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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
Kalitta, Force, Johnson, Ray On Pole at Norwalk

by Pete McCole
Saturday, July 6, 2013


Doug Kalitta
Rhonda McCole
Doug Kalitta, John Force, Allen Johnson and Michael Ray held on to secure no. 1 qualifiers in their respective divisions in Saturday’s final qualifying sessions for Sunday’s Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Nationals at Summit Racing Equipment Motorsports Park in Norwalk, OH.

Most of the top five in all four divisions remained unchanged as none of the top qualifiers were able to improve on their times set in Friday’s second session, leading to record-breaking passes in Top Fuel, Funny Car and Pro Stock.

Kalitta earned his fifth top qualifier of the season and 36th of his career – moving him to fifth all-time in Top Fuel history – with a record-breaking run of 3.767 seconds at 327.74 mph, topping the previous track ET and speed records of 3.780 and 322.73 set by Larry Dixon and Spencer Massey, respectively.

“We’re real happy to be that No. 1 qualifier and be in this position,” said Kalitta, who will face Troy Buff in Sunday’s opening round. “Hopefully we can turn it into a win. We just have to take it round-by-round and see if we can keep it going.”

Top Fuel points leader Tony Schumacher was second with a 3.778 at 320.74 mph. Last week’s runner-up Clay Millican was the only driver in the top five to improve his time on Saturday, but still remained in third after going 3.789 at 327.27 mph. Bob Vandergriff was fourth at 3.801, 321.04 followed by Shawn Langdon at 3.802, 322.88.

Among those who failed to qualify was Brittany Force, who posted her second DNQ of the season after failing to make a full speed run in any of the four qualifying sessions. Leah Pruett, Scott Palmer and Pat Dakin also failed to make the field. 

John Force
Rhonda McCole
John Force’s resurging run continued on Saturday as he topped the show for his third pole of the season and 143rd of his career -  besting the track ET record in the process – going 4.021 at  317.72 mph, eclipsing the previous best of 4.032 set by his daughter Ashley Force-Hood in June of 2010.

In the past three events, Force has one no.1 qualifier, one win the three straight final-round appearances and hopes to keep up the momentum.

“We proved we could run well, but (Sunday) is going to be anybody’s race,” Force said. “The track was good, but we fought the elements of the heat. We wanted to see how far we could push it (Saturday), but we’ve got a race here to win and that’s what it’s all about.”

Teammate Robert Hight will start second, turning in a run of 4.030 seconds at 318.77 mph, breaking the track speed record of 313.15 mph set in June 2010 by Del Worsham. Ron Capps (4.040, 316.82), Johnny Gray (4.061, 312.64) and Chad Head (4.065, 307.72) rounded out the top five.

Blake Alexander took the bump spot and will face Force in the opening round of eliminations.

Allen Johnson
Rhonda McCole
In Pro Stock, defending series champion Allen Johnson scored his 29th-career no. 1 qualifier and first of the 2013 season, posting a quick pass of 6.592 seconds at 209.75 mph in Friday’s second session to knock points leader Mike Edwards of the of the top spot.

Johnson’s top qualifying effort was his second-straight at Norwalk, where he has one runner-up finish in 2010.

“I think we’ve closed the gap performance-wise on (points leader Mike Edwards),” said Johnson “This is what I call ‘getting after it time.’ Hopefully we can do well (Sunday) and keep pushing to try and secure that No. 1 (points) position.”

The Pro Stock field had only 15 entries with Erica Ender-Stevens sitting out the event.

Michael Ray tallied his second no.1 qualifier of the season and his second in the last three events, running a 6.912 at 194.77 mph on Saturday to slightly improve his time from Friday’s sessions and breaking the track speed record of 194.49 mph.

“The tune-up was just flawless and (crew chief and team owner) George (Bryce) said I good job riding on that pass,” Ray said. “We’re just really, really clicking right now and when you keep seeing the momentum moving forward, it’s an awesome thing.”

Points leader Hector Arana, Jr. improved his position on Saturday with a pass of 6.939 at 193.99 mph to jump from fourth to second, whole Steve Johnson stood pat at 6.941, 193.16 to drop to third. John Hall also ran faster on Saturday but still slid one spot to fourth with a 6.942, 193.07. Adam Arana was the biggest mover of the day, going from 16th to fifth after running 6.942, 193.07 in the final session.

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