Jay Turner’s smooth, steady 6.319 at 212.76 mph in round 1 held up as Friday’s Top Fuel Harley provisional #1 qualifier at the NHRA Thunder Valley Nationals at Bristol Dragway. Cooler conditions for the evening session saw many improve their times, but none could surpass Jay’s time.
Jay himself was unable to make a pass as his starter cart was stuck in the bike. Rex Harris absolutely thrashed the cart and bike up and down in a wild attempt to break it loose, but no amount of manhandling could pull the cart out. It was like the forked penis of a dog locked inside of a hot bitch!
Rickey “Sharky” House sits just .002 behind Tharpe with a 6.395 at 205.26.
Third Jay Turner Racing teammate Mike Scott showed some MPH with a 225.79 trap speed on his 6.423 run—good for 4th. 2X race winner Beau Layne is only .003 behind Scott with a 6.426 at 221.52.
Tracy Kile, Jake Stordeur, and Doug Vancil currently make up the rest of the field, with Bob Malloy, Rich Vreeland, Armon Furr and Tak Shigematsu needing to find some quickness today if they want to race on Sunday.
Todd Tutterow’s 5.774 at 248.66 leads Pro Mod. Sidnei Frigo is second with a 5.788 at 255.97 in his turbo car, followed by Mike Janis (blower) and Mike Castellana—also with a blower.
16-time Funny Car world champion John Force went to the top of that category during the second qualifying session Friday evening. Force paced the Funny Car category Friday evening with a run of 3.911-seconds at 326.95 mph in his PEAK Chevrolet Camaro SS. He is chasing his third No. 1 qualifier of the season, first win of the year and fifth at Bristol Dragway.
“We’re learning and I really thought that there would be a number of cars that would step up,” Force stated. “Especially Jimmy Prock (Robert Hight’s crew chief) and I thought he would run an .88 or something. Our car went though, and it was really hunting down there. Tomorrow is a new day but I’m excited for my guys. It’s a good race car and I’m proud to drive it. I’m learning about it and at my age I thought I knew everything about it.”
Shawn Langdon sits in the No. 2 spot with his pass of 3.944 at 324.51 in his Global Electronics Toyota Camry and Bob Tasca III rounds out the top three.
Funny Car — 1. John Force, Chevy Camaro, 3.911, 326.95; 2. Shawn Langdon, Toyota Camry, 3.944, 324.51; 3. Bob Tasca III, Ford Mustang, 3.959, 318.54; 4. Jack Beckman, Dodge Charger, 3.976, 319.90; 5. J.R. Todd, Camry, 3.984, 318.99; 6. Robert Hight, Camaro, 3.998, 318.99; 7. Matt Hagan, Charger, 4.012, 317.27; 8. Tommy Johnson Jr., Charger, 4.025, 313.51; 9. Cruz Pedregon, Charger, 4.054, 310.70; 10. Terry Haddock, Mustang, 4.156, 300.33; 11. Blake Alexander, Mustang, 4.198, 236.42; 12. Tim Wilkerson, Mustang, 4.497, 191.02; 13. Jim Campbell, Charger, 4.573, 190.48; 14. Ron Capps, Charger, 5.217, 142.10; 15. Jeff Diehl, Camry, 10.986, 76.66.
Doug Kalitta powered to the top of the class with a run of 3.755 at 324.67 during the second round qualifying in his MAC TOOLS dragster. He is looking for his first No. 1 qualifier of the season, second victory of the year and seventh career final round at the NHRA Thunder Valley Nationals.
“We are always excited to come here,” Kalitta said. “I remember coming here when I was working on Connie’s (Kalitta, team owner) cars back in the ‘80s so it’s a lot of cool history coming here just for me. It was a nice run though. It’s been awhile since we were low qualifier any of the days. I’m real proud of my guys though. We’re working our tails off to try and make it happen.”
Leah Pritchett is currently in the second position with her second qualifying pass of 3.757 at 323.04 and defending world champion Steve Torrence is third.
Top Fuel — 1. Doug Kalitta, 3.755 seconds, 324.67 mph; 2. Leah Pritchett, 3.757, 323.04; 3. Steve Torrence, 3.768, 326.00; 4. Antron Brown, 3.768, 325.14; 5. Mike Salinas, 3.774, 325.69; 6. Austin Prock, 3.783, 325.92; 7. Brittany Force, 3.790, 325.45; 8. Terry McMillen, 3.795, 312.78; 9. Richie Crampton, 3.807, 320.13; 10. Dom Lagana, 3.811, 323.58; 11. Scott Palmer, 3.834, 311.77; 12. Clay Millican, 3.837, 316.30; 13. Pat Dakin, 4.080, 219.72; 14. Audrey Worm, 4.978, 144.50; 15. Lex Joon, 5.361, 130.17; 16. Cameron Ferre, 11.244, 69.28.
Qualifying continues for the NHRA Thunder Valley Nationals at 1 and 4 p.m. ET on Saturday.
story by Tim Hailey and NHRA, photos by Hailey
brought to you by Ben Knight accommodations!