Torrence, Beckman, Enders, Johnson No. 1 at zMax

Steve Torrence

Steve Torrence (Top Fuel), "Fast" Jack Beckman (Funny Car), Erica Enders (Pro Stock) and Steve Johnson (Pro Stock Motorcycle) took the top qualifying positions in their respective categories during Saturday's final round of qualifying Sunday's 12th annual NTK NHRA Carolina Nationals at zMax Dragway – the third of six races in the Countdown to the Championship playoffs.

Torrence, the defending event winner and the defending NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series Top Fuel World Champion, captured his 23rd-career Top Fuel No. 1 Qualifier of his career with a pass of 3.711-seconds at 325.53 mph in Friday's session that stood through both of Saturday's sessions.

Torrence is a three-time winner at zMax Dragway, including a sweep of both events in 2018. He left Concord as the points leader following his win in this event last year, and hopes to do the same on Sunday

"We've had a lot of success here and I'm looking forward to it," said Torrence, who will face Lex Joon on the opening round of Sunday's eliminations. "It's going to be some quick and fast times out there tomorrow. The track will take whatever you're gonna throw at it. You've got to be out here and ready for war.

"Ultimately, you need to go out and try to win all the races and let the points take care of themselves. No matter how much you worry about it, it's still gonna be whatever it's gonna be. We just need to maintain our consistency."

Leah Pritchett turned in her best run of the weekend in Saturday's final round, posting a qualifying time of 3.714 at 331.20 to jump from seventh to second and bump Brittany Force to third. Force had moved from ninth to third after running 3.730 at 321.04 in the earlier round. Richie Crampton and Mike Salinas rounded out the top five.

Jack Beckman

In Funny Car, "Fast" Jack Beckman lived up to his nickname and powered to the No. 1 qualifier position with a track-record top speed of 334.07 mph, with a low ET of 3.873, beating the previous record of 333.91 mph set by Robert Hight in April of 2017. It was his second No. 1 qualifier of 2019 and 26th of his career.

Beckman currently sits third in points behind Robert Hight and John Force and knows that every point counts with the top five separated by only 53 points.

"If Pomona (the final race of the season) ends up coming down to a three- or four-point championship, it's going to be who managed qualifying best," said Beckman. "And we got 13 points out of qualifying. That's pretty good. Anybody who tells you they don't count points either sucks at math or they're lying to you."

Points leader Robert Hight qualified second, running 3.878 at 334.07, while Beckman's teammate Matt Hagan is third, posting a 3.880 at 331.69.

Erica Enders

Erica Enders led all four qualifying sessions in Pro Stock to claim her third straight No. 1 qualifier with a low ET of 6.506 at 211.86 mph set during Friday's second session.

Enders and her team are peaking at just the right time, posting her first win of the season two weeks ago at St. Louis to position herself right behind points leader Jason Line with just 11 points separating them.

"If we can continue the run we're on from St. Louis last weekend, I'd be really thrilled," said Enders. "I have a great hot rod underneath me and if I can just do my driving job there's no reason why we can't win."

Ender's teammate Jeg Coughlin, Jr. holds the second qualifier spot with a time of 6.524 at 210.37 while Line is third, posting a 6.534 at 211.53.

Steve Johnson

In Pro Stock Motorcycle, 2008 zMax event winner Steve Johnson bested his time from Friday sessions to bump Jerry Savoie from the top spot and secure his first No. 1 qualifier of the season and his first since 2013, topping ladder with a pass of 6.786 at 196.70. Savoie fell to second with a time of 6.787 at 198.73 and points leader Andrew Hine held onto third with a time of 6.814 at 198.79.

Eliminations for the NTK NHRA Carolina Nationals begin Sunday at 11:00 a.m.

Top Fuel — 1. Steve Torrence, 3.711 seconds, 325.53 mph vs. 16. Lex Joon, 4.476, 168.75; 2. Leah Pritchett, 3.714, 331.20 vs. 15. Chris Karamesines, 4.468, 184.19; 3. Brittany Force, 3.730, 321.04 vs. 14. Smax Smith, 3.938, 281.01; 4. Richie Crampton, 3.732, 329.50 vs. 13. Austin Prock, 3.850, 316.15; 5. Mike Salinas, 3.752, 328.70 vs. 12. Justin Ashley, 3.831, 319.67; 6. Billy Torrence, 3.755, 325.92 vs. 11. Pat Dakin, 3.798, 320.28; 7. Antron Brown, 3.758, 328.94 vs. 10. Doug Kalitta, 3.773, 323.35; 8. Clay Millican, 3.764, 322.11 vs. 9. Terry McMillen, 3.767, 326.24.

Did Not Qualify: 17. Cameron Ferre, 5.014, 147.79; 18. Todd Paton, 5.399, 131.79.

Funny Car — 1. Jack Beckman, Dodge Charger, 3.873, 334.07 vs. 16. Dale Creasy Jr., Charger, 4.385, 209.36; 2. Robert Hight, Chevy Camaro, 3.878, 334.07 vs. 15. Mike McIntire, Toyota Camry, 4.219, 256.99; 3. Matt Hagan, Charger, 3.880, 331.69 vs. 14. Dave Richards, Ford Mustang, 4.071, 297.16; 4. Ron Capps, Charger, 3.882, 330.55 vs. 13. Jim Campbell, Charger, 3.988, 316.75; 5. John Force, Camaro, 3.890, 331.45 vs. 12. J.R. Todd, Camry, 3.972, 308.43; 6. Bob Tasca III, Mustang, 3.891, 328.46 vs. 11. Jonnie Lindberg, Mustang, 3.972, 323.12; 7. Tim Wilkerson, Mustang, 3.945, 318.99 vs. 10. Shawn Langdon, Camry, 3.970, 326.00; 8. Tommy Johnson Jr., Charger, 3.950, 321.65 vs. 9. Cruz Pedregon, Charger, 3.955, 321.04.

Did Not Qualify: 17. Terry Haddock, 5.442, 127.92; 18. Bob Gilbertson, 7.810, 88.09.

Pro Stock — 1. Erica Enders, Chevy Camaro, 6.506, 211.86 vs. 16. Cristian Cuadra, Ford Mustang, 6.611, 209.20; 2. Jeg Coughlin, Camaro, 6.524, 210.37 vs. 15. Val Smeland, Camaro, 6.598, 209.04; 3. Jason Line, Camaro, 6.534, 211.53 vs. 14. Shane Tucker, Camaro, 6.595, 209.26; 4. Matt Hartford, Camaro, 6.546, 211.00 vs. 13. Fernando Cuadra Jr., Camaro, 6.582, no speed; 5. Alex Laughlin, Camaro, 6.547, 210.83 vs. 12. Chris McGaha, Camaro, 6.572, 211.00; 6. Greg Anderson, Camaro, 6.560, 210.64 vs. 11. Aaron Stanfield, Camaro, 6.571, 210.28; 7. Kenny Delco, Camaro, 6.562, 210.21 vs. 10. Deric Kramer, Camaro, 6.570, 209.95; 8. Fernando Cuadra, Camaro, 6.566, 210.67 vs. 9. Bo Butner, Camaro, 6.569, 210.83.

Did Not Qualify: 17. Alan Prusiensky, 6.626, 208.94; 18. Wally Stroupe, 6.647, 207.91; 19. Jeremy Martorella, 6.728, 205.57.

Pro Stock Motorcycle — 1. Steve Johnson, Suzuki, 6.786, 196.70 vs. 16. Andie Rawlings, Suzuki, 7.214, 182.26; 2. Jerry Savoie, Suzuki, 6.787, 198.73 vs. 15. Jianna Salinas, Suzuki, 7.043, 190.11; 3. Andrew Hines, Harley-Davidson, 6.814, 198.79 vs. 14. Michael Ray, Victory, 6.945, 193.43; 4. Eddie Krawiec, Harley-Davidson, 6.818, 198.47 vs. 13. Matt Smith, EBR, 6.932, 179.85; 5. Karen Stoffer, Suzuki, 6.819, 197.97 vs. 12. Kelly Clontz, Suzuki, 6.915, 194.88; 6. Scotty Pollacheck, EBR, 6.822, 197.94 vs. 11. Hector Arana, EBR, 6.886, 197.22; 7. Hector Arana Jr, EBR, 6.856, 196.73 vs. 10. Angie Smith, EBR, 6.866, 198.15; 8. Angelle Sampey, Harley-Davidson, 6.860, 196.50 vs. 9. Ryan Oehler, EBR, 6.863, 198.03.

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