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Brittany Force Secures Nice Birthday Gift

| , RacinToday.com Sunday, July 9 2017

Top Fueler Brittany Force collected the pole spot for Sunday’s NHRA event in Joliet. (File photo by Marc Gewertz/NHRA)


Birthday girl Brittany Force powered to her first Top Fuel pole of the season Saturday evening as qualifying concluded for the 20th annual Fallen Patriots NHRA Route 66 Nationals at Route 66 Raceway.

Robert Hight (Funny Car), Greg Anderson (Pro Stock) and LE Tonglet (Pro Stock Motorcycle) also secured No. 1 positions in their respective categories in Joliet, Ill., at the 13th of 24 events on the 2017 NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series schedule.

Force maintained her Top Fuel lead from Friday with a 1,000-foot run of 3.711-seconds at 323.04 mph in her Monster Energy dragster fielded by John Force Racing. Force notched her seventh career No. 1 qualifier in pursuit of her second victory of the season.

“It’s been a pretty good weekend for us, especially since we earned our first No. 1 of the season,” said Force, who turned 31 on Saturday. “It was rough having the car take some damage on our last run, but if we can end up in the winner’s circle (Sunday) it will all be worth it.”

Leah Pritchett earned the second spot after a pass in 3.723-seconds at 326.56 mph in her Don Schumacher Racing dragster, barely missing out on her fourth pole of the season. Clay Millican is sitting third after a pass in 3.739-seconds at 325.22 mph in his Great Clips/Parts Plus dragster.

Hight set both ends of the Funny Car track record after a 1,000-foot pass in 3.851-seconds at 334.73 mph in his Auto Club of Southern California Chevy Camaro SS during the second qualifying session on Friday. The 2009 world champion, Hight now has two poles on the season as he aims for his first win in 2017.

“Last night I would have guessed that if we didn’t improve upon our time from yesterday that we would not come out as the No. 1 qualifier,” Hight said. “But we have to make sure we get it together (Sunday) when it’s pretty hot out here. We know it’ll be a hot track but if we can run like we did in Norwalk (Ohio two weeks ago) then we should do just fine.”

“Fast Jack” Beckman of DSR landed the second spot after a run in 3.856-seconds at 330.23 mph in his Infinite Hero Foundation Dodge Charger R/T, as he chases his third win in the past four races. Courtney Force, Brittany’s sister, sits third with a pass in 3.880-seconds at 331.36 mph in her Advance Auto Parts Chevy Camaro SS in pursuit of her first win of the year.

In Pro Stock, Anderson secured P1 after covering the quarter-mile in 6.564-seconds at 210.18 mph in his Summit Racing Equipment Chevy Camaro during Saturday’s second session. Anderson, a four-time world champion, locked down his second pole of the season and 89th of his career.


“It was a very nice day today and we made the most of it with two great runs, and we ended up with the No. 1 spot,” said Anderson, of Ken Black Racing. “This was actually the last racetrack on the circuit for me to win until I got it done a few years back and then of course winning last year. And now there’s nothing to not love about this great facility since the monkey is off my back.”

Point-leader Bo Butner, also of KBR, qualified second at 6.574-seconds and 210.21 mph in his Jim Butner’s Auto Camaro, narrowly missing his fourth No. 1 qualifier of the season. Drew Skillman landed in third at 6.581/210.08 in his Ray Skillman Camaro.

Tonglet finished atop the Pro Stock Motorcycle ladder after setting the quarter-mile elapsed time track record at 6.806-seconds at 196.13 mph aboard his Nitro Fish Racing Suzuki during his second pass of the day. Tonglet notched his second pole of the season and fifth of his career.

“We had made some mistakes in the third round of qualifying, but I knew I just had to calm down and run better numbers in these great conditions,” said Tonglet, the 2010 world champion. “We’ve had a very good season so far and it feels similar to our previous successful years, so I know we can continue to build off of it.”

Hector Arana Jr. qualified second after a 6.811-second run at a track-record 197.33 mph aboard his Lucas Oil Buell during his final pass. Two-time world champion Matt Smith earned the third slot after his pass of 6.823/196.62 aboard his Victory Polaris Magnum failed to hold up from Friday night.

FOX Sports 1 is scheduled to air three hours of live coverage of eliminations starting at 3 p.m. (EDT).


Sunday’s first-round pairings for eliminations at the 20th annual Children of Fallen Patriots NHRA Route 66 Nationals presented by K&N at Route 66 Raceway, the 13th 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. Brittany Force, 3.711-seconds, 323.04 mph  vs. 16. Luigi Novelli, 3.972, 298.67; 2. Leah Pritchett, 3.723, 326.56  vs. 15. Troy Coughlin Jr., 3.932, 262.08; 3. Clay Millican, 3.739, 325.22  vs. 14. Kyle Wurtzel, 3.928, 304.39; 4. Steve Torrence, 3.750, 324.90  vs. 13. Scott Palmer, 3.893, 315.49; 5. Tony Schumacher, 3.758, 325.37  vs. 12. Blake Alexander, 3.882, 303.43; 6. Shawn Langdon, 3.759, 319.37  vs. 11. Terry McMillen, 3.853, 312.21; 7. Antron Brown, 3.766, 328.54  vs. 10. Doug Kalitta, 3.849, 293.79; 8. T.J. Zizzo, 3.786, 321.12  vs. 9. Pat Dakin, 3.835, 321.42.

Did Not Qualify _ 17. Chris Karamesines, 4.690, 165.42.

Funny Car _ 1. Robert Hight, Chevy Camaro, 3.851, 334.73  vs. 16. Jim Campbell, Dodge Charger, 4.171, 304.74; 2. Jack Beckman, Charger, 3.856, 330.23  vs. 15. Bob Bode, Charger, 4.105, 306.95; 3. Courtney Force, Camaro, 3.880, 331.36  vs. 14. J.R. Todd, Toyota Camry, 4.062, 313.15; 4. Matt Hagan, Charger, 3.895, 332.10  vs. 13. Del Worsham, Camry, 3.975, 324.51; 5. Alexis DeJoria, Camry, 3.913, 327.98  vs. 12. Cruz Pedregon, Camry, 3.967, 320.13; 6. Tommy Johnson Jr., Charger, 3.913, 326.00  vs. 11. John Force, Camaro, 3.943, 321.58; 7. Brian Stewart, Ford Mustang, 3.929, 325.53  vs. 10. Tim Wilkerson, Mustang, 3.943, 332.26; 8. Jonnie Lindberg, Camry, 3.935, 326.40  vs. 9. Ron Capps, Charger, 3.942, 321.27.

Did Not Qualify _ 17. Justin Schriefer, 4.478, 228.11.

Pro Stock _ 1. Greg Anderson, Chevy Camaro, 6.564, 210.44  vs. 16. Val Smeland, Camaro, 6.832, 201.58; 2. Bo Butner, Camaro, 6.574, 211.06  vs. 15. Mark Hogan, Pontiac GXP, 6.777, 203.28; 3. Drew Skillman, Camaro, 6.581, 210.08  vs. 14. Shane Tucker, Camaro, 6.726, 205.72; 4. Jeg Coughlin Jr., Camaro, 6.584, 210.18  vs. 13. Kenny Delco, Camaro, 6.662, 208.01; 5. Jason Line, Camaro, 6.585, 210.37  vs. 12. Alan Prusiensky, Dodge Dart, 6.657, 208.59; 6. Tanner Gray, Camaro, 6.591, 209.88  vs. 11. Alex Laughlin, Camaro, 6.643, 209.26; 7. Vincent Nobile, Camaro, 6.595, 210.37  vs. 10. Allen Johnson, Dart, 6.610, 209.82; 8. Chris McGaha, Camaro, 6.596, 209.98  vs. 9. Erica Enders, Camaro, 6.600, 210.50.

Did Not Qualify _ 17. Dave River, 6.924, 199.67.

Pro Stock Motorcycle _ 1. LE Tonglet, Suzuki, 6.806, 196.13  vs. 16. Cory Reed, Victory, 6.964, 190.62; 2. Hector Arana Jr., Buell, 6.811, 197.33  vs. 15. Angelle Sampey, Victory, 6.949, 190.62; 3. Matt Smith, Victory, 6.823, 196.62  vs. 14. Eddie Krawiec, Harley-Davidson, 6.945, 192.80; 4. Jerry Savoie, Suzuki, 6.823, 195.62  vs. 13. Chip Ellis, EBR, 6.924, 193.18; 5. Karen Stoffer, Suzuki, 6.848, 194.32  vs. 12. Andrew Hines, Harley-Davidson, 6.918, 194.88; 6. Steve Johnson, Suzuki, 6.864, 194.74  vs. 11. Mike Berry, Buell, 6.908, 191.51; 7. Angie Smith, Buell, 6.864, 194.32  vs. 10. Melissa Surber, Buell, 6.887, 194.21; 8. Scotty Pollacheck, Suzuki, 6.865, 194.55  vs. 9. Joey Gladstone, Suzuki, 6.874, 194.58.

Did Not Qualify _ 17. Ryan Oehler, 6.978, 192.33; 18. David Hope, 6.995, 191.05; 19. Kelly Clontz, 7.060, 194.07; 20. Lance Bonham, 7.112, 187.44; 21. Andie Rawlings, 7.611, 171.40.

| , RacinToday.com Sunday, July 9 2017
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