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NHRA Point Standings
Through Las Vegas

Pos Driver Points
1 Steve Torrence 2718
2 Clay Millican 2487
3 Tony Schumacher 2454
4 Leah Pritchett 2394
5 Brittany Force 2302
6 Antron Brown 2291
7 Mike Salinas 2259
8 Doug Kalitta 2259
9 Terry McMillen 2253
10 Scott Palmer 2182

1 JR Todd 2553
2 Robert Hight 2479
3 Ron Capps 2388
4 Tim Wilkerson 2367
5 Tommy Johnson 2362
6 Courtney Force 2324
7 Matt Hagan 2321
8 Jack Beckman 2283
9 John Force 2277
10 Shawn Langdon 2204

1 Tanner Gray 2583
2 Jeg Coughlin 2443
3 Erica Enders 2434
4 Drew Skillman 2413
5 Vincent Nobile 2404
6 Jason Line 2350
7 Greg Anderson 2334
8 Bo Butner 2300
9 Deric Kramer 2220
10 Chris McGaha 2135

1 Matt Smith 2479
2 Eddie Krawiec 2475
3 LE Tonglet 2418
4 Hector Arana Jr. 2415
5 Jerry Savoie 2378
6 Andrew Hines 2366
7 Angelle Sampey 2268
8 Angie Smith 2255
9 Steve Johnson 2242
10 Scotty Pollacheck 2209
NHRA qualifying from zMaz Dragway

by Pete McCole
Saturday, March 27, 2010


Robert Hight
Rhonda McCole/
Cory McClenathan, Robert Hight, Jeg Coughlin and Matt Smith claimed the top spots in Saturday’s record-setting qualifying session for Sunday’s NHRA Full Throttle Series 4-Wide Nationals at zMax Dragway.

McClenathan’s top speed from Friday’s session of 319.82 mph and a 3.790 elapsed time stood up through Saturday’s qualifying, giving Cory Mac his 35th-career NHRA Top Fuel top starting spot and his second of the season coming off his performance at Pomona.

Larry Dixon was second fastest, followed by Antron Brown, Tony Schumacher, and Doug Kalitta.

“I think we have a car that they are going to have to step up to beat us," said McClenathan. “We've had the same car all year long. We have either shined or taken someone for granted this year. Todd [Okuhara, co-crew chief] said we were going to try and run 3.79 again but I was happy with an 81. That's the perfect package for tomorrow. Thought it was a gutsy call, though. The track temp jumped up but at the same time, Todd and Phil [Shuler, co-crew chief] were swinging for fences and I like that."

Cory McClenathan
Rhonda McCole/
Hight also backed up his qualifying speed on Friday, notching his 34th career Funny Car starting spot with a track-record ET of 4.024, just missing the national record of 4.023.

Ron Capps, Jack Beckman, Ashley Force Hood and Del Worsham rounded out the top five qualifiers.

“The car is good,” said Hight. “We tried to set the national record on the first run today but we were too far into the day, but I'm excited about tomorrow. The record is still out there for us, and for a lot of other people. The conditions are supposed to be cool tomorrow.

“I told my crew I don't even want to know who I'm running tomorrow. I don't want to think about who's in what lane when I'm staging. It's just go up there, see the amber, and step.”

Pro Stock driver Jeg Coughlin set a new track record with an elapsed time of 6.520 seconds to take the top qualifying spot, but the track speed record fell to Greg Anderson, who saw his 12-straight pole-winning streak fall but set a NHRA national speed record of 212.46 mph in a fifth-place qualifying effort.

“It feels fantastic and it's an honor to be first low qualifier for the Four-Wide Nationals,” Coughlin said. “It gives us great momentum going into tomorrow. We had a car that struggled for the first three races of the year and now we've got a little momentum built. My dad, Jeg Sr., came back out in Gainesville and helped us. We made a couple of test runs before Gainesville, and made quite a few changes. Once we got there, we had a car that qualified No. 2.”

Matt Smith set a new track mark for elapsed time in Pro Stock Motorcycle, posting an ET 6.875 seconds. Second-place qualifier Eddie Krawiec set a new track speed record of 195.42 mph.

“We struggled at the first race [in Gainesville] but we've worked on it quite a bit and made a lot of strides,” Smith said. “As long as nothing mechanical happens, we have the bike that can win. We should be in the final four and we'll see what happens there.”

Saturday marked the second day of the inaugural 4-Wide Nationals, the first NHRA event to feature the four divisions of the Full Throttle Series utilizing all four lanes of zMax Dragway. The final elimination rounds will again feature four-wide racing, with the top two from each of the four brackets moving onto the next round until the final four face off in the final round in each division.

The unique four-wide arrangement has drawn criticism from many drivers, but the top qualifiers from Saturday’s sessions say they’re ready to take on the challenge.

“As for the four lane, it is very interesting,” McClenathan said. “I've gotten a lot of feedback from fans, all positive. Everything is different from the track to the time slip but it's all been handled very well. All four lanes are raceable. Everything is smooth. I do like lane two better, but maybe that's because we won in that lane last year. At the same time, I'm good with all of them."

“I’ve tried to prepare over the last few weeks,” said Coughlin. “We’ve talked about how the format works. Mentally I’ve put a lot of time and thought into it as far as how we will handle different situations. I had a lot of them play out on four my qualifying runs this weekend. Coming in, I’d say my comfort level was about 60 percent but it’s now well above 90 percent.”

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