Alexis DeJoria Sets Track Record in 4-Wide Qualifying
(CONCORD, NC – April 23, 2016 – RIS) Alexis DeJoria posted a track record 3.934 second ET at 321.04 mph in front of a sellout crowd to surge to the top qualifying position in NHRA Funny Car racing at the 4-Wide Nationals presented by Lowes Foods. DeJoria will drive her Kalitta Motorsports Toyota Camry against Robert Hight, Tim Wilkerson and Jeff Diehl in the noon first round of eliminations. "To actually finish the day in the No. 1 spot and get a track record, that's just incredible," said DeJoria. "I'm so proud of my guys. They really give me good equipment. It makes it easy – well, easier. Man, she's a handful off the starting line and I'm surprised I could keep her in the groove and get her down to the end of the track."
DeJoria's new record beat out Matt Hagan's record ET of 3.941 from Friday's single round of qualifying. Hagan will face Daniel Wilkerson, Chad Head and Ron Capps in his 'foursome' at the unique four-wide race. Fan favorite John Force will race against Bob Tasca III, Jack Beckman and Tommy Johnson Jr in another foursome. The two quickest cars in each 'quad' advance to the next round of eliminations.
In Top Fuel qualifying, Steve Torrence earned his third top qualifying spot of 2016 with a 3.736 sec/326.24 mph pass, bettering J.R. Todd's time by only seven thousandths of a second. In Saturday's second round of qualifying, Torrence watched the wrong lights on the Christmas tree timing system but his prior run was quick enough to hold onto the pole. "We feel confident going into tomorrow," Torrence said. "We've got a really good race car.
"I figured something was wrong when I saw the red light come on, but it wasn't until I made the turnoff that I figured out I was the guy who didn't stage the car," Torrence said. "Driver mistake completely. You come here and do this [four-wide racing] once a year and I've never made a mistake before, but if you do it enough it's bound to happen. You just get in your routine and I was focused on doing the best I could at the tree and just dropped the ball. I apologized to Alan [Johnson, tuning consultant]. I will just wipe it out of my mind and show up tomorrow ready to race."
Torrence's quad will include Terry Haddock, Shawn Langdon and Tony Schumacher.
J. R. Todd turned the quickest run of Saturday but Torrence's Friday time was still enough to take the pole. Todd will race against Chris Karamesines, Richie Crampton and Terry McMillen, while Brittany Force took third in the field and lines up against Pat Dakin, defending champion Antron Brown and and Leah Pritchett.
Mooresville, NC's Greg Anderson set the Pro Stock quick time at 6576 / 210.41 and will meet Shane Turker, Chris McGaha and Allen Johnson in that grouping. In winning his 82nd career pole, Anderson passed Warren Johnson in lifetime consecutive races at 304. "Anything can happen on race day," said Anderson. "When you've got four cars lined up and you look over and realize that any one of them can whup you, depending on who leaves the starting line first. Almost 99 percent of the racing in Pro Stock comes down to how well you do on that Christmas Tree."
Second year racer Drew Skillman qualified in second place with his Camaro and will open the day's racing against John Gaydosh Jr, Alex Laughlin and the defending class champion Erica Enders.
Jason Line takes his points lead to a third place starting position in search of his third season victory against V. Gaines, Vincent Nobile and Kenny Delco.
Eddie Krawiec's Friday run was strong enough to carry him to the Pro Stock Motorcycle pole. His first round opponents will be Melissa Surber, LE Tonglet and Michael Ray. "I've got a bad to the bone Harley-Davidson right now and I'm excited to be riding it," said current points leader Krawiec, winner of the season-opening bike race in Gainesville, Fla. "Ultimately I want to be in the media center on Sunday after a bunch of win lights. The No. 1 qualifier is just a bonus.... For me, I want to hold a Wally on Sunday."
First-round pairings for professional eliminations Sunday for the Seventh annual NHRA Four-Wide Nationals presented by Lowes Foods at zMax Dragway, the fifth of 24 events in the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series. Quads based on results in qualifying, which ended Saturday. DNQs listed below pairings.
Top Fuel -- 1. Steve Torrence, 3.736 seconds, 326.48 mph vs. 16. Terry Haddock, 5.655, 118.36 vs. 8. Shawn Langdon, 3.786, 319.45 vs. 9. Tony Schumacher, 3.811, 307.51; 2. J.R. Todd, 3.743, 324.28 vs. 15. Chris Karamesines, 4.546, 175.62 vs. 7. Richie Crampton, 3.775, 309.70 vs. 10. Terry McMillen, 3.822, 314.17; 3. Brittany Force, 3.751, 319.90 vs. 14. Pat Dakin, 4.388, 177.35 vs. 6. Antron Brown, 3.762, 322.58 vs. 11. Leah Pritchett, 3.828, 316.67; 4. Doug Kalitta, 3.752, 325.92 vs. 13. Smax Smith, 4.301, 278.35 vs. 5. Clay Millican, 3.759, 323.12 vs. 12. Scott Palmer, 3.989, 258.81.
Funny Car -- 1. Alexis DeJoria, Toyota Camry, 3.934, 321.04 vs. 16. Jeff Diehl, Toyota Solara, 4.673, 187.34 vs. 8. Tim Wilkerson, Ford Mustang, 3.970, 319.07 vs. 9. Robert Hight, Chevy Camaro, 3.974, 319.37; 2. Matt Hagan, Dodge Charger, 3.941, 323.50 vs. 15. Daniel Wilkerson, Mustang, 4.125, 297.16 vs. 7. Chad Head, Camry, 3.967, 315.49 vs. 10. Ron Capps, Charger, 3.986, 319.67; 3. John Force, Camaro, 3.946, 323.50 vs. 14. Bob Tasca III, Mustang, 4.103, 312.42 vs. 6. Jack Beckman, Charger, 3.964, 320.51 vs. 11. Tommy Johnson Jr., Charger, 3.992, 315.86; 4. Courtney Force, Camaro, 3.960, 320.66 vs. 13. John Hale, Charger, 4.094, 311.99 vs. 5. Del Worsham, Camry, 3.963, 317.57 vs. 12. Cruz Pedregon, Camry, 4.014, 312.64. Did Not Qualify: 17. Dave Richards, 6.776, 128.81; 18. Dale Creasy Jr., 12.661, 63.09.
Pro Stock -- 1. Greg Anderson, Chevy Camaro, 6.576, 210.73 vs. 16. Shane Tucker, Camaro, 6.877, 198.88 vs. 8. Chris McGaha, Camaro, 6.630, 208.75 vs. 9. Allen Johnson, Dodge Dart, 6.634, 208.65; 2. Drew Skillman, Camaro, 6.583, 209.72 vs. 15. John Gaydosh Jr, Chevrolet Camaro, 6.762, 204.88 vs. 7. Alex Laughlin, Camaro, 6.611, 208.62 vs. 10. Erica Enders, Dart, 6.644, 208.14; 3. Jason Line, Camaro, 6.584, 211.10 vs. 14. V. Gaines, Dart, 6.671, 207.56 vs. 6. Vincent Nobile, Camaro, 6.605, 209.46 vs. 11. Kenny Delco, Camaro, 6.657, 208.04; 4. Bo Butner, Camaro, 6.584, 210.47 vs. 13. Deric Kramer, Dart, 6.663, 206.83 vs. 5. Shane Gray, Camaro, 6.602, 209.20 vs. 12. Jeg Coughlin, Dart, 6.660, 207.62.
Pro Stock Motorcycle -- 1. Eddie Krawiec, Harley-Davidson, 6.818, 195.90 vs. 16. Melissa Surber, Buell, 6.917, 192.82; 2. Matt Smith, Victory, 6.832, 195.76 vs. 15. Steve Johnson, Suzuki, 6.916, 193.65; 3. Angelle Sampey, Buell, 6.837, 194.46 vs. 14. Shawn Gann, Buell, 6.915, 195.03; 4. Andrew Hines, Harley-Davidson, 6.837, 192.77 vs. 13. Brian Pretzel, Suzuki, 6.891, 194.32; 5. Jerry Savoie, Suzuki, 6.841, 197.62 vs. 12. Jim Underdahl, Suzuki, 6.890, 196.07; 6. Hector Arana, Buell, 6.842, 196.16 vs. 11. Karen Stoffer, Suzuki, 6.880, 195.17; 7. Chip Ellis, Buell, 6.843, 195.00 vs. 10. Scotty Pollacheck, Buell, 6.875, 193.88; 8. LE Tonglet, Suzuki, 6.848, 195.62 vs. 9. Michael Ray, Buell, 6.861, 196.02. Did Not Qualify: 17. Mike Berry, 6.934, 194.24; 18. Hector Arana Jr, 6.944, 192.03; 19. Cory Reed, 6.946, 190.57; 20. Angie Smith, 6.951, 190.86; 21. David Hope, 6.978, 189.68; 22. Katie Sullivan, 6.989, 191.95; 23. Joe DeSantis, 7.033, 191.54; 24. Lance Bonham, 7.160, 186.56.
(RIS photos by John Davison)
Long-time RIS staffer, beginning in the mid-80s. Charlotte, NC area local contact.