BODE AND ANDERSON LEAD QUALIFYING IN WEATHER-SHORTENED DAY OF RACING AT THE SUMMITRACING.COM NHRA NATIONALS IN LAS VEGAS LAS VEGAS - Journeyman Funny Car racer Bob Bode claimed the qualifying lead for the first time in his nine-year NHRA Full ...
BODE AND ANDERSON LEAD QUALIFYING IN WEATHER-SHORTENED DAY OF RACING AT THE SUMMITRACING.COM NHRA NATIONALS IN LAS VEGAS
LAS VEGAS - Journeyman Funny Car racer Bob Bode claimed the qualifying lead for the first time in his nine-year NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series career Friday at the SummitRacing.com NHRA Nationals.
Greg Anderson also raced to the top spot in Pro Stock at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway in a shortened day of qualifying after unseasonably cool weather and high winds forced NHRA officials to cancel the first session of Top Fuel qualifying and the second scheduled session for all three pro classes.
Bode powered his Alard Machine Chevy Impala to a performance of 4.145 seconds at 303.43 mph to claim the first provisional No. 1 qualifying position of his career.
"I was way surprised our time held up," said Bode, a former powerboat racer. "By the time they got the cars going again and I went back to the radio to listen, there were about four or five pair, and I'm going, 'Well, the worst I'm going to be is ninth.' Then, I went, 'The worst I'm going to be is seventh,' figuring these guys were going to hit their numbers. Then it got down to the final pair, and we were actually nervous, standing at the radio listening. The nine guys who work on this thing just jumped up and down after that final pair ran because we've had a couple of unsuccessful races so they know how hard it is when it runs bad. They were just unbelievably happy when it happened.
"Coming in here, the dream was to maybe be in the top half after the first round or after all four rounds. Standing here being the No. 1 qualifier after the first day is amazing; all the stars lined up for us. We were 16th in Houston, but we had a good tune-up, and we knew we could step it up a little. We didn't know we'd step it up to where I'd be [No. 1]."
Anderson, who has earned five of his 70 career No. 1 qualifying performances at this track, posted a 6.718 at 205.32 in his Summit Racing Pontiac GXP to lead the Pro Stock order.
"The conditions were tough today," Anderson said. "The wind is coming across the track, and that's the worst thing. When they're coming straight across, when you get to the end of the grandstands out there it can feel like somebody picked the car up and set it over a car length. To be honest with you, I probably got luckier than the rest of them. I don't know why, but it seemed like the wind slowed down for me. I got lucky on that deal, but that's a good start for us. I'm not going to say it's a No. 1 spot yet. Tomorrow's going to be a great day, and if the wind goes down, the cars are just going to get faster. Hopefully, that will happen, and I can run faster than that.
"I love coming here, and I love racing here," added Anderson, who has more wins here than any driver in any class (six). "It's a lot of fun to come here and show off in front of [team owner and local Las Vegas resident] Ken [Black] and his family. On top of that, Summit sponsors the race, so it really can't get better for me out here. I wish we had six or eight races a year out here instead of two."
Two rounds of qualifying remain for Saturday at noon and 3 p.m. Sunday's eliminations are scheduled for 11 a.m.