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Torrence On Top Fuel Pole At Thunder Valley

| , RacinToday.com Sunday, June 18 2017

Steve Torrence sped to the pole in Bristol on Saturday. (RacinToday/HHP file photo by Harold Hinson)

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Steve Torrence claimed pole position in Top Fuel Saturday evening as qualifying concluded for the 17th annual NHRA Thunder Valley Nationals at Bristol (Tenn.) Dragway. 

Torrence’s 1,000-foot pass of 3.772-seconds at 319.29 mph in his dragster during the fourth session secured his second No. 1 qualifier of the season and 15th of his career. 

“It’s been a really tricky weekend,” Torrence said. “I think it will be a driver’s race (Sunday). I feel like we’re going to have to go out and earn the round wins and if you make it to the final you’re going to have to work hard. These 11,000-horsepower beasts don’t want to go down hot tracks. It takes a lot of finesse from crew chiefs and drivers have to be on their job.”

Torrence will square-off against veteran independent campaigner Chris “The Greek” Karamesines in the first round of eliminations Sunday afternoon.

Tim Wilkerson (Funny Car) and Jeg Coughlin Jr. (Pro Stock) also were No. 1 qualifiers in their respective categories at the 11th event of 24 on the 2017 NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series schedule. 

Doug Kalitta sits second in Top Fuel after a pass of 3.781-seconds at 326.71 mph in his Mac Tools dragster. Leah Pritchett is third in her Don Schumacher Racing dragster with a run of 3.795-seconds at 288.03 mph.

Wilkerson leads the Funny Car class with his 1,000-foot pass of 3.895-seconds at 328.22 mph from Friday night in the Levi, Ray & Shoup Ford Shelby Mustang. It’s his first pole of the season and 19th of his career. 

“It’ll be an interesting day (Sunday),” Wilkerson said. “This place is really trying. Don’t think you’ve heard one crew chief say, ‘Wow. This is the easiest thing in the world.’ I’m very optimistic of how we can run tomorrow. I told my guys I hope I’ve got them worn out by the time 4 o’clock rolls around tomorrow.”  Wilkerson will face Bob Bode in the first round. 

Robert Hight, the 2009 world champion from John Force Racing, qualified second with a pass of 3.918-seconds at 324.28 mph. Two-time world champion Matt Hagan of DSR ran 3.925-seconds at 326.00 mph in his Dodge Charger R/T to qualify third. 

In Pro Stock, Coughlin’s quarter-mile pass of 6.694-seconds at 204.85 mph in his JEGS.com/Elite Performance Chevy Camaro from Friday stood through Saturday to clinch his third pole of the season and 23rd of his career. 

“It feels great to stay on the pole after Friday night’s run,” Coughlin said. “Couldn’t be more proud of the entire JEGS.com team; they’ve been really thrashing. We’d love nothing more than to turn this green hat into a yellow hat with our first race win this season.”

Bo Butner of Ken Black Racing is second via a pass of 6.697-seconds at 205.72 mph in his Jim Butner’s Auto Camaro. Two-time world champion Erica Enders ran 6.704-seconds at 205.66 mph to qualify third in her Elite Performance Camaro.

First round of eliminations are slated to begin at noon (EDT) Sunday. FOX Sports 1 (FS1) is scheduled to begin its broadcast at 6:30 p.m. 

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Sunday’s first-round pairings for the 17th annual NHRA Thunder Valley Nationals at Bristol Dragway, the 11th 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. Steve Torrence, 3.772-seconds, 319.29 mph  vs. 16. Chris Karamesines, 4.263, 236.13; 2. Doug Kalitta, 3.781, 326.71  vs. 15. Shawn Langdon, 4.023, 244.07; 3. Leah Pritchett, 3.795,309.34  vs. 14. Troy Coughlin Jr., 4.014, 236.75; 4. Clay Millican, 3.810, 321.12  vs. 13. Kyle Wurtzel, 3.955, 265.48; 5. Brittany Force, 3.818, 318.69  vs. 12. Terry McMillen, 3.901, 315.42; 6.Tony Schumacher, 3.825, 322.27  vs. 11. Scott Palmer, 3.883, 321.88; 7. Antron Brown, 3.834, 318.62 vs. 10. Pat Dakin, 3.869, 301.60; 8. Kebin Kinsley, 3.835, 311.27  vs. 9. Mike Salinas, 3.856, 316.75. 

Did Not Qualify _ 17. Terry Haddock, 4.586, 183.02. 

Funny Car _ 1. Tim Wilkerson, Ford Mustang, 3.895, 328.22  vs. 16. Bob Bode, Dodge Charger, 8.365, 86.82; 2. Robert Hight, Chevy Camaro, 3.918, 324.28  vs. 15. Jeff Diehl, Toyota Solara, 7.634, 89.65; 3. Matt Hagan, Charger, 3.925, 326.00  vs. 14. Jim Campbell, Charger, 4.996, 162.49; 4. Courtney Force, Camaro, 3.952, 324.90  vs. 13. J.R. Todd, Toyota Camry, 4.067, 308.00; 5. Jack Beckman, Charger, 3.959, 322.96  vs. 12. Cruz Pedregon, Camry, 4.048, 310.77; 6. John Force, Camaro, 3.983, 322.96  vs. 11. Del Worsham, Camry, 4.043, 311.27; 7. Alexis DeJoria, Camry, 3.998, 295.08  vs. 10. Ron Capps, Charger, 4.032, 316.15; 8. Tommy Johnson Jr., Charger, 4.000, 315.93 vs. 9. Jonnie Lindberg, Camry, 4.024, 303.98. 

Pro Stock _ 1. Jeg Coughlin Jr., Chevy Camaro, 6.694, 205.79  vs. Bye; 2. Bo Butner, Camaro, 6.697,206.51  vs. 13. Wally Stroupe, Camaro, 7.300, 187.78; 3. Erica Enders, Camaro, 6.704, 205.82  vs.12. Alan Prusiensky, Dodge Dart, 6.786, 202.97; 4. Greg Anderson, Camaro, 6.711, 205.47  vs. 11.Tanner Gray, Camaro, 6.778, 205.38; 5. Jason Line, Camaro, 6.721, 205.22  vs. 10. Shane Gray, Camaro, 6.757, 205.54; 6. Vincent Nobile, Camaro, 6.725, 205.91  vs. 9. Drew Skillman, Camaro, 6.757, 204.79; 7. Allen Johnson, Dart, 6.730, 205.60  vs. 8. Alex Laughlin, Camaro, 6.740, 204.54.

Shane Molinari secured pole position Saturday at the NHRA J&A Service Pro Mod Drag Racing Series portion of the NHRA Thunder Valley Nationals at Bristol Dragway. This weekend’s Pro Mod Racing, presented by Real Pro Mod Association, is the seventh of 12 events this season.

Molinari’s pass of 5.837-seconds at 256.70 mph in his S&T Truck Repair Inc. 1968 Pontiac Firebird during the final round of qualifying secured lane choice during the first elimination session Saturday afternoon. Molinari defeated Jim Whiteley’s Chevy Camaro with a pass in 5.934-seconds at 227.50 mph. Sidnei Frigo, who beat Pete Farber, will be Molinari’s next opponent on Sunday.

No. 2 qualifier Troy Coughlin also advanced to the quarterfinals after defeating Mike Janis with his pass of 5.842-seconds at 254.86 mph in his JEGS Mail Order ’15 Corvette. Coughlin will line up against Bob Rahaim in the second round.

Eliminations for the NHRA J&A Service Pro Mod Drag Racing Series will continue Sunday at approximately 1:30 p.m.

First-round Pro Modified results from the 17th annual NHRA Thunder Valley Nationals at Bristol Dragway, the seventh of 12 events in the NHRA Pro Mod Drag Racing Series:

ROUND ONE — Sidnei Frigo, Chevy Corvette, 5.927, 249.90 def. Pete Farber, Dodge Daytona, 5.960, 244.34; Troy Coughlin, Corvette, 5.842, 254.86 def. Mike Janis, Chevy Camaro, 7.884, 122.87; Shane Molinari, Pontiac Firebird, 5.934, 227.50 def. Jim Whiteley, Camaro, 11.197, 107.31; Jonathan Gray, Camaro, 5.898, 246.03 def. Steve Jackson, Camaro, 5.901, 243.94; Michael Bowman, Chevy Chevelle, 5.955, 256.50 def. Khalid alBalooshi, Camaro, 6.036, 243.28; Rickie Smith, Camaro, 5.867, 246.48 def. Steven Whiteley, Cadillac CTS-V, 5.928, 244.96; Mike Castellana, Camaro, 5.939, 245.67 def. Steve Matusek, Camaro, 5.932, 244.96; Bob Rahaim, Camaro, 5.855, 246.98 def. Michael Biehle, Ford Mustang, 5.895, 252.05. 

 

| , RacinToday.com Sunday, June 18 2017
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