Virginia NHRA Nationals Sunday Preview
After battling the elements for two long days, NHRA race teams can see the finish line ahead of them as they prepare for final eliminations at the NHRA Nationals in Virginia.
Weak qualifiers Brittany Force in Top Fuel and Matt Hagan in Funny Car are also the points leaders in their respective categories and although they were both the undisputed leaders in qualifying, they will face stiff opposition on race day. race from a number of challengers.
Force’s Flav-R-Pac dragster improved with each pass in qualifying (3.710, 3.669, 3.654), but a number of teams also stood out in all three passes. With the weather expected to be warmer today than the previous two days, having a consistent hot rod could be as valuable as a rapid. Force will have a first-round bye to test crew chief David Grubnic’s Sunday setup.
Other drivers who managed to navigate and improve on the drag strip at Virginia Motorsports Park on three passes were No. 4 qualifier Clay Millican (3.788, 3.730, 3.698), Mike Salinas (3.780, 3.701, 3.700 ) and Doug Kalitta (3.740, 3.720). , 3.703).
Force teammate Austin Prock, the No. 2 qualifier, only missed on his final passes as world champion No. 3 qualifier Steve Torrence.
Hagan, like Force, was the Friday qualifying leader who kept the heat on throughout Saturday, improving with each Smithfield Charger run with assists of 3.914, 3.890 and 3.853. It was the only Funny Car to hit the track in all three passes and, as a reward for being the poleman, it will get a first-lap pass for the 15-car field.
World champion Ron Capps took the No. 1 spot from Hagan on Saturday’s first pass but had to give up his last attempt in the spotlight after a long day of racing and waiting. The top five drivers – Hagan, Capps, Alexis DeJoria, Cruz Pedregon and JR Todd – are all separated by just five hundredths of a second.
Weak Pro Stock Motorcycle qualifier Angie Smith completed two 200mph qualifying runs aboard her Denso Buell and is the only rider to break the two-century mark in speed this weekend.
Due to late evening dew on Saturday, the Cyclists did not have a Q3 race, but Smith showed a three-hundredth gap in the field in the two races they did. She will also have a bye in the first round.
Behind Smith on the qualifying sheets are three-time world champion Angelle Sampey, who challenged Smith for the No. 1 spot on Saturday morning, and points leader Steve Johnson, winner of the last two events.
FOX Sports 1 (FS1) will air one hour of qualifying coverage at 12:30 p.m. ET and three hours of finals coverage at 6:30 p.m. ET