Brittany Force (Top Fuel), Del Worsham (Funny Car), Shane Gray (Pro Stock) all No. 1 qualifiers for Bristol finals
Jun 14, 2014, 10:52 PM EDT
Brittany Force (Top Fuel), Del Worsham (Funny Car) and Shane Gray (Pro Stock) will go into Sunday’s final eliminations of the Ford NHRA Thunder Valley Nationals at Bristol (Tenn.) Dragway as top qualifiers in their respective classes.
In pursuit of her first career win in Top Fuel, Force qualified No. 1 on Friday’s rain-shortened session, and then came back on Saturday to earn her second No. 1 qualifying spot in 2014 with a 3.828-second pass at 317.94 mph.
The daughter of 16-time NHRA Funny Car champion John Force, Brittany Force is in just her second season in Top Fuel, but knows what a win Sunday would mean not only for her career but also her father.
She’ll face 82-year-old drag racing legend Chris Karamesines in the first round of Sunday’s Top Fuel eliminations.
“(Winning) would be the ultimate Father’s Day present to my dad,” Brittany Force said in a NHRA media release. “I love coming here to Bristol. It’s one of my favorite tracks by far.”
Force added, “I’m excited for race day, and I would love to end up in the winner’s circle. I think it’s pretty awesome to be running alongside the legendary Greek (Karamesines’ nickname).”
J.R. Todd is the No. 2 qualifier (3.835 seconds at 315.12 mph), while seven-time Top Fuel champ and five-time Bristol winner Tony Schumacher qualified third (3.854 seconds at 330.47 mph).
In Funny Car, Worsham broke track records for both elapsed time (3.992 seconds) and speed (319.45 mph) on Friday and retained his No. 1 spot Saurday, the 15th of his NHRA career and the second straight year he has qualified No. 1 at Bristol, where he’s a two-time winner.
Every race seems like we’ve gotten stronger and stronger,” Worsham said. “Hopefully (Sunday) we can maintain that strength. It should be a great race against my good friend Jeff Arend (in the first round of eliminations).”
Tim Wilkerson qualified No. 2 (career-best elapsed time of 4.013 seconds at 317.72 mph) and three-time Bristol winner Ron Capps qualified third (4.024 seconds at 316.38 mph).
In the hunt for his first win of the season, Gray also set new Bristol track ET (6.621 seconds) and speed (208.78 mph) records in Pro Stock. He’ll face Curt Steinbach in Sunday’s first round of eliminations.
“I wouldn’t be sitting here if it wasn’t for my crew,” Gray said. “We definitely have the equipment to do what we did today. I’m not going to worry too much until (Sunday) and have some fun.”
Reigning Pro Stock champ Jeg Coughlin qualified No. 2, while points leader Erica Enders-Stevens qualified No. 3.
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
Here’s the first-round pairings for Sunday’s final eliminations of the 14th annual Ford NHRA Thunder Valley Nationals at Bristol Dragway:
Top Fuel — 1. Brittany Force, 3.828 seconds, 317.94 mph vs. 16. Chris Karamesines, 4.485, 190.08; 2. J.R. Todd, 3.835, 315.12 vs. 15. Terry McMillen, 4.444, 238.93; 3. Tony Schumacher, 3.854, 330.47 vs. 14. Billy Torrence, 4.161, 240.25; 4. Antron Brown, 3.873, 313.07 vs. 13. Richie Crampton, 3.939, 266.58; 5. Spencer Massey, 3.876, 312.93 vs. 12. Clay Millican, 3.909, 261.42; 6. Steve Torrence, 3.879, 317.34 vs. 11. Bob Vandergriff, 3.904, 321.12; 7. Shawn Langdon, 3.880, 316.75 vs. 10. Khalid alBalooshi, 3.900, 315.42; 8. Doug Kalitta, 3.890, 318.32 vs. 9. Leah Pritchett, 3.898, 309.13.
Did Not Qualify: 17. Pat Dakin, 5.489, 246.48.
Funny Car — 1. Del Worsham, Toyota Camry, 3.992, 319.45 vs. 16. Jeff Arend, Dodge Charger, 6.460, 100.70; 2. Tim Wilkerson, Ford Mustang, 4.013, 317.72 vs. 15. Bob Tasca III, Mustang, 5.349, 306.81; 3. Ron Capps, Charger, 4.024, 316.38 vs. 14. Tony Pedregon, Camry, 4.621, 192.66; 4. Robert Hight, Mustang, 4.074, 315.27 vs. 13. Justin Schriefer, Chevy Camaro, 4.333, 285.17; 5. Tommy Johnson Jr., Charger, 4.074, 306.60 vs. 12. Cruz Pedregon, Camry, 4.127, 299.86; 6. Courtney Force, Mustang, 4.077, 313.07 vs. 11. Jack Beckman, Charger, 4.123, 308.99; 7. John Force, Mustang, 4.099, 306.81 vs. 10. Alexis DeJoria, Camry, 4.121, 305.29; 8. Matt Hagan, Charger, 4.111, 308.99 vs. 9. Chad Head, Camry, 4.118, 313.22.
Pro Stock — 1. Shane Gray, Chevy Camaro, 6.621, 208.78 vs. 16. Curt Steinbach, Camaro, 6.848, 200.80; 2. Jeg Coughlin, Dodge Dart, 6.621, 208.62 vs. 15. Kenny Delco, Chevy Cobalt, 6.843, 201.82; 3. Erica Enders-Stevens, Camaro, 6.631, 208.17 vs. 14. Larry Morgan, Ford Mustang, 6.822, 205.22; 4. Jason Line, Camaro, 6.636, 208.55 vs. 13. V. Gaines, Dart, 6.690, 207.30; 5. Allen Johnson, Dart, 6.636, 207.85 vs. 12. Dave Connolly, Camaro, 6.681, 206.35; 6. Rodger Brogdon, Camaro, 6.643, 207.94 vs. 11. Greg Anderson, Camaro, 6.678, 207.53; 7. Vincent Nobile, Camaro, 6.644, 207.53 vs. 10. Shane Tucker, Cobalt, 6.669, 206.86; 8. Jonathan Gray, Camaro, 6.659, 207.85 vs. 9. Chris McGaha, Camaro, 6.669, 207.43.
Did Not Qualify: 17. John Gaydosh Jr, 6.883, 201.22.
Follow me @JerryBonkowski
Sep 20, 2014, 10:35 PM EDT
A wild final restart opened the door for Gaughan to out-hustle Chase Elliott and Ty Dillon late on Saturday night at Kentucky Speedway.
Sep 20, 2014, 9:00 PM EDT
More than a dozen former and current IndyCar drivers take part in the special event that honors the late two-time Indy 500 champ and raises money for Alzheimer’s research.
Sep 20, 2014, 7:30 PM EDT
With seven races left in the Nationwide schedule, can Smith start making up ground on teammate Chase Elliott in the championship?
Sep 20, 2014, 7:11 PM EDT
Ganassi Riley-Ford, 8Star Motorsports, Vipers win in COTA.
Sep 20, 2014, 6:30 PM EDT
When Wendy Venturini walks into the press box at New Hampshire Motor Speedway prior to Sunday’s Sylvania 300 Sprint Cup race, she will become part of NASCAR history.
Sep 20, 2014, 6:03 PM EDT
The Red Bull GRC championship tightens dramatically after the first race of the weekend in L.A.
Sep 20, 2014, 5:42 PM EDT
Ty Dillon is bound and determined to give it his all to win the Nationwide Series championship this season. He took a big step Saturday afternoon by earning the pole for the VisitMyrtleBeach.com 300 later that evening at Kentucky Speedway. Sam Hornish Jr. will start on the outside of the front row.
Sep 20, 2014, 4:45 PM EDT
CLICK HERE for stream links to the first of two GRC finals this weekend from Los Angeles.
Sep 20, 2014, 4:00 PM EDT
Custer holds off Darrell Wallace Jr. and Matt Crafton to win the Camping World Truck Series’ UNOH 175 at New Hampshire.
Sep 20, 2014, 3:30 PM EDT
Ferrari and Red Bull could have – perhaps even should have – been in the mix for pole position. Mercedes was simply too good for them, once again, though.
Sep 20, 2014, 3:20 PM EDT
Head-to-head, there’s very few Sprint Cup drivers that can beat Jimmie Johnson. But Tyler Clary can kick Johnson’s butt any time he wants to.
Sep 20, 2014, 2:25 PM EDT
Friday recap from Red Bull GRC in LA is in the books.
Sep 20, 2014, 2:00 PM EDT
“We break our balls to make a good qualifying and you lose five-tenths every single straight line because the thing cuts” – tough talk from the Frenchman.
Sep 20, 2014, 12:45 PM EDT
For the first time all weekend at New Hampshire Motor Speedway, someone else besides Brad Keselowski got to the top of the leaderboard.
Sep 20, 2014, 12:00 PM EDT
Australian driver qualifies third for the Singapore Grand Prix ahead of teammate Sebastian Vettel.
Sep 20, 2014, 11:45 AM EDT
The 16-year-old earns his second career Truck Series pole ahead of today’s UNOH 175 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway.
Sep 20, 2014, 11:30 AM EDT
The F1 championship leader falls agonizingly short of pole position in qualifying for the Singapore GP on Saturday.
Video from NASCAR America
- Brendan Gaughan takes lead with 6 laps to go, wins Nationwide at Kentucky 0
- 16-year-old Cole Custer becomes youngest-ever winner of NASCAR national series race 0
- F1 Qualifying Analysis: Missed opportunities allow Hamilton to rule again 0
- Tyler Clary hopes to go from Olympic gold medal swimmer to NASCAR driver 0
- Hamilton snatches Singapore pole away from Rosberg 0
- Fernando Alonso closes out practice in Singapore fastest 0
- Brad Keselowski wins pole for Sunday’s Chase race at New Hampshire 0