NHRA Series Joliet Friday Qualifying Report

Route 66 Raceway

Massey, Neff, Anderson And Arana Jr. Lead Qualifying At O’Reilly Auto Parts Route 66 NHRA Nationals

Spencer Massey raced to the qualifying lead in Top Fuel Friday at the O’Reilly Auto Parts Route 66 NHRA Nationals.

Mike Neff (Funny Car), Greg Anderson (Pro Stock) and Hector Arana Jr. (Pro Stock Motorcycle) also were qualifying leaders at the NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series event at Route 66 Raceway near Chicago.

Spencer Massey
Spencer Massey

Photo by: Glenn F. Katauskas

Massey powered his FRAM/Prestone dragster to a performance of 3.819 seconds at 319.29 mph and continued his impressive early season streak of consecutive runs down the dragstrip without losing traction or suffering a mechanical failure to 38. The streak started during qualifying at the Atlanta event in May.

“I have to think about before each run because it’s so many runs in a row,” Massey said. “This track has always been killer and there’s been great numbers put down here so I figured this thing could run an 82 or 83 and if it stuck it was going to make it. It surprised me with an 81, but I’ll take an 81 and a No. 1 anytime.”

If the run holds during Saturday’s two qualifying sessions, which also includes another night session, it would be the second of the season for Massey and the third of his career.

“Todd and Phil (crew chiefs) they don’t really know how to back it down that much,” Massey said. “Not only does it go down the racetrack, but they are killer numbers. That’s unbelievable. For any kind of nitro car that’s been this many runs in a row, that’s impressive and they aren’t just running down the track with conservative numbers, but they are really getting after it. It is just a testament to Todd and Phil and this Don Schumacher Racing team.”

Series leader Neff posted a 4.110 at 298.01 in his Castrol GTX Ford Mustang to top the Funny Car lineup.

“The conditions did come around a lot for that second session and the track cooled of about 20 degrees,” said Neff, who hasn’t qualified No. 1 since 2009 Brainerd. “That is pretty much where we thought we would run. The asphalt is still pretty new out there. We spun the tires real hard when we hit the asphalt. We were being a little more conservative here tonight knowing that tomorrow night we will have much better conditions than we had tonight. I just wanted to get down the track and make sure we were qualified for tomorrow. Tomorrow night we will have a better chance to run quicker with better conditions.”

Anderson, who hasn’t qualified No. 1 since 2009 Sonoma, led Pro Stock with a 6.586 at 208.97 in his Summit Racing Pontiac GXP.

“It’s not official yet, but it feels good for a night anyway,” Anderson said. “If we can get lucky and hold on tomorrow, it will be the first time (we’ve claimed a No. 1 qualifying position) in over a year. That’s a little odd for me I guess. This class is tough and it is a knock-down, drag-out brawl every weekend. There’s tough cars and tough drivers and you never know who’s going to run low and win an event, so it’s just a great class right now and it’s fun to be a part of.”

Rookie rider Arana Jr. paced the Pro Stock Motorcycle category with a 6.950 at 188.86 on his Lucas Oil Buell as he is seeking his second straight No. 1 qualifying effort.

"I'm finally getting some seat time, getting comfortable on the bike," Arana Jr. said. "It's all coming together. We have a new motor, Gracie, named after my mother. That's all we've done. We've stayed consistent, and it's paid off."

Saturday’s two qualifying sessions will be at 4 and 7 p.m. Sunday’s eliminations start at 11 a.m.

***

Friday's results after the first two of four rounds of qualifying for the 14th annual O'Reilly Auto Parts Route 66 NHRA Nationals at Route 66 Raceway, 11th of 22 events in the NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series. Qualifying will continue Saturday for Sunday's final eliminations.

Top Fuel -- 1. Spencer Massey, 3.819 seconds, 319.29 mph; 2. Del Worsham, 3.859, 314.53; 3. Antron Brown, 3.869, 314.61; 4. Larry Dixon, 3.870, 312.71; 5. Tony Schumacher, 3.873, 313.95; 6. Doug Kalitta, 3.894, 313.37; 7. Rod Fuller, 3.906, 307.72; 8. David Grubnic, 3.926, 307.44; 9. Brandon Bernstein, 3.934, 306.74; 10. Morgan Lucas, 3.934, 296.11; 11. Shawn Langdon, 3.943, 301.40; 12. Luigi Novelli, 3.970, 307.44.

Not Qualified: 13. Troy Buff, 3.977, 298.07; 14. Dom Lagana, 3.988, 307.16; 15. Bob Vandergriff, 4.058, 290.57; 16. Keith Murt, 4.130, 295.08; 17. Terry McMillen, 5.147, 134.94; 18. T.J. Zizzo, 5.841, 113.09; 19. Chris Karamesines, broke.

Funny Car -- 1. Mike Neff, Ford Mustang, 4.110, 298.01; 2. Matt Hagan, Dodge Charger, 4.114, 296.18; 3. Ron Capps, Charger, 4.135, 301.94; 4. Jack Beckman, Charger, 4.139, 291.51; 5. Melanie Troxel, Toyota Solara, 4.155, 285.29; 6. Cruz Pedregon, Solara, 4.165, 295.08; 7. Bob Tasca III, Mustang, 4.180, 298.54; 8. Tim Wilkerson, Mustang, 4.182, 296.83; 9. Jeff Arend, Solara, 4.199, 294.31; 10. Tony Pedregon, Chevy Impala SS, 4.245, 271.41; 11. Bob Bode, Solara, 4.246, 289.20; 12. Terry Haddock, Solara, 4.393, 277.43.

Not Qualified: 13. Johnny Gray, 4.394, 230.13; 14. Justin Schriefer, 4.532, 228.46; 15. Robert Hight, 5.106, 235.89; 16. John Force, 6.129, 110.04; 17. Dale Creasy Jr., 6.542, 104.15; 18. Paul Lee, 6.827, 95.98.

Pro Stock -- 1. Greg Anderson, Pontiac GXP, 6.586, 209.14; 2. Jason Line, GXP, 6.597, 207.66; 3. Erica Enders, Chevy Cobalt, 6.603, 208.78; 4. Shane Gray, GXP, 6.606, 209.04; 5. Ron Krisher, GXP, 6.612, 208.52; 6. Mike Edwards, GXP, 6.614, 209.04; 7. Greg Stanfield, GXP, 6.616, 208.04; 8. Rodger Brogdon, GXP, 6.619, 208.17; 9. Allen Johnson, Dodge Avenger, 6.622, 208.81; 10. Vincent Nobile, Avenger, 6.626, 208.30; 11. Kurt Johnson, GXP, 6.631, 208.20; 12. Ronnie Humphrey, GXP, 6.638, 206.51.

Not Qualified: 13. Warren Johnson, 6.641, 208.20; 14. Larry Morgan, 6.645, 208.26; 15. Steve Spiess, 6.661, 206.51; 16. V. Gaines, 6.667, 207.40; 17. Richard Freeman, 6.683, 207.50; 18. Buddy Perkinson, 6.689, 206.70; 19. Robert Patrick, 6.704, 205.26; 20. Steve Schmidt, 6.747, 203.86; 21. Dave River, 6.893, 198.29; 22. Kevin Lawrence, 7.088, 151.80; 23. Mark Hogan, 7.646, 153.63; 24. Frank Gugliotta, 9.195, 90.16.

Pro Stock Motorcycle -- 1. Hector Arana Jr, Buell, 6.950, 188.96; 2. Karen Stoffer, Suzuki, 6.979, 190.51; 3. LE Tonglet, Suzuki, 6.980, 189.95; 4. Chip Ellis, Buell, 6.986, 186.85; 5. Eddie Krawiec, Harley-Davidson, 6.988, 190.51; 6. Hector Arana, Buell, 7.005, 186.48; 7. Andrew Hines, Harley-Davidson, 7.029, 189.36; 8. Matt Smith, Buell, 7.030, 186.67; 9. Steve Johnson, Suzuki, 7.049, 186.64; 10. Jim Underdahl, Suzuki, 7.064, 187.91; 11. Mike Berry, Buell, 7.073, 184.32; 12. Angie Smith, Buell, 7.075, 185.89.

Not Qualified: 13. Justin Finley, 7.084, 185.49; 14. Shawn Gann, 7.105, 183.89; 15. Jerry Savoie, 7.116, 181.52; 16. Michael Phillips, 7.147, 185.69; 17. GT Tonglet, 7.186, 182.70; 18. Bailey Whitaker, 7.194, 178.42; 19. Joe DeSantis, 7.205, 183.17; 20. Craig Treble, 7.243, 183.79; 21. Danny Krier, 7.476, 173.85; 22. Wesley Wells, 11.236, 72.11.

By: nhra

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Tags anderson, arana jr., chicago, joliet, massey, neff, nhra, route 66 raceway

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