NHRA

NHRA Force power: Brittany, Courtney Force remain No. 1 qualifiers in Charlotte

Leave a comment

NHRA MEDIA RELATIONS

CONCORD, North Carolina– The final day of qualifying for the NGK Spark Plugs NHRA Four-Wide Nationals concluded on Saturday afternoon.

Funny Car racer Courtney Force along with her sister Brittany in Top Fuel, retained their No. 1 qualifying positions from Friday at zMAX Dragway.

Drew Skillman (Pro Stock) and LE Tonglet (Pro Stock Motorcycle) are also No. 1 qualifiers in their respective categories at the sixth of 24 events on the 2018 NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series schedule.

Courtney Force was able to use her 3.873-second pass at 332.92 mph run during the first day of qualifying in her Advance Auto Parts Chevrolet Camaro to maintain the top position. This is her third No. 1 of the year, her most recent at the event in Las Vegas, and the 20th career.

“I’m really excited for us to come here and race four-wide,” said Courtney Force. “For us to do it with my sister Brittany and her Monster Energy team right beside us is pretty amazing. I’m really excited and I hope it is something good for what is to come tomorrow and Brittany and I can celebrate in the winner’s circle.”

With the unique four-wide eliminations format she will face No. 16 qualifier Jim Campbell as well as her father John Force, and Tim Wilkerson in the first round.

In Top Fuel, Brittany Force secured her first No. 1 of the season and the ninth of her career with her run of 3.689 at 318.39 in her Monster Energy Dragster. Brittany Force and her team suffered a setback at the season opening race when she was involved in an incident. While she was uninjured, her primary car was destroyed in the accident. Her team debuted a new car at the most recent event in Houston, which she won, and now has a No. 1 qualifying position with the new machine.

“This is the third car we have run this season and it isn’t easy when you have to rebuild a whole new car,” said Brittany Force. “We went out and won the debut race and that is pretty impressive. I have to give credit to Alan Johnson (consultant) and Brian Husen (crew chief) and my Monster guys for making it happen. We are on a role and I’m happy we qualified No. 1 last night, held onto that spot but tomorrow is a whole new day. The plan is to go some rounds and win the thing.”

When eliminations begin on Sunday, she will face Audrey Worm as well as Shawn Reed and Scott Palmer.

Pro Stock is led by Skillman, who raced to the sixth No. 1. qualifying position of his career as his 6.534 at 210.37 run from Friday remained the category leader. It is his first top position since the Sonoma event in 2017 for the driver of the Ray Skillman Chevrolet Camaro.

“Our car has run pretty good all weekend,” said Skillman. “After the second hit we had a lot of momentum going forward this weekend and we have a little bit of work to go yet before Sunday but our team is ready, our car is ready, and I’m ready to go.”

Skillman has yet to win this season and will face Val Smeland, Erica Enders and Jason Line in search of his sixth career victory.

Tonglet, in his first race back with the White Alligator Racing (WAR) Pro Stock Motorcycle team owned by 2016 world champ Jerry Savoie, raced to the No. 1 position with his run of 6.812 at 196.99 in the third round of qualifying. Tonglet the defending event winner, is the 2010 category champion, and earned his sixth career top position on his KPK/Nitrofish Suzuki.

“The success is all on team WAR and we couldn’t do it without them,” said Tonglet. “The build an awesome team, a really good program, and I’m just fortunate to be part of it. The bike is flying and I’m looking forward to going three rounds tomorrow. This is the only track I can say that. We just need to go out there and get win lights at the other end and I feel like I can do that.”

Tonglet will square off against Jim Underdahl, his team owner Savoie and Hector Arana Jr.

Eliminations at the NGK Sparkplugs NHRA Four-Wide Nationals begin at noon ET on Sunday.

**********************

SUNDAY’S FIRST-ROUND PAIRINGS

TOP FUEL: 1. Brittany Force, 3.689 seconds, 318.39 mph vs. 16. Audrey Worm, 4.143, 256.84 vs. 8. Shawn Reed, 3.838, 323.43 vs. 9. Scott Palmer, 3.841, 313.58; 2. Tony Schumacher, 3.692, 331.61 vs. 15. Leah Pritchett, 4.004, 294.31 vs. 7. Clay Millican, 3.773, 323.27 vs. 10. Dom Lagana, 3.846, 270.21; 3. Antron Brown, 3.719, 331.77 vs. 14. Richie Crampton, 3.938, 307.86 vs. 6. Doug Kalitta, 3.758, 327.98 vs. 11. Mike Salinas, 3.884, 309.77; 4. Steve Torrence, 3.731, 330.72 vs. 13. Kyle Wurtzel, 3.906, 301.40 vs. 5. Terry McMillen, 3.744, 329.75 vs. 12. Pat Dakin, 3.905, 315.34. Did Not Qualify: 17. Terry Haddock, 4.227, 283.43.

FUNNY CAR: 1. Courtney Force, Chevy Camaro, 3.873, 332.92 vs. 16. Jim Campbell, Dodge Charger, 4.135, 307.44 vs. 8. John Force, Camaro, 3.938, 328.06 vs. 9. Tim Wilkerson, Ford Mustang, 3.949, 320.81; 2. Ron Capps, Charger, 3.886, 329.83 vs. 15. Dale Creasy Jr., Dodge Stratus, 4.089, 315.12 vs. 7. Robert Hight, Camaro, 3.920, 323.50 vs. 10. Jonnie Lindberg, Mustang, 3.960, 319.29; 3. Tommy Johnson Jr., Charger, 3.887, 328.70 vs. 14. John Smith, Chevy Monte Carlo, 4.082, 307.23 vs. 6. Cruz Pedregon, Toyota Camry, 3.908, 321.42 vs. 11. Matt Hagan, Charger, 3.966, 320.89; 4. J.R. Todd, Camry, 3.888, 330.96 vs. 13. Jack Beckman, Charger, 3.983, 316.08 vs. 5. Bob Tasca III, Mustang, 3.907, 326.16 vs. 12. Shawn Langdon, Camry, 3.973, 325.45. Did Not Qualify: 17. Jeff Diehl, 4.247, 296.37.

PRO STOCK: 1. Drew Skillman, Chevy Camaro, 6.534, 211.69 vs. 16. Val Smeland, Camaro, 6.655, 209.07 vs. 8. Erica Enders, Camaro, 6.561, 210.60 vs. 9. Jason Line, Camaro, 6.562, 210.93; 2. Greg Anderson, Camaro, 6.548, 211.79 vs. 15. Kenny Delco, Camaro, 6.636, 208.75 vs. 7. Tanner Gray, Camaro, 6.560, 210.90 vs. 10. Chris McGaha, Camaro, 6.564, 211.66; 3. Vincent Nobile, Camaro, 6.549, 210.83 vs. 14. Alan Prusiensky, Dodge Dart, 6.632, 208.39 vs. 6. Jeg Coughlin, Camaro, 6.558, 211.06 vs. 11. Matt Hartford, Camaro, 6.565, 210.93; 4. Bo Butner, Camaro, 6.556, 210.90 vs. 13. John Gaydosh Jr, Chevrolet Camaro, 6.618, 208.81 vs. 5. Deric Kramer, Camaro, 6.557, 211.26 vs. 12. Alex Laughlin, Camaro, 6.571, 210.93. Did Not Qualify: 17. Wally Stroupe, 6.870, 201.79; 18. Tommy Lee, 15.830, 55.12.

PRO STOCK MOTORCYCLE: 1. LE Tonglet, Suzuki, 6.812, 197.59 vs. 16. Jim Underdahl, Suzuki, 6.942, 195.25 vs. 8. Jerry Savoie, Suzuki, 6.841, 195.48 vs. 9. Hector Arana Jr, EBR, 6.847, 197.31; 2. Eddie Krawiec, Harley-Davidson, 6.814, 197.80 vs. 15. Ryan Oehler, Buell, 6.934, 195.11 vs. 7. Cory Reed, Buell, 6.838, 196.96 vs. 10. Joey Gladstone, Suzuki, 6.866, 196.56; 3. Scotty Pollacheck, Suzuki, 6.816, 197.74 vs. 14. Angie Smith, Buell, 6.929, 194.38 vs. 6. Matt Smith, Victory, 6.836, 196.73 vs. 11. Steve Johnson, Suzuki, 6.866, 193.63; 4. Andrew Hines, Harley-Davidson, 6.827, 198.29 vs. 13. Karen Stoffer, Suzuki, 6.919, 194.27 vs. 5. Hector Arana, EBR, 6.833, 199.17 vs. 12. Angelle Sampey, Buell, 6.898, 196.30. Did Not Qualify: 17. Mark Paquette, 6.980, 192.88; 18. Kelly Clontz, 7.041, 189.87; 19. Scott Bottorff, 7.055, 190.73; 20. Lance Bonham, 7.179, 188.10; 21. Melissa Surber, 7.397, 152.92.

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

IMSA
2 Comments

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.

Follow Michael Eubanks on Twitter