Fans in attendance at the NGK Spark Plugs NHRA Four-Wide Nationals witnessed two sisters take the preliminary top spots in their respective categories. Top Fuel pilot Brittany Force and Funny Car racer Courtney Force, are qualifying leaders after the first day of action at zMAX Dragway.
Drew Skillman (Pro Stock) and Cory Reed (Pro Stock Motorcycle) are also provisional No. 1 qualifiers at the sixth of 24 events on the 2018 NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series schedule.
In the final Friday qualifying session, B. Force raced her Monster Energy dragster to a pass of 3.689 seconds at 318.39mph to take the provisional top position. She has yet to have a No. 1 qualifying position this season but won the most recent event in Houston. Her elapsed time is a zMax Dragway track record.
“It felt good, especially compared to that first run we made earlier,” said Brittany. “I just wanted a clean safe pass and I wasn’t expecting to go No. 1. When they told me when I got out at the top end that was pretty exciting. My team is pretty pumped.”
Courtney Force in her Advance Auto Parts Chevrolet Camaro was able to retain the top spot with her 3.873 at 332.92 pass from the first of two sessions. She was the No. 1 qualifier in Phoenix, where she also raced to victory and notched her second top spot in Las Vegas.
“We have done pretty well here but have yet to take home a win,” said Courtney. “I love coming out here to Concord, to zMAX Dragway, Bruton Smith always does it right, and it is a lot of fun to race on any of his racetracks.”
In Pro Stock, Skillman, behind the wheel of his Ray Skillman Auto Group Chevrolet Camaro, holds the top spot after driving to a 6.534 at 210.37 during the second qualifying session. Skillman has yet to record a No. 1 qualifying position of the year and sixth of his career.
“We finally made a good pass, our car has had the potential all season,” said Skillman. “Last season we ran really strong middle of the year and end of the summer. We got lost over the winter somehow but we are kinda inching our way back. We have been testing a couple of days ago and it is showing.”
Reed raced to the qualifying lead in the Pro Stock Motorcycle category during the second session with a pass of 6.838 at 193.54 on his Team Liberty Racing Buell. The 2016 Auto Club Road to the Future Award winner, the NHRA’s rookie of the year, is aiming for his first career No. 1 qualifying position.
“The thing took off and it was a rocket ship,” said Reed. “It was as smooth of a ride that I have had in a long time. I knew I was going fast and it was super smooth.”
Points leader Eddie Krawiec is seventh following his 6.872 at 191.29 recorded during the first session.
Qualifying continues at 2 p.m. on Saturday.