Hight Sets New Track Record In Friday Qualifying At Joliet

Robert Hight powers down the track in Friday night Funny Car Qualifying for the NHRA Route 66 Nationals at Joliet, Illinois. Photo: NHRA Media

Robert Hight set a new track record as he powered to the Funny Car qualifying lead Friday evening at the Fallen Patriots NHRA Route 66 Nationals at Route 66 Raceway in Joliet, Illinois.

Brittany Force (Top Fuel), Tanner Gray (Pro Stock) and Matt Smith (Pro Stock Motorcycle) are also provisional qualifying leaders in their respective NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series categories.

Hight set both ends of the track record after a 3.851-second pass at 334.73 mph during the second qualifying session. He is aiming for his second No. 1 qualifier of the season and is currently chasing his first win of 2017.

“We had a pretty good idea that track records were going to fall this weekend, and the advancement of Funny Cars over the years allows us to put these exciting runs together for the fans,” Hight said. “If we are able to lock things down as well as we know we can, then in the night session tomorrow there is no reason we can’t improve these numbers.”

Jack Beckman landed second in Funny Car qualifying with a 3.856 at 330.23. Courtney Force rounded out the top three in preliminary qualifying, notching a 3.880 at 331.36.

Force leads the Top Fuel category with a run of 3.711 at 323.04 during her second pass of the day. She is searching for her first No. 1 qualifier on the year and seventh of her career.

“Our second run was pretty awesome, since it was a clean run and the conditions were perfect,” Force said. “Every run feels different, but I could tell from this second run that we would be shooting up the standings, and we have a time that we are going to try and improve upon tomorrow.”

Tony Schumacher sits second in the preliminary qualifying after a 3.758 at 325.37, while Shawn Langdon is third with a 3.759 at 319.37.

In Pro Stock, Gray currently holds the top spot after driving to a 6.591 at 208.84 during the second session. He is looking for the second No. 1 qualifier of his rookie season.

“My team did a great job of working on my car and I feel like I had a better handle on my car than in Norwalk,” Gray said. “I know we have great horsepower and the guys at the shop put a great car out each week, and I know that if I drive well there is no reason that I can’t have success like this at each event.”

Greg Anderson is second in preliminary qualifying after a 6.600 at 209.20. Drew Skillman is in the third spot with a 6.605 at 208.04 during his second qualifying pass.

Smith finished atop the Pro Stock Motorcycle qualifying order with an elapsed time track record 6.829 at 195.19 in his second pass of the day. He is aiming for his 26th career No. 1 qualifier and his second consecutive this season.

“The last two races have been awesome for us, especially getting the No. 1 qualifier in Norwalk the last time out,” Smith said. “It’s good to come here and be No. 1 and prove that we could do it again, but I think we are here to stay this year and we will make a run at the championship.”

Scotty Pollacheck is in the No. 2 slot after a 6.883 at 193.65 during his second pass of the day, while Hector Arana, Jr. sits at third with a 6.884 at 194.97.

Qualifying continues at 3:15 and 6:00 p.m. on Saturday.

NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series
Route 66 Raceway – Joliet, IL
Route 66 Nationals – July 7, 2017

Friday’s Qualifying Results

Top Fuel — 1. Brittany Force, 3.711 seconds, 323.04 mph; 2. Tony Schumacher, 3.758, 325.37; 3. Shawn Langdon, 3.759, 319.37; 4. Leah Pritchett, 3.763, 326.48; 5. Antron Brown, 3.766, 328.54; 6. Steve Torrence, 3.778, 319.82; 7. Pat Dakin, 3.835, 321.42; 8. T.J. Zizzo, 3.839, 275.90; 9. Terry McMillen, 3.853, 312.21; 10. Blake Alexander, 3.882, 303.43; 11. Scott Palmer, 3.893, 314.17; 12. Troy Coughlin Jr., 3.932, 262.08; 13. Luigi Novelli, 3.972, 298.67; 14. Kyle Wurtzel, 4.276, 195.96; 15. Doug Kalitta, 4.371, 182.90; 16. Chris Karamesines, 4.690, 165.42.

Not Qualified: 17. Clay Millican, 5.011, 142.28.

Funny Car — 1. Robert Hight, Chevy Camaro, 3.851, 334.73; 2. Jack Beckman, Dodge Charger, 3.856, 330.23; 3. Courtney Force, Camaro, 3.880, 331.36; 4. Matt Hagan, Charger, 3.895, 332.10; 5. Alexis DeJoria, Toyota Camry, 3.913, 327.98; 6. Tommy Johnson Jr., Charger, 3.913, 326.00; 7. Brian Stewart, Ford Mustang, 3.929, 325.53; 8. Ron Capps, Charger, 3.942, 321.27; 9. John Force, Camaro, 3.943, 321.58; 10. Jonnie Lindberg, Camry, 3.962, 321.81; 11. Cruz Pedregon, Camry, 3.967, 320.13; 12. Del Worsham, Camry, 3.975, 324.51; 13. J.R. Todd, Camry, 4.062, 313.15; 14. Jim Campbell, Charger, 4.171, 304.74; 15. Bob Bode, Charger, 4.497, 218.37; 16. Justin Schriefer, Charger, 4.924, 166.85.

Not Qualified: 17. Tim Wilkerson, 4.936, 154.69.

Pro Stock — 1. Tanner Gray, Chevy Camaro, 6.591, 208.84; 2. Greg Anderson, Camaro, 6.600, 209.20; 3. Drew Skillman, Camaro, 6.605, 208.07; 4. Jason Line, Camaro, 6.614, 209.36; 5. Bo Butner, Camaro, 6.620, 209.20; 6. Chris McGaha, Camaro, 6.620, 208.36; 7. Erica Enders, Camaro, 6.631, 208.62; 8. Allen Johnson, Dodge Dart, 6.638, 207.37; 9. Jeg Coughlin, Camaro, 6.647, 208.20; 10. Alan Prusiensky, Dart, 6.657, 207.34; 11. Alex Laughlin, Camaro, 6.701, 207.15; 12. Vincent Nobile, Camaro, 6.708, 208.04; 13. Kenny Delco, Camaro, 6.713, 206.04; 14. Shane Tucker, Camaro, 6.752, 205.51; 15. Mark Hogan, Pontiac GXP, 6.798, 201.73; 16. Val Smeland, Camaro, 6.928, 199.94.

Not Qualified: 17. Dave River, 14.077, 60.12.

Pro Stock Motorcycle — 1. Matt Smith, Victory, 6.829, 195.19; 2. Scotty Pollacheck, Suzuki, 6.883, 193.74; 3. Hector Arana Jr, Buell, 6.884, 194.97; 4. LE Tonglet, Suzuki, 6.889, 193.68; 5. Jerry Savoie, Suzuki, 6.905, 193.02; 6. Chip Ellis, EBR, 6.934, 190.81; 7. Joey Gladstone, Suzuki, 6.936, 192.03; 8. Karen Stoffer, Suzuki, 6.938, 191.19; 9. Eddie Krawiec, Harley-Davidson, 6.945, 192.80; 10. Andrew Hines, Harley-Davidson, 6.951, 192.85; 11. Melissa Surber, Buell, 6.960, 190.00; 12. Angie Smith, Buell, 6.963, 190.89; 13. Cory Reed, Victory, 6.964, 189.95; 14. Steve Johnson, Suzuki, 6.981, 192.00; 15. Mike Berry, Buell, 6.986, 190.73; 16. Angelle Sampey, Victory, 6.999, 189.76.

Not Qualified: 17. Ryan Oehler, 7.072, 187.52; 18. Kelly Clontz, 7.112, 189.07; 19. David Hope, 7.129, 185.54; 20. Lance Bonham, 7.212, 184.25; 21. Andie Rawlings, 7.788, 162.31.

 

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