NHRA FUNNY CAR SOPHOMORE ASHLEY FORCE CLOSE TO FIRST CAREER NO. 1 QUALIFIER Brown, Edwards and Rivas round out provisional No. 1 qualifiers SONOMA -- NHRA sophomore sensation Ashley Force powered her Castrol GTX Ford Mustang to the...
NHRA FUNNY CAR SOPHOMORE ASHLEY FORCE CLOSE TO FIRST CAREER NO. 1 QUALIFIER
Brown, Edwards and Rivas round out provisional No. 1 qualifiers
SONOMA -- NHRA sophomore sensation Ashley Force powered her Castrol GTX Ford Mustang to the provisional No. 1 qualifying position in Funny Car at the FRAM-Autolite NHRA Nationals at Infineon Raceway on Friday.
The other provisional No. 1 qualifiers at the 15th of 18 regular season races (24 total) in the NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series were Antron Brown (Top Fuel), Mike Edwards (Pro Stock) and Chris Rivas (Pro Stock Motorcycle).
Force's 4.096-second pass at 301.60 mph would be her first career No. 1 qualifier in her 36th career race and Saturday's forecast of temperatures in the mid- to upper-80s are favorable for Force to maintain that position. Her legendary father John needed 59 races to earn his first career No. 1 qualifier (Baton Rouge, 1986).
"It (being No. 1) is great. It was kind of a rush between rounds," Force said. "My guys were working so hard and you never know, you get a little nervous thinking, 'Did we put everything back together right? Did we do everything we wanted to?' They never let me down. They got it done exactly how they wanted it to be done. It showed when it went right down the track. It was easy for me the driver to get it from A to B."
Brown glided down the track in his Matco Tools dragster in 3.805 seconds at 316.45 mph to earn the provisional top spot in Top Fuel.
"When you get those opportune times like we had tonight, you can wick it up and you know the track is going to take it. I knew that car was on a stellar run. We were happy with it," Brown said.
For Edwards, if his 6.609 at 208.71 in his Young Life Pontiac GTO holds up Saturday, it would be his sixth career No. 1 qualifier but his first since Dallas in 2001, a span of 146 races.
"Provisional is the big word; tomorrow will be another day, but for right now we're No. 1," Edwards said. "We made a great run, and I'm proud of my team. When I let go of the chutes at the other end, I thought 'Whatever that was, we can't go any faster.' That's how good it felt to me."
Rivas, of Fresno, Calif., rode Drag Specialties S&S Buell to the top spot on the strength of a 6.987-second pass at 188.65. It would be Rivas's class-best third No. 1 qualifier this season.
"This is my home track, and I would definitely say that I have high expectations for this weekend. I came in to this event wanting to win it; we're No. 1 right now, and I don't plan on losing it. That's why I'm here; that's why I do what I do."
Qualifying resumes Saturday with Q3 scheduled to begin at 11:15 a.m. and Q4 slated to get underway at 2:15 p.m.