JOLIET, Il. – Drew Skillman continues to impress in his rookie season on the NHRA Pro Stock circuit.
Skillman drove with the savvy of a veteran, setting an elapsed time track record in Pro Stock (6.528 seconds) in the process (at a speed of 210.97 mph), to earn the provisional pole in Friday’s first two rounds of qualifying for the Lucas Oil Route 66 Nationals at Route 66 Raceway.
“The track’s in great condition,” Skillman said. “We had a great opportunity to actually get with, took a swing at it and had a great pass.
“We still have tomorrow to go, but it’s really nice to have that No. 1 at the beginning, so it’s a good start.”
Skillman isn’t letting himself get too far ahead, knowing there are two more rounds of qualifying on Saturday. But if he wins his first pole of his Pro Stock career, he already knows how he’ll react.
“I’ll feel real excited,” Skillman said. “That’s what you want, of course. It means you have the baddest hot rod out there and have the best chance of winning. I’ll take that any day.”
Veteran Pro Stock driver Greg Anderson also set a track speed record (211.30 mph).
Chris McGaha was the provisional No. 2 (6.533 seconds at 211.59 mph), followed by Anderson (6.533 at 211.30), defending Pro Stock champion Erica Enders (6.536 at 211.26) and Jason Line (6.546 at 210.57).
In Pro Stock Motorcycle, Chip Ellis also got into the track record mode with an elapsed time of 6.856 seconds (at a speed of 195.68 mph).
“We just need to take the success we’ve had in qualifying and transfer that over to race day,” Ellis said. “I knew from the very moment I first rode that bike that it was fast.”
Defending PSM champ Andrew Hines took the provisional No. 2 spot (6.882 at 193.99), followed by Jerry Savoie (6.883 at 195.11), Eddie Krawiec (6.891 at 193.85) and Matt Smith (6.893 at 192.71).
Two more rounds of qualifying take place Saturday starting at 5:30 pm ET. Final eliminations take place Sunday, beginning at Noon ET.