More Records Fall In Saturday Night Qualifying; Division 3 Takes JEGS Allstars

Tonglet, Arana Jr. Break Records, Hight, Brittany Force, Anderson take top spots; North Central Division are champs

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JOLIET, Ill. -- Birthday girl Brittany Force powered to her first No. 1 qualifier of the season Saturday evening at the 20th annual Fallen Patriots NHRA Route 66 Nationals presented by K&N Filters at Route 66 Raceway.

After receiving a cake from Route 66 Raceway, accompanied by throngs of fans, her dad, John, and sisters, Courtney and Ashley, Brittany made her final pass of the night. However, her time from Friday held up on the way to her second No. 1 qualifying spot in a row at Route 66 Raceway.

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

They'll head into Championship Sunday in prime position to raise the Wallys.

TICKETS ARE STILL AVAILABLE ONLINE HERE OR CAN BE PURCHASED AT THE GATE ON SUNDAY.

Force maintained her lead in the Top Fuel category with a run of 3.711-seconds at 323.04 mph in her Monster Energy dragster during her second pass on Friday. She notched her seventh career No. 1 qualifier as she chases 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,” Force said. “It was rough having the car take some damage on our last run, but if we can end up in the winner’s circle tomorrow it will all be worth it.”

Leah Pritchett earned the second spot in Top Fuel qualifying after a 3.723 at 326.56 in her Papa John’s dragster, barely missing out on her fourth No. 1 qualifier of the season. Clay Millican had a strong showing as well, sitting in third in qualifying after a 3.739 at 325.22 in his Great Clips / Parts Plus dragster during his final run of the day.

Hight set both ends of the track record after a 3.851 at 334.73 in his Auto Club of Southern California Chevy Camaro during the second qualifying session on Friday. He now has two No. 1 qualifiers 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, but we have to make sure we get it together tomorrow when it’s pretty hot out here,” Hight said. “We know it will be a hot track tomorrow but if we can run like we did in Norwalk then we should do just fine.”

Jack Beckman landed as the second qualifier after a run of 3.856 at 330.23 in his Infinite Hero Foundation Dodge Charger R/T, as he searches for his third win in the past four races. Courtney Force sits in third with a 3.880 at 331.36 in her Advance Auto Parts Chevy Camaro as she looks for her first win of the year.

In Pro Stock, Anderson secured the top spot after driving to a 6.564 at 210.18 in his Summit Racing Equipment Chevy Camaro during the second session of the day. He locked down his second No. 1 qualifier of the season and the 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,” Anderson said. “This was actually the last race track 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 is nothing to not love about this great facility since the monkey is off my back.”

Points leader Bo Butner qualified second with a 6.574 at 210.21 in his Jim Butner’s Auto Chevy Camaro, narrowly missing his fourth No. 1 qualifier of the season. Drew Skillman landed in the third spot with a 6.581 at 210.08 in his Ray Skillman Chevy Camaro.

Tonglet finished atop the Pro Stock Motorcycle qualifying after setting an elapsed time track record 6.806 at 196.13 in his Nitro Fish Racing Suzuki during his second pass of the day. He notched his second No. 1 qualifier of the season and the 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,” Tonglet said. “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 at a track record 197.33 mph in his Lucas Oil Buell during his final pass of the day. Matt Smith notched the third slot after his 6.823 at 196.62 in his Victory Polaris Magnum failed to hold up from Friday night.

In a thrilling, down-to-the-wire battle, the host team from the NHRA North Central Division (Division 3) claimed the overall team title during the JEGS Allstars competition at Route 66 Raceway on Saturday. The Division 3 squad welcomed new Division Director Jeff Conley with an overall victory that was fueled by wins from Brian Browell (Comp), Andrew Hill (Stock) and Mark McDonald (Top Sportsman). It was the eighth time the Division 3 team has won the prestigious title, including a four-year unbeaten streak from 1996-99.

 

Photo credit: Richard Shute

The other champions from the special event included Joey Severance (Top Alcohol Dragster), Andy Bohl (Top Alcohol Funny Car), James Antonette Jr. (Super Stock), Nick Folk (Super Comp), Ken Mostowich (Super Gas), John Dalrymple (Super Street), and Steven Furr (Top Dragster).

The JEGS Allstars is a unique competition that features 80 of the best sportsman racers from the NHRA Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series. Racers qualify for the event by earning points in their home division during the previous year. Champions are crowned in ten different classes and there is also an overall team champion.

The alcohol portion of the show was decided early when the Western Region put four racers into the second round which officially clinched the title. Severance, the winner of the last two national championships, defeated Mia Tedesco in the Top Alcohol Dragster final, 5.258 to 5.342. In Top Alcohol Funny Car, Chris Marshall appeared to be ahead of Bohl in the final until his chutes deployed prematurely. Bohl, with his car bouncing and bordering on the edge of control, slipped by for the win with a 5.553.

In the overall team competition, the opening round decided almost nothing as the teams from Divisions 3 and 4 finished tied with 500 points and the Division 1, 5, and 7 teams were close behind at 400 points. After the second round, the points picture was not much clearer with the Division 3 team holding a slight one-round lead against Divisions 5,6, and 7.

In the final rounds, the Division 6 team managed to tie their Division 3 rivals for the lead in the first final when Dalrymple defeated Jonathan Anderson in an amazingly close Super Street final.  The Division 3 team retaliated in the next pair when Hill stopped Division 7 racer Tibor Kadar in a double-breakout Stock final. Nick Folk, fresh off a double in Norwalk, kept the Division 5 hopes alive with a nearly perfect run in the Super Comp final against Trevor Larson. The win became official when McDonald drove to the Top Sportsman title over blocker J.J. Heber. When Browell stopped Division 6 ace Brian Hyerstay in the Comp final, it provided icing on the cake.

The final score had the Division 3 team with 900 points followed by a three-way tie for second between the Division 5, 6, and 7 teams with 700 points.
Each member of the Division 3 team shared in a $20,000 bonus provided by JEGS Mail Order. If any of the champions from today’s event can duplicate that feat in the final round of tomorrow’s Fallen Patriots NHRA Route 66 Nationals, they will earn a double-up bonus from JEGS.

Eliminations at the 20th annual Fallen Patriots NHRA Route 66 Nationals presented by K&N Filters begin 12:00 p.m. on Sunday at Route 66 Raceway.

***

Sunday's first-round pairings for eliminations for 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, 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.

 

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