DeJoria (FC), Enders-Stevens (PS), Todd (TF) and Krawiec (PSM) are the ones to beat in NHRA race in Charlotte

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It was Lady’s Day at zMAX Dragway Saturday, as Alexis DeJoria and Erica Enders-Stevens claimed the No. 1 qualifying positions in Funny Car and Pro Stock, respectively.

It marks the fourth time this season and seventh time in NHRA history that at least two female drivers have earned the No. 1 qualifying spot in a race. DeJoria and Enders-Stevens were also No. 1 the same race earlier this year in Atlanta.

They joined J.R. Todd (Top Fuel) and Eddie Krawiec (Pro Stock Motorcycle) to round out the overall No. 1 qualifier field for Sunday’s Pep Boys NHRA Carolina Nationals in Concord, N.C. (suburban Charlotte), the first event of the six-race Countdown to the Championship.

DeJoria’s No. 1 qualifying spot (4.090 seconds at 300.53 mph) was the second of her career, but more importantly, she comes into Sunday’s race looking to continue the momentum that saw her win two weeks ago in the prestigious Chevrolet Performance U.S. Nationals in suburban Indianapolis.

It was DeJoria’s third win of 2014.

“It’s only our second No. 1 so it’s really exciting for our team,” DeJoria said in an NHRA media release. “(Crew chief) Tommy (DeLago) and the guys have got a real good handle on the race car and they’ve managed to get us down the track more often than not.

“The consistency has helped us get round wins and get better. I am really excited about our chances at this race.”

Enders-Stevens earned her third No. 1 qualifying spot this season with a strong effort of 6.568 seconds at 210.37 mph. She’s in the hunt for her fifth win this season.

“We picked up 10 points on Jason (Line, points leader) which is so crucial with only 24 rounds of racing left,” Enders-Stevens said. “Hat’s off to my team for giving me such a consistent race car. The track was pretty tricky this afternoon being as hot as it was and they nailed the tune-up. I’m really excited going into Sunday.”

As for Top Fuel, Todd earned the No. 1 spot in Friday’s qualifying, and then bettered that mark Saturday (3.804 seconds/317.64 mph) to earn his first No. 1 of 2014 and fourth of his career. He’s now in pursuit of his second win of the season.

“It’s been a fun weekend,” Todd said. “We can go nowhere but up from 10th (in the Countdown playoffs), so now it’s up to me to do my job tomorrow and I think we’ve got a horse for them.”

As for Pro Stock Motorcycle, Krawiec wrestled the No. 1 spot away from Friday’s top qualifier, Hector Arana Jr. Krawiec earned his seventh No. 1 of the season and 21st of his career.

Like DeJoria, Krawiec is seeking his second straight win, having also won PSM at Indianapolis two weeks ago.

“We just need to build on what we’ve done in qualifying,” Krawiec said. “We’ve had a great bike all year but we don’t have as many wins as I feel we should.

“We’ve learned that even if you’ve got the fastest bike, you won’t always win. As a rider, I need to do my job and keep the bike performing well.”

 

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Sunday’s first-round pairings for eliminations:

Top Fuel — 1. J.R. Todd, 3.804 seconds, 317.64 mph vs. 16. Clay Millican, 3.902, 286.44; 2. Steve Torrence, 3.810, 320.58 vs. 15. Richie Crampton, 3.891, 311.05; 3. Doug Kalitta, 3.831, 318.62 vs. 14. Morgan Lucas, 3.887, 278.46; 4. Billy Torrence, 3.832, 319.75 vs. 13. Pat Dakin, 3.887, 311.77; 5. Tony Schumacher, 3.833, 320.43 vs. 12. Bob Vandergriff, 3.868, 316.08; 6. Shawn Langdon, 3.840, 317.05 vs. 11. Khalid alBalooshi, 3.867, 315.27; 7. Brittany Force, 3.841, 312.42 vs. 10. Leah Pritchett, 3.857, 307.65; 8. Spencer Massey, 3.851, 319.37 vs. 9. Antron Brown, 3.853, 311.99. Did Not Qualify: 17. Terry McMillen, 3.909, 315.64; 18. Chris Karamesines, 3.951, 307.09; 19. Ike Maier, 3.965, 301.94.

Funny Car — 1. Alexis DeJoria, Toyota Camry, 4.090, 300.53 vs. 16. Dave Richards, Toyota Solara, 5.167, 157.26; 2. Robert Hight, Ford Mustang, 4.108, 308.14 vs. 15. Chad Head, Camry, 4.598, 189.39; 3. Matt Hagan, Dodge Charger, 4.114, 304.25 vs. 14. Tony Pedregon, Camry, 4.338, 261.17; 4. Cruz Pedregon, Camry, 4.123, 300.60 vs. 13. Bob Tasca III, Mustang, 4.204, 297.29; 5. Ron Capps, Charger, 4.123, 302.55 vs. 12. Tommy Johnson Jr., Charger, 4.185, 292.77; 6. Jack Beckman, Charger, 4.124, 305.22 vs. 11. Tim Wilkerson, Mustang, 4.162, 305.84; 7. Del Worsham, Camry, 4.126, 306.46 vs. 10. Jeff Arend, Charger, 4.161, 303.03; 8. Courtney Force, Mustang, 4.126, 300.33 vs. 9. John Force, Mustang, 4.141, 287.66. Did Not Qualify: 17. Bob Gilbertson, 6.117, 113.34.

Pro Stock — 1. Erica Enders-Stevens, Chevy Camaro, 6.568, 210.37 vs. 16. John Gaydosh Jr, Pontiac GXP, 6.697, 207.24; 2. Vincent Nobile, Camaro, 6.579, 209.88 vs. 15. Larry Morgan, Ford Mustang, 6.671, 207.72; 3. Dave Connolly, Camaro, 6.582, 209.39 vs. 14. Shane Tucker, Camaro, 6.644, 209.26; 4. Jonathan Gray, Camaro, 6.592, 209.72 vs. 13. Rodger Brogdon, Camaro, 6.637, 208.49; 5. Allen Johnson, Dodge Dart, 6.595, 209.79 vs. 12. V. Gaines, Dart, 6.632, 209.20; 6. Jason Line, Camaro, 6.596, 210.24 vs. 11. Chris McGaha, Camaro, 6.622, 208.01; 7. Jeg Coughlin, Dart, 6.602, 209.33 vs. 10. Greg Anderson, Camaro, 6.618, 209.85; 8. Shane Gray, Camaro, 6.605, 209.52 vs. 9. Richie Stevens, Camaro, 6.606, 209.23.

Pro Stock Motorcycle — 1. Eddie Krawiec, Harley-Davidson, 6.849, 194.30 vs. 16. Brian Pretzel, Suzuki, 7.254, 185.43; 2. Hector Arana Jr, Buell, 6.876, 195.48 vs. 15. Shawn Gann, Buell, 7.066, 190.11; 3. Steve Johnson, Suzuki, 6.893, 193.77 vs. 14. Michael Ray, Suzuki, 7.013, 192.17; 4. Matt Smith, Buell, 6.925, 192.17 vs. 13. Hector Arana, Buell, 6.996, 192.60; 5. Andrew Hines, Harley-Davidson, 6.937, 192.38 vs. 12. Jerry Savoie, Suzuki, 6.982, 192.36; 6. John Hall, Buell, 6.940, 192.44 vs. 11. Angie Smith, Buell, 6.968, 191.08; 7. Chaz Kennedy, Buell, 6.945, 192.85 vs. 10. Adam Arana, Buell, 6.956, 192.44; 8. Jim Underdahl, Suzuki, 6.952, 192.69 vs. 9. Scotty Pollacheck, Buell, 6.956, 192.11.

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