SCHUMACHER TAKES PROVISIONAL TOP SPOT; PEDREGON, LINE, SMITH ALSO PROVISIONAL NO. 1 QUALIFIERS AT MAPLE GROVE MOHNTON, Pa. -- Top Fuel points leader Tony Schumacher raced to the provisional No. 1 qualifying spot Friday at the 24th annual Toyo ...
SCHUMACHER TAKES PROVISIONAL TOP SPOT; PEDREGON, LINE, SMITH ALSO PROVISIONAL NO. 1 QUALIFIERS AT MAPLE GROVE
MOHNTON, Pa. -- Top Fuel points leader Tony Schumacher raced to the provisional No. 1 qualifying spot Friday at the 24th annual Toyo Tires NHRA Nationals at Maple Grove Raceway.
Cruz Pedregon, Jason Line and Matt Smith also were No. 1 qualifiers in their respective categories at the 17th of 24 events on the NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series.
Schumacher drove his U.S. Army dragster to a strong 3.816-second pass at 316.67 mph to take the top spot in the category. It would be Schumacher's sixth No. 1 qualifier of the season, 53rd of his career and sixth at Maple Grove.
"I knew that Alan (Johnson, crew chief) wasn't going to go easy," said Schumacher. "He was going to go out there and try to run what the track would take, which is the only way he knows how to run these things, you know, go all out and it was great."
Hillary Will clinched her spot in the Countdown to the Championship playoffs with her first qualifying run of the day while defending event winner Doug Herbert currently sits third in the field.
In Funny Car, Cruz Pedregon drove his Advanced Auto Parts Toyota Solara to a 4.109-second pass at 299 mph to take the provisional top spot. It would be Pedregon's second No. 1 qualifier of the season, 35th of his career second at Maple Grove Raceway.
"That's a solid run," said Pedregon. "It pulled the entire run. I just can't thank the team enough. We were working on not spinning the tires in the middle but in the process Rahn (Tobler, crew chief) did step it up down low so it ran really good early and we were able to carry it through."
Ashley Force clinched her spot in the Countdown to 1 after her first session of qualifying as well, while defending event winner Tony Pedregon sits sixth in the Funny Car field.
Jason Line ran the quickest time in the Pro Stock category, driving his Summit Racing Pontiac GXP to a 6.639 at 207.40. It would be Line's third No. 1 qualifier of the season, 16th of his career and second at Maple Grove.
"We'll see whether (that time) stands up or not," said Line. "I think the weather's going to be better tomorrow and I seriously doubt that it will hold but if it does, great, and if it doesn't, I think we can go faster than we did today too."
Points leader Greg Anderson sits third in the field while defending event winner Dave Connolly is 10th.
Pro Stock Motorcycle rider Matt Smith had the fastest run on a motorcycle, riding his NitroFish Buell to a 6.909 at 192.38. It would be Smith's third of the season and second consecutive No. 1 qualifier.
"The conditions are pretty good," said Smith. "The track's really tight and I think a lot of people missed it on the first pass. We hit it pretty good. We'd tweaked the tune up just a bit and went a little faster so we'll see what tomorrow brings."
Points leader Andrew Hines sits sixth while defending event winner Matt Guidera is 11th.
Qualifying continues Saturday with sessions at 11 a.m. and 4 p.m. Sunday's eliminations begin at 11 a.m.