NHRA Las Vegas No. 1 qualifiers: Millican, Johnson Jr., Coughlin Jr., Arana Jr.

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NHRA media release

Clay Millican remained a contender for the Top Fuel world championship securing his 10th No. 1 qualifying position on the season Saturday afternoon at the NHRA Toyota Nationals at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

Tommy Johnson Jr. (Funny Car), Jeg Coughlin Jr. (Pro Stock) and Hector Arana Jr. (Pro Stock Motorcycle) are the No. 1 qualifiers in their respective categories at the fifth of six playoff events during the 2018 NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series Countdown to the Championship.

Millican was able to carry his 3.699-second pass at 327.82 mph on Friday night in his Parts Plus/ Great Clips dragster for the second No. 1 position at this event. He will face Greg Carrillo when eliminations begin on Sunday.

“This team is incredible,” said Millican “This is something I would have never dreamed of. So proud of what this team has done all season long. It is amazing.”

Millican trails points leader Steve Torrence who is qualified second. Torrence will face Shawn Reed and can secure his first world championship if he goes one round further than Millican during eliminations.

Johnson earned his third consecutive No. 1 with his pass of 3.879 at 327.82 during the final pass of the fourth qualifying session in his Make-A-Wish Dodge Charger R/T. Johnson has 18 career No. 1 positions and races Jeff Arend.

“Our car has been running so well as of late,” said Johnson. “You want to come into the Countdown and you have to bring everything you got for all the races. You have to perform your best you have all season. We have done that except for Sunday. I’m excited about tomorrow, I don’t know if I will be able to sleep tonight. I’m ready to go.”

Robert Hight, who leads the Funny Car points is qualified seventh and will race Shawn Langdon on Sunday. J.R. Todd trails Hight in the standings, he qualified second and races Richard Townsend.

In Pro Stock, Coughlin powered to his fifth No. 1 position of the season during the first session on Saturday with his pass of 6.628 at 206.95 in his Jegs.com/Elite/Chevrolet Camaro. This is the first time in his career the veteran racer has posted five top positions in a single season. Coughlin is second in the category points and line up against Steve Graham in eliminations.

“It is certainly coming at a great time,” said Coughlin. “As the Countdown narrows tomorrow and two seeks in Pomona, every point counts and every round counts. Right now we are second in the points and have a long way to go to climb up to that top spot and need a lot of help from some of our competitors but to sit on pole here in Las Vegas feels great.”

Points leader Tanner Gray qualified fifth and will face Alan Prusiensky on Sunday.

Arana Jr. moved to the No. 1 position in Pro Stock Motorcycle during the first qualifying position of the day on Saturday with his run of 6.845 at 196.44 on his Lucas Oil Buell. This is the third No. 1 qualifying position for the season, first since the event in Richmond, Va., and the 22nd of his career. He will race Make Paquette when eliminations begin on Sunday.

“We made a really good pass the first session,” said Arana. “Right there that gave us the confidence boost and the momentum to be able to go as fast as we are going. We didn’t have to play catch up or figure out a tune-up. The tune-up we nailed it right away, then we were able to tickle it a little bit. We really feel confident going into race day tomorrow.”

Points leader Matt Smith qualified eighth and will face LE Tonglet who is second in points and qualified ninth. Eddie Krawiec who is third in points qualified second and races Ron Tornow when eliminations begin.

Eliminations for the NHRA Toyota Nationals begin at 11 a.m. PT/2 pm ET on Sunday.

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SUNDAY’s FIRST-ROUND PAIRINGS FOR ELIMINATIONS:

TOP FUEL: 1. Clay Millican, 3.699 seconds, 327.82 mph vs. 16. Greg Carrillo, 3.939, 305.98; 2. Steve Torrence, 3.702, 333.33 vs. 15. Shawn Reed, 3.876, 295.34; 3. Brittany Force, 3.723, 330.88 vs. 14. Mike Salinas, 3.824, 280.72; 4. Leah Pritchett, 3.731, 322.65 vs. 13. Troy Buff, 3.804, 308.57; 5. Antron Brown, 3.741, 322.88 vs. 12. Blake Alexander, 3.800, 321.12; 6. Doug Kalitta, 3.742, 326.00 vs. 11. Richie Crampton, 3.799, 318.39; 7. Billy Torrence, 3.760, 327.90 vs. 10. Terry McMillen, 3.784, 326.32; 8. Scott Palmer, 3.768, 326.48 vs. 9. Tony Schumacher, 3.772, 330.15. Did Not Qualify: 17. Terry Haddock, 4.018, 295.21; 18. Terry Totten, 4.788, 155.31.

FUNNY CAR: 1. Tommy Johnson Jr., Dodge Charger, 3.879, 327.82 vs. 16. Jeff Arend, Chevy Monte Carlo, 4.119, 302.35; 2. J.R. Todd, Toyota Camry, 3.911, 327.19 vs. 15. Richard Townsend, Camry, 4.060, 308.50; 3. Jack Beckman, Charger, 3.922, 327.19 vs. 14. Jim Campbell, Charger, 4.054, 312.06; 4. Bob Tasca III, Ford Mustang, 3.924, 321.65 vs. 13. Jonnie Lindberg, Mustang, 4.050, 314.24; 5. John Force, Chevy Camaro, 3.926, 330.55 vs. 12. Ron Capps, Charger, 3.971, 315.71; 6. Courtney Force, Camaro, 3.926, 328.46 vs. 11. Cruz Pedregon, Camry, 3.968, 323.04; 7. Robert Hight, Camaro, 3.927, 328.38 vs. 10. Shawn Langdon, Camry, 3.965, 319.67; 8. Tim Wilkerson, Mustang, 3.932, 319.90 vs. 9. Matt Hagan, Charger, 3.949, 322.65. Did Not Qualify: 17. Gary Densham, 4.192, 273.33; 18. Bob Bode, 4.253, 265.74; 19. Jeff Diehl, 4.911, 165.11.

PRO STOCK: 1. Jeg Coughlin, Chevy Camaro, 6.628, 206.73 vs. 16. Steve Graham, Camaro, 6.715, 205.13; 2. Jason Line, Camaro, 6.628, 206.61 vs. 15. Kenny Delco, Camaro, 6.693, 205.51; 3. Matt Hartford, Camaro, 6.629, 206.26 vs. 14. Fernando Cuadra, Camaro, 6.686, 206.26; 4. Drew Skillman, Camaro, 6.631, 206.86 vs. 13. Vincent Nobile, Camaro, 6.653, 203.89; 5. Tanner Gray, Camaro, 6.631, 205.79 vs. 12. Alan Prusiensky, Dodge Dart, 6.650, 205.79; 6. Chris McGaha, Camaro, 6.633, 207.91 vs. 11. Deric Kramer, Camaro, 6.650, 206.70; 7. Bo Butner, Camaro, 6.636, 207.56 vs. 10. Alex Laughlin, Camaro, 6.643, 205.63; 8. Erica Enders, Camaro, 6.636, 206.70 vs. 9. Greg Anderson, Camaro, 6.638, 205.57. Did Not Qualify: 17. Val Smeland, 6.762, 203.12; 18. Joey Grose, 6.803, 202.27; 19. Tom Huggins, 6.816, 202.64.

PRO STOCK MOTORCYCLE: 1. Hector Arana Jr, EBR, 6.845, 196.44 vs. 16. Mark Paquette, Buell, 6.990, 189.52; 2. Eddie Krawiec, Harley-Davidson, 6.859, 195.65 vs. 15. Ron Tornow, Buell, 6.987, 189.98; 3. Hector Arana, EBR, 6.863, 194.88 vs. 14. Ryan Oehler, Buell, 6.980, 193.49; 4. Chip Ellis, Harley-Davidson, 6.899, 194.60 vs. 13. Kelly Clontz, Suzuki, 6.972, 190.97; 5. Andrew Hines, Harley-Davidson, 6.911, 193.43 vs. 12. Scotty Pollacheck, Suzuki, 6.963, 190.89; 6. Angie Smith, Buell, 6.921, 191.19 vs. 11. Angelle Sampey, Buell, 6.953, 191.73; 7. Steve Johnson, Suzuki, 6.926, 189.39 vs. 10. Jerry Savoie, Suzuki, 6.953, 191.87; 8. Matt Smith, EBR, 6.931, 195.17 vs. 9. LE Tonglet, Suzuki, 6.931, 194.32. Did Not Qualify: 17. Karen Stoffer, 6.991, 190.51; 18. Katie Sullivan, 7.000, 192.74; 19. Cory Reed, 7.020, 190.59; 20. Freddie Camarena, 7.040, 191.57; 21. Anthony Vanetti, 7.153, 184.09; 22. Maurice Allen, 7.195, 184.39. 

Supercross 2023: Results and points after Houston

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Eli Tomac led all 23 laps of the Monster Energy Supercross race at NRG Stadium in Houston, Texas and the results show he now has three wins in the season and is one shy of tying Ricky Carmichael’s 48 for third on the all-time list. With this win, he takes a seven point lead in the standings with 12 rounds remaining.

For Tomac at Houston, it was literally a tale of two races. Both his heat and the main started the same with Tomac grabbing the holeshot, but he was passed quickly by Chase Sexton in the heat. Tomac faded quickly after getting passed and was trailing by almost eight seconds at the checkered flag, which caused him to retreat to the hauler and reassess his lines. Without making any adjustments to the bike, Tomac entered the Main with a new attitude, and simply rode better.

Supercross Results Houston
Chase Sexton played it safe in the sand, but he was aggressive in every other turn. – Feld Motor Sports

Sexton had so great a lead in his heat that one could not even use the cliche that he left Tomac in his dust. By the time the rider with the No. 1 plate crossed the same real estate as the No. 23, the dust was well settled. Sexton had a modest start on the initial gate drop and ended Lap 1 in fourth. He worked his way past Aaron Plessinger on Lap 3 and got around Jason Anderson three laps later. Sexton was able to catch Tomac and pressure him, but he picked a safe, i.e. slow line through the sand section and could never get alongside his rival.

RESULTS: Click here for 450 Results; Click here for full 250 East Main Results

After starting the season with back-to-back seventh-place finishes, Anderson now has a pair of podiums. He won his heat and was easily one of the top three riders in the field, ultimately finishing behind the riders who finished 1-2 in the other preliminary. Anderson was subdued on the podium – happy he was there, but disappointed he has not yet found a way around the riders he is chasing in the points.

In the early stages of the race, Plessinger appeared to have a bike capable of winning. He pressured Tomac on the first two laps and was setting up the pass just as a red flag waved for an injury to Dylan Ferrandis that brought out a red flag. He lost second to Anderson on the restart and eventually slipped to fourth to score his first top-five of the season.

Click here for 450 Heat 1 | Heat 2 | Last Chance Qualifier

Cooper Webb rounded out the top five. Along with Sexton, he is now one of just two riders with a sweep of that mark in 2023, but with Tomac’s three wins, he is beginning to slip in the points. Webb sits third in the standings, 12 points behind the leader.

Ken Roczen entered the race as the third rider with a sweep of the top five and progressively better results in the first three races of 2023. Had the pattern held, he would have finished at least second, but he struggled for most of the night, finishing fifth in his heat and eighth in the Main. There may have been extenuating circumstances, however. Ferrandis’ injury was suffered when he landed on the back of Roczen’s bike and potentially damaged the No. 94 Suzuki.

Click here for 450 Main results | Rider Points | Manufacturer Points | Lap Chart


The 250 East division made their 2023 debut in Houston, but the name atop the board was familiar. Hunter Lawrence joined his brother Jett Lawrence as the early points’ leader in their respective divisions, but it didn’t come without a little anxiety.

Riding behind Supercross newbie Tom Vialle on the second lap, Lawrence was forced to take evasive action when the leader pitched his bike sideways to scrub speed over a jump. Lawrence veered left and landed off course, but he cleared the Tuff Blox and kept his bike straight. Lawrence made the pass for the lead on Lap 18 and never relinquished it.

Click here for 250 Heat 1 | Heat 2 | Last Chance Qualifier

In his first attempt on a 250, Max Anstie ascended to the podium. – Feld Motor Sports

England’s Max Anstie made the move from 450s to 250s this year after scoring a best result of 11th on the big bike at Anaheim 2 last year. It didn’t take anytime at all to find the front for Anstie, who finished second in both his heat and main.

It has been a while since Jordon Smith stood on the podium: February 23, 2019 to be exact when he finished that well in Detroit. A series of injuries kept him off the bike for much of 2020 and 2021, but he’s proving to be a factor when he’s healthy.

Click here for 250 Main results | 250 East Rider Points | Combined Rider Points | Lap Chart

There was a lot of hype surrounding the debut of Haiden Deegan in the 250 class and he proved it was merited. He finished fourth in his heat and main. He was as far down as ninth at one point in the feature before slowly picking off riders on his way to the front.

Jeremy Martin finished fifth and now has a streak of three consecutive top-fives to his credit stretching back to last year. Unfortunately, his pair of strong runs in 2022 were interrupted by injury.

Making impressive debuts in the 250 division, Vialle recovered from a fall to finish seventh, Chance Hymas finished eighth, and Talon Hawkins just missed the top 10 with an 11th.

2023 Results

Race 3: Chase Sexton, Levi Kitchen win
Race 2: Eli Tomac, Jett Lawrence win
Round 1: Tomac, Lawrence win

2023 SuperMotocross Power Rankings

Week 3: Ken Roczen takes the top spot
Week 2: Roczen moves up; Chase Sexton falls
Week 1: Eli Tomac tops 450s; Jett Lawrence 250s