Chevrolet Aims to Secure Three Pro Championships in NHRA Finale
Brittany Force (Top Fuel) and Greg Anderson (Pro Stock) earn No. 1 qualifier honors
POMONA, Calif. (Nov. 11, 2017) – Chevrolet drivers and teams are poised to claim three professional National Hot Rod Association (NHRA) championships Nov. 12 in the Auto Club NHRA Finals.
Chevrolet drivers Brittany Force in Top Fuel and Greg Anderson in Pro Stock will make title bids as No. 1 qualifiers, while Funny Car points leader Robert Hight was the No. 15 qualifier at Auto Club Raceway for the finale of the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series Countdown to the Championship.
FS1 will telecast eliminations at finals at 4 p.m. ET.
Force’s Top Fuel track elapsed-time record run of 3.667 seconds in the Monster Energy Chevrolet dragster in the second round of qualifications stood up in two subsequent sessions as the fifth-year John Force Racing driver claimed her second No. 1 honor of the season and eighth in 120 career races.
Force, who started sixth in the six-race Countdown, trails front-runner Steve Torrence by nine points. With the best elapsed times in two of the four sessions, Force picked up eight bonus points to one for Torrence, the No. 5 qualifier. She could face Torrence in the semifinals in a winner-take-all scenario.
“I am a little overwhelmed right now. There is a lot going through my head,” said Force, who seeks to secure her first pro title. “I want Sunday morning to be here. I just want to get in my car and get ready. My team is going to throw down all day long. We want that No. 1 spot, and we are going to fight for it.”
Anderson, driving the Summit Racing Equipment Chevrolet Camaro SS, registered his third top qualifying spot of the Countdown, sixth in the 24-race season, and 93rd of his career with a pass of 6.541 seconds. Anderson will carry a 53-point lead over KB Racing teammate Bo Butner (Jim Butner Auto Chevrolet Camaro SS) into eliminations as he seeks his fifth NHRA Pro Stock championship.
Anderson, who is tied with Bob Glidden for the most victories at Pomona with 12, has been to the final round 13 times. Mike Edwards, who joined KB Racing as a consultant for the Countdown races, is the only driver to prevent Anderson from visiting the winner’s stage at the track.
“The great thing is I have a great car. The bad thing is I have to race against every bit as good of equipment as is my car,” said Anderson, whose next final round will be the 150th of his career. “So, it’s going to be a white-knuckle, bare-knuckle brawl tomorrow and I can’t wait. It is going to come down to execution tomorrow by both the crew chief and the driver. Special emphasis on the driver, who is going to have to find some way to get it done on his own because the cars are going to be even.”
Teammate and reigning Pro Stock champion Jason Line (Summit Racing Equipment Chevrolet Camaro SS) was the No. 2 qualifier and Drew Skillman (Ray Skillman Auto Group Chevrolet Camaro SS) was third. Butner was fifth on the qualifying sheet.
Hight, who has two of his four wins this season in the Countdown driving the Auto Club of Southern California Chevrolet Camaro SS, is eight points ahead of reigning Funny Car champion Ron Capps. Hight, aiming to secure his second Funny Car championship, will face No. 2 qualifier Tim Wilkerson in the first round.
“In some ways, you have to forget about where we’re qualified but learn. We’re learning from each run,” Hight said. “We have a car that can win this thing. It’s not like we’re lost. We just have to adjust to it and drive good.”
Courtney Force was the No. 3 qualifier with a pass of 3.871 seconds in the Big Machine Records Chevrolet Camaro SS. Force, third in the standings, also is mathematically eligible to earn her first pro title. John Force (PEAK Coolant & Motor Oil Chevrolet Camaro SS) qualified eighth.