Krawiec leads Friday 1-2-3 for Harleys at zMAX

Eddie Krawiec raced to the current No. 1 position during his second Pro Stock Motorcycle qualifying attempt on his Screamin’ Eagle Vance & Hines Harley-Davidson at the NHRA Carolina Nationals presented by WIX Filters at zMAX Dragway.

His run of 6.806 at 197.83 made for his third No. 1 qualifying positions this season and 42nd of his career. “It was a good lap and a good run for the session,” said Krawiec.

The start of the same pass pictured above

Krawiec’s first pass had the front wheel cocked Gary Clark-style, as he frequently does. Eddie was still trying to get the bike straightened at the 330. “We definitely underestimated the track, the track was very good,” Krawiec said about the pass, but then added “It just blew the tire away,” which in reviewing the two statements left me confused. But I guess the tire shook and then spun.

Here’s the full presser:

“Going into tomorrow, potentially cooler weather, earlier run, things like that, it could mean that run isn’t going to stand like that as No. 1 qualifier,” continued Eddie. “You look at five or six motorcycles that could definitely take the pole from me at any given time.”

Including his occasional teammate Chip Ellis—making a the maiden voyage on a bike that Mike Mullaney tells me he and Matt Hines finished just before packing up for zMAX—is second after going 6.830 at 195.22.

Andrew Hines led Q1 with this pass

With Andrew Hines third at 6.842, that makes a repeat of Gateway’s Friday 1-2-3 for the Harleys.

Hector Arana Jr. sits fourth with a 6.849 at 199.29 on a pass that didn’t sound crisply shifted.

Last week’s runner-up Jerry Savoie—well known for his distaste of the Harleys sitting 1-2-3 in the Countdown—is fifth with a 6.854 at 194.

LE Tonglet

Savoie’s teammate—points leader LE Tonglet—sits sixth with a run of 6.867 at 196.33.

Johnny “Balls” Hall (shown here with daughter Mika) was back in action at zMAX, sitting 14th on his Gann-powered Buell.

Pro Stock Motorcycle — 1. Eddie Krawiec, Harley-Davidson, 6.806, 197.83; 2. Chip Ellis, Harley-Davidson, 6.830, 195.22; 3. Andrew Hines, Harley-Davidson, 6.842, 196.64; 4. Hector Arana Jr, EBR, 6.849, 199.29; 5. Jerry Savoie, Suzuki, 6.854, 194.86; 6. LE Tonglet, Suzuki, 6.867, 196.33; 7. Angelle Sampey, Buell, 6.869, 194.44; 8. Hector Arana, EBR, 6.876, 197.02; 9. Scotty Pollacheck, Suzuki, 6.879, 195.03; 10. Karen Stoffer, Suzuki, 6.884, 194.30; 11. Matt Smith, EBR, 6.895, 195.99; 12. Ron Tornow, Buell, 6.908, 193.43; 13. Kelly Clontz, Suzuki, 6.925, 192.91; 14. John Hall, Buell, 6.929, 194.16; 15. Mark Paquette, Buell, 6.935, 192.00; 16. Ryan Oehler, Buell, 6.958, 194.38.

Not Qualified: 17. Joey Gladstone, 6.994, 193.54; 18. Jim Underdahl, 7.008, 190.92; 19. Anthony Vanetti, 7.101, 187.94; 20. Maurice Allen, 7.110, 188.04; 21. Steve Johnson, 8.024, 121.08; 22. Angie Smith, no time, no speed.

Angie Smith was upbeat before Q2 even though she’d shut off in the waterbox in Q1. “We could tell we had a bad piston,” she explained. They swapped motors and then—blaaaaahhh—the bike didn’t shift in Q2. Adding insult to disgust, Steve Johnson punted the blocks in the other lane and kept her from getting a time at all.
According to crewman Alexander Tutt, Flyin’ Ryan Oehler had laid down his strongest front half ever before moving to the right and out of the groove in Q2.
Not sure what Joey Gladstone (near lane vs. Anthony Vanetti) is struggling with this weekend. He’s getting down the track, just not very swiftly and is stuck in 17th
Check out these two salty dogs—Blake Gann and Ken “Big” Johnson

Jeremy Ray, who won the most recent race in the E3 Spark Plugs NHRA Pro Mod Drag Racing Series presented by J&A Service in Dallas is the current No. 1 qualifier during their portion of the NHRA Carolina Nationals presented by WIX Filters. This weekend’s Pro Mod racing, presented by MR RACE OIL ®, is the 11th of 12 races this season.

Ray leads the category with his run of 5.705-seconds at 252.10 mph in his ’63 Corvette during qualifying. “We freshened it up, changed some things out and everything looked good,” said Ray. We went out there and corrected for the air and made a good run. I was expecting to run a .74 but ran a .70. The conditions where there but I wasn’t trying to run that hard.”

Mike Castellana is second with his run of 5.708 at 252.61 in his ’17 Camaro and points leader Mike Jais is 10th with a pass of 5.755 at 247.52.

Pro Modified — 1. Jeremy Ray, Chevy Corvette, 5.705, 252.10; 2. Mike Castellana, Chevy Camaro, 5.708, 252.61; 3. Sidnei Frigo, Camaro, 5.713, 259.31; 4. Justin Bond, Pontiac firebird, 5.718, 258.52; 5. Chad Green, Corvette, 5.728, 250.64; 6. Steve Jackson, Camaro, 5.738, 247.84; 7. Rickie Smith, Camaro, 5.745, 251.34; 8. Danny Rowe, Camaro, 5.750, 253.99; 9. Steven Whiteley, Camaro, 5.753, 254.14; 10. Mike Janis, Camaro, 5.755, 247.52; 11. Khalid alBalooshi, Camaro, 5.759, 251.91; 12. Chip King, Dodge Daytona, 5.764, 248.89; 13. Bob Rahaim, Camaro, 5.798, 248.66; 14. Doug Winters, Chevy Chevelle, 5.809, 246.03; 15. Michael Biehle, Ford Mustang, 5.814, 257.53; 16. Steve Matusek, Camaro, 5.820, 251.44. Not Qualified: 17. Brandon Snider, 5.824, 244.60; 18. Clint Satterfield, 5.859, 250.92; 19. Rick Hord, 5.891, 240.55; 20. Pete Farber, 5.924, 244.56; 21. Todd Tutterow, 8.053, 117.68.

Steve Torrence at Indy

Steve Torrence has won the first three Top Fuel races in the Countdown and has a solo No. 1 qualifying position during that stretch. He earned the provisional top spot with the last qualifying pass of the session in his Capco Contractors dragster with a run 3.704-seconds at 331.53 mph.

“It was really smooth early, all the way down there,” said Torrence. “I enjoy coming here, racing and I enjoyed coming back. We have done really well in the four-wide format. We are going to try to carry the momentum we have right now into race day.”

Clay Millican, who is the nearest challenger to Torrence in the points, is second with his run of 3.718 at 331.53 in his Parts Plus / Great Clips dragster posted during the evening session. Defending world champion, Brittany Force, in her Monster Energy dragster is third following her 3.724 at 328.14 attempt.

Top Fuel — 1. Steve Torrence, 3.704 seconds, 331.53 mph; 2. Clay Millican, 3.718, 321.73; 3. Brittany Force, 3.724, 328.14; 4. Doug Kalitta, 3.729, 327.19; 5. Tony Schumacher, 3.747, 330.39; 6. Dom Lagana, 3.762, 324.59; 7. Leah Pritchett, 3.763, 320.58; 8. Mike Salinas, 3.769, 327.35; 9. Terry McMillen, 3.769, 325.30; 10. Richie Crampton, 3.774, 318.99; 11. Scott Palmer, 3.788, 326.56; 12. Pat Dakin, 3.859, 312.57; 13. Kyle Wurtzel, 3.901, 291.82; 14. Chris Karamesines, 3.992, 282.66; 15. Antron Brown, 4.022, 239.14; 16. Lex Joon, 4.356, 178.19.

Not Qualified: 17. Audrey Worm, 9.535, 77.65.

Funny Car’s Ron Capps will look to secure his fist No. 1 qualifier of the year with his run of 3.726 at 328.54 in his NAPA Auto Parts NIGHTVISION Lamps Dodge Charger R/T.

“We knew coming in that conditions were going to be great, better than great,” said Capps. “It could quite possibly as good tomorrow in Q4. By all means we are not going to sit on this No. 1. Everybody knew coming in this was a great race track, the conditions were going to be good and you put it together, this is what you see.

“In Q1, (crew chief Rahn) Tobler tuned our car just as he had during St. Louis Q3 and it went out and ran exactly the same,” said Capps of his opening pass of 3.925-seconds, which held up to be third quickest of the session. “And then in Q2 he said it would run an 87 or 88, and it ran 87. When he gets that kind of confidence flowing through his veins, it really trickles down to everyone else around me. The best part is looking up and seeing Don Schumacher smiling because he gives us everything. These moments, to see the boss smile, it’s big.”

Capps and the NAPA NIGHTVISION Lamps Funny Car team entered the race weekend ranked sixth in the Countdown to the Championship standings, 172 points out of first. Capps knows that he and his Rahn Tobler-led team have their work cut out for them if they want to win the 2018 championship but feels confident in his team’s abilities to remain in the hunt through the end of the year.

“In St. Louis we saw the cool conditions for the first time since NHRA backed the track prep up and made the tracks a little less sticky. St. Louis we went 87, and that was big. Rahn Tobler has always been known for his adverse, hot race day tune-up. He’s a great racer. When we ran that good in St. Louis when the conditions cooled off, that was huge. To see his smile knowing that he finally found what he was looking for in those cooler conditions was great. Every year that we haven’t won the championship but we’ve been close, we felt like we lost it in the cool Countdown races. Vegas when it cools off, this race now being swapped around with Maple Grove, and of course Pomona, it cools off fast there. You know that you need a cold weather tune-up. When I left the NAPA race trailer just now, it was a high-five and a hug from Rahn because he’s comfortable in these cool, fast conditions. I’m super pumped about the rest of the year.”

If Capps is able to retain his spot at the top of the Funny Car ladder by the time the fields are set, he’ll have clinched his 22nd No. 1 qualifier of his career, and first in more than two years, with his last No. 1 start occurring at Bristol Dragway in 2016.

“I always focused on race day, I didn’t get too hung up on those No. 1’s. Let other people have those little points, we want the big 20 points per round, but this was big today. We said when we left Dallas, we’ve got to run the table because if we win it, that means the people in front of us won’t. And we need to make a move. There’s 150 points available in Pomona. We’re pretty far back, but anything can happen. This No. 1 is a great start.”

Tim Wilkerson in his Levi, Ray & Shoup Ford Shelby Mustang is second with his pass of 3.876 at 323.74 and current points leader Robert Hight is seventh with a run of 3.911 at 330.31 in his Auto Club of Southern California Chevrolet Camaro SS.

Funny Car — 1. Ron Capps, Dodge Charger, 3.875, 329.42; 2. Tim Wilkerson, Ford Mustang, 3.876, 323.74; 3. J.R. Todd, Toyota Camry, 3.894, 327.90; 4. Tommy Johnson Jr., Charger, 3.901, 329.26; 5. Matt Hagan, Charger, 3.903, 325.14; 6. Cruz Pedregon, Camry, 3.906, 328.22; 7. Robert Hight, Chevy Camaro, 3.911, 330.31; 8. John Force, Camaro, 3.932, 329.26; 9. Courtney Force, Camaro, 3.945, 308.50; 10. Jack Beckman, Charger, 3.953, 324.98; 11. Shawn Langdon, Camry, 3.980, 324.44; 12. Bob Tasca III, Mustang, 4.004, 313.80; 13. Jim Campbell, Charger, 4.035, 309.42; 14. Dale Creasy Jr., Dodge Stratus, 4.235, 280.72; 15. Dave Richards, Mustang, 4.248, 272.94; 16. Jonnie Lindberg, Mustang, 4.869, 159.99.

Not Qualified: 17. Bob Gilbertson, 7.007, 87.58.

In Pro Stock Car, Erica Enders took the lead during the second qualifying session with her pass of 6.518 at 211.69 in her Elite Performance Chevrolet Camaro. Enders has one No. 1 qualifying position of the season which came at Brainerd, Minn.

“We came off a test session prior to Dallas and felt like we made some strides in the right direction,” said Enders. “We proved it in Dallas but unfortunately had a parts failure and lost second round. Coming here had the same confidence. After the first session Jeg (Coughlin, teammate) was No. 1 and I was No. 2. We went out and my crew chief said on the radio if we all do our job we can go to the pole and sure enough we all did our job and went to the pole.”

Jeg Coughlin Jr. who was the No 1. qualifier at the past two events is second with his run of 6.525 at 212.16 and points leader Tanner Gray is fourth with his pass of 6.534 at 211.16.

Pro Stock Car — 1. Erica Enders, Chevy Camaro, 6.518, 211.83; 2. Jeg Coughlin, Camaro, 6.525, 212.16; 3. Jason Line, Camaro, 6.525, 211.93; 4. Tanner Gray, Camaro, 6.534, 211.16; 5. Drew Skillman, Camaro, 6.537, 211.06; 6. Greg Anderson, Camaro, 6.542, 211.93; 7. Vincent Nobile, Camaro, 6.545, 211.66; 8. Deric Kramer, Camaro, 6.550, 211.03; 9. Bo Butner, Camaro, 6.556, 211.56; 10. Alex Laughlin, Dodge Dart, 6.557, 211.06; 11. Fernando Cuadra, Camaro, 6.568, 210.73; 12. Alan Prusiensky, Dart, 6.625, 209.33; 13. Wally Stroupe, Camaro, 6.726, 205.41; 14. Shane Tucker, Camaro, 6.733, 204.35.

photos by Tim Hailey, story by NHRA and Hailey

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