Defending Top Fuel world champion Brittany Force continued to roll at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, powering to the provisional No. 1 qualifier position on Friday at the NHRA Four-Wide Nationals.
Cruz Pedregon (Funny Car) and Dallas Glenn (Pro Stock) are also the provisional No. 1 qualifiers at the fourth of 21 races during the 2023 NHRA Camping World Drag Racing Series season.
Force went 3.697s at 335.73mph in her 11,000-horsepower Monster Energy dragster as she looks to pick up her second top spot this season and 44th in her career. A year ago, Force won in dominant fashion at both races at Las Vegas, qualifying No. 1 at the fall race and second at the four-wide race in the spring. It’s been a track where Force has made record runs as well, and now she looks to win for the fourth time in Vegas.
“When I crossed the finish line, it felt like a killer run and it’s very exciting to do that,” Force said. “Our performance (last season) here was great. We’ve been very successful here and made some killer runs at this track. That’s been huge for us and coming into this event, you feel like you already have that behind you to carry into the weekend.
“It feels good to get back on track and the great thing is we get two more runs tomorrow before going into race day on Sunday. It’s chaotic up there in a four-wide race, so you’ve got to clear your mind and just stay focused.”
Steve Torrence, who was the quickest in the opening session, is second after his 3.712s at 330.23mph and Leah Pruett’s 3.747s at 322.50mph has her third heading into Saturday.
Pedregon is in line for his second straight No. 1 qualifier in his 11,000-horsepower Snap-On Tools Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat after his run of 3.910s at 326.71mph. It would also be the 64th career No. 1 spot for the two-time world champion if it holds. Next on the list for the veteran is turning strong qualifying performances into race wins.
Pedregon has just one round win through the first three races, but he feels good about what his team can accomplish this weekend.
“The track was really good and for us, it’s been trying to back the car down,” Pedregon said. “It’s really just a matter of backing it down a little bit and trying to go down the track and race smart. We’re looking for that consistency and I’m just trying to drive it straighter. We’re starting to see flashes like we had in Pomona and we’re grateful for performances like this. If we can wrangle some more low 3.90s tomorrow and keep our car hooked up, we’ll feel good about Sunday.”
Alexis DeJoria continued her strong start to the year, making a pair of 3.933 runs with a speed of 329.18. Points leader Matt Hagan jumped to third in Friday’s second qualifier, going 3.936s at 327.82mph.
Following his victory in Pomona and taking the points lead for the first time in his young career, Pro Stock’s Dallas Glenn continued to impress on Friday in Las Vegas, making the quickest run in each qualifying session, including a class-best 6.629s at 206.07mph in his RAD Torque Systems Chevrolet Camaro.
If that holds, Glenn would pick up his first No. 1 qualifier this season and the third in his career and the former NHRA Rookie of the Year appears to be on a great path. He’s enjoyed previous success in Las Vegas, winning the fall race in 2021, and advanced to the final quad at the four-wide race a year ago.
“Matt (Hartford) and I had the best two cars in Pomona, and I think it just carried right on over,” Glenn said. “This track just kind of agrees with me, from the starting line to my driving style, and the way the car is set up. I didn’t expect to see that good of a run in Q2, because we made a really nice run in Q1, and the air was worse. Hopefully, that means there’s even a little more left in it because I think tomorrow morning is going to be the good run.
“I know I change my style a little bit for four-wide. I almost rush myself a little bit in staging because I do kind of take a long time to stage. For four-wide, I try to make sure I don’t dilly-dally around. Four-wide racing is a great time; it changes it up a little bit.”
Hartford is currently second with his 6.635s at 205.66mph, while Gainesville winner Troy Coughlin Jr. is right behind after he went 6.636s at 207.11mph.
Qualifying continues at 11:30 a.m. PT on Saturday at the NHRA Four-Wide Nationals at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.