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NHRA: Forces of speed — Brittany, Courtney Force are preliminary No. 1 Qualifiers in Charlotte

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Courtesy NHRA Media Relations

CONCORD, NORTH CAROLINA – Fans in attendance at the NGK Spark Plugs NHRA Four-Wide Nationals witnessed two sisters take the preliminary top spots in their respective categories. Top Fuel pilot Brittany Force and Funny Car racer Courtney Force, are qualifying leaders after the first day of action at zMAX Dragway.
Drew Skillman (Pro Stock) and Cory Reed (Pro Stock Motorcycle) are also provisional No. 1 qualifiers at the sixth of 24 events on the 2018 NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series schedule.
In the final Friday qualifying session, Brittany Force raced her Monster Energy dragster to a pass of 3.689-seconds at 318.39 mph to take the provisional top position. She has yet to have a No. 1 qualifying position this season but won the most recent event in Houston. Her elapsed time is a zMax Dragway track record.
“It felt good, especially compared to that first run we made earlier,” said Brittany Force. “I just wanted a clean safe pass and I wasn’t expecting to go No. 1. When they told me when I got out at the top end that was pretty exciting. My team is pretty pumped.”
Courtney Force, in her Advance Auto Parts Chevrolet Camaro, was able to retain the top spot with her 3.873 at 332.92 pass from the first of two sessions. She was the No. 1 qualifier in Phoenix, where she also raced to victory and notched her second top spot in Las Vegas.
“We have done pretty well here but have yet to take home a win,” said Courtney Force. “I love coming out here to Concord, to zMAX Dragway, (track owner) Bruton Smith always does it right, and it is a lot of fun to race on any of his racetracks.”
In Pro Stock, Skillman, behind the wheel of his Ray Skillman Auto Group Chevrolet Camaro, holds the top spot after driving to a 6.534 at 210.37 during the second qualifying session. Skillman has yet to record a No. 1 qualifying position of the year and sixth of his career.
“We finally made a good pass, our car has had the potential all season,” said Skillman. “Last season we ran really strong middle of the year and end of the summer. We got lost over the winter somehow but we are kinda inching our way back. We have been testing a couple of days ago and it is showing.”
Reed raced to the qualifying lead in the Pro Stock Motorcycle category during the second session with a pass of 6.838 at 193.54 on his Team Liberty Racing Buell. The 2016 Auto Club Road to the Future Award winner, the NHRA’s rookie of the year, is aiming for his first career No. 1 qualifying position.
“The thing took off and it was a rocket ship,” said Reed. “It was as smooth of a ride that I have had in a long time. I knew I was going fast and it was super smooth.”
Points leader Eddie Krawiec is seventh following his 6.872 at 191.29 recorded during the first session.
Two more rounds of qualifying continues at 2 p.m. on Saturday to determine those drivers that will compete in Sunday’s final eliminations.
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FRIDAY’S RESULTS:
TOP FUEL: 1. Brittany Force, 3.689 seconds, 318.39 mph; 2. Tony Schumacher, 3.692, 331.61; 3. Antron Brown, 3.719, 331.77; 4. Steve Torrence, 3.731, 330.72; 5. Terry McMillen, 3.744, 329.75; 6. Doug Kalitta, 3.758, 327.98; 7. Clay Millican, 3.773, 289.82; 8. Shawn Reed, 3.838, 323.43; 9. Dom Lagana, 3.846, 270.21; 10. Pat Dakin, 3.933, 309.13; 11. Kyle Wurtzel, 4.019, 247.34; 12. Audrey Worm, 4.143, 256.84; 13. Mike Salinas, 4.225, 197.33; 14. Terry Haddock, 4.227, 283.43; 15. Leah Pritchett, 4.249, 217.56; 16. Scott Palmer, 4.888, 147.15. Not Qualified: 17. Richie Crampton, 6.331, 90.71.
FUNNY CAR: 1. Courtney Force, Chevy Camaro, 3.873, 332.92; 2. Ron Capps, Dodge Charger, 3.886, 329.83; 3. Tommy Johnson Jr., Charger, 3.887, 328.70; 4. J.R. Todd, Toyota Camry, 3.888, 330.96; 5. Bob Tasca III, Ford Mustang, 3.907, 326.16; 6. Cruz Pedregon, Camry, 3.908, 321.42; 7. Robert Hight, Camaro, 3.920, 323.50; 8. John Force, Camaro, 3.938, 328.06; 9. Tim Wilkerson, Mustang, 3.949, 320.81; 10. Matt Hagan, Charger, 3.966, 320.89; 11. Shawn Langdon, Camry, 3.973, 325.45; 12. Jack Beckman, Charger, 3.983, 316.08; 13. Jonnie Lindberg, Mustang, 4.062, 257.04; 14. Dale Creasy Jr., Dodge Stratus, 4.089, 315.12; 15. John Smith, Chevy Monte Carlo, 4.156, 274.05; 16. Jim Campbell, Charger, 8.661, 77.26. Not Qualified: 17. Jeff Diehl, 8.756, 83.50.
PRO STOCK: 1. Drew Skillman, Chevy Camaro, 6.534, 210.50; 2. Greg Anderson, Camaro, 6.548, 211.00; 3. Vincent Nobile, Camaro, 6.549, 210.08; 4. Bo Butner, Camaro, 6.556, 210.31; 5. Deric Kramer, Camaro, 6.557, 211.26; 6. Jeg Coughlin, Camaro, 6.558, 210.90; 7. Tanner Gray, Camaro, 6.560, 210.64; 8. Erica Enders, Camaro, 6.561, 210.24; 9. Jason Line, Camaro, 6.562, 210.01; 10. Chris McGaha, Camaro, 6.564, 211.39; 11. Matt Hartford, Camaro, 6.565, 210.57; 12. Alex Laughlin, Camaro, 6.571, 210.93; 13. John Gaydosh Jr, Chevrolet Camaro, 6.622, 208.81; 14. Alan Prusiensky, Dodge Dart, 6.632, 208.39; 15. Val Smeland, Camaro, 6.662, 208.07; 16. Wally Stroupe, Camaro, 6.870, 201.79. Not Qualified: 17. Kenny Delco, 12.588, 69.70; 18. Tommy Lee, 15.830, 55.12.
PRO STOCK MOTORCYCLE: 1. Cory Reed, Buell, 6.838, 193.54; 2. Hector Arana Jr, EBR, 6.848, 197.31; 3. Andrew Hines, Harley-Davidson, 6.859, 196.64; 4. Hector Arana, EBR, 6.861, 195.48; 5. Matt Smith, Suzuki, 6.863, 193.21; 6. Steve Johnson, Suzuki, 6.866, 193.63; 7. Eddie Krawiec, Harley-Davidson, 6.872, 195.22; 8. Jerry Savoie, Suzuki, 6.874, 194.18; 9. Scotty Pollacheck, Suzuki, 6.881, 194.52; 10. LE Tonglet, Suzuki, 6.882, 194.91; 11. Joey Gladstone, Suzuki, 6.898, 191.59; 12. Ryan Oehler, Buell, 6.934, 195.11; 13. Angelle Sampey, Buell, 6.948, 188.91; 14. Jim Underdahl, Suzuki, 6.953, 192.63; 15. Mark Paquette, Victory, 6.980, 189.84; 16. Karen Stoffer, Suzuki, 6.985, 192.30. Not Qualified: 17. Angie Smith, 7.004, 191.29; 18. Scott Bottorff, 7.055, 188.12; 19. Lance Bonham, 7.315, 186.15; 20. Melissa Surber, 7.397, 152.92; 21. Kelly Clontz, 20.815, 25.48.

Keating stripped of Le Mans GTE-Am win; No. 68 Ganassi entry also disqualified

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FIA stewards announced Monday that two Ford GT entries have been disqualified from this year’s 24 Hours of Le Mans, including the GTE-Am class-winning No. 85 entry from privateer Keating Motorsports.

Also DQ’d was the factory No. 68 Chip Ganassi Racing entry of Joey Hand, Dirk Mueller and Sebastien Bourdais, which initially finished fourth in the GTE-Pro class.

Both entries were found in violation of fuel capacity regulations, with the No. 85 entry also failing to meet the minimum refueling time during pit stops.

The refueling system on the No. 85 entry, driven by Ben Keating, Jeroen Bleekemolen and Felipe Fraga, measured a time of 44.4 seconds during a stop, just shy of the minimum required time of 45 seconds.

As a result, the team was initially issued a 55.2-second post-race penalty by officials, which elevated the No. 56 Team Project 1 Porsche 911 RSR of Joerg Bergmeister, Patrick Lindsey, and Egidio Perfetti to the class win.

The time penalty was calculated by the difference in the refueling time (0.6 seconds) multiplied by the amount of pit stops made by the team (23), then multiplied by four.

The No. 85 entry was set to finish second in class, but then received an outright DQ after its fuel capacity was also revealed to be 0.1 liters above the maximum permitted capacity of 96 liters.

As for Ganassi’s No. 68 entry, it was found to have a fuel capacity of 97.83 liters, which is above the maximum allowed capacity of 97 liters for the GTE-Pro Fords.

The No. 67 Ford of Andy Priaulx, Harry Tincknell, and Jonathan Bomarito subsequently moves up to fourth, and the No. 69 Ford of Scott Dixon, Ryan Briscoe and Richard Westbrook moves up to fifth.

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