Chevy Racing–NHRA–Z-Max Dragway–Qualifying Quotes


Chevrolet Drivers Dominate Funny Car, Pro Stock Qualifications
· Courtney Force claims third consecutive No. 1 Funny Car qualifier honor
· John Force Racing sweeps top three Funny Car qualifying spots
· Robert Hight sets Funny Car racetrack speed record in qualifying No. 2
· Jeg Coughlin Jr. records second Pro Stock No. 1 qualifier honor in a row

CONCORD, N.C. (April 29, 2017) – In her 125th National Hot Rod Association (NHRA) Funny Car event, Courtney Force took an assertive step toward recording her ninth career victory and first at zMAX Dragway.

Force earned the No. 1 Funny Car qualifier honor for the third consecutive event with a track-record pass of 3.851 seconds in the Advance Auto Parts Chevrolet Camaro SS to lead John Force Racing to a sweep of the top three positions for eliminations of the NHRA Four-Wide Nationals.

It is the first 1-2-3 qualifying result for John Force Racing since Topeka in 2014.

Chevrolet drivers also dominated Pro Stock qualifications for the sixth NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series event in a row, with Jeg Coughlin Jr. topping the field with a run of 6.578 seconds at 210.24 mph in the Elite Performance Chevrolet Camaro SS. The accomplishment marked the first time in 10 years – and the third time in his long career — that the five-time Pro Stock champion has been the No. 1 qualifier in consecutive events.

In the unique event, the four qualifying sessions and elimination rounds are conducted using four lanes. The first two drivers in each elimination round to cross the finish line advance to the second round and then the final.

FOX Sports 1 will telecast eliminations and finals at 5:30 p.m. ET Sunday.

Force has recorded track records in qualifying in each of the past three races, and ran her career No. 1 qualifier record to 13 to tie Shirley Muldowney for fourth on the all-time list for female No. 1 qualifiers. John Force in 1994-95 and Don Prudhomme in 1976-77 share the Funny Car record with seven consecutive No. 1 qualifier spots.

“We’re excited to be 1-2-3; this a very important race for us,” said Force, who was runner-up in the season opener and advanced to the semifinals last week at Houston. “I’m really excited to keep that No. 1 spot and I’m proud of my team for the amazing job they’ve done. It’s awesome that our Chevy Camaro is flying down the racetrack. I am really proud of my guys and everyone that is a part of this Advance Auto Parts team, and it’s a cool feeling grabbing the top spot. But our goal tomorrow is to go rounds and pick up those points.”

She also was the No. 1 qualifier in the NHRA Four-Wide Nationals in 2015.

Teammate Robert Hight, driver of the Auto Club of Southern California Chevrolet Camaro SS, reset the track speed record to 333.91 mph and went on to claim the No. 2 qualifier spot at 3.873 seconds. John Force, who won the inaugural Four-Wide Nationals in 2010, qualified third at 3.889 seconds in the PEAK Coolant & Motor Oil Chevrolet Camaro SS.

“It’s awesome to be 1-2-3, but it’s better for Chevrolet,” said Hight, who won the Four-Wide Nationals in 2012 and ’14.

Chevrolet earned the top 11 positions in Pro Stock qualifications. Coughlin claimed his 22nd Pro Stock No. 1 qualifier honor, while Elite Motorsports teammate Erica Enders (Lupe Tortilla Elite Chevrolet Camaro SS) qualified a season-high second at 6.583 seconds.

“Obviously to get the No. 1 qualifying effort in back to back weeks is exciting and it shows that we have regained and gotten some confidence in our set up,” Coughlin said. “The team is doing a really good job and Erica (Enders) and I qualifying 1-2 is very exciting. It shows the effort that has been put in day in and day out to get back to this position. The real test and the real try is tomorrow. It’s game day and we want to remain 1-2 and come out of here victorious. One of the two of us, so stay tuned.”

There have been five different Chevrolet winners in as many Pro Stock events this season.

Greg Anderson, a two-time winner of the Four-Wide Nationals and the Pro Stock points leader, qualified third at 6.587 in the Summit Racing Equipment Chevrolet Camaro SS. Chris McGaha, who’s running a new engine in the Harlow Sammons of Odessa Chevrolet Camaro SS, qualified a season-high fourth. Reigning Pro Stock champion and 2016 Four-Wide Nationals winner Jason Line qualified fifth in the Summit Racing Equipment Chevrolet Camaro SS.

Charlotte-area resident Tanner Gray (Valvoline Chevrolet Camaro SS), who on April 2 became the youngest winner in NHRA history when the Gray Motorsports driver claimed the victory at Las Vegas, was the No. 7 qualifier. His father, Shane Gray, was the No. 11 qualifier.

Brittany Force, the 2016 Top Fuel winner of the NHRA Four-Wide Nationals, qualified No. 7 in the Monster Energy Chevrolet dragster – the sixth consecutive race this season to qualify in the top half of the field.

BRITTANY FORCE, JOHN FORCE RACING, MONSTER ENERGY CHEVROLET TOP FUEL DRAGSTER (No. 7 qualifier): “I think conditions are going to be hot tomorrow so one good run in the heat will definitely help us out. The Monster Energy team, we have this energy in our pits and I think it’s still building off of last year. We have won here and only a handful of drivers have won the Four-Wide, so to say that we did it, is pretty awesome. But we want to do it again.”

ROBERT HIGHT, JOHN FORCE RACING, AUTO CLUB OF SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA CHEVROLET CAMARO SS (No. 2 qualifier): “It’s exciting. It gives you confidence as a driver when your car goes up and down the track like this and making really good runs. I just have to do my job. We’re collecting those points, and we keep doing that and we’ll be right back in this thing. When you have a car that is running at the top like this and you only have a three-round race and the top two advance, it’s the best. This sort of scenario is great for a car that is running like ours. I can’t wait for tomorrow to see if we can’t put my third Four-Wide in the books.”

JOHN FORCE, JOHN FORCE RACING, PEAK COOLANT & MOTOR OIL CHEVROLET CAMARO SS (No. 3 qualifier): “We have won this race, I won the inaugural. Robert (Hight) has won it and Brittany (Force) has won it. That only leaves Courtney (Force). So we will see what happens tomorrow but the cars have turned the corner and that is evident anytime you are 1-2-3. It is only one race but we have been showing signs. It’s like I told Chevrolet late into last year…..a lot of things are starting to change and we will see where it goes from here.”

“We aren’t all stacked on top of each other so at least we will have the chance to have cars there but we will see where it goes. But I feel comfortable and the car ran all four runs and it was consistent and we picked up some points I think three out of the four runs.”

ERICA ENDERS, ELITE MOTORSPORTS, LUPE TORTILLA ELITE CHEVROLET CAMARO SS (No. 2 qualifier): “We are just looking for a smooth, consistent car on race day. Every week we have plugged away at it and you know it was a long year for Jeg (teammate, Coughlin) and myself last year. So we are very excited to be back in a proven combination, which includes a Chevy powerplant in these Camaros. So I’m excited about what is to come. This is just the tip of the iceberg and I believe that with all my heart. My guys have been working incredibly hard for this and to have the scoreboard show the work that goes on behind the scenes makes me really proud because of the hours they spend away from their families. Tomorrow should be a great day and today’s conditions should get us ready for it by having that hot race set- up. I have been trying to crack the tree and be consistent with that and get my pedal back where I like it. I am feeling confident going into Sunday.”

GREG ANDERSON, KB RACING, SUMMIT RACING EQUIPMENT CHEVROLET CAMARO SS (No. 3 qualifier): “It’s definitely tough conditions out there. We made a mistake this morning and shook the tires, but we learned from that and we actually made a nice run tonight. It was a good run but it hurt the motor and it shut off early, but it was on a great run. So that is good news that we gained ground on the car set-up. That tells me we can be fast tomorrow. It was a bit of a negative that we hurt the motor, but a bit of a positive note that we got the car better. I am happy about that.”

JASON LINE, KB RACING, SUMMIT RACING EQUIPMENT CHEVROLET CAMARO SS (No. 5 qualifier): “I think it is going to be a little bit cooler for tomorrow, but we learn something every time we go down the track. We will have a good car tomorrow and we tested some parts this weekend and we didn’t run as good as we would have wanted to obviously. We made a pretty decent run there in Q4 so I think we will have good cars for tomorrow.”

TANNER GRAY, GRAY MOTORSPORTS, VALVOLINE CHEVROLET CAMARO SS (No. 7 qualifier): “Now that I have had four qualifying passes, I have to say discipline is key when it comes to the starting line here at the Four-Wide. If you staged too early or stage too late you run the risk of missing the (Christmas) tree. We have had people in and out of our pit all weekend long. My support system here at home is very strong. Putting my Gray Motorsports Valvoline Chevrolet Camaro in the winner’s circle in front of a home crowd tomorrow is what we’re aiming for.”

SHANE GRAY, GRAY MOTORSPORTS, VALVOLINE CHEVROLET CAMARO SS (No. 11 qualifier): “Racing in front of all of our family and friends here in Charlotte can get kind of hectic. I wouldn’t have it any other way. On the road we get to enjoy the comradery of our team and at this race we get to include those who support us all year long remotely. Racing four-wide this weekend is a highlight for me. I enjoy the mix up and the challenge that it presents to me as a driver. My car is a test car. We have the ability to capture data, test parts, and ultimately develop our game place for race day.”