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Courtney Force P1 In Englishtown

| , RacinToday.com Sunday, June 11 2017

Courtney Force has been qualifying well this season. Now she needs to race well on Sunday. (File photo by Marc Gewertz/NHRA)

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Courtney Force powered to her fifth Funny Car pole of the season Saturday as time trials concluded for the 48th annual NHRA Summernationals at Old Bridge Township Raceway Park in Englishtown, N.J.

Antron Brown (Top Fuel), Bo Butner (Pro Stock) and LE Tonglet (Pro Stock Motorcycle) are also No. 1 qualifiers in their respective categories at the 10th of 24 events on the 2017 NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series schedule.

Force secured the top spot with a track record 1,000-foot elapsed time of 3.862-seconds at 331.12 mph in her Advance Auto Parts Chevy Camaro SS during her second session on Friday. Force had not earned P1 in her last two races, after securing four consecutive top qualifying positions between the Las Vegas and Atlanta events.

“It’s pretty exciting that we have done so well since the start of the season, and the team I have has been working so hard to give me a great race car each weekend,” Force said. “I really would like to get a win here, especially with the amount of fans and media attention that this track brings each year.” Force will face Jeff Diehl in the first round of eliminations on Sunday.

John Force Racing teammate Robert Hight recorded the second-quickest pass of qualifying at 3.880-seconds at a track speed record 332.43 mph in his Auto Club of Southern California Camaro on Friday night. Reigning world champion and current point-leader Ron Capps qualified third at 3.883-seconds and 329.67 mph in his NAPA Auto Parts Dodge Charger R/T fielded by Don Schumacher Racing. Hight, the 2009 world champion, will take on J.R. Todd in Round 1 of eliminations, while Capps is set to face 2014 world champ Del Worsham in the first round.

Brown set the Top Fuel elapsed time track record with a 1,000-foot run in 3.713-seconds at 329.42 mph in his Matco Tools dragster during the second session on Friday. Brown, of DSR, now has 48 career poles as he searches for the 64th career victory.

“It feels great to be back home. I’m definitely going to take it all in and enjoy being back around family and friends,” said Brown, the three-time reigning world champion and Jersey native. “This is a race that can really catapult us and get us where we need to be, because we want to catch our stride now into the Countdown to the Championship and get some momentum heading into some of the final events of the season.” Brown is paired against Blake Alexander in Round One of eliminations.

Steve Torrence landed in the No. 2 spot of Top Fuel with a pass of 3.725-seconds at 326.40 mph in his Capco Contractors dragster during his second pass on Friday. Point-leader Leah Pritchett of DSR qualified ninth in her Dodge Demon/Pennzoil dragster as she aims for her fourth victory of the season. Torrence faces Smax Smith in the first round of eliminations while Pritchett matches up with eight-time world champion and teammate Tony Schumacher.

Butner maintained his lead in Pro Stock after driving the quarter-mile in 6.551-seconds at 211.73 mph in his Jim Butner’s Auto Chevy Camaro during the second session on Friday. Butner now has three poles on the season and six in his career. He will take on Val Smeland on Sunday.

“You can’t take these No. 1 qualifiers for granted, but we are definitely hoping for a yellow hat tomorrow,” Butner said, referencing the race winner’s cap. “This has just been an awesome day and this is a pretty special birthday present.”

Rookie Tanner Gray earned the No. 2 spot with a pass in 6.555-seconds at 211.59 mph in his Gray Motorsports Camaro as he chases his third victory of 2017. Gray is paired against John Gaydosh in the first round.

LE Tonglet finished atop the Pro Stock Motorcycle category with a quarter-mile pass in 6.800-seconds at 195.62 mph aboard his Nitro Fish Racing Suzuki during his second pass on Friday. Tonglet earned his fourth career pole and notched his first in the past six seasons. He will take on Kelly Clontz in eliminations.

“It’s been six years since I’ve had a No. 1 qualifier, but we’re really excited about this and are going to enjoy it today,” said Tonglet, the 2010 world champion. “Hopefully we get four sets of yellow win lights tomorrow, that’s all we’re hoping for.”

The Arana family once again rounded out the top-three of the Pro Stock Motorcycle qualifying order, with Hector Arana Jr. second at 6.810-seconds and 196.36 mph aboard his Buell, while his father Hector Sr. had a 6.823-second pass at 196.67 mph to qualify third on his Buell.

Eliminations are scheduled to begin at 11:00 a.m. (EDT) Sunday. FOX Sports 1 will televise three hours of finals coverage beginning at 6 p.m.

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Sunday’s first-round pairings for eliminations for the 48th NHRA Summernationals at Old Bridge Township Raceway Park, the 10th of 24 events in the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series.  Pairings based on results in qualifying, which ended Saturday. DNQs listed below pairings:

Top Fuel _ 1. Antron Brown, 3.713-seconds, 329.42 mph  vs. 14. Blake Alexander, 5.729, 116.80; 2. Steve Torrence, 3.725, 326.40  vs. 13. Smax Smith, 4.920, 162.72; 3. Doug Kalitta, 3.733, 329.75  vs. 12. Dom Lagana, 3.823, 318.54; 4. Shawn Langdon, 3.734, 326.79  vs. 11. Scott Palmer, 3.808, 320.97; 5. Brittany Force, 3.762, 320.81  vs. 10. Troy Coughlin Jr., 3.800, 320.66; 6. Tony Schumacher, 3.763, 323.19  vs. 9. Leah Pritchett, 3.788, 321.42; 7. Terry McMillen, 3.783, 314.17  vs. 8. Clay Millican, 3.786, 314.53.

Funny Car _ 1. Courtney Force, Chevy Camaro, 3.862, 331.12  vs. 16. Jeff Diehl, Toyota Solara, 6.432, 98.18; 2. Robert Hight, Camaro, 3.880, 332.43  vs. 15. J.R. Todd, Toyota Camry, 4.059, 315.86; 3. Ron Capps, Dodge Charger, 3.883, 329.67  vs. 14. Del Worsham, Camry, 4.043, 320.28; 4. Jack Beckman, Charger, 3.907, 328.30  vs. 13. Jim Campbell, Charger, 4.022, 318.17; 5. Cruz Pedregon, Camry, 3.915, 326.32  vs. 12. John Force, Camaro, 4.015, 316.52; 6. Tim Wilkerson, Ford Mustang, 3.944, 321.58  vs. 11. Alexis DeJoria, Camry, 3.979, 319.45; 7. Tommy Johnson Jr., Charger, 3.945, 326.71  vs. 10. Bob Tasca III, Mustang, 3.961, 323.04; 8. Jonnie Lindberg, Camry, 3.951, 320.81  vs. 9. Matt Hagan, Charger, 3.952, 324.44.

Pro Stock _ 1. Bo Butner, Chevy Camaro, 6.551, 211.73  vs. 14. Val Smeland, Camaro, 6.869, 200.59; 2. Tanner Gray, Camaro, 6.555, 211.79  vs. 13. John Gaydosh Jr., Camaro, 6.717, 206.61; 3. Jason Line, Camaro, 6.559, 210.73  vs. 12. Alan Prusiensky, Dodge Dart, 6.659, 207.94; 4. Allen Johnson, Dart, 6.567, 210.90  vs. 11. Matt Hartford, Camaro, 6.631, 210.28; 5. Greg Anderson, Camaro, 6.578, 211.79  vs. 10. Kenny Delco, Camaro, 6.628, 209.20; 6. Jeg Coughlin Jr., Camaro, 6.589, 211.10  vs. 9. Erica Enders, Camaro, 6.598, 210.57; 7. Drew Skillman, Camaro, 6.591, 211.26  vs. 8. Vincent Nobile, Camaro, 6.591, 211.33.

Pro Stock Motorcycle _ 1. LE Tonglet, Suzuki, 6.800, 195.68  vs. 16. Kelly Clontz, Suzuki, 6.914, 195.22; 2. Hector Arana Jr., Buell, 6.801, 196.36  vs. 15. Melissa Surber, Buell, 6.906, 191.78; 3. Hector Arana, Buell, 6.823, 197.77  vs. 14. Steve Johnson, Suzuki, 6.905, 192.85; 4. Jerry Savoie, Suzuki, 6.828, 194.80  vs. 13. Cory Reed, Victory, 6.895, 191.62; 5. Scotty Pollacheck, Suzuki, 6.847, 193.46  vs. 12. Angelle Sampey, Victory, 6.879, 192.33; 6. Joey Gladstone, Suzuki, 6.848, 194.52  vs. 11. Karen Stoffer, Suzuki, 6.872, 194.44; 7. Chip Ellis, Buell, 6.861, 192.63  vs. 10. Eddie Krawiec, Harley-Davidson, 6.868, 197.80; 8. Andrew Hines, Harley-Davidson, 6.866, 197.05  vs. 9. Angie Smith, Buell, 6.866, 194.10.

Did Not Qualify _ 17. Matt Smith, 6.919, 193.43; 18. John Hall, 6.980, 191.92; 19. Andy Simon, 7.326, 182.26; 20. Joe DeSantis, 7.331, 176.97; 21. James Surber, 7.376, 181.57.

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Troy Coughlin maintained the qualifying lead for the NHRA J&A Service Pro Mod Drag Racing Series portion of the NHRA Summernationals at Old Bridge Township Raceway Park. This weekend’s Pro Mod Racing, presented by Aquaball, is the sixth of 12 events this season.

Coughlin’s pass of 5.772-seconds at 257.53 mph from Friday’s qualifying session held up Saturday to secure lane choice Saturday afternoon. He defeated Jonathan Gray in the first round of eliminations with a pass of 5.788-seconds at 256.55 mph.

“It’s pretty exciting to be that competitive again,” Coughlin said. “From not qualifying in Atlanta to a tough first round in Topeka, it’s good to come back and come out swinging from the start. To be able to hold onto the No. 1 qualifying spot in the J&A Series is a big feat. It’s always been difficult, but it’s getting tougher and tougher.”

Shane Molinari, the No. 2 qualifier, also advanced to the quarterfinals after defeating Mike Janis. Molinari’s pass of 5.818-seconds at 234.61 mph bested Janis’ pass at 8.947-seconds and 109.81 mph.  Molinari will be pitted against Rickie Smith in the second round. Smith moved into first after Eric Latino gave away the win at the start of their run when he red-lit.

First round Pro Modified results Saturday from the 48th NHRA Summernationals at Old Bridge Township Raceway Park, the sixth of 12 events in the NHRA Pro Mod Drag Racing Series:

ROUND ONE _ Khalid alBalooshi, Chevy Camaro, 5.853, 248.48 def. Danny Rowe, Chevy Corvette, 9.786, 110.15; Rickie Smith, Camaro, 7.899, 121.65 def. Eric Latino, Camaro, Foul/Red Light; Troy Coughlin, Corvette, 5.788, 256.55 def. Jonathan Gray, Camaro, 5.873, 240.38; Shane Molinari, Pontiac Firebird, 5.818, 234.61 def. Mike Janis, Camaro, 8.947, 109.81; Steve Jackson, Camaro, 6.299, 157.67 def. Bob Rahaim, Camaro, 9.088, 104.59; Sidnei Frigo, Corvette, 7.087, 152.18 def. Shannon Jenkins, Ford Mustang, 8.936, 103.28; Steven Whiteley, Cadillac CTS-V, 5.822, 250.37 def. Mike Castellana, Camaro, 5.854, 249.72; Steve Matusek, Camaro, 5.852, 250.60 def. Carl Stevens, Camaro, 9.073, 111.08.

| , RacinToday.com Sunday, June 11 2017
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