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No Blues For Millican In St. Louis

| , RacinToday.com Saturday, September 30 2017

Clay Millican is on the provisional pole at Gateway. (File photo by Marc Gewertz/NHRA)


Top Fuel veteran Clay Millican set the category’s national elapsed time record under the lights Friday as qualifying began for the sixth annual AAA Insurance NHRA Midwest Nationals at Gateway Motorsports Park in Madison, Ill.

Millican wheeled his dragster to a 1,000-foot pass in 3.631-seconds at 330.39 mph at the home race for Stringer Performance during the second round of qualifying at the event near St. Louis. Millican is chasing his fifth pole of the season and 10th of his career.

“That run is 100-percent David Grubnic doing his thing,” said Millican, referring to the former driver-turned- tuner. “He is the baddest dude out here right now and I don’t think anybody can argue that. He does it his way, there’s no shared information and it’s done with a group of young guys. That’s Doug Stringer’s car that I get to go out and stomp on that loud pedal in.”

native of Tennessee, Millican scored his first national event victory in his home state at Bristol Dragway on June 18. Millican raced to a 3.825-second pass at 316.38 mph to defeat Leah Pritchett, who ran 3.881 at 307.09 in her Don Schumacher Racing dragster. Millican became the 103rd different driver to win in Top Fuel. It was Millican’s 254th NHRA Top Fuel start and the ninth final round of his career.

Eight-time world champion Tony Schumacher posted a 3.680-second pass at 327.66 mph  to earn the provisional second spot Friday. Doug Kalitta currently is third in his Mac Tools dragster after a pass in 3.681-seconds at 331.85 mph.

Robert Hight (Funny Car) Greg Anderson (Pro Stock) and Andrew Hines (Pro Stock Motorcycle) are also current provisional No. 1 qualifiers in their respective categories at the third of six playoff events during the NHRA Countdown to the Championship.

Hight set the track elapsed time record with his 1,000-foot pass of 3.830-seconds at 333.91 mph. Hight also set the track speed record at 338.60 mph during his first qualifying pass. The John Force Racing ace is in pursuit of his seventh No. 1 qualifier of the season and 56th of his career.

“It’s more fun to sit back and watch my team work and you know what they’re up against when the conditions are like this,” said Hight, the 2009 world champion. “No one is really talking but they’re focused on what they’re doing because they’re trying to make a record run. We got six more points today, we were low each session. Forget records or anything else, that’s what we’re here for.”

John Force, the 16-time world champion and owner of Hight’s car, is in the No. 2 position with a pass of 3.832-seconds at 334.65 mph. Reigning world champion/point-leader Ron Capps drove his Dodge Charger R/T to a pass of 3.849-seconds at 332.51 mph. Capps reclaimed the point-lead Sunday with a playoff victory at Maple Grove Raceway in Reading, Pa., over Courtney Force in the final of the 33rd annual Dodge NHRA Nationals.  Capps secured his first victory at MGR, his category-best seventh of the season and 57th of his career.

In Pro Stock, Anderson holds the top spot after a quarter-mile pass in 6.525-seconds at 211.03 mph in his Chevrolet Camaro during his second pass of the day. Anderson is chasing his fourth pole of the season.

“The conditions, weather and atmosphere didn’t change that much between the first run and second run,” said Anderson, of Ken Black Racing. “The racetrack is maxing-out grip; it’s as good of a racetrack you’ll ever, ever get and when you get conditions like that you need to just throw everything at it.”

KB Racing teammate and three-time/reigning world champion Jason Line is in the No. 2 position with a pass of 6.553-seconds at 211.66 mph. Drew Skillman follows in third after a run of 6.535 at 211.56 in his Ray Skillman Camaro.

Hines took the provisional lead in Pro Stock Motorcycle with a quarter-mile pass in 6.802-seconds at 196.19 mph aboard his Screamin’ Eagle Vance & Hines Harley-Davidson Street Rod during his first pass on Friday. Hines is seeking his second pole of the season and 40th of his career.

“This sets the tone for the last three (races),” said Hines, a five-time world champion. “We need to come out of here strong and if we can maintain the No. 1 spot and get some more bonus points that would be awesome. We just need to do some damage on Sunday. It’s always good for team morale when you come out of the box and go Q1 low; hopefully it will stick.”

Reigning world champion Jerry Savoie currently sits second aboard his White Alligator Racing Suzuki after a pass of 6.817-second at 197.28 mph and Scotty Pollacheck is third on his Extended Protection Suzuki at 6.820 at 195.28.

Qualifying is scheduled to resume Saturday at 1:15 p.m. and 3:45 p.m. Live bonus coverage of qualifying will be carried on NHRA.com from 5 to 6 p.m. (EDT). FOX Sports 1 will air one hour of qualifying coverage Sunday at 1 p.m., followed by three hours of live coverage beginning at 2 p.m. (EDT).


Friday’s provisional qualifying results after the first two of four rounds of time trials for the sixth annual AAA Insurance NHRA Midwest Nationals at Gateway Motorsports Park, 21st of 24 events in the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series and third of six events in the Countdown to the Championship playoffs. Qualifying will continue Saturday for Sunday’s final eliminations:

Top Fuel _ 1. Clay Millican, 3.631-seconds, 330.39 mph; 2. Tony Schumacher, 3.680, 329.26; 3. Doug Kalitta, 3.681, 331.85; 4. Leah Pritchett, 3.697, 329.83; 5. Brittany Force, 3.714, 329.58; 6. Richie Crampton, 3.714, 326.87; 7. Steve Torrence, 3.721, 325.37; 8. Dom Lagana, 3.729, 323.35; 9. Terry McMillen, 3.749, 321.27; 10. Antron Brown, 3.759, 325.45; 11. Pat Dakin, 3.768, 321.96; 12. Shawn Langdon, 3.768, 324.28; 13. Scott Palmer, 3.785, 320.97; 14. Troy Buff, 3.857, 314.17; 15. Terry Haddock, 3.993, 248.43; 16. Luigi Novelli, 4.263, 207.24.

Not Qualified _ 17. Kyle Wurtzel, 4.563, 169.17; 18. Ashley Sanford, 4.740, 155.90; 19. Chris Karamesines, 5.533, 118.60.

Funny Car _ 1. Robert Hight, Chevy Camaro, 3.830, 338.60; 2. John Force, Camaro, 3.832, 335.32; 3. Ron Capps, Dodge Charger, 3.849, 332.51; 4. Alexis DeJoria, Toyota Camry, 3.863, 333.16; 5. Jack Beckman, Charger, 3.873, 331.77; 6. Courtney Force, Camaro, 3.877, 329.50; 7. Jonnie Lindberg, Camry, 3.885, 327.74; 8. Tommy Johnson Jr., Charger, 3.897, 325.30; 9. J.R. Todd, Camry, 3.907, 329.34; 10. Del Worsham, Camry, 3.910, 327.27; 11. Tim Wilkerson, Ford Mustang, 3.923, 325.37; 12. Matt Hagan, Charger, 3.930, 327.19; 13. Cruz Pedregon, Camry, 3.978, 323.27; 14. Brian Stewart, Mustang, 4.014, 285.11; 15. Jim Campbell, Charger, 4.053, 313.73; 16. Jeff Diehl, Toyota Solara, 4.153, 306.26.

Not Qualified _ 17. Dale Creasy Jr., 4.623, 184.07; 18. Bob Bode, 9.029, 90.03.

Pro Stock _ 1. Greg Anderson, Chevy Camaro, 6.525, 211.06; 2. Jason Line, Camaro, 6.533, 211.79; 3. Drew Skillman, Camaro, 6.535, 211.56; 4. Bo Butner, Camaro, 6.542, 210.70; 5. Chris McGaha, Camaro, 6.548, 211.03; 6. Erica Enders, Camaro, 6.550, 210.87; 7. Tanner Gray, Camaro, 6.553, 210.34; 8. Allen Johnson, Dodge Dart, 6.575, 209.39; 9. Deric Kramer, Dart, 6.591, 208.49; 10. Larry Morgan, Camaro, 6.612, 208.46; 11. Alan Prusiensky, Dart, 6.886, 168.96; 12. Dave River, Chevy Cobalt, 6.906, 191.51; 13. Alex Laughlin, Camaro, 7.038, 155.01; 14. Mark Hogan, Pontiac GXP, 8.728, 113.16; 15. Brian Self, Camaro, 9.500, 98.77; 16. Jeg Coughlin Jr., Camaro, 9.606, 95.73.

Pro Stock Motorcycle _ 1. Andrew Hines, Harley-Davidson, 6.802, 196.19; 2. Jerry Savoie, Suzuki, 6.817, 197.28; 3. Scotty Pollacheck, Suzuki, 6.820, 195.28; 4. Matt Smith, Victory, 6.837, 194.88; 5. LE Tonglet, Suzuki, 6.841, 194.41; 6. Eddie Krawiec, Harley-Davidson, 6.846, 194.74; 7. Karen Stoffer, Suzuki, 6.867, 194.07; 8. Angie Smith, Buell, 6.869, 192.82; 9. Hector Arana Jr., Buell, 6.894, 194.13; 10. Joey Gladstone, Suzuki, 6.921, 192.08; 11. Mike Berry, Buell, 6.960, 192.03; 12. Marc Ingwersen, Buell, 7.009, 188.28; 13. Ryan Oehler, Buell, 7.211, 169.42; 14. Steve Johnson, Suzuki, 7.218, 153.56; 15. Andie Rawlings, Suzuki, 7.657, 174.14; 16. David Hope, Buell, 7.845, 127.17.

NHRA’s 2018 Countdown to the Championship will sport a revised look as four of six national events will change playoff dates.

The Dodge NHRA Nationals will kick-off the postseason stretch at historic Maple Grove Raceway in Reading, Pa., on Sept. 13-16 _ replacing the Carolina Nationals at zMAX Dragway as leadoff event.  The series will move to Madison, Ill., near St. Louis, on Sept. 21-23 for the AAA Insurance NHRA Midwest Nationals. 

Racers pursuing a world championship will then compete at the AAA Texas NHRA FallNationals at the Texas Motorplex in Ennis on Oct. 4-7. The all-concrete Motorplex in the Dallas-Fort Worth market currently is the fourth race on the playoff schedule. zMAX Dragway will host the NHRA Carolina Nationals on Oct. 12-14 at one of the premiere facilities in the country. 

The penultimate race in the Countdown will be the NHRA Toyota Nationals at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway on Oct. 25-28. The 2018 season will conclude and champions will be crowned at the Auto Club NHRA Finals at Auto Club Raceway at Pomona, Calif., on Nov. 8-11

Mike Castellana recorded the quickest pass during the first day of qualifying at the NHRA J&A Service Pro Mod Drag Racing Series portion of the AAA Insurance NHRA Midwest Nationals at Gateway Motorsports Park. This weekend’s Pro Mod racing, presented by Real Pro Mod Association, is the 11th of 12 events on the 2017 schedule.

Castellana covered the quarter-mile in a track elapsed-time record of 5.713-seconds at 253.85 mph in his Al-Anabi Racing Chevrolet Camaro during the second round of qualifying.

“It’s great. I mean, my team worked hard getting the car ready,” said Castellana, the class point-leader and national E.T. record-holder. “We did some testing and set the car up good. Hopefully we can remain consistent this weekend.”

Steven Whiteley currently is in the second position with a 5.757-second pass at 248.02 mph in his Y-Not Racing/J&A Service Cadillac CTS-V. Dan Stevenson is third at 5.769 at 235.72 in his Camaro.

Castellana began the weekend with a 48-point advantage on Troy Coughlin, the defending event winner in his Chevy Corvette. The field features nine different winners in 10 events thus far this season, including Castellana, Coughlin, Whiteley, Steve Matusek, Stevie Jackson, Shane Molinari, reigning champ Rickie Smith, Sidnei Frigo and Jonathan Gray.

The world’s fastest and most unique door-slammer race cars, Pro Mod features  historic Muscle Cars like 1967 Mustangs, ’68 Firebirds and ’69 Camaros, as well as a variety of late model American performance vehicles. With more than 3,000 horsepower, the suspended door cars cover the quarter-mile in less than six seconds at speeds exceeding 250 mph.

Pro Mod Series qualifying is scheduled to continue Saturday at approximately noon (EDT).

Friday’s provisional qualifying results after the first two of three rounds of qualifying for the sixth annual AAA Insurance NHRA Midwest Nationals at Gateway Motorsports Park, the 11th of 12 events in the NHRA Pro Mod Drag Racing Series. Qualifying will continue Saturday for Saturday’s first round of eliminations:

Pro Modified _ 1. Mike Castellana, Chevy Camaro, 5.713, 253.85; 2. Steven Whiteley, Cadillac CTS-V, 5.757, 250.32; 3. Dan Stevenson, Camaro, 5.769, 235.72; 4. Khalid alBalooshi, Camaro, 5.781, 251.53; 5. Steve Matusek, Camaro, 5.781, 250.18; 6. Eric Latino, Camaro, 5.787, 252.71; 7. Troy Coughlin, Chevy Corvette, 5.788, 254.81; 8. Steve Jackson, Camaro, 5.791, 249.53; 9. Rickie Smith, Camaro, 5.793, 250.55; 10. Sidnei Frigo, Corvette, 5.798, 252.19; 11. Carl Stevens, Camaro, 5.800, 257.28; 12. Pete Farber, Dodge Daytona, 5.804, 250.60; 13. Bob Rahaim, Camaro, 5.810, 250.09; 14. Danny Rowe, Corvette, 5.810, 249.44; 15. Doug Winters, Chevy Chevelle, 5.815, 247.25; 16. Chip King, Dodge Charger, 5.823, 246.80.

Not Qualified _ 17. Jonathan Gray, 5.838, 248.98; 18. Chuck Little, 5.841, 244.07; 19. Michael Biehle, 5.869, 252.05; 20. Mike Janis, 5.884, 234.13; 21. Melanie Salemi, 5.922, 237.80; 22. Shane Molinari, 5.980, 250.37; 23. Billy Harper, 5.980, 240.38; 24. Jeffery Baker, 6.301, 234.25; 25. Brandon Pesz, 6.407, 167.68; 26. Clint Satterfield, 7.034, 200.95; 27. Harry Hruska, 7.853, 175.68; 28. Jim Whiteley, 10.190, 119.26; 29. Shannon Jenkins, broke.

| , RacinToday.com Saturday, September 30 2017
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