By Anthony Caruso III | Publisher
For the second-time in his Top Fuel career, Mike Salinas is the No. 1 qualifier. He claimed the top spot of the 20th annual Denso Spark Plugs NHRA Four-Wide Nationals after he went 3.705 at 328.46 mph at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway in Las Vegas, Nevada.
The San Jose, California picked up his first No. 1 qualifier since being the No. 1 qualifier at the Chevrolet Performance U.S. Nationals at Lucas Oil Raceway in Indianapolis, Indiana last Sept. This is his first No. 1 qualifier with his new staff led by crew chief Brian Huson.
“We’re serious about what we’re doing,” Salinas said. “What I don’t know, I’ll find. We know what won’t work tomorrow.”
Salinas will receive a bye in the first round of eliminations on Sunday. In this quad, it’ll also include No. 8 Billy Torrence and No. 9 Antron Brown. Torrence went 3.769 at 324.75 mph, while Brown went 3.772 at 324.83 mph.
Reigning Top Fuel Champion Steve Torrence will be a part of a second quad with Steve Chrisman, Doug Kalitta, and Terry McMillen. Torrence will face Chrisman in one pairing, while Kalitta and McMillen will face each other.
Torrence went 3.721 at 327.59 mph, while Chrisman went 7.129 at 68.24 mph. Kalitta went 3.766 at 323.74 and McMillen went 3.785 at 321.27 mph.
The third quad will feature Brittany Force, Cameron Ferré, Richie Crampton, and Scott Palmer. Force will face Ferré in one pairing, while Crampton and Palmer will make up the second pairing.
Force went 3.733 at 322.88 mph, while Ferré went 4.099 at 265.27 mph. Crampton went 3.758 at 319.52 mph, and Palmer went 3.790 at 323.27 mph.
The final quad will feature Leah Pritchett facing Terry Totten, while Clay Millican and Austin Prock will face each other, as well. Pritchett — who received funding from former Papa John’s chairman John Schnatter to race this weekend — went 3.743 at 328.06 mph, while Totten went 3.951 at 297.68 mph.
Millican went 3.750 at 325.06 mph and the rookie Prock went 3.829 at 316.97 mph.