bandimere stopped in the staging lanes to wish her luck. Being a spiritual man, Bandimere, longtime owner of Bandimere Speedway in Denver, site of this weekend’s 38th annual Mopar Mile-High NHRA Nationals, said a quick prayer with Enders, an impactful moment that has stuck with the 22-time national event winner.
“Mr. Bandimere has a real presence about him and it really calmed me down and reminded me who is really in charge,” Enders said. “We always put ourselves in God’s hands and that upcoming round was easily the biggest of my life, but Mr. Bandimere put it all in prospective for me with that prayer. I’ll never forget it.”
Soon after her moment with Bandimere, Enders beat Jason Line to win the race trophy and secure the 2014 championship, all in one 6.480-second pass.