CHEVROLET AT CHARLOTTE
What: NTK NHRA Carolina Nationals
When: Friday, Oct. 11-Sunday, Oct. 13
Where: zMAX Dragway in Concord, North Carolina
TV: FS1 will telecast eliminations and finals live at 2 p.m. ET October 13
Chevrolet drivers seek to stretch points advantages at Charlotte
Midpoint of the Countdown to the Championship vital to title hopes
DETROIT (October 9, 2019) – Chevrolet drivers are 1-2 in Funny Car and Pro Stock standings entering the third of six rounds of the National Hot Rod Association (NHRA) Countdown to the Championship.
Scoring maximum points in the NTK NHRA Carolina Nationals this weekend at zMAX Dragway in Concord, North Carolina, is vital for Team Chevy teams/drivers to remain championship contenders in Funny Car, Pro Stock and Top Fuel.
“We’re halfway in the Countdown so this race and every one after is going to be important. They’re all important,” said 16-time NHRA Funny Car champion John Force, who is second to teammate Robert Hight in points.
Force extended his NHRA record of career wins to 151 recently and has a pair of runner-up finishes this season in the PEAK Coolant & Motor Oil BlueDEF Chevrolet Camaro SS. He and Hight have combined to post a 76-35 record in eliminations, which includes four head-to-head matchups.
“We’re going to fight the fight this weekend in Charlotte. I’ve won there a couple of times, so I’d like to get PEAK and all our sponsors back in the winner’s circle,” added Force.
Hight, driver of the Automobile Club of Southern California Camaro SS, has recorded five victories in seven final rounds and accumulated 65 bonus points via qualifying that has netted a class-high eight No. 1 honors. He has sat atop the Funny Car standings after all but one of the 20 events.
“We got the points lead back in St. Louis and you know, that feels great. Jimmy Prock, Chris Cunningham and all the Auto Club guys have been working really hard to get this thing running,” he said. “We took some time testing and when we were in St. Louis that really showed so we’re there and ready to take that into this next one.
“I’m confident we can head into Charlotte, pick up those little points in qualifying and go some rounds on race day, just keep picking away at this championship. We’re so close.”
Jason Line, driver of the Summit Racing Equipment Chevrolet Camaro SS, is a four-time Pro Stock winner at the track including last fall’s race. He’s leading in points, with St. Louis winner Erica Enders (Melling Performance/Elite Motorsports Chevrolet Camaro SS) not far off the pace in the competitive series that has had nine different Chevrolet winners.
Brittany Force, the No. 1 Top Fuel qualifier and runner-up in the 2018 fall event at zMAX Dragway, seeks to return to the winner’s circle in the Advance Auto Parts Chevrolet dragster. She is fourth in points, while teammate Austin Prock is eighth in the Montana Brand/Rocky Mountain Twist Chevrolet dragster.
A number of NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series teams will show their support for breast cancer awareness by featuring pink race cars throughout October, including Jeg Coughlin Jr.’s Camaro SS Pro Stock car. Since 2003, the JEGS Foundation has donated more than $15 million to assist research at The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center.
Competing in Stock Eliminator in their Chevrolet COPO Camaros will be Jeff Strickland of Red Bay, Alabama; Adam Badgett of Mount Airy, North Carolina; Chip Johnson of Fayetteville, North Carolina; Vic Cagnazzi of New York City; and Marion Stephenson of Williamsport, Indiana.
Driving COPO Camaros in Super Stock competition will be Jeff Warren of Clinton, North Carolina; Darren Poole-Adams of Shelby, North Carolina; Dan Fletcher of Churchville, New York; Bruno Massel Jr. of Elmhurst, Illinois; and Cagnazzi.
FS1 will telecast eliminations and finals live at 2 p.m. ET October 13.
CHEVROLET FROM THE COCKPIT
BRITTANY FORCE, JOHN FORCE RACING, ADVANCE AUTO PARTS CHEVROLET DRAGSTER (2017 class champion; seven-time No. 1 qualifier; won at Houston; runner-up at Las Vegas and Atlanta; No. 1 qualifier and runner-up at 2018 fall race at track; fourth in points): “We have a good race car. David Grubnic, Mac Savage and all the Advance Auto Parts boys are moving this thing in the right direction and I’m confident we’ll get this thing back in the winner’s circle soon. We had a tough weekend at the last event in St. Louis but we’re standing in the No. 4 position in the Countdown. We have four races left and three after this next one in Charlotte, so we need to stay on top of it.”
AUSTIN PROCK, JOHN FORCE RACING, MONTANA BRAND/ROCKY MOUNTAIN TWIST CHEVROLET DRAGSTER (won first Top Fuel race at Seattle; eighth in points): “I’m ready to get back after it. These off weekends are tough to deal with when you’re in the thick of things in this Countdown, so we’re all ready to get to Charlotte and get this next one going. It’s been a great year for the Montana Brand / Rocky Mountain Twist team. We’ve proven ourselves each weekend and I think this weekend in Charlotte will be exciting for the fans.”
JOHN FORCE, JOHN FORCE RACING, PEAK COOLANT & MOTOR OIL BLUEDEF CHEVROLET CAMARO SS (recorded 150th class win at Seattle and 151st at Indianapolis; three-time No. 1 qualifier; second in points): “I’m just proud of my PEAK BlueDEF team. It’s exciting to drive a car that’s this good. I have to give credit to my crew chiefs, Brian Corradi and Danny Hood, Tim Fabrisi and all these young kids. They’ve given me one of the best cars out here. We left St. Louis second in the points standings behind Robert and we’ll see what we got, see what happens when we get to Charlotte.”
ROBERT HIGHT, JOHN FORCE RACING, AUTO CLUB OF SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA CHEVROLET CAMARO SS (has won five races and has eight No. 1 qualifier honors; holds track Funny Car speed record, set in 2017; first in points): “This Auto Club team is headed to Charlotte and I’m excited to get there. It’s been a long week off, I’m ready to get back in the driver’s seat and get in the winner’s circle this weekend. Charlotte has been really good to me in the past. Earlier this year, at the four-wide, we made it to the final quad and fell short of winning so we’re going back this weekend, ready to change that.”
JASON LINE, KB RACING, SUMMIT RACING EQUIPMENT CHEVROLET CAMARO SS (winner at Brainerd and Reading; holds track Pro Stock elapsed time record, set in 2015; four-time winner at track, including 2018 fall race; first in points): “Last year, this race was very special for me. Reaching 50 national event wins is something I never dreamed would happen, but it did, and to have it happen with my family here was just something you’ll never forget. I’ve had some really cool things happen in the last year since then – winning Brainerd was one, for sure – and it would be tough to top what’s already in the history books. But it would sure be nice to have a good weekend with the silver Summit Racing Chevy Camaro. Last weekend showed us we can get knocked down; this weekend we’re planning to show we know how to get back up.”
BO BUTNER, JIM BUTNER AUTO, JIM BUTNER AUTO GROUP CHEVROLET CAMARO SS (has four wins and three-time No. 1 qualifier; 2017 series champion; third in points): “I really felt like our Jim Butner Auto Group Chevy Camaro was showing signs of improvement in St. Louis, so I’m excited to get to Charlotte. All of us, we all have to do a better job this weekend if we want to stay up there in the points chase. It’s an exciting time of year, and the fact that we’ll be racing just a little ways away from the KB Racing home base gives you a little confidence. I look for us to do well this weekend as a team. Hopefully, you’ll see a KB Racing car in the winner’s circle on Sunday.”
JEG COUGHLIN JR., ELITE MOTORSPORTS, JEGS.COM/ELITE MOTORSPORTS CHEVROLET CAMARO SS (sixth in points): “You just about have to win races to climb the ladder at this point. Fortunately, the JEGS.com Elite Motorsports Chevrolet Camaro is extremely capable of doing just that. This will be our third race with new configuration, and it’s been working well for us. We just haven’t served ourselves a whole lot of good luck so far. The reason we’re optimistic is we have proven we can run at the top of the charts these last two races. We’ll be ready for Charlotte and we’ll be ready to win. It’s been a few years since we won at zMAX (2013) but it has been a favorite of mine since they opened the doors 12 years ago.”
GREG ANDERSON, KB RACING, SUMMIT RACING EQUIPMENT CHEVROLET CAMARO SS (holds track Pro Stock speed record, set in 2015; three-time winner at track; seventh in points): “This is a home race for us, and you hope you have home-field advantage, but we also know how tough the competition is in this class. I love racing here at zMAX Dragway, the folks who run this track are just phenomenal, and the fans are out of this world. We always appreciate racing here, and we have had some very special weekends here. We’ve worked so hard with my red Summit Racing Chevrolet Camaro, trying to find exactly what it wants and what will make it happy, so hopefully our hard work pays off this weekend. We want that for Summit Racing, we want that for (team owner) Ken Black, and, selfishly, I’d really like to find my way back to the winner’s circle and move up in the points. The clock is ticking on this season. It’s time to do something big.”