Millican, Courtney Force, Savoie, Coughlin Top Friday Qualifying at Four-Wide

Vintage Gassers put on a show too

(CONCORD, NC - APRIL 28, 2017 - RIS) Clay Millican headed the first day of Top Fuel qualifying at the NHRA Four-Wide Nationals. zmAX Dragway saw multiple record runs in first-day qualifying for the only four-wide race on the NHRA schedule. Courtney Force heads Funy Car going into Saturday's qualifying sessions, with Jeg Coughlin at the top of the Pro Stock sheets, his brother Troy in the lead of Pro Mods and Jerry Savoie set quickest time in Pro Stock Motorcycle.

Antron Brown led the first round of Top Fuel qualifying at the NHRA Four-Wide Nationals at zMAX Dragway with a pass of 3.720/328.06, topping Troy Coughlin's pass of 3.729/321.73. Shawn Langdon followed Coughlin by .031 second, with Steve Torrence another four thousandths back and points leader Leah Pritchett fifth at 3.770/322.73. Tony Schumacher, Doug Kalitta, Brittany Force, Pat Dakin and Dom Lagana filled out the top ten leading to the second round later this afternoon.

John Force headed the grid after Round One of Funny Car qualifying for the Four-Wide Nationals, besting Ron Capps by a slim thousandth of a second, 3.904/328.54 to Capps' 3.905/321.12 pass. "Fast" Jack Beckman and Tim Wilkerson matched ETs at 3.970 but Beckman's trap speed of 323.12 was an even six mph faster than Wilkerson's. Fifth after the first round was JR Todd and Bob Tasca III posted the sixth quickest ET in one of his rare appearances, at 3.980/317.12.  Tommy Johnson Jr was next, with a lap of 3.993/312.86 with Chad Head, Jim Campbell and Robert Hight filling out the top ten after Round One..

Pro Stock Round One was led by Jeg Coughlin at 6.590/210.11 with Chris McGaha only a thousandth of a second back and Erica Enders-Stevens a further thou back in third. Greg Anderson's pass to fourth was a hundredth slower, with Bo Butner's lap of 6.606 only four thou  behind Anderson. Jason Line  and Tanner Gray had identical ETs of 6.616 with Line's speed faster: 210.31 vs Gray's 209.85. Drew Skillman, Alex Laughlin and Alan Prusiensky were the rest of the top ten qualifiers in Pro Stock.

Pro Stock Motorcycle first round ended with Jerry Savoie at the top of the sheets after Round One at 6.849/195.79, well ahead of Hector Arana's 6.886/193.52. LE Tonglet, Eddie Krawiec and Chip Ellis filled out the top five, with Savoie holding onto his top spot after Round Two with a second pass of 6.824/196.24. Eddie Krawiec is second overnight, at 6.835/196.93, followed by Chip Ellis, Joey Gladstone and Hector Arana Jr in the top five. The rest of the top ten are  LE Tonglet,  Hector Arana, Scotty Pollacheck, Matt Smith and Andrew Hines with Karen Stoffer, Angie Smith, Cory Reed, Shawn Gann, Steve Johnson and Melissa Surber in the field, but there are six more riders who could qualify in Saturday's sessions.

NHRA J&A Pro Mod Series ran four-wide for the first time ever and the day ended with Troy Coughlin sitting at the top of the time sheets, at 5.770/254.95, ahead of Mike Castellana who had a best lap for the day of 5.787/249.16. Michael Bowman goes into the second day of qualifying in third place, followed by Steve Matusek, Sidnei Frigo, Steve Jackson, Larry Morgan, Doug Winters, Michael Biehle and Harry Hruska in the top ten, with Chuck Little, Mike Knowles, Jim Whiteley, Kevin Fiscus, Danny Rowe and Khalid Al Balooshi in the field, with Shane Molinari only four thousandths behind Al Balooshi in 17th.

 - Start track press release -

  • Courtney Force set a zMAX Dragway Funny Car record in ET and Robert Hight made the fastest pass in track history during Friday qualifying for the NHRA Four-Wide Nationals
  • Top Fuel, Funny Car, Pro Stock, Pro Stock Motorcycle and Pro Mod classes raced four-wide down the Bellagio of drag strips in the first two of four qualifying sessions; Pro Stock action resumes at 1:30 p.m. tomorrow with nitro classes getting underway at 2 p.m.
  • Single-day tickets to the NHRA Four-Wide Nationals start at just $48; Every ticket doubles as a pit pass with garage access; Visit online or call 1-800-455-FANS (3267) for tickets

CONCORD, N.C. (April 28, 2017) – The roar of 40,000 horsepower thrilled NHRA Four-Wide Nationalsattendees on Friday night at zMAX Dragway, as Courtney Force shattered Matt Hagan’s Funny Car track record for elapsed time and Robert Hight eclipsed the overall top speed mark during an action-packed day of qualifying.

“This is an important track because it’s four-wide,” said Force, whose 3.851-second pass at 323.27 miles per hour topped Hight by .022 seconds. “It’s so crazy from a driver’s perspective but it’s so much fun. This track makes you a better driver. People will make mistakes, but you have to be on your A-game. … I’m really happy with the run. It’s an exciting start to the weekend.”

Hight’s record 333.91-mph pass was the quickest in the track’s 10-year history. His run continued a 1-2-3 result for John Force Racing, as the team’s owner and namesake wound up third – only .038 seconds behind his daughter.

Clay Millican edged Doug Kalitta by .002 seconds with a 3.716-second, 325.77-mph pass to lead the Top Fuel field after one of two qualifying days.

“Really and truly, it’s the team working on consistency,” Millican said. “Last year, we wanted to run 3.6-second (passes). This year, we said we wanted to take a little step back but get down the track more. … It’s just crazy that now we’re at the front of the field. If it’s 100 degrees tomorrow, I’m OK with that because we’ll stay No. 1.”

Jeg Coughlin out-ran Erica Enders and Greg Anderson in Pro Stock with a 210.24-mph, 6.578-second pass.

The Pro Mod class’ first venture into four-wide racing was a historic one, as Michael Bowman posted the highest top speed – 258.67 miles per hour – in Pro Mod history. Bowman’s 5.821-second pass set speed records, but his elapsed time was only third-best behind Troy Coughlin and Mike Castellana.

Jerry Savoie paced Pro Stock Motorcycle qualifying with a 196.24-mph pass at 6.824 seconds.

Saturday qualifying for the NHRA Four-Wide Nationals will begin at 1:30 p.m. for Pro Stock and Pro Stock Motorcycles. Funny Car and Top Fuel’s 40,000-horsepower festival of nitro kicks off at 2 p.m. Saturday with a promising forecast of sun and warm temperatures as drivers chase the coveted Four-Wide Wally.

Single-day tickets to the NHRA Four-Wide Nationals at zMAX Dragway start at just $48. To purchase ticket packages, camping and race-day upgrades, call the speedway ticket office at 1-800-455-FANS (3267) or shop online at

Connect with Charlotte Motor Speedway and zMAX Dragway by following on Twitter and Instagram or become a Facebook fan. Keep up with all the latest news and information with the Charlotte Motor Speedway mobile app.


NHRA provided these results:

CONCORD, N.C. -- Results Friday after the first two of four rounds of qualifying for the eighth annual NHRA Four-Wide Nationals at zMax Dragway, sixth of 24 events in the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series.  Qualifying will continue Saturday for Sunday's final eliminations.

Top Fuel -- 1. Clay Millican, 3.716 seconds, 325.77 mph; 2. Doug Kalitta, 3.718, 322.73; 3. Antron Brown, 3.720, 328.06; 4. Steve Torrence, 3.723, 329.10; 5. Troy Coughlin Jr., 3.729, 321.73; 6.Tony Schumacher, 3.740, 324.51; 7. Brittany Force, 3.745, 324.75; 8. Shawn Langdon, 3.760, 318.84; 9. Leah Pritchett, 3.770, 322.73; 10. Terry McMillen, 3.797, 323.81; 11. Pat Dakin, 3.828, 317.12; 12. Scott Palmer, 3.841, 322.27; 13. Dom Lagana, 3.883, 311.63; 14. Ike Maier, 3.959, 301.47; 15.Chris Karamesines, 4.059, 291.57; 16. Smax Smith, 8.043, 74.68.  Not Qualified: 17. Luigi Novelli, 10.172, 83.65.

Funny Car -- 1. Courtney Force, Chevy Camaro, 3.851, 323.27; 2. Robert Hight, Camaro, 3.873, 333.91; 3. John Force, Camaro, 3.889, 328.54; 4. Matt Hagan, Dodge Charger, 3.898, 331.28; 5. Tim Wilkerson, Ford Mustang, 3.903, 319.07; 6. Ron Capps, Charger, 3.904, 324.12; 7. Tommy Johnson Jr., Charger, 3.922, 319.52; 8. J.R. Todd, Toyota Camry, 3.956, 321.19; 9. Bob Tasca III, Mustang, 3.962, 323.35; 10. Jack Beckman, Charger, 3.970, 323.12; 11. Del Worsham, Camry, 3.981, 320.51; 12.Bob Bode, Charger, 4.027, 294.69; 13. Chad Head, Camry, 4.030, 292.90; 14. Jim Campbell, Charger, 4.083, 309.20; 15. Jeff Diehl, Toyota Solara, 4.232, 277.09; 16. Dale Creasy Jr., Chevy Impala, 5.644, 128.81.  Not Qualified: 17. Dave Richards, 6.387, 99.54; 18. Cruz Pedregon, 7.771, 86.80; 19. Jonnie Lindberg, 7.936, 80.61. 

Pro Stock -- 1. Jeg Coughlin, Chevy Camaro, 6.578, 210.24; 2. Erica Enders, Camaro, 6.583, 210.37; 3. Greg Anderson, Camaro, 6.587, 209.79; 4. Chris McGaha, Camaro, 6.591, 209.95; 5. Jason Line, Camaro, 6.593, 210.31; 6. Bo Butner, Camaro, 6.594, 209.98; 7. Tanner Gray, Camaro, 6.595, 209.85; 8. Drew Skillman, Camaro, 6.612, 209.59; 9. Vincent Nobile, Camaro, 6.617, 209.14; 10. Alex Laughlin, Camaro, 6.617, 208.68; 11. Shane Gray, Camaro, 6.631, 208.91; 12. Alan Prusiensky, Dodge Dart, 6.651, 208.59; 13. Allen Johnson, Dart, 6.657, 208.23; 14. Deric Kramer, Dart, 6.704, 207.91; 15. Shane Tucker, Camaro, 6.803, 202.27; 16. John Gaydosh Jr, Chevrolet Camaro, 6.853, 203.00.  Not Qualified: 17. Wally Stroupe, 7.185, 192.85.

Pro Stock Motorcycle -- 1. Jerry Savoie, Suzuki, 6.824, 196.24; 2. Eddie Krawiec, Harley-Davidson, 6.835, 196.93; 3. Chip Ellis, Buell, 6.852, 194.69; 4. Joey Gladstone, Suzuki, 6.869, 194.69; 5.Hector Arana Jr, Buell, 6.879, 194.52; 6. LE Tonglet, Suzuki, 6.880, 194.83; 7. Hector Arana, Buell, 6.886, 195.45; 8. Scotty Pollacheck, Suzuki, 6.899, 192.49; 9. Matt Smith, Victory, 6.913, 193.90; 10. Andrew Hines, Harley-Davidson, 6.915, 195.22; 11. Karen Stoffer, Suzuki, 6.916, 193.60; 12. Angie Smith, Buell, 6.917, 192.80; 13. Cory Reed, Victory, 6.928, 192.14; 14. Shawn Gann, Buell, 6.952, 192.44; 15. Steve Johnson, Suzuki, 6.972, 193.16; 16. Melissa Surber, Buell, 6.982, 191.62.  Not Qualified: 17. Joe DeSantis, 7.018, 188.83; 18. Gunner Courtney, 7.092, 183.74; 19.John Hall, 7.233, 183.34; 20. James Surber, 7.334, 181.52; 21. Angelle Sampey, 10.155, 80.88; 22.Andy Simon, 16.113, 44.73. 


John Davison

Long-time RIS staffer, beginning in the mid-80s. Charlotte, NC area local contact.

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Volume 2017, Issue 4, Posted 9:38 PM, 04.28.2017