Series completes Saturday qualifying at Las Vegas

NHRA Series press release

Worsham races to top spot in Top Fuel; Capps, Edwards, Arana Jr. also no. 1 in Las Vegas

LAS VEGAS – Del Worsham raced to the No. 1 qualifying position Saturday at the Big O Tires NHRA Nationals at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

Ron Capps, Mike Edwards and Hector Arana Jr. were also provisional No. 1 qualifiers in their respective categories at the penultimate race of the 2011 NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing season.

Last night we were on a great run. I thought it could have possibly been a 3.77 or a .78.

Del Worsham

Worsham powered his Al-Anabi dragster to the top of the field in the last qualifying session with a run of 3.796-seconds at 322.88 mph. It is his sixth No. 1 qualifier of the season and 11th of his career. Worsham, who entered the event fourth in the point standings, also picked up an additional nine bonus points during the four qualifying sessions.

“It feels amazing,” said Worsham. “Last night we were on a great run. I thought it could have possibly been a 3.77 or a .78. So when it cooled down today and Alan (Johnson, team manager) walked into the trailer and said, ‘How about if we just run a 3.80 and take the top spot’, and I said it sounded good to me if we could do it. But he lied and we went a 3.79.”

Top Fuel points leader Antron Brown qualified fifth in the field and will face seven-time world champion and fellow Don Schumacher Racing teammate Tony Schumacher in the first round of eliminations. Worsham’s teammate and second-place driver in the standings Larry Dixon qualified in the sixth spot.

In Funny Car, Ron Capps took the top spot in the category on the final qualifying session of the event. Capps powered his NAPA Dodge Charger to a 4.080 at 315.49 to take his first No. 1 qualifier of the year, first at Las Vegas and 11th of his career.

“We ran all day Monday here after Phoenix, and it wasn’t fun for more than one reason, but it’s part of what these NAPA guys do,” said Capps. “That could have happened at any point of the season, but it’s like, ‘It has to happen now while we’re in the Countdown?’ I always pat my guys on the butt and try to play cheerleader and keep them motivated. For them to do what they did and be No. 1 qualifiers, that was the spark that they needed.”

Capps’ teammate Jack Beckman, who sits in second place in the championship point standings, qualified eighth for the event and will face defending world champion John Force in the first round of eliminations. Fellow Don Schumacher Racing driver and point leader Matt Hagan qualified fifth for the event while third-place driver in the standings Mike Neff qualified second.

In Pro Stock, 2009 world champion Mike Edwards took the top spot in the category. Edwards drove his Penhall/Interstate Batteries Pontiac GXP to a 6.594 at 208.81 to get his fifth No. 1 qualifier of the season, 39th of his career and fourth at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

Ron Capps/NAPA Auto Parts Dodge Charger
Ron Capps/NAPA Auto Parts Dodge Charger

Photo by: Michael C. Johnson

“It always feels good to make a good run, and we just happened to hit it at the right time,” said Edwards. “The conditions were definitely the best all weekend this morning. This is the fastest corrected run we’ve ever made. I’m pretty happy about that. Hat’s off to all my guys who did an awesome job today.”

In Pro Stock Motorcycle Arana Jr. took the No. 1 qualifier on the final pass of the day. Arana Jr. rode his Lucas Oil Buell to a 6.879 at 194.46 en route to his seventh No. 1 qualifier of the season and fourth straight in the Countdown to the Championship.

“It feels good to know that I am riding a consistent Lucas Oil Buell,” said Arana Jr. “This bike is amazing. It’s proved it numerous times that it goes right down the track and repeats itself, so it’s not just a one-hit wonder. It’s a really good feeling. I like being the predator. I feel that Eddie (Krawiec, points leader) probably feels like the prey right now. Right now I feel like a lion, getting ready to take that championship.”

***

LAS VEGAS -- Sunday's first-round pairings for professional eliminations for the 11th annual Big O Tires NHRA Nationals at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, the 21st of 22 events in the NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series. Pairings based on results in qualifying, which ended Saturday. DNQs listed below pairings.

Top Fuel -- 1. Del Worsham, 3.796 seconds, 322.88 mph vs. 16. Shawn Langdon, 3.897, 316.15; 2. Spencer Massey, 3.824, 324.67 vs. 15. Ron August, 3.892, 316.90; 3. Brandon Bernstein, 3.833, 321.27 vs. 14. Dom Lagana, 3.885, 316.15; 4. Bob Vandergriff, 3.838, 325.61 vs. 13. Clay Millican, 3.883, 316.97; 5. Antron Brown, 3.841, 319.60 vs. 12. Tony Schumacher, 3.880, 319.29; 6. Larry Dixon, 3.847, 321.42 vs. 11. T.J. Zizzo, 3.879, 319.14; 7. Rod Fuller, 3.851, 325.85 vs. 10. Doug Kalitta, 3.872, 313.29; 8. Steve Torrence, 3.856, 317.49 vs. 9. David Grubnic, 3.863, 313.22.

Did Not Qualify: 17. Cory McClenathan, 3.907, 316.23; 18. Troy Buff, 3.913, 307.23; 19. Thomas Nataas, 3.918, 308.85; 20. Keith Murt, 3.920, 312.35; 21. Morgan Lucas, 3.922, 314.68; 22. Terry McMillen, 3.932, 313.51; 23. Mike Salinas, 3.965, 310.27; 24. Steven Chrisman, 4.227, 283.85; 25. Chris Karamesines, 4.412, 286.56; 26. Ike Maier, 7.292, 305.36; 27. Pat Dakin, 7.327, 298.14.

Mike Edwards
Mike Edwards

Photo by: Motorsport.com / ASP Inc.

Funny Car -- 1. Ron Capps, Dodge Charger, 4.080, 315.49 vs. 16. Todd Lesenko, Charger, 4.236, 298.60; 2. Mike Neff, Ford Mustang, 4.083, 312.71 vs. 15. Paul Lee, Chevy Impala SS, 4.218, 304.19; 3. Robert Hight, Mustang, 4.085, 311.27 vs. 14. Tony Pedregon, Impala SS, 4.166, 297.48; 4. Cruz Pedregon, Toyota Solara, 4.087, 309.49 vs. 13. Jeff Arend, Solara, 4.162, 305.29; 5. Matt Hagan, Charger, 4.093, 310.05 vs. 12. Tim Wilkerson, Mustang, 4.148, 299.46; 6. Bob Tasca III, Mustang, 4.096, 310.91 vs. 11. Alexis DeJoria, Solara, 4.121, 305.15; 7. Melanie Troxel, Solara, 4.103, 310.20 vs. 10. Johnny Gray, Charger, 4.118, 311.99; 8. Jack Beckman, Charger, 4.105, 311.34 vs. 9. John Force, Mustang, 4.118, 312.57.

Did Not Qualify: 17. Gary Densham, 4.261, 296.11; 18. Jeff Diehl, 4.269, 286.25; 19. Jim Head, 4.797, 268.17; 20. Bob Bode, 4.807, 302.01; 21. Peter Russo, 7.025, 99.79; 22. Terry Haddock, broke.

Pro Stock -- 1. Mike Edwards, Pontiac GXP, 6.594, 208.84 vs. 16. Mark Wolfe, Ford Probe, 6.657, 206.89; 2. Jason Line, GXP, 6.624, 208.49 vs. 15. V. Gaines, Dodge Avenger, 6.655, 207.27; 3. Allen Johnson, Avenger, 6.630, 208.33 vs. 14. Greg Stanfield, GXP, 6.654, 207.53; 4. Rodger Brogdon, GXP, 6.632, 207.85 vs. 13. Kurt Johnson, GXP, 6.652, 207.53; 5. Greg Anderson, GXP, 6.633, 208.14 vs. 12. Steve Kent, GXP, 6.651, 207.50; 6. Larry Morgan, Ford Mustang, 6.633, 207.91 vs. 11. Vincent Nobile, Avenger, 6.644, 207.94; 7. Ron Krisher, GXP, 6.637, 208.33 vs. 10. Shane Gray, GXP, 6.641, 207.88; 8. Ronnie Humphrey, GXP, 6.639, 207.72 vs. 9. Erica Enders, Chevy Cobalt, 6.640, 207.82.

Hector Arana Jr.
Hector Arana Jr.

Photo by: Ted Rossino

Did Not Qualify: 17. Warren Johnson, 6.693, 207.27; 18. Buddy Perkinson, 6.699, 205.63; 19. Grace Howell, 6.736, 205.22; 20. Gordie Rivera, 6.799, 203.03.

Pro Stock Motorcycle -- 1. Hector Arana Jr, Buell, 6.879, 195.39 vs. 16. Matt Guidera, Buell, 7.067, 187.99; 2. Eddie Krawiec, Harley-Davidson, 6.894, 196.56 vs. 15. David Hope, Buell, 7.058, 189.20; 3. Hector Arana, Buell, 6.896, 192.36 vs. 14. Shawn Gann, Buell, 7.038, 189.76; 4. Andrew Hines, Harley-Davidson, 6.902, 194.97 vs. 13. Bailey Whitaker, Buell, 7.032, 189.66; 5. Matt Smith, Buell, 6.944, 191.81 vs. 12. Jim Underdahl, Suzuki, 7.026, 190.16; 6. Jerry Savoie, Suzuki, 6.956, 191.92 vs. 11. Michael Ray, Buell, 7.014, 189.10; 7. Steve Johnson, Suzuki, 6.981, 191.97 vs. 10. LE Tonglet, Suzuki, 7.005, 188.67; 8. Mike Berry, Buell, 6.991, 189.31 vs. 9. Angie Smith, Buell, 7.000, 189.95.

Did Not Qualify: 17. Justin Finley, 7.084, 191.16; 18. Michael Phillips, 7.138, 190.43; 19. Wesley Wells, 7.141, 186.67; 20. Karen Stoffer, 7.145, 189.26; 21. Katie Sullivan, 7.155, 188.60; 22. Scotty Pollacheck, 7.173, 182.75; 23. Joe DeSantis, 7.195, 184.62; 24. Redell Harris, 7.210, 185.10; 25. James Surber, 7.211, 184.22; 26. Freddie Camarena, 7.246, 187.03; 27. Dawn Minturn, 11.214, 161.88.

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