BRISTOL, TN — John Force, driver of the PEAK Coolant and Motor Oil / BlueDEF Chevrolet Camaro SS, held onto the No. 1 qualifier spot Saturday at the NHRA Thunder Valley Nationals at Bristol Dragway. It is Force’s second No. 1 at the facility and 158th of his 43-year career. It is the third No. 1 of the 2019 NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series campaign for Force and marks his most top qualifying positions in a season since 2014 when he earned six.
After running his 3.911-second pass at 326.95 mph on Friday night to enter the day already at the No. 1 spot, Force and the PEAK Coolant and Motor Oil / BlueDEF team had two consistent runs on Saturday. To open the day, Force had a 4.001-second pass at 325.77 mph to be quickest of the session and followed the effort up with a 4.026 run at 319.14 mph in the final qualifying session. The performance of the PEAK Coolant and Motor Oil / BlueDEF team earned themselves a bye run in the first round of the 15 car field, only Force seventh of his career.
“It’s nice to get this for Father’s Day. My car is coming around, it’s fast and I’m coming around, but I have a lot of work to do in the cockpit. Brian Corradi and Danny Hood, they did their job and we’ll go out there tomorrow and see what it’ll do,” said Force. “I have a single for that first run so that gives me a chance to test the car and see if we can win some rounds and get in the ball game, get that win. It would be great if both Brittany and I could win tomorrow, but it would be great if Robert or Prock won, as long as we get some wins for our sponsors with PEAK, Auto Club, Advance Auto Parts and Montana Brand / Rocky Mountain Twist. I’m in the game and feeling good.”
Bristol, TN – NHRA Thunder Valley Nationals
DSR Bristol Saturday Highlights:
Antron Brown and Leah Pritchett qualify their Top Fuel dragsters in the top-half of the field
In Funny Car, Jack Beckman, Ron Capps, and Tommy Johnson Jr. will start race day from the top-half of the field and with the advantage of lane choice
As the 2017 and 2018 Thunder Valley Nationals event champion, Capps is seeking his third consecutive Bristol Dragway victory
Round one features a DSR intramural matchup between Johnson and Matt Hagan
Pritchett rocketed to the quickest pass of Q3
Johnson powered to the quickest pass of Q4, and Capps was second-quickest of Q3
Driver of the Matco Tools Top Fuel Dragster
LANGDON SETS PERSONAL BEST WITH SECOND IN FUNNY CAR
BRISTOL, TN – Doug Kalitta captured number one qualifier honors in Top Fuel with a 3.755-second pass at 324.67 mph, while Shawn Langdon set a new personal best as the number two qualifier in Funny Car to lead Toyota in preparation for Sunday’s NHRA Thunder Valley Nationals at the Bristol Dragway.
The pole is the first of the season for Kalitta and the 50th of his Top Fuel career, coming in his 500th career NHRA event.
“We are always excited to come here,” said Kalitta, who will face Cameron Ferre in the first round on Sunday. “I remember coming here when I was working on Connie’s (Kalitta, team owner) cars back in the ‘80s so it’s a lot of cool history coming here just for me. It was a nice run though. It’s been awhile since we were low qualifier any of the days. I’m real proud of my guys though. We’re working our tails off to try and make it happen.”
Rounding out the Toyota Top Fuel ranks, Antron Brown qualified fourth and will meet Audrey Worm in round one, while Richie Crampton placed ninth and will square off with Terry McMillen in eliminations.
In Funny Car, Langdon set a new personal-best of second in the category with a 3.944 at 324.51 mph. Langdon, the 2013 Top Fuel world champion, drove his Global Electronic Technology Toyota Camry to his first career Funny Car win in April at Charlotte. He’s now qualified in the top six in five of the last six races. He will race Jeff Diehl in Sunday’s first round.
LANCASTER, NY – Mike Zmuda of Lackawanna, N.Y. and Frank Malvaso of Rochester won the final matchups for the Supercharged Bounty Hunters on Friday night at Lancaster Dragway @ New York International Raceway Park.
The field of nine Supercharged Bounty Hunters was set through qualifying with Mike Zmuda and Chuck McMahon of Rochester taking top two spots. They then faced off head-to-head in the first final of the night. McMahon left the starting line first, but Zmuda was first to top end with a pass of 4.656 seconds at 149.55 mph.
The second final featured the #3 and #4 qualifiers, with Malvaso facing off against the Chevy Nova of Ron D’Alessandro. Malvaso picked up the win with an elapsed time of 4.619 seconds at 155.76 mph.
Dave Balser of Akron, N.Y. almost became the first driver of the season to score multiple class wins in the same night. Balser started out by winning Top 8 Eliminator by beating Chris Van Baalen in a close matchup. He was then inserted into the Mallare Trucking Top ET ladder, and made his way to the finals to face Chuck Mendola of Lancaster. Balser’s quest to do the double was derailed when he brokeout, which gave Mendola his first win of the season.
DALLAS — After a brief celebration of their first win at Funny Car Chaos, April 27, 2019 at Mokan Dragway, knowing the real work has just begun, the Guardian For Heroes Nitro Funny Car Team of Nancy Matter, led by Legendary life long friend, Dale Pulde, is honored to announce their new partnerships with Glen Sander Engineering, SSI and System One Oil Filtration Systems.
There is no question that facilitating and driving a nitro funny car, for Matter, is a life long dream come true. Matter competed within the NHRA and Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series in Top Alcohol Funny Car for more than 10 years, crediting Lou and Vicki Gasparrelli for allowing her as a kid to help around their Top Alcohol Funny Car for several years in Southern California.
“Since switching to a Nitro Funny car last year, we literally changed everything on the car from when we brought it to Texas” stated Matter, “We’ve been on a steep learning curve transitioning from NHRA Top Alcohol Funny Car to an NHRA Legal Nostalgia Nitro Funny Car. We’ve been building all new relationships with many racing manufacturers as well, their expertise is top notch and invaluable to all racer’s success. Glen, Rich and Mark have been extremely supportive of our new endeavor and we are incredibly grateful to team up with all three of these highly reputable companies.”
BRISTOL, TN — Sixteen-time Funny Car world champion John Force put his PEAK Coolant and Motor Oil Chevrolet Camaro SS in the No. 1 spot Friday night under the lights at the NHRA Thunder Valley Nationals at Bristol Dragway. Teammate Robert Hight and the Automobile Club of Southern California team are sitting in the No. 6 spot, and in Top Fuel, rookie Austin Prock is also sixth with Montana Brand / Rocky Mountain Twist and Brittany Force is currently No. 7 with Advance Auto Parts.
On the hunt for his 150th NHRA Mello Yello career win, John Force started Friday’s qualifying with a 4.575-second pass at 180.94 mph after hazing the tires and shutting off early. Coming into the night session sitting in the No. 11 spot, the driving legend laid down a solid 3.911-second pass at 326.95 mph in his PEAK Coolant and Motor Oil Chevy Camaro to finish the day leading the Funny Car class.
“It feels really good to be No. 1. Walking and praying, and hoping to make it and to feel that moment again just for a moment, and to hear that cheer of the crowd, you know, you’d think I’d be over it but I’m not. I still love it,” said Force, who is after his third No. 1 start of the season. “My people, the team, really makes it happen and I’m just along for the ride. I have to give them credit. Those kids love me. When I really fail, they’re all over me trying to protect me. That’s what you need, that comradery, and that’s what I have.”
Bristol, TN – NHRA Thunder Valley Nationals
DSR Bristol Friday Highlights:
Leah Pritchett ran the second-quickest pass of the day to earn the provisional No. 2 qualifying spot
Antron Brown closed out day one of qualifying inside the top-half of the Top Fuel field and powered to the second-quickest pass of the opening session to earn bonus points
Jack Beckman, Matt Hagan, and Tommy Johnson Jr. earn provisional qualifying spots in the top-half of the Funny Car field
Johnson made the second-quickest pass of Q1 to bank two bonus points