By Anthony Caruso III | Publisher
Optima Batteries Top Fuel dragster pilot J.R. Todd is the provisional No. 1 qualifier with 3.828 seconds at 310.34 mph at the NHRA Carolina Nationals at zMax Dragway in Concord, North Carolina. Al-Anabi Racing pilot Shawn Langdon is second following at 3.840 at 317.05 mph.
Capco Contractors pilot Billy Torrence is third following his 3.846 at 319.75 mph. Seven-time champion US Army pilot Tony Schumacher went 3.847 at 316.30 mph.
“I definitely expected to see some low 80s out there, but I’m happy to get three bonus points,” Todd said. “We started No. 10 in the Countdown so we need every point that we can get. There’s nowhere to go but up.”
During Todd’s first run, he qualified last following a blower belt coming off his car. The team rebound to put him in the provisional spot going into tomorrow’s two rounds.
“When you break like that it sets the tone for the weekend and we were fortunate to rebound,” Todd said. “You never know what to expect from [owner and tuner] Connie Kalitta. He’s smart and he’ll push only as hard as he needs to. If it’s warm tomorrow, that (run) may hold up, but I think we’ll see some low 3.80s or maybe even a high .70 from the Al-Anabi or Schumacher teams. Heck, we can run 3.7s if we hit it just right.”
In the fifth spot, Don Schumacher Racing’s Spencer Massey went 3.851 at 319.37 mph. Capco Contractors pilot Steve Torrence, the son of Billy, went 3.852 at 320.58 mph.
Al-Anabi Racing’s pilot Khalid alBalooshi went 3.867 at 315.27 mph. 2012 Top Fuel dragster champion Antron Brown went 3.869 at 311.27 mph. Doug Kalitta is in the ninth spot following a 3.872 at 317.94, while part-timer Morgan Lucas went 3.887 at 278.46.
The Top Fuel class has major names that did not make the show, as of now. These guys will have to make it on one of their two runs tomorrow.
Bob Vandergriff Jr. is in the 13th spot with 3.895 at 314.09 mph. Terry McMillen is 14th at 3.904 at 314.53. Brittany Force, who is making her first Countdown to the Championship appearance, is 15th at 3.908 at 306.67.
Chris “The Greek” Karamesines is 18th at 5.890 at 107.63. Clay Millican, who is looking for his first career win, is 19th in the final spot at 6.479 at 85.83.
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