Countdown Hits The Midwest

| , RacinToday.com Sunday, October 2 2022

Robert Hight is will be P1 in Funny Cars near St. Louis.


MADISON, Ill. – On the strength of the fastest Funny Car run since 2019, point-leader Robert Hight held onto the No. 1 qualifying position Saturday at World Wide Technology Raceway during the 11th annual NHRA Midwest Nationals.

Steve Torrence (Top Fuel), Kyle Koretsky (Pro Stock) and Matt Smith (Pro Stock Motorcycle) also qualified P1 at the third of six races in the NHRA Camping World Drag Racing Series Countdown to the Championship.

Eliminations are scheduled to begin at 10:30 a.m. (CDT) Sunday from the facility outside St. Louis, which played host to the series’ seventh sellout crowd of the season. FOX Sports 1 will carry three hours of live coverage beginning at 1 p.m. (CDT).

Hight’s 1,000-foot pass of 3.853-seconds at 336.32 mph from Friday in his AAA Missouri Chevrolet Camaro SS held up during the final two sessions Saturday, giving the three-time world champ from John Force Racing his fifth pole this season and 76th of his career. It also was the fastest run in the class in three years, as Hight aims for his eighth victory of 2022.

“That run Friday night, I’m glad it stuck and I’m really proud of the guys,” said Hight, who earned a first-round bye in a 15-car field. “I love being here in St. Louis and there’s nothing like seeing the stands full. There’s not any better fans than here and we’re going to put on a great show for them (Sunday). It’s been crunch time all year long and we’ve had big battles every weekend. You’ve got to be on your game on the starting line and your car has to be right.”

Sixteen-time world champ John Force qualified second at 3.853-seconds at 334.15 mph in his PEAK Chevy Camaro SS. Two-time/reigning world champ Ron Capps, who won last weekend at zMAX Dragway in Concord, N.C., moved into third after a pass in 3.863-seconds at 331.94 mph in his NAPA Auto Parts Toyota Supra.

Four-time/reigning Top Fuel world champion Torrence clinched his third No. 1 this season thanks to Friday’s 1,000-foot pass in 3.655-seconds at 327.43 mph in his Capco Contractors dragster. That was a season-best run for the defending event winner. Torrence will begin Sunday’s eliminations against privateer team-owner/driver Buddy Hull.

“We’ve got momentum,” Torrence said. “It’s an opportunity for us to capitalize. We’ve been working diligently to try to get this thing turned around and in the direction we want it to go.”

Josh Hart moved into the second spot on his final pass of the day, posting numbers of 3.667-seconds at 333.33 mph. Shawn Langdon took the third spot after pass of 3.679 at 329.02. Point- leader Justin Ashley qualified seventh with a 3.698.

Koretsky got pushed Saturday in Pro Stock, but he met the challenge by covering the quarter-mile in 6.510-seconds at 211.00 mph in his Lucas Oil Chevrolet Camaro SS to earn his second pole of the season. Ken Black Racing teammate Greg Anderson, the five-time/reigning world champion, ran an identical 6.510 in his HendrickCars.com Camaro SS but Koretsky was slightly faster to take the top spot into eliminations.

Currently fifth in points, Koretsky is chasing his first win of the season in a bid to gain ground on point-leader/four-time world champ Erica Enders of rival Elite Motorsports.

“We’re in the Countdown and now’s the time to make every run as clean as possible,” Koretsky said. “I think that’s what we’ve done this weekend and we’ll be good for eliminations. This is where every point counts, and consistency also counts. Our guys are digging deep and we’re definitely not going to give up.”

Anderson qualified second with his best pass of 6.510-seconds at 210.97 mph. Meanwhile, Aaron Stanfield _ winner last Sunday at zMAX Dragway _ is third at 6.511 at 211.33. Enders qualified fourth at 6.511 at 210.34.

In Pro Stock Motorcycle, Smith’s track-record quarter-mile pass of 6.709-seconds at 202.82 mph on Friday aboard his Denso Auto Parts Buell held up for the 51st pole of his career. It also was the career-best run for the five-time/reigning world champion.

“I think we have the best bike out here,” said Smith, who earned a first-round bye in the 15-bike field. “This Denso bike is fast and mean and if I can do my job on Sunday, we can turn on four win lights. That’s our goal.”

Sunday’s first-round elimination pairings for the 11th annual NHRA Midwest Nationals at World Wide Technology Raceway in Madison, Ill., the 19th of 22 events in the NHRA Camping World Drag Racing Series. Pairings based upon results in qualifying, which ended Saturday. DNQs listed below pairings:

Top Fuel _ 1. Steve Torrence, 3.655-seconds, 327.43 mph vs. 16. Buddy Hull, 3.822, 315.78; 2. Josh Hart, 3.667, 333.33 vs. 15. Scott Palmer, 3.809, 323.74; 3. Shawn Langdon, 3.679, 329.02 vs. 14. Kyle Wurtzel, 3.804, 319.52; 4. Doug Kalitta, 3.684, 334.32 vs. 13. Doug Foley, 3.782, 315.64; 5. Brittany Force, 3.685, 335.48 vs. 12. Austin Prock, 3.748, 329.18; 6. Tony Schumacher, 3.694, 326.79 vs. 11. Leah Pruett, 3.729, 329.18; 7. Justin Ashley, 3.698, 331.94 vs. 10. Mike Salinas, 3.710, 330.72; 8. Clay Millican, 3.703, 334.24 vs. 9. Antron Brown, 3.707, 331.85.

Did Not Qualify: 17. Lex Joon, 3.878, 310.91; 18. Jacob Opatrny, 4.669, 162.78; 19. Cameron Ferre, 5.785, 117.18.

Funny Car _ 1. Robert Hight, Chevy Camaro, 3.853, 336.32 vs. Bye; 2. John Force, Camaro, 3.853, 334.15 vs. 15. Terry Haddock, Ford Mustang, 5.532, 128.84; 3. Ron Capps, Toyota Supra, 3.863, 331.94 vs. 14. Daniel Wilkerson, Mustang, 4.786, 149.30; 4. Matt Hagan, Dodge Charger, 3.867, 335.48 vs. 13. Jim Campbell, Charger, 4.358, 210.41; 5. Bob Tasca III, Mustang, 3.890, 331.20 vs. 12. Bobby Bode, Mustang, 4.189, 228.85; 6. Cruz Pedregon, Charger, 3.897, 331.36 vs. 11. Dale Creasy Jr., Charger, 4.027, 290.32; 7. Alexis DeJoria, Supra, 3.914, 332.67 vs. 10. J.R. Todd, Supra, 3.989, 309.84; 8. Tim Wilkerson, Mustang, 3.928, 324.59 vs. 9. Blake Alexander, Mustang, 3.941, 323.66.

Pro Stock _ 1. Kyle Koretsky, Chevy Camaro, 6.510, 211.00 vs. Bye; 2. Greg Anderson, Camaro, 6.510, 210.97 vs. 15. Fernando Cuadra Jr., Ford Mustang, 6.589, 208.17; 3. Aaron Stanfield, Camaro, 6.511, 211.33 vs. 14. Fernando Cuadra, Mustang, 6.572, 209.75; 4. Erica Enders, Camaro, 6.511, 210.34 vs. 13. Chris McGaha, Camaro, 6.572, 210.11; 5. Troy Coughlin Jr., Camaro, 6.522, 210.60 vs. 12. Mason McGaha, Camaro, 6.564, 210.80; 6. Dallas Glenn, Camaro, 6.523, 211.59 vs. 11. Mike DePalma, Mustang, 6.551, 210.60; 7. Matt Hartford, Camaro, 6.527, 211.26 vs. 10. Camrie Caruso, Camaro, 6.544, 207.37; 8. Bo Butner, Camaro, 6.528, 210.87 vs. 9. Deric Kramer, Camaro, 6.539, 210.60.

Pro Stock Motorcycle _ 1. Matt Smith, EBR, 6.709, 202.82 vs. Bye; 2. Angelle Sampey, Suzuki, 6.726, 201.67 vs. 15. Malcolm Phillips Jr., Suzuki, 9.557, 95.59; 3. Eddie Krawiec, Suzuki, 6.745, 199.88 vs. 14. Jianna Evaristo, Suzuki, 7.563, 131.60; 4. Angie Smith, EBR, 6.748, 201.19 vs. 13. Gaige Herrera, Suzuki, 7.113, 186.82; 5. Joey Gladstone, Suzuki, 6.777, 199.58 vs. 12. Karen Stoffer, Suzuki, 6.891, 195.76; 6. Marc Ingwersen, EBR, 6.785, 198.82 vs. 11. Ron Tornow, Victory, 6.872, 191.97; 7. Jerry Savoie, Suzuki, 6.791, 197.42 vs. 10. Ryan Oehler, EBR, 6.842, 198.29; 8. Kelly Clontz, Suzuki, 6.827, 197.88 vs. 9. Steve Johnson, Suzuki, 6.835, 198.20.



Sept. 15-18 _ Pep Boys NHRA Nationals, Maple Grove Raceway, Reading, Pa: Austin Prock (Top Fuel), Robert Hight (Funny Car), Erica Enders (Pro Stock) and Joey Gladstone (Pro Stock Motorcycle).

Sept. 23-25 _ Charlotte NHRA Nationals, zMAX Dragway, Concord, N.C.: Antron Brown (Top Fuel), Ron Capps (Funny Car) and Aaron Stanfield (Pro Stock).

Sept. 30-Oct. 2 _ NHRA Midwest Nationals, World Wide Technology Raceway, Madison, Ill.

Oct. 13-16 _ Texas NHRA FallNationals, Texas Motorplex, Ennis.

Oct. 27-30 _ NHRA Nevada Nationals, The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

Nov. 10-13 _ Auto Club NHRA Finals, Auto Club Raceway at Pomona, Calif.


| , RacinToday.com Sunday, October 2 2022
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