Richmond: Friday qualifying report

ANDERSON POSTS MILESTONE PERFORMANCE AT TORCO RACING FUELS NHRA NATIONALS Schumacher and Hight also are qualifying leaders at Virginia Motorsports Park DINWIDDIE, Va. -- Greg Anderson made drag racing history Friday when he recorded the...

ANDERSON POSTS MILESTONE PERFORMANCE AT TORCO RACING FUELS NHRA NATIONALS

Schumacher and Hight also are qualifying leaders at Virginia Motorsports Park

DINWIDDIE, Va. -- Greg Anderson made drag racing history Friday when he recorded the sport's first 6.5-second Pro Stock pass. Anderson covered Virginia Motorsports Park's quarter-mile track in 6.598 seconds to lead qualifying at the $1.6 million Torco Racing Fuels NHRA Nationals.

Tony Schumacher and Robert Hight are the other provisional qualifying leaders at the event, the 21st of 23 races in the $50 million NHRA POWERade Series.

A potential national record, Anderson's mark could be worth 20 championship points if it holds through the weekend. Currently, Anderson trails Summit Racing Pontiac GTO teammate Jason Line by 56 points for the top spot in the POWERade standings. Line is second here with a 6.602 at 209.26 mph, the fastest Pro Stock speed in history.

"It's a lot of fun to race under conditions like this," Anderson said. "Everyone in the pits is smiling because everyone just ran their personal bests. Whenever you do that, you've accomplished something and we're all there."

Anchored by Virginian Jim Yates' 6.658, the Pro Stock class has set its quickest field ever for the second race in a row.

Schumacher's 4.512 at 313.37 mph in his U.S. Army dragster came in the first Top Fuel session. If Schumacher's top qualifying effort holds it would be his 12th of the season, an NHRA record.

"It's a brand-new track for all of us, basically," Schumacher said. "I can't even remember running here. They've repaved it and it's different than it was, but we came out and went 4.51. Perfect. The weather is supposed to be great tomorrow so I can't see that 4.51 holding. We should be way quicker. We'll be in the 4.40s for sure. You couldn't ask for better air. Everyone is running great."

Rookie of the Year candidate and three-time season winner J.R. Todd was one of the drivers to improve in the cool night air of the second session, posting a 4.534 at 313.68 mph to move up to second place in his Skull Shine dragster. POWERade Series leader Doug Kalitta is fourth with a 4.549, which he posted on the last run of the day in his Mac Tools dragster.

Hight, who has had the best Funny Car in posting final round appearances at the last three races, including two victories, continues to dominate in his Auto Club Ford Mustang, racing to the provisional pole with a 4.751 at 311.05 mph.

Hight leads his category with eight No. 1 qualifying performances this season, and hopes to make it nine tomorrow.

"We had to stay aggressive with the tune-up because the track was good and the conditions were great," said Hight, whose car lost traction in the first round. "If we had tried to back it down it would have shook the tires. As usual, Jimmy [Prock, crew chief] came through with the perfect tune-up and it went right down through there."

Eric Medlen and John Force followed Hight on the ladder, making it a clean sweep for John Force Racing. Medlen was second with a 4.757 at 310.41 mph in his Castrol Syntec Mustang, while Force had a 4.765 at 315.70 mph in his Castrol GTX Mustang.

Championship contender Ron Capps' machine lost traction in the quicker evening session and dropped to 10th on the grid with his opening pass of 4.867 in his Brut Revolution Dodge Charger.

Qualifying continues Saturday with sessions at noon and 2:30 p.m. for Sunday's 11 a.m. eliminations.

-credit: nhra

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About this article
Series NHRA
Drivers Ron Capps , John Force , Tony Schumacher , Doug Kalitta , Greg Anderson , Jason Line , Eric Medlen , Robert Hight , J.R. Todd