By Anthony Caruso III | Publisher
Clay Millican picked up his first No. 1 qualifier of the season. In fact, of more importance, it is the first No. 1 qualifier with Mike Kloeber, who came back to his team this off-season.
This is Millican’s 21st No. 1 qualifier of his career. He went 3.749 at 325.30 mph to set a track record on Friday in his Parts Plus/Laris Motorsports Insurance Dragster at the Virginia NHRA Nationals at Virginia Motorsports Park in North Dinwiddie, Virginia.
“From the guy that qualified 12 times last year and only won twice, qualifying No. 1 doesn’t mean you’re going to win,” Millican stated. “Mike (Kloeber, crew chief) said we need to turn on win lights and that’s our game plan. This car has made a lot of No. 1 qualifiers, but our goal is to go consistently down the racetrack and turn on win lights. I’m not going to lie; qualifying No. 1 is pretty cool.”
The Drummonds, Tennessee native will face Canadian Dan Merciér. He went 4.124 at 287.60 mph.
Scrappers Racing pilot Mike Salinas is the No. 2 qualifier. The San Jose, California native went 3.754 at 323.04 mph.
He’ll face Cameron Ferré in the first-round. He went 3.998 at 293.92 mph.
2017 Top Fuel champion Brittany Force is the No. 3 qualifier. The Yorba Linda, California native went 3.772 at 319.98 mph in her Advance Auto Parts Dragster.
She will face Audrey Worm in the first-round of eliminations. The Pennsylvania native went 3.968 at 297.55 mph.
Reigning Top Fuel Champion Steve Torrence is the No. 4 qualifier. The Kilgore, Texas native went 3.773 at 321.81 mph in his Capco Contractors Dragster.
Torrence will face Todd Paton, who is making his season debut this weekend. Paton went 3.926 at 309.63 mph.
Toyota sponsored pilot Doug Kalitta is the No. 5 qualifier. The Ann Arbor, Michigan native went 3.783 at 323.81 mph.
He’ll face Scott Palmer in the first-round of eliminations. The Missouri native went 3.886 at 321.65 mph.
The rest of the field panned out like this:
6. Leah Pritchett, 3.793, 321.58 mph vs. 11. Antron Brown, 3.839, 320.97 mph
7. Richie Crampton, 3.796, 314.83 mph vs. 10. Austin Prock, 3.824, 324.83 mph
8. Terry McMillen, 3.811, 320.51 mph vs. 9. Billy Torrence, 3.812, 319.75 mph
Did Not Qualify: 17. Ike Maier, 4.265, 266.69 mph; 18. Lex Joon, 4.643, 164.55 mph.