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Force Cars To Be Reckoned With At zMAX

| Senior Writer, RacinToday.com Friday, April 28 2017

Courtney Force shot to the top in Funny Car qualifying on Friday. (RacinToday/HHP file photo by Harold Hinson)

By Deb Williams | Senior Writer

CONCORD, N.C. – In hot and humid weather Friday at zMAX Dragway, John Force Racing dominated the first two sessions of Funny Car qualifying in the NHRA Four-Wide Nationals, claiming the top three positions.

Courtney Force moved into the No. 1 position with a track record elapsed time of 3.851 seconds, while Robert Hight came in second at 3.873. However, Hight claimed the track record for top speed with 333.91 mph. Force’s E.T. broke the record of 3.876 set by Tommy Johnson Jr. last September. Hight’s record broke the one held by John Force, also set last September when he clocked in at 331.04 mph.

Courtney said after she made her second pass, she was more worried about her father than anyone else surpassing her because he was quickest after the first qualifying session with an E.T. of 3.904.

“I was really happy with that run,” Courtney said. “I feel like we have a pretty consistent car for this weekend.

“This track makes everyone a better driver. Everyone has to be on their ‘A’ game here.”

Courtney’s car pulled to the left at the beginning of her first run, but she said that didn’t happen in her second.

“I’m not entirely sure (what happened on that first run), but I’m going to put the blame on myself for the difference between the two runs because I’m the one driving the car,” Courtney said.

In Top Fuel, Antron Brown led the first qualifying session with an E.T. of 3.720 seconds, but with the track temperature nine degrees cooler for the second session Clay Millican surpassed him with 3.716 E.T. Steve Torrence recorded top speed at 329.10 mph, also in the second session.

In Pro Stock, Jeg Coughlin edged Erica Enders in the second qualifying session, to take the provisional No. 1 position at Friday’s conclusion. Coughlin posted an E.T. of 6.578 seconds, while teammate Enders won her quad with an E.T. of 6.583 seconds. Greg Anderson was nipping at Enders’ wheels at 6.587. Even though Enders was second in elapsed time, she posted the day’s top speed at 210.37 mph.

“Moving back to Chevy was a good transition for us over the winter,” Coughlin said. “(At the beginning of the season) we stumbled on this and on that, but it wasn’t until Vegas that we were extremely strong. We definitely feel like we have a team and a car that can challenge for this Mello Yello Series championship.”

Defending Pro Stock Motorcycle champion Jerry Savoie led the first two qualifying sessions in his class. He posted an E.T. of 6.849 seconds in the first session and then 6.824 in the second when the track temperature was nine degrees cooler. Eddie Krawiec was second with a 6.835 E.T. and Chip Ellis third at 6.852. Krawiec recorded the day’s top speed at 196.93 mph.  

“The conditions were not real great,” Savoie said. “We didn’t like today’s weather because it was so hot and humid. (But in the summer) the hotter and nastier it becomes the better we run.”

| Senior Writer, RacinToday.com Friday, April 28 2017
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