Racing in the desert

Hi everyone,

This weeks NHRA race came to you from Phoenix, Arizona with the CARQUEST Auto Parts NHRA Nationals. With a first time winner and an all female final, it definitely did not disappoint.

Starting with Top Fuel, there were only 15 cars, so the number one qualifier had a solo run for the first round. And the ladder looked like this; #1 Doug Kalitta (3.74), #2 Antron Brown (3.76) vs #15 Steve Chrisman (5.15), #3 Tony Schumacher (3.76) vs #14 Scott Palmer (3.99), #4 Steve Torrence (3.76) vs #13 Terry McMillen (3.93), #5 Brittany Force (3.76) vs #12 Shawn Langdon (3.92), #6 Clay Millican (3.77) vs #11 Troy Buff (3.86), #7 J.R. Todd (3.78) vs #10 Leah Prichett (3.85), and #8 Dave Conolly (3.79) vs #9 Richie Crampton (3.81). The winners and who they would face in round 2 were; Doug Kalitta (3.71) and Dave Conolly (3.76), Terry McMillen (3.84) and Brittany Force (3.72), Antron Brown (3.76) and Leah Prichett (4.36), and Tony Schumacher (3.74) and Clay Millican (3.94). After surprising round 2 exits from Tony Schumacher and Antron Brown, the semifinals looked like this; Doug Kalitta (3.77) vs Brittany Force (3.77), it’s important to note that while Doug and Brittany both ran 3.77’s lane choice went to Doug as he ran 3.770 and Brittany ran 3.771, and Leah Prichett (3.80) vs Clay Millican (4.71). This particular semifinals was a little bit different as it featured one multiple winner (Kalitta) and three yet to win (Force, Prichett, and Millican). The Top Fuel final round featured Brittany Force (3.76) and the Monster Energy team for John Force Racing and Leah Prichett (3.83) and the Quaker State team for Bob Vandergriff Racing. This is cool because not only was there a guaranteed first time winner, but this is the first time in quite a while where there’s been an all female final in this class. With the winner being Leah Prichett with a 3.77. It’s always great to see someone win their first race and I’m sure the second one isn’t far behind.

Moving on to Funny Car there were a lot of fast runs, good races, and the ladder looked like this; carrying momentum from the Pomona win, Ron Capps qualified #1 with a 3.92 and in first round would face #16 Jeff Diehl (9.90). #2 Courtney Force (3.93) vs #15 Terry Haddock (4.19), #3 John Force (3.93) vs #14 John Hale (4.10), #4 Robert Hight (3.94) vs #13 Cruz Pedregon (4.08), #5 Del Worsham (3.95) vs #12 Jim Campbell (4.06), #6 Jack Beckman (3.95) vs #11 Alexis DeJoria (4.02), #7 Tommy Johnson Jr (3.96) vs #10 Matt Hagan (3.99) and #8 Tim Wilkerson (3.96) vs #9 Chad Head (3.97). The first round winners and who they would face were; Ron Capps (3.96) and Tim Wilkerson (3.97), Robert Hight (3.90) and Del Worsham (3.99), Courtney Force (3.93) and Tommy Johnson Jr (4.00) and John Force (3.95) and Jack Beckman (3.93). The best way I could describe the second round is strange and for Don Schumacher Racing not good. This is the first time since 2007 where there have been no DSR cars in any of the semifinals. But you move on, you do some testing if you need to and you come back strong. Which I have no doubt DSR will do. With that being said, the semifinals looked like this; Tim Wilkerson (4.59) vs Robert Hight (3.97) and Courtney Force (3.97) vs John Force (4.01). John Force Racing was having a good day. The Funny Car final featured Tim Wilkerson (3.99) and the Levi, Ray, and Shoup team for Team Wilkerson Racing and John Force (4.00) and the Peak Antifreeze team (Republic Services for the weekend) for John Force Racing with the winner being Tim Wilkerson with a 3.93.

And finally, we have Pro Stock. Teams are still struggling with changes and new EFI, that Shane Gray decided to skip this race to try and figure this new setup. I can definitely understand wanting to do it now opposed to struggling late in the season and trying to figure it out. With that being said, there ended up being 14 cars in the category so the ladder looked a little funny. #1 Bo Butner (6.61) vs #14 V Gaines (6.77), #2 Jason Line (6.62) vs #13 Matt Hartford (6.73), #3 Greg Anderson (6.62) vs #12 Vincent Nobile (6.71), #4 Allen Johnson (6.64) vs #11 Deric Kramer (6.71), #5 Chris McGaha (6.65) vs #10 Joey Grose (6.69), #6 Drew Skillman (6.65) vs #9 Erica Enders (6.68) and #7 Alex Laughlin (6.65) vs #8 Jeg Coughlin (6.66). The first round winners and who they would face were; Bo Butner (6.59) solo run, Deric Kramer (6.74) and Chris McGaha (6.63), Jason Line (6.59) and Jeg Coughlin (6.65) and Greg Anderson (6.61) and Drew Skillman (6.63). I mentioned in my last racing post that the KB Racing team was more successful with the new setup and had been figuring it out more easily than other teams. And they continued that with this race. The semifinals had Bo Butner (6.63) vs Chris McGaha (6.66) and Jason Line (6.64) vs Greg Anderson (6.63). The final round featured Chris McGaha (6.69) and the Harlow Sammons team for Harlow Sammons Racing and Jason Line (6.65) and the Summit Racing team for KB Racing. The winner being Jason Line with a 6.66. So far this season the KB cars are two for two.

The next race will be the Amalie Motor Oil NHRA Gatornationals, March 17-20 in Gainesville, Florida.

Until next time, congrats to the winners and I can’t wait for the next race :).


Twitter: @KSagerson

Instagram: Kyra Sage

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