NHRA: Courtney Force (Funny Car), Erica Enders-Stevens (Pro Stock) join Langdon as Winternationals No. 1 qualifiers

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Courtney Force is the No. 1 qualifier for Sunday’s final eliminations of the season-opening Winternationals in Pomona, Calif.(Photo courtesy NHRA)

While Top Fuel driver Shawn Langdon qualified No. 1 and recorded the quickest run ever in NHRA history during Saturday’s qualifying in the season-opening Circle K Winternationals, there were other significant achievements during the day by other drivers, as well.

MORE: Top Fuel driver Shawn Langdon makes quickest run in NHRA history: 3.700 seconds

The two scheduled rounds of qualifying were pared to just one due to persistent rain showers.

Final eliminations for all classes begin Sunday morning at 11 a.m. PST.

In Funny Car, Courtney Force – daughter of 16-time NHRA champion John Force – set a personal best en route to becoming No. 1 qualifier with a run of 3.995 seconds at 322.65 mph.

The effort marks Courtney Force’s first official run under four seconds and is the eighth time she’s qualified No. 1 for a national event in her career.

Force, who also qualified No. 1 for the 2013 Winternationals, will face former John Force Racing driver Gary Densham in the first round of Sunday’s eliminations.

“It was awesome flying down there,” Force said of her Chevrolet Camaro SS Funny Car. “I knew it was a fast run.

“Honestly, I didn’t know how fast. I could only tell by the expression on my team’s face and that’s how I knew it was a good one.”

Friday’s No. 1 qualifier in Funny Car, Tommy Johnson Jr., dropped to No. 2 qualifier with a run of 4.018 seconds at 314.36 mph.

John Force qualified No. 3 (4.021 seconds, 320.28 mph).

One other significant note: 2012 Funny Car champ Jack Beckman, who started the new season with new co-crew chiefs Jimmy Prock and John Medlen (who previously worked for John Force), suffered a significant setback when he failed to qualify for Sunday’s eliminations.

In Pro Stock, 2014 season champ Erica Enders-Stevens bounced back after failing to qualify Friday, taking the No. 1 spot into Sunday’s eliminations.

Enders-Stevens earned the top position with a run of 6.516 seconds at 213.10 mph.

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Erica Enders-Stevens is the No. 1 qualifier in Pro Stock for Sunday’s final eliminations of the season-opening Winternationals. (Photo courtesy NHRA)

“This hasn’t been the best start for us, even though we [finished as the low qualifier],” said Enders-Stevens, who will face Matt Hartford in the first round of Sunday’s eliminations. “Going into Sunday with only one [full] run under your belt, it’s a little nerve-wracking, but I know if anybody can do it, we can do it.

“I have the best guys in the world and I’m excited to see what tomorrow brings.”

Jason Line, who finished runner-up to Enders-Stevens in last year’s championship battled, qualified No. 2 (6.523 seconds, 212.93 mph). Rodger Brogdon qualified No. 3 (6.524 seconds, 212.33 mph).

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SATURDAY’S RESULTS

Top Fuel: 1. Shawn Langdon, 3.700 seconds, 328.30 mph  vs. 16. Steven Chrisman, 4.136, 273.16; 2.Richie Crampton, 3.730, 328.46  vs. 15. J.R. Todd, 3.914, 258.02; 3. Doug Kalitta, 3.733, 327.59 vs. 14. Terry McMillen, 3.897, 297.02; 4. Spencer Massey, 3.745, 332.18  vs. 13. Clay Millican, 3.833, 270.16; 5. Steve Torrence, 3.751, 327.27  vs. 12. Troy Buff, 3.815, 310.77; 6. Tony Schumacher, 3.757, 323.35  vs. 11. Antron Brown, 3.803, 313.73; 7. Larry Dixon, 3.776, 321.35  vs. 10. Dave Connolly, 3.803, 323.81; 8. Brittany Force, 3.779, 323.97  vs. 9. Leah Pritchett, 3.789, 323.04. Did Not Qualify: 17. Steve Faria, 4.191, 218.65.

Funny Car: 1. Courtney Force, Chevy Camaro, 3.995, 322.65  vs. 16. Gary Densham, Chevy Impala, 6.957, 306.12; 2. Tommy Johnson Jr., Dodge Charger, 4.018, 314.46  vs. 15. Jeff Arend, Charger, 4.372, 263.56; 3. John Force, Camaro, 4.021, 320.28  vs. 14. Bob Bode, Toyota Camry, 4.300, 239.87; 4. Cruz Pedregon, Camry, 4.027, 308.00  vs. 13. John Hale, Charger, 4.193, 295.34; 5. Tony Pedregon, Camry, 4.030, 304.39  vs. 12. Matt Hagan, Charger, 4.090, 310.70; 6. Ron Capps, Charger, 4.037, 317.94  vs. 11. Alexis DeJoria, Camry, 4.085, 305.84; 7. Robert Hight, Chevrolet Camaro, 4.045, 319.60  vs. 10. Tim Wilkerson, Ford Mustang, 4.066, 311.77; 8. Del Worsham, Camry, 4.045, 314.09  vs. 9. Chad Head, Camry, 4.060, 312.50. Did Not Qualify: 17. Terry Haddock, 12.025, 293.03; 18. Jack Beckman, broke.

Pro Stock: 1. Erica Enders-Stevens, Chevy Camaro, 6.516, 213.10  vs. 16. Matt Hartford, Pontiac GXP, 6.611, 208.59; 2. Jason Line, Camaro, 6.523, 212.93  vs. 15. Joey Grose, Camaro, 6.603, 209.20; 3. Rodger Brogdon, Camaro, 6.524, 212.33  vs. 14. Deric Kramer, Dodge Avenger, 6.595, 210.37; 4. Drew Skillman, Camaro, 6.527, 212.09  vs. 13. V. Gaines, Dodge Dart, 6.571, 211.03; 5. Vincent Nobile, Camaro, 6.531, 212.23  vs. 12. Allen Johnson, Dart, 6.545, 211.89; 6. Larry Morgan, Camaro, 6.535, 212.90  vs. 11. Jimmy Alund, GXP, 6.543, 211.56; 7. Greg Anderson, Camaro, 6.535, 212.19  vs. 10. Shane Gray, Camaro, 6.543, 211.93; 8. Chris McGaha, Camaro, 6.538, 212.03  vs. 9. Jonathan Gray, Camaro, 6.540, 212.43. Did Not Qualify: 17. Jeff Isbell, broke.

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Alex Palou fastest as several go off course during IndyCar practice at IMS

IndyCar Harvest GP practice
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Alex Palou paced the opening practice Thursday for the IndyCar Harvest GP at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course.

The Dale Coyne Racing rookie turned a 1-minute, 10.177-second lap around the 2.439-mile, 14-turn road course in his No. 55 Dallara-Honda.

Jack Harvey was second, followed by Colton Herta, points leader Scott Dixon and Max Chilton.

PRACTICE CHART: Click here to see the speed rundown from Thursday’s session

FRIDAY AT IMS: Details for watching Race 1 of the Harvest GP

Qualifying for Friday’s race will be at 6:20 p.m. ET Thursday on NBC Sports Gold.

Will Power, who won the pole position for the July 4 race at the track, spun off course with just more than a minute left in the session after the left rear of his No. 12 Dallara-Chevrolet made slight contact with the right front of Alexander Rossi’s No. 28 Dallara-Honda.

Power was among several drivers who went off track, but there were no damaged cars during the session. Marcus Ericsson missed the final 5 minutes of the practice after being penalized for causing a red flag with a Turn 8 spin.

Arrow McLaren SP drivers Pato O’Ward and Helio Castroneves, who is driving for Oliver Askew (who is recovering from concussion-like symptoms), also veered off course as did rookie Rinus VeeKay and Santino Ferrucci.

Seven-time NASCAR Cup Series champion Jimmie Johnson was in attendance at the session before racing Sunday at Talladega Superspeedway. Johnson will be driving a partial schedule of road and street courses in IndyCar next season for Chip Ganassi Racing.

“Literally, the smallest of details, I can pick up on,” Johnson told NBC Sports pit reporter Kevin Lee. “It’s been really nice today just to see how a session starts and obviously to jump on the radio and listen to how the systems work and then obviously you get into the car and the setup and such. I’m at ground zero right now, a 45-year-old rookie trying to learn my way into a new sport essentially.”

Johnson told Lee his sponsorship hunt to run a Ganassi car “has gone really well. The fact that I’m here today and ingrained so deeply in the team is a great sign of where things are going. Looking forward to getting behind the wheel of a car soon and hopefully having some announcements for the world to see soon, too.”

Fans were in attendance Thursday for the first time this season at IMS, which is allowed a limited crowd of 10,000 for its races this weekend.