NHRA: Schumacher, C. Force, Anderson head into Sunday’s Las Vegas finals as No. 1 qualifiers

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NHRA MEDIA RELEASE

LAS VEGAS – Greg Anderson raced to victory in the K&N Horsepower Challenge at the 19th annual DENSO Spark Plugs NHRA Four-Wide Nationals on Saturday afternoon at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

Anderson’s 6.731-second pass at 205.47 mph in his Summit Racing Equipment Chevrolet Camaro bested the defending world champion Bo Butner who red-lit in the final round of the specialty race to secure the $50,000 prize.

Anderson also secured his second No. 1 qualifier of the season with a 6.669 at 206.45 run that stood strong from the weekend’s first round of qualifying on Friday.

“It’s an honor to race for that K&N check, they have been great supporters of this class for years and it definitely gave me a confidence boost heading into race day,” Anderson said. “This is two weeks in a row I’ve gotten a No. 1 qualifying position and I know I have the car, crew chief and team to turn things around.”

He opened the challenge as the No. 1 seed and outran Vincent Nobile and Drew Skillman to advance to the finals. It was Anderson’s seventh career victory and third consecutive in the Pro Stuck bonus event. Anderson is set to take on Joey Grose, Vincent Nobile and Erica Enders in the first round of eliminations on Sunday.

In other racing, Tony Schumacher (Top Fuel) and Courtney Force (Funny Car) secured the No. 1 qualifying positions in their respective categories at the fourth of 24 events on the 2018 NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series schedule.

Schumacher moved into the top spot with his 3.765 run at 328.46 in his U.S. Army dragster during the fourth qualifying session. This is the 86th No. 1 qualifier of his career and second of the season after also locking down the top spot in Phoenix.

“It was warmer out than we expected but the track is better than our grip meter was saying, and we made the run that we expected to in that final pass,” Schumacher said. “I’m comfortable racing with this team and at this track, and we are going to come out and try to win tomorrow against some tough competition.”

Schumacher will face off against Steve Chrisman, Scott Palmer and Terry McMillen in round one of eliminations.

Teammate Antron Brown qualified second in Top Fuel after his 3.772 at 324.83 in his Matco Tools dragster during the second round of qualifying, while defending Top Fuel champion Brittany Force is third headed into Sunday.

In Funny Car, Force took home the top qualifying position after driving to a 3.927 at 326.40 in her Advance Auto Parts Chevrolet Camaro during the fourth qualifying round. She locked in her second No. 1 qualifier of the season and the 19th of her career.

“We’ve had some decent passes throughout qualifying, but we kept it on all eight cylinders in that final round and had a much more solid pass,” Force said. “It’s great to be out here at a track where the crew chiefs are really challenged but are able to really show their knowledge over the course of the weekend.”

Force will match up against Jim Campbell, Cruz Pedregon and Jonnie Lindberg when eliminations get underway.

Tommy Johnson Jr. enters Sunday second in Funny Car qualifying with a 3.932 at 318.84 in his Make-A-Wish Dodge Charger R/T, while J.R. Todd qualified in the third slot.

Eliminations for the 19th annual DENSO Spark Plugs NHRA Four-Wide Nationals will begin at noon PT on Sunday, as the four-wide racing experience continues for the first time for fans on the West Coast. Watch the action live on FOX Sports 1 at 6 p.m. ET.

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LAS VEGAS — First-round pairings for professional eliminations Sunday for the 19th annual DENSO Spark Plug NHRA Four-Wide Nationals at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, the fourth of 24 events in the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series. Pairings based on results in qualifying, which ended Saturday. DNQs listed below pairings.

TOP FUEL: 1. Tony Schumacher, 3.765 seconds, 328.46 mph vs. 16. Steven Chrisman, 12.555, 35.31 vs. 8. Scott Palmer, 3.815, 322.73 vs. 9. Terry McMillen, 3.819, 319.52; 2. Antron Brown, 3.772, 324.83 vs. 15. Terry Totten, 4.267, 235.27 vs. 7. Leah Pritchett, 3.798, 323.35 vs. 10. Mike Salinas, 3.820, 308.43; 3. Brittany Force, 3.773, 324.05 vs. 14. Terry Haddock, 4.025, 272.45 vs. 6. Doug Kalitta, 3.786, 320.58 vs. 11. Richie Crampton, 3.829, 313.66; 4. Billy Torrence, 3.776, 325.06 vs. 13. Clay Millican, 3.987, 236.46 vs. 5. Steve Torrence, 3.783, 326.63 vs. 12. Troy Buff, 3.931, 283.37.

FUNNY CAR: 1. Courtney Force, Chevy Camaro, 3.927, 326.40 vs. 16. Jim Campbell, Dodge Charger, 4.137, 303.03 vs. 8. Cruz Pedregon, Toyota Camry, 3.993, 316.23 vs. 9. Jonnie Lindberg, Camry, 3.998, 311.05; 2. Tommy Johnson Jr., Charger, 3.932, 318.84 vs. 15. Del Worsham, Camry, 4.048, 312.93 vs. 7. Matt Hagan, Charger, 3.987, 322.96 vs. 10. Tim Wilkerson, Ford Mustang, 4.000, 318.02; 3. J.R. Todd, Camry, 3.952, 319.67 vs. 14. Shawn Langdon, Camry, 4.040, 304.87 vs. 6. Bob Tasca III, Mustang, 3.968, 320.51 vs. 11. John Force, Camaro, 4.018, 314.39; 4. Ron Capps, Charger, 3.953, 321.50 vs. 13. Jack Beckman, Charger, 4.028, 310.05 vs. 5. Robert Hight, Camaro, 3.963, 321.42 vs. 12. Gary Densham, Mustang, 4.021, 306.26.

Did Not Qualify: 17. Jeff Diehl, 4.153, 303.91; 18. Jeff Arend, 4.202, 288.83; 19. Bob Bode, 4.244, 239.27; 20. Phil Burkart, 4.260, 288.52.

PRO STOCK: 1. Greg Anderson, Chevy Camaro, 6.669, 206.45 vs. 16. Joey Grose, Camaro, 6.916, 201.28 vs. 8. Vincent Nobile, Camaro, 6.718, 204.88 vs. 9. Erica Enders, Camaro, 6.721, 204.35; 2. Deric Kramer, Camaro, 6.681, 205.63 vs. 15. Alan Prusiensky, Dodge Dart, 6.844, 202.76 vs. 7. Tanner Gray, Camaro, 6.710, 204.94 vs. 10. Shane Gray, Camaro, 6.722, 205.51; 3. Bo Butner, Camaro, 6.702, 205.32 vs. 14. Steve Graham, Camaro, 6.797, 203.25 vs. 6. Jason Line, Camaro, 6.709, 204.63 vs. 11. Drew Skillman, Camaro, 6.724, 205.51; 4. Chris McGaha, Camaro, 6.704, 205.72 vs. 13. Jeg Coughlin, Camaro, 6.752, 204.05 vs. 5. Alex Laughlin, Camaro, 6.705, 205.10 vs. 12. Matt Hartford, Camaro, 6.734, 205.38.

K&N HORSEPOWER CHALLENGE:

ROUND ONE — Drew Skillman, Chevy Camaro, 6.724, 205.51 def. Tanner Gray, Camaro, 6.998, 168.60; Jeg Coughlin, Camaro, 6.752, 203.71 def. Jason Line, Camaro, Foul – Red Light; Greg Anderson, Camaro, 6.689, 206.20 def. Erica Enders, Camaro, 6.721, 204.35; Bo Butner, Camaro, 6.716, 203.52 def. Vincent Nobile, Camaro, 6.718, 204.57;

SEMIFINALS — Butner, 6.751, 203.16 def. Skillman, 6.769, 204.79; Anderson, 6.749, 204.88 def. Coughlin, 6.795, 202.39;

FINAL — Anderson, 6.731, 205.47 def. Butner, Foul – Red Light.

Starting lineup grid for IMSA Petit Le Mans: Tom Blomqvist puts MSR on pole position

Petit Le Mans lineup
IMSA
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IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar championship contender Tom Blomqvist put the Meyer Shank Racing Acura at the front of the starting lineup for the Motul Petit Le Mans at Michelin Road Atlanta.

Blomqvist turned a 1-minute, 8.55-second lap on the 2.54-mile circuit Friday to capture his third pole position for MSR this season. Earl Bamber qualified second in the No. 02 Cadillac for Chip Ganassi Racing.

Ricky Taylor was third in the No. 10 Acura of Wayne Taylor Racing, which enters Saturday’s season finale with a 19-point lead over the No. 60 of Blomqvist and Oliver Jarvis (who will be joined by Helio Castroneves) for the 10-hour race.

PETIT LE MANS STARTING GRID: Click here for the starting lineup l Lineup by car number

PETIT LE MANS: Info on how to watch

With the pole, MSR sliced the deficit to 14 points behind WTR, which will field the trio of Taylor, Filipe Albuquerque and Brendon Hartley in Saturday’s race.

“We really needed to put the car in this kind of position,” Blomqvist said. “It makes our life a little less stressful tomorrow. It would have given the No. 10 a bit more breathing space. It’s going to be a proper dogfight tomorrow. The guys gave me such a great car. It’s been fantastic this week so far, and it really came alive. I’m hugely thankful to the boys and girls at MSR for giving me the wagon today to execute my job.

“That was a big effort from me. I knew how important it was. It’s just awesome for the guys to give them some sort of reward as well. It’s always nice to be quick. If you do the pole, you know you’ve got a quick car.”

Though WTR has a series-leading four victories with the No. 10, MSR won the Rolex 24 at Daytona and has five runner-up finishes along with its three poles.

The strong performances of the ARX-05s ensure that an Acura will win the final championship in IMSA’s premier Daytona Prototype international (DPi) division, which is being rebranded as Grand Touring Prototype in the move to LMDh cars next season.

Taylor qualified third despite sliding into the Turn 5 gravel during the closing minutes of qualifying while pushing to gain points.

“Qualifying was important for points,” Taylor said. “Going into it, if we outqualified the No. 60 Meyer Shank Acura, they had a lot to lose in terms of championship points. So, we were trying to increase the gap over 20 points which would’ve made a big difference for tomorrow. We would have loved to get the pole and qualify ahead of the No. 60, but in the scheme of the points, it didn’t change a whole lot. I’m feeling good since it’s such a long race, and the No. 10 Konica Minolta Acura team does such a good job strategizing and putting us in a good position.

“I’m very confident in our lineup and our team compared to them over the course of 10 hours. I’d put my two teammates up against those guys any day. I think we are all feeling optimistic and strong for tomorrow.”

In other divisions, PR1 Mathiasen Motorsports (LMP2), Riley Motorsports (LMP3), VasserSullivan (GTD Pro) and Paul Miller Racing (GTD) captured pole positions.

The broadcast of the 10-hour race will begin Saturday at 12:10 p.m. ET on NBC, moving at 3 p.m. to USA Network.


QUALIFYING

Results

Results by class

Fastest lap by driver

Fastest lap by driver after qualifying

Fastest lap by driver and class after qualifying

Fastest lap sequence in qualifying

Best sector times in qualifying

Time cards in qualifying

PRACTICE RESULTS: Session I l Session II l Session III