KORETSKY, HIGHT, SCHUMACHER TOP QUALIFIERS; JOHN FORCE'S QUEST FOR 1,000 ON HOLD WITH DNQ LAS VEGAS -- Pro Stock's Kenny Koretsky goes into race day at the top of the field today for the first time in 18 years of racing after earning his first...
KORETSKY, HIGHT, SCHUMACHER TOP QUALIFIERS; JOHN FORCE'S QUEST FOR 1,000 ON HOLD WITH DNQ
LAS VEGAS -- Pro Stock's Kenny Koretsky goes into race day at the top of the field today for the first time in 18 years of racing after earning his first career No. 1 qualifier at the Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.
John Force, in the hunt for the 1,000th round win that will place him in the highest level of the history books, failed to qualify for the Funny Car starting line-up with his second consecutive DNQ at this event. It's the first time in his prolific career that Force has failed to qualify at the same event two years in a row. Instead it was his teammate Robert Hight who had the luck, earning his 24th career No. 1 qualifier and the first of the season with a 4.849 at 321.27 in his last attempt in his Auto Club Ford Mustang.
Koretsky drove his Nitro Fish/Indicom Electric Chevy Cobalt to a 6.724-second pass at 204.05 mph at the ninth annual SummitRacing.com NHRA Nationals, the fifth of 24 events in the Series.
"It's unbelievable," Koretsky said. "On the radio the guys were saying all kinds of stuff trying to keep me from getting too excited, but when you see Kurt Johnson next to you and Greg Anderson and Jason Line in front of you...It was all about timing this weekend. We made the right runs at the right times."
Tony Schumacher earned his first No. 1 qualifier of the year, topping the Top Fuel field for the fifth time in a row in Las Vegas (spring and fall events). He drove his U.S. Army dragster to a 4.510 at 328.38.
"It's good teamwork, hard work, effort and energy," said Schumacher of his 48th career No. 1. "You just hope by the end of the year there's still a little bit of luck left in the luck bank."
Force's 5.020 at 277.72 wasn't enough to put his Castrol GTX High-Mileage Ford Mustang in the show. He'll continue his march at the Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Southern Nationals in Atlanta, April 24-27 while Hight and teammates Ashley Force and Mike Neff fly the team banner Sunday.
"It's been feast or famine for us all year," said Hight, who earned his fourth career No. 1 qualifier in Las Vegas after an uncharacteristic DNQ in Houston two weeks ago. "We haven't made many runs this year and we took one big giant step backwards in Houston. We redid the whole clutch (after that). To go down the track all four runs here is unbelievable. (The last run) was probably the best run we've made all year. The motor seemed happy all the way down and I knew it."