All photos and videos courtesy NHRA

NHRA New Hampshire: Hagan (FC), Pritchett (TF), Anderson (PS) early No. 1 qualifiers

Leave a comment

NHRA Media Release

EPPING, New Hampshire – Matt Hagan continued his recent hot stretch in the Funny Car class by earning the preliminary No. 1 qualifier at the sixth annual NHRA New England Nationals at New England Dragway.

Leah Pritchett (Top Fuel) and Greg Anderson (Pro Stock) are also preliminary No. 1 qualifiers in their respective categories at the 13th of 24 events on the 2018 NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series schedule.

In Funny Car: Hagan jumped atop the category lead with a pass of 3.932-seconds at 322.04 mph in his Sandvik Coromant Dodge Charger R/T recorded during his second qualifying run of the day. He entered the weekend tied for second in the Funny Car points standings following his victory in Norwalk, Ohio as he also chases his second consecutive win in Epping.

“Coming off the race win in Ohio gives us confidence heading into this event, and so far we have continued to just build on that,” Hagan said. “I felt like we had a good handle on the track today, and it’s definitely something we can work off of for the rest of the weekend.”

Jack Beckman finds himself second currently after a 3.956 at 320.20 in his Infinite Hero Foundation Dodge Charger R/T during the second round of qualifying.

In Top Fuel: Pritchett powered to the preliminary top spot with a run of 3.742 at 324.51 in her Mopar dragster during her second qualifying pass of the day. Pritchett earned the No. 1 qualifying spot a year ago at New England Dragway by setting the track record with a 3.673 pass, as she looks to make it two consecutive top qualifiers in Epping.

“Our last pass came together with some last-minute changes, but I have confidence in my team and we are starting to feel like we have our strongest car of the year,” Pritchett said. “We’re going to take it one round at a time to prepare for Sunday, but we feel very strongly about this run.”

Tony Schumacher winds up second after the initial day of qualifying with a 3.744 at 330.31 in his U.S. Army dragster during his second qualifying run.

In Pro Stock: Anderson currently leads the Pro Stock class after driving to a 6.517 at 211.73 in his Summit Racing Equipment Chevrolet Camaro during his second pass of the day. The four-time world champion is chasing his eighth No. 1 qualifying spot of the year and fourth in the past five races.

“It was very humid when we came out this morning which made it tough on our race cars, but the temperature went down enough to give perfect conditions for the Pro Stock class,” Anderson said. “This is a great racetrack and the air here is fantastic, so thankfully our team made the most of these conditions.”

Vincent Nobile is currently qualified second following a 6.528 at 211.20 in his Mountain View Tire Chevrolet Camaro as he chases his second No. 1 qualifier of 2018.

Qualifying continues at 1:30 p.m. on Saturday at New England Dragway.

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

Friday’s results after the first two of four rounds of qualifying for the sixth annual NHRA New England Nationals at New England Dragway, the 13th of 24 events in the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series. Qualifying will continue Saturday for Sunday’s final eliminations.

TOP FUEL: 1. Leah Pritchett, 3.742 seconds, 324.51 mph; 2. Tony Schumacher, 3.744, 330.31; 3. Steve Torrence, 3.756, 327.66; 4. Brittany Force, 3.775, 316.60; 5. Clay Millican, 3.778, 328.14; 6. Dom Lagana, 3.781, 326.16; 7. Scott Palmer, 3.803, 323.97; 8. Terry McMillen, 3.872, 317.05; 9. Doug Kalitta, 3.874, 303.64; 10. Shawn Reed, 3.895, 320.81; 11. Mike Salinas, 4.353, 185.05; 12. Dan Mercier, 4.530, 173.92; 13. Jim Maroney, 4.826, 153.51; 14. Audrey Worm, 5.791, 111.38; 15. Richie Crampton, 6.040, 103.44; 16. Antron Brown, 6.500, 104.50.

FUNNY CAR: 1. Matt Hagan, Dodge Charger, 3.932, 322.04; 2. Jack Beckman, Charger, 3.956, 320.20; 3. Shawn Langdon, Toyota Camry, 3.976, 321.42; 4. Ron Capps, Charger, 3.978, 320.89; 5. Robert Hight, Chevy Camaro, 3.979, 324.44; 6. John Force, Camaro, 3.988, 324.75; 7. J.R. Todd, Camry, 4.021, 319.67; 8. Tommy Johnson Jr., Charger, 4.023, 322.58; 9. Cruz Pedregon, Camry, 4.044, 314.09; 10. Courtney Force, Camaro, 4.261, 217.39; 11. Jeff Diehl, Camry, 4.316, 289.45; 12. Tim Wilkerson, Ford Mustang, 4.885, 158.87; 13. Bob Tasca III, Mustang, 5.917, 112.97; 14. Jim Campbell, Charger, 7.633, 84.76; 15. Jonnie Lindberg, Mustang, 7.793, 82.40; 16. Mike Smith, Dodge Stratus, 12.225, 102.11. Not Qualified: 17. Terry Haddock, 12.290, 49.11.

PRO STOCK: 1. Greg Anderson, Chevy Camaro, 6.517, 211.73; 2. Vincent Nobile, Camaro, 6.528, 211.20; 3. Erica Enders, Camaro, 6.535, 211.03; 4. Alex Laughlin, Camaro, 6.546, 210.50; 5. Bo Butner, Camaro, 6.546, 209.95; 6. Tanner Gray, Camaro, 6.547, 210.70; 7. Jeg Coughlin, Camaro, 6.548, 211.66; 8. Drew Skillman, Camaro, 6.553, 211.56; 9. Matt Hartford, Camaro, 6.560, 210.60; 10. Jason Line, Camaro, 6.566, 209.88; 11. Chris McGaha, Camaro, 6.588, 209.59; 12. Kenny Delco, Camaro, 6.604, 208.94; 13. John Gaydosh Jr, Chevrolet Camaro, 6.623, 208.04; 14. Fernando Cuadra, Camaro, 6.627, 209.26; 15. Alan Prusiensky, Dodge Dart, 6.671, 204.57; 16. Val Smeland, Camaro, 7.224, 148.35.

IMSA’s Bill Auberlen joins NASCAR America to discuss this weekend’s race at Lime Rock

Leave a comment

Turner Motorsport GTD driver Bill Auberlen joined NBC Sports’ Marty Snyder on NASCAR America Presents the Motorsports Hour Thursday to discuss a variety of topics, including Saturday’s IMSA WeatherTech Sports Car Championship race at Lime Rock Park.

Auberlen, alongside co-driver Robby Foley, enters Lime Rock with a great amount of momentum after finishing on the GTD podium at Watkins Glen and taking the GTD class honors in the most recent IMSA race at Canadian Tire Motorsports Park.

There’s also an extra incentive for the duo to win this weekend as well, as Auberlen is one win away from tying Scott Pruett for the most IMSA victories all-time.

Both drivers will have to be on their A-game this weekend, however, as Auberlen stated that Lime Rock is one of the tougher circuits on the IMSA calendar and compared the 1.5-mile Connecticut road course to a short track.

“It’s what we call the bullring of our season,” Auberlen said. “It is a 54-second lap and we’re going to go around it a million times before the end of the day. It’s going to be a hot one, and I think whoever survives this is going to be on the podium.”

Luckily for the GTD and GTLM teams, with no Protoype and LMP2 entries competing at Lime Rock this weekend, the worry of having to yield to entries from the faster classes is gone.

“These Protoypes are so fast now, that interacting with them, you can’t imagine,” Auberlen said. “We have radars in our car that can alert us when they are coming.

“They get on you so fast that if you’re not always looking or something is not telling you they’re coming, you could have a problem and catch into them. That’s gone. Now it’s going to be focus-forward. You’re going to be focused on everything ahead of you. You got GLTM in there at the same time, but they’re virtually the same speed as us – just a little bit faster.

“It’s going to be nice. When you stand on that podium you might be able to go for an overall victory.”

Follow Michael Eubanks on Twitter