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

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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.

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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.

IndyCar’s season finale at St. Pete approved to have 20,000 fans

IndyCar St. Pete fans
Chris Jones/IndyCar
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The NTT IndyCar Series’ season finale will be permitted up to 20,000 fans, making the Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg possibly the circuit’s most well-attended race of 2020. The race originally was scheduled as the season opener before being moved to Oct. 25 because of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

IndyCar has enjoyed limited crowds at Road America, Iowa Speedway, Gateway, Mid-Ohio and this weekend’s doubleheader races at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course, which could have up to 10,000 fans in attendance. That had been the largest maximum grandstand crowd for an IndyCar race this season.

At a St. Petersburg city council meeting Thursday, Mayor Rick Kriseman approved plans by race organizers Green Savoree Racing Promotions to hold the Oct. 23-25 weekend for the IndyCar Grand Prix of St. Pete with 20,000 fans who would follow health and safety protocols that include mandatory temperature checks and masks.

 “My thanks to Green Savoree Racing Promotions and IndyCar for their flexibility and resilience during this challenging time,” Kriseman said in a release. “I know that everyone is excited to get back on the track in St. Pete. I can’t wait for Oct. 23rd. I know everyone will embrace this race the St. Pete way, adhering to the COVID-19 health and safety protocols. Let’s have some great racing in the Sunshine City.”

Paddock and the pit lane will remain closed to spectators, and social distancing of at least 6 feet will be observed on site.

“Our entire team greatly appreciates the patience and understanding of our ticket holders as we worked through this process with Mayor Kriseman, City Council and local health officials,” Kim Green, co-owner, chairman and CEO of Green Savoree Promotions. “It’s important for everyone who attends to read and follow all the COVID-19 protocols to contribute to a fun, safe and successful event for us all.”

“The ongoing guidance and support of Mayor Kriseman, City Council, and the City of St. Petersburg’s event team have been phenomenal,” said Kevin Savoree, co-owner, president and COO of Green Savoree Promotions. “We also would not be in this position to move this spring tradition to fall without Firestone’s unwavering commitment and dedication. It’s going to be a terrific weekend again in downtown St. Pete in three weeks featuring world-class racing from INDYCAR.”