Forces Can't Be Reckoned With at NGK Spark Plugs NHRA Four-Wide Nationals
The lights came on, cameras rolled and adrenaline-pumping, nitro-fueled action was on full display during Friday night's portion of the NGK Spark Plugs NHRA Four-Wide Nationals at zMAX Dragway. Brittany Force scorched the pavement at the Bellagio of drag strips, thrilling an enthralled crowd with a track-record elapsed time of 3.689 seconds at 318.39 mph in Top Fuel qualifying.
"It definitely feels great," Force said. "We won here a few years ago and this track will always be a special one for me, just because four-wide is such a unique thing that we do. The fact that our team was able to win it was a big thing for us. It presents a challenge on its own - not just for the crew chiefs and the team but for the driver as well. It's a challenge when you go up there and pull up to stage.
"I think we're definitely ready for this weekend. I'm excited to be here and I'm ready to win another one."
Force's sister, Courtney, topped the charts in Funny Car time trials with an exhilarating 3.873-second, 332.92-mph pass.
"It's a great start to the weekend for sure," Courtney Force said. "To go to the top is awesome. … In the final quad of Q2, everybody was gunning for that top spot. Luckily, we were able to hang onto it. The conditions will be good tomorrow. It feels good to be back at zMAX Dragway and to go for that top spot tomorrow afternoon."
Two Force sisters atop the charts made Friday fantastic for John Force Racing.
"It's pretty awesome to share that with my sister," Brittany Force said. "We're hoping to hang onto that tomorrow. Just because we're out here and it's mostly men that we're up against, having two ladies up there is pretty badass."
Drew Skillman led the way in Pro Stock competition, surging to the top with a 6.534-second, 210.37-mph run.
"We finally made a good pass," Skillman said. "Our car's had the potential. We got lost a little over the winter somehow, but we've been getting better. The track favored our setup. … We had plenty of wheel speed down low, which was the key to our success."
Cory Reed paced the first day of Pro Stock Motorcycle qualifying by going 193.54 mph in 6.838 seconds.
"It took off," Reed said. "I planted my feet real hard. I kind of screwed my light up but it took off. It was my smoothest run in a long time. I'm not sure if it's the fastest I've ever been, but it's close."
Khalid alBalooshi was No. 1 in Pro Mod qualifying with a 5.729-second, 251.95-mph pass.
Saturday qualifying for the NGK Spark Plugs NHRA 4-Wide Nationals will begin at 2 p.m. for Pro Stock and Pro Stock Motorcycles. Funny Car and Top Fuel's 44,000-horsepower festival of nitro kicks off at 2:30 p.m.
Saturday and Sunday's festivities feature a sunny, clear forecast with temperatures and race action expected to heat up as drivers chase the coveted Four-Wide Wally.