John Force leads Joliet quals with Schumacher, Johnson and Arana


By Eric Mauk: John Force made a strong Friday outing stand up on Saturday night at Route 66 Raceway while Tony Schumacher used his last run to move to the top

John Force made a strong Friday outing stand up on Saturday night at Route 66 Raceway in Joliet as the 15-time Funny Car titlist claimed the 170th No. 1 qualifying spot of his career, joining Tony Schumacher, Allen Johnson and Hector Arana Sr. as top qualifiers for Sunday’s elimination rounds.

Force’s best time of 4.050 seconds gave him the top spot after a final qualifying round where the top runners went to sleep while the back half of the field took made monster moves.

Tim Wilkerson came from 13th to qualifying second on his last pass, both Mike Neff and Courtney Force came from out of the field to place 11th and 12th respectively and Bob Tasca III went from 10th to fifth.

Throughout his stellar NHRA career, Schumacher has always been at his best when his back is against the wall. When pushed to his final run and needing a big pass to climb to the top of the charts, the U.S. Army Top Fueler has generally answered the call in a big way.

Saturday night was no different as the driver they call ‘The Sarge’ not only answered the bell, he ripped it off the wall and took it back to his trailer. Mired in the middle of the Top Fuel pack, Schumacher vaulted to the top qualifying spot with a Joliet track record E.T. time of 3.763 seconds, giving the former series champ his second No. 1 qualifying spot of the season and the 69th of his career.

Tony Schumacher
Tony Schumacher

Photo by: NHRA

Schumacher led a Don Schumacher Racing assault on the Top Fuel ladder as teammate Antron Brown earned the second spot while stablemate Spencer Massey qualified fourth. The middle of the final round saw some big moves as David Grubnic bumped his way into Sunday’s qualifying, while Clay Millican jumped from 11th to sixth.

Allen Johnson was the car to beat for the second straight event in Pro Stock as he actually made two nearly-identical runs that put him atop the ladder. Johnson got down the strip in 6.597 seconds at 209.26mph, giving his the No. 1 spot over the 6.616-second passes hung up by both Jason Line and Erica Enders.

Johnson dominated two weeks ago at Bristol, leading every session and storming through the elimination rounds before losing to Mike Edwards in the closest Pro Stock final in NHRA history. Edwards is still lurking in Joliet this week, nailing down the fourth spot on the bracket.

Most of the Pro Stock field put up their best times of the weekend in the final qualifying round, including the second- and third-place runs by Line and Enders. Warren and Kurt Johnson both came from out of the field to take spot while former series champ Jeg Coughlin Jr. snared the bump spot and will test Allen Johnson in the first round.

Hector Arana Sr. made yesterday’s time stand up for the top qualifying position in Pro Stock Motorcycle, with his 6.884-second pass putting his Buell ahead of the Harley-Davidson of Andrew Hines. Hector Arana Jr. took the third spot, while the big moves came from LE Tonglet, who came from 10th to fifth, and Matt Guidera who bumped into the field on his last trip.

Hector Arana, Lucas Oil Buell
Hector Arana, Lucas Oil Buell

Photo by: Michael C. Johnson

Top Fuel -- 1. Tony Schumacher, 3.763/324.83; 2. Antron Brown, 3.773 seconds, 322.50 mph; 3. Shawn Langdon, 3.784, 322.73; 4. Spencer Massey, 3.788, 326.79; 5. Steve Torrence, 3.795, 317.42; 6. Clay Millican, 3.813/318.99; 7. Brandon Bernstein, 3.820/313.07; 8. Khalid al Balooshi, 3.825, 318.54; 9. Hillary Will, 3.828, 312.71; 10. David Grubnic, 3.845/316.38; 11. Doug Kalitta, 3.847/317.79; 12. Cory McClenathan, 3.852/311.05; 13. Terry McMillen, 3.855, 303.50; 14. Bob Vandergriff, 3.868, 319.98; 15. Morgan Lucas, 3.888/302.96; 16. T.J. Zizzo, 3.892/306.88; Not Qualified: 17. Luigi Novelli, 3.905/299.53; 18. Troy Buff 3.965/291.45; 19. Tim Cullinan, 3.986/300.86; 20. Chris Karamesines, 4.016/266.53; 21. Brady Kalivoda, 7.036/89.52. 22. Rit Pustari, 7.224/85.10; 23. Ike Maier, 8.624/97.43.

Funny Car -- 1. John Force, Ford Mustang, 4.050, 310.77; 2. Tim Wilkerson, Mustang, 4.052/308.00; 3. Jack Beckman, Dodge Charger, 4.054, 311.56; 4. Robert Hight, Mustang, 4.060, 309.91; 5. Bob Tasca III, Mustang, 4.073/309.77; 6. Johnny Gray, Charger, 4.074, 312.57; 7. Jeff Arend, Toyota Camry, 4.075, 309.49; 8. Alexis DeJoria, Camry, 4.076, 310.63; 9. Ron Capps, Charger, 4.090/309.27; 10. Tony Pedregon, Camry, 4.116, 303.43; 11. Mike Neff, 4.134/307.93; 12. Courtney Force, 4.144/302.69; 13. Cruz Pedregon, Camry, 4.150, 301.13; 14. Matt Hagan, Charger, 4.193/294.43; 15. Dale Creasy Jr., 4.285/292.52; 16. Terry Haddock, 4.362/272.23; Not Qualified: 17. Justin Schriefer, 4.427/276.80 18. Todd Lesenko, 4.432/209.33; 19. Bob Bode, 4.728/174.57

Pro Stock -- 1. Allen Johnson, Dodge Avenger, 6.597, 209.26; 2. Jason Line, Chevy Camaro, 6.616/207.82; 3. Erica Enders, Chevy Cobalt, 6.616/207.08; 4. Mike Edwards, Pontiac GXP, 6.620/207.66; 5. Rodger Brogdon, GXP, 6.6.25/207.56; 6. Vincent Nobile, Avenger, 6.626/208.10; 7. V. Gaines, Avenger, 6.635, 206.95; 8. Greg Anderson, Camaro, 6.638/207.98; 9. Ron Krisher, GXP, 6.638/207.24; 10. Greg Stanfield, Camaro, 6.642/207.56; 11. Shane Gray, 6.642/207.21; 12. Ronnie Humphrey, GXP, 6.646/207.53; 13. Warren Johnson, 6.648/206.99; 14 Kurt Johnson, 6.653/207.62; 15. Larry Morgan, 6.653/207.15; 16. Jeg Coughlin, Avenger, 6.659/207.59. Not Qualified: 17. Chris McGaha, 6.688/206.39; 18. Kevin Lawrence, 6.720/204.76; 19. Grace Howell, 6.741/204.66; 19.; 20. Steve Spiess, 6.810/202.61; 21. John Gaydosh Jr, 6.850/201.25; 22. Mark Hogan, 6.876/203.16; 23. Dave River, No Time.

Pro Stock Motorcycle -- 1. Hector Arana, Buell, 6.884/195.08; 2. Andrew Hines, Harley-Davidson, 6.917/193.79; 3. Hector Arana Jr, Buell, 6.939/193.21; 4. Eddie Krawiec, Harley-Davidson, 6.941/192.58; 5. LE Tonglet, Suzuki, 6.954/191.13; 6. Michael Ray, Buell, 6.962/190.38; 7. Chip Ellis, Buell, 6.986/190.78; 8. Karen Stoffer, Suzuki, 6.990/186.51; 9. Steve Johnson, Suzuki, 6.997/190.73; 10. Matt Smith, Buell, 7.009, 190.89; 11. Shawn Gann, Buell, 7.034, 190.83; 12. Angie Smith, 7.050/189.34; 13. Matt Guidera, 7.053/187.31; 14. Mike Berry, Buell, 7.061, 191.02. 15. Scotty Pollacheck, 7.068/186.59; 16. Michael Phillips, 7.072/190.59; Not Qualified: 17. Wesley Wells, 7.080/188.04; 18. Jerry Savoie, 7.096/187.08; 18. Justin Finley, 7.109, 190.57; 19. John Hall, 7.061, 186.30; 20. Kieth Burley, .117/188.04; 21 Danny Krier, 7.415, 177.11; 22. Katie Sullivan, 16.595, 36.55.

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Series NHRA
Article type Qualifying report
Tags arana, featured, force, johnson, joliet, mauk, nhra, schumacher