By Anthony Caruso III | Publisher
Advance Auto Parts Funny Car pilot Courtney Force is the No. 1 qualifier at the NHRA Southern Nationals powered by Mello Yello at Atlanta Dragway in Commerce, Ga. Force went 3.932 at 324.51 mph in her final qualifying pass.
This is her fourth No. 1 qualifier of the season. This is her second straight No. 1 qualifier, as she was also the No. 1 qualifier last weekend in Charlotte, N.C.
“To be honest, I wasn’t sure if we were going to be able to improve after yesterday,” Force stated. “Coming out today we had some cloud cover which was great and laid down some numbers. I’m proud of my team and crew chiefs, [Brian] Corradi and [Dan] Hood, for laying it down on that last run. It feels good on the last run to get it fixed up and to go to the top spot like that.”
She’ll face No. 16 qualifier Jeff Diehl in the first round of eliminations on Sunday in her Chevy Camaro. Diehl went 4.857 at 171.75 mph in his Toyota Solara.
Reigning Funny Car Champion Robert Hight is the No. 2 qualifier after he went 3.952 at 327.59 mph in his Chevy Camaro. He’ll face No. 15 qualifier Bob Tasca III after he went 4.606 at 181.03 in his Ford Mustang.
Make-A-Wish Foundation Funny Car pilot Tommy Johnson Jr. is the No. 3 qualifier after he went 3.968 at 319.90 mph in his Dodge Charger. He’ll face No. 14 qualifier Jim Campbell, who went 4.155 at 291.45 mph in his Dodge Charger.
Snap-On Funny Car pilot Cruz Pedregon, who snapped a 90-plus race winless streak last weekend, is the No. 4 qualifier after going 3.969 at 316.38 mph in his Toyota Camry. He’ll face No. 13 qualifier John Smith, who went 4.154 at 259.46 mph in his Chevy Monte Carlo.
Living Legend John Force, who recently celebrated his 69th birthday, went 3.979 at 324.67 mph in his Peak Anti-freeze Chevy Camaro. He’ll face No. 12 qualifier Ron Capps, who went 4.107 at 306.60 mph in his Dodge Charger.