Chevy Racing–NHRA–Las Vegas Advance


17th NHRA Toyota Nationals
Friday, Oct. 27-Sunday, Oct. 29
The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway
FS1: Qualifications live – 6 p.m. ET Friday
FS1: Eliminations and finals live – 4 p.m. ET Sunday

Chevrolet Competitors Seek to be in Driver’s Seat Heading to Season Finale
The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway hosts critical penultimate event in Countdown

DETROIT (Oct. 25, 2017) – Make or break scenarios define sports, and the National Hot Rod Association (NHRA) event this weekend at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway is a pivotal juncture for Chevrolet drivers in Mello Yello Drag Racing Series Countdown to the Championship contention.

As the penultimate race on the calendar, there is a lot on the line. Every bonus point earned in qualifying and each round victory is cherished in tight points battles as the 24-event endurance meet heads toward its Nov. 9-11 climax in Pomona, California.

John Force Racing drivers Britany Force in Top Fuel and Robert Hight and Courtney Force in Funny Car are in position to make further headway in their title quests, while multiple Chevy Racing drivers take their Pro Stock championship contest to Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

“We haven’t been in this position – any of our teams – in the last two years: Going down to the last two races with a shot at winning the championship,” said Hight, who has claimed two victories and the past three No. 1 qualifier honors in the four Countdown events. “I can remember going to Las Vegas last year, and you go to the SEMA show, and you’re bummed out because you meet all these fans, and they know that you’re not in the hunt and you’ve been struggling.

“We’ve turned it around, so it’s a lot of pride. We need to make the most of this. We’re here, so we’ve got to close the deal.”

Team Chevy drivers in the standings entering the Oct. 27-29 race:

Top Fuel
2 (-57 points) – Brittany Force (Monster Energy Chevrolet dragster) … won Countdown race at Dallas two weeks ago. Entered Countdown sixth in standings.

Funny Car
2 (-24) – Robert Hight (Auto Club of Southern California Chevrolet Camaro SS) … five-time winner and seven-time No. 1 qualifier at The Strip. His 40 elimination round wins this season is career best.
3 (-171) – Courtney Force (Advance Auto Parts Chevrolet Camaro SS) … three-time runner-up at The Strip. No. 1 qualifier in April race, setting track Funny Car elapsed time record. Entered Countdown sixth in standings.
6 (-243) – John Force (PEAK Coolant & Motor Oil Chevrolet Camaro SS) … six-time winner at track, including fall 2016 race.

Pro Stock
1 – Greg Anderson (Summit Racing Equipment Chevrolet Camaro SS) … won at St. Louis and two-time runner-up in Countdown. Seven-time winner at track.
2 (-15 points) – Bo Butner (Jim Butner Auto Chevrolet Camaro SS) … won at Reading in Countdown. No. 1 or 2 qualifier the past three races.
3 (-30) – Jason Line (Summit Racing Equipment Chevrolet Camaro SS) … Won at Dallas and runner-up at St. Louis in Countdown. No. 1 qualifier in April race.
4 (-111) – Tanner Gray (Gray Motorsports/Valvoline Chevrolet Camaro SS) … Won at track in April to become youngest winner in NHRA history. Five-time winner this season.
5 (-170) – Drew Skillman (Ray Skillman Auto Group Chevrolet Camaro SS) … Runner-up at Dallas and runner-up at 2016 fall race at track.
6 (-219) – Erica Enders (Melling Performance/Elite Motorsports Chevrolet Camaro SS)
8 (-291) – Jeg Coughlin Jr. ( Elite Motorsports Chevrolet Camaro SS)
9 (-317) – Chris McGaha (Harlow Sammons of Odessa Chevrolet Camaro SS)

Chevrolet has won all 22 Pro Stock events, featuring nine different drivers visiting the winner’s stage. Anderson, Butner, Gray, and Line have won the Countdown races.

“The class is absolutely brutal right now, and those bonus points during qualifying are going to mean a lot,” said Anderson, who is seeking his fifth Pro Stock world championship. “We have to go out there and get as many as we can, and then we have to go round by round and try to win this race.”

Shane Tucker of Australia will drive a Gray Motorsports Chevrolet Camaro SS in the event in lieu of his Hot Wheels Car Care Products Chevrolet Camaro SS. Tucker has competed in seven Pro Stock races this season.

“Collectively, as a team, we decided that this was our best option for our race program,” Tucker said. “We just need to test before we come back out with our car. Shane (Gray) gave us an opportunity to drive his car and hopefully it’s an opportunity we can take advantage of.”

Justin Lamb of Hendersonville, Nevada, and Al Corda of Elk Mound, Wisconsin, driving their Chevrolet COPO Camaros, are among the 75 entries in Stock Eliminator this weekend.

FS1 will telecast qualifications live at 6 p.m. ET Friday and will telecast eliminations and finals live at 4 p.m. ET Sunday.

Fans will have the opportunity to tour the Chevrolet Racing Tour display at the track. The expansive display will feature production vehicles such as the 2018 Chevrolet Equinox Premier, the 2018 Camaro Coupe SS, the Silverado 2500 HD High Country, and the Corvette Grand Sport.

ROGER ALLEN, CHEVROLET RACING NHRA PROGRAM MANAGER: “Chevrolet drivers are in championship contention in Top Fuel, Funny Car, and Pro Stock entering the penultimate race of the NHRA Mello Yello Countdown to the Championship, and we’re all looking forward to another exciting weekend of racing at The Strip in Las Vegas. Team Chevy drivers Brittany Force in Top Fuel, Robert Hight in Funny Car, and Greg Anderson in Pro Stock swept the event two weeks ago in Texas and they’ll carry a great deal of momentum into this event. Hopefully, another sweep of the three pro categories is in the cards this weekend at Las Vegas.”


BRITTANY FORCE, JOHN FORCE RACING, MONSTER ENERGY CHEVROLET TOP FUEL DRAGSTER (three-time winner, including Reading and Dallas in Countdown; has qualified in top half of field in 21 of 22 events; had top speed in April race at track; second in points): “With two races left to go, we have a great shot at going after the title. I’m proud with the run the Monster team has had this year, and we’re going to go after it. I just can only go at it one round at a time. Yes, there’s the pressure involved in a championship, but there’s also excitement and motivation of winning a championship that’s going to push you and your whole team to do the best job you can. We use it as motivation.”
ROBERT HIGHT, JOHN FORCE RACING, AUTO CLUB OF SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA CHEVROLET CAMARO SS (four-time winner, including Charlotte and Dallas in Countdown, and two-time runner-up; earned eighth No. 1 qualifier honor of season – third in row — and 57th of career at Dallas; five-time winner and seven-time No. 1 qualifier at track; second in points): “I’m not putting any extra pressure on myself. When you have confidence in your car and you know you’ve got the best car out there, that helps you and takes away pressure. It’s not like we’re just squeaking by qualifying or anything else. If we go out there and do what we know how to do, we’re going to win.”

COURTNEY FORCE, JOHN FORCE RACING, ADVANCE AUTO PARTS CHEVROLET CAMARO SS (four-time runner-up, including twice in Countdown; holds track Funny Car elapsed-time record, set in April; No. 1 qualifier at April race at track; runner-up in 2016 fall race at track; third in points): “We’re going to have to turn this thing around at Vegas. We’ve got a good race car and need to be on it when we get there. Hopefully we can continue to go rounds, because this championship isn’t over yet. We know there’s points-and-a-half when we get to Pomona, so we’ll see what we can do.”

JOHN FORCE, JOHN FORCE RACING, PEAK COOLANT & MOTOR OIL CHEVROLET CAMARO SS (won at Gainesville and four-time semifinalist; six-time winner at track, including fall 2016; holds track Funny Car speed record, set in 2016; sixth in points): “With two races left in the Countdown, I’ve got some cars in the hunt – Robert (Hight) second, Courtney (Force) right behind him, and I still have a shot in Funny Car, and Brittany (Force) and Monster Energy have a shot in Top Fuel, so we’re coming into Vegas positioned well. What will be will be. It won’t be for a lack of money, lack of heart, or lack of work ethic. We’ve turned the corner at John Force Racing, with Robert holding both ends of the national records, Courtney’s got one of the fastest cars on the circuit, and John Force Racing is overdue for a championship. We’re going to try to get it done.”

GREG ANDERSON, KB RACING, SUMMIT RACING EQUIPMENT CHEVROLET CAMARO SS (three-time winner and seven-time runner-up this season; six-time winner at track; sits atop point standings): “Without a doubt, our Summit Racing Chevy Camaros can be fast – but like I said in Dallas, there are a lot of fast cars out there. We love racing here in Las Vegas in front of Ken and Judy Black – they’ve been so good to us over the years, and they are the driving force behind this team. In Dallas, we were able to get the win for them. If we can get them two more trophies before the year is through, we will have accomplished the big goal.”

BO BUTNER, JIM BUTNER AUTO, BUTNER AUTO SALES CHEVROLET CAMARO SS (four-time winner, including Reading in Countdown, and five-time runner-up, including April race at track; five-time No. 1 qualifier; second in points): “I do have confidence going into these last two races, and all year long we’ve been saying we want the KB Racing cars 1-2-3 at the end of the season. We’re close to that right now, we just have to keep it going. We know we have a good race car, and so do Greg (Anderson) and Jason (Line). So we’ll do our best to go some rounds in Las Vegas, and that’s been a good track for me. Hopefully, we’ll be able to hold off the other cars out there – we know we’ll have our hands full, but it’s already been a great season. It would be great to do what we set out to do.”

JASON LINE, KB RACING, SUMMIT RACING EQUIPMENT CHEVROLET CAMARO SS (reigning Pro Stock champion; won season opener at Pomona and Dallas in Countdown; runner-up at St. Louis in Countdown; No. 1 qualifier at April race at track; third in points): “It’s crunch time, and I hate pressure. I can’t stand it. I’m going to have to figure out how to harness that and do a better job of it. I like really boring, big points leads, and that is out the window. I’m going to have to step it up for sure. I’ve been incognito the whole year, which is not good. But we’re trying to get it done now, and hopefully we can bring home that big check at the end of the year.”

TANNER GRAY, GRAY MOTORSPORTS, VALVOLINE CHEVROLET CAMARO SS (won at Las Vegas in April to become youngest winner in NHRA history; also won at Topeka, Sonoma, Brainerd, and Charlotte; four-time No. 1 qualifier; fourth in points): “With two races left, our Gray Motorsports team has to throw whatever we have at winning this championship. We are 111 points out of first and we have to be able to capitalize off of every opportunity to get those points. This weekend in Vegas is going to be critical. We cannot have any mistakes if we want to keep our championship hopes alive. We have had an awesome season with five wins and four No. 1 qualifiers. It has been anything but what people would expect a rookie season to be. Our Valvoline Chevy Camaro has been consistent. There have been times when the car has outrun the competition and been times when my ability as a driver has gotten us the win light.”

DREW SKILLMAN, RAY SKILLMAN MOTORSPORTS, RAY SKILLMAN AUTO GROUP CHEVROLET CAMARO SS (four-time winner and two-time runner-up, including Dallas in Countdown; runner-up at track in 2016; fifth in points): “We’ve had decent outings in the Countdown, but we’re still looking for that win to propel us near the top. With a win in Vegas and points and a half available at Pomona, we could be right in the thick of the championship hunt. We’ve done well at The Strip, and I’m looking forward to the car being fast this weekend.”

ERICA ENDERS, MELLING PERFORMANCE/ ELITE MOTORSPORTS CHEVROLET CAMARO SS (won at New Hampshire and three-time runner-up this season; holds Pro Stock track elapsed time and speed records, set in 2015; four-time winner at track; sixth in points): “We are headed to my favorite track on the circuit, definitely my luckiest track, so we’ll see if we can turn it around in Vegas.”

JEG COUGHLIN JR., ELITE MOTORSPORTS, JEGS.COM ELITE PERFORMANCE CHEVROLET CAMARO SS (two-time runner-up and three-time No. 1 qualifier this season; five-time winner at track; eighth in points): “We’ve come in here fighting from behind and we’ve also come in here in the lead trying to hold everyone off. Most of the time we’ve come out on top, and a few times we came up a little short, but certainly we know the magic of this racetrack and the importance it holds for drag racers.”