Chevy Racing–NHRA–Mile-High Nationals–Qualifying

JULY 25, 2015

MORRISON, Colo. (July 25, 2015) – John Force, Blue Def/Peak/ John Force Racing Camaro SS, set the NHRA Funny Car track record for low E.T. (elapsed time) to claim the No. 1 qualifier position for Sunday’s Mile-High Nationals at Bandimere Speedway. The 16-time champions’ pass of 4.015-seconds/318.09 mph came in Friday night’s round two of qualifying after a more than two-hour delay in the action due to rain. The cool track temperature made conditions perfect for Force to beat his record set here in Morrison, Colorado in 2014.

Robert Hight, Auto Club John Force Racing Camaro SS Funny Car, secured the No. 5 qualifier spot for Round One of Final Eliminations with a pass of 4.051-seconds/311.70 mph. Courtney Force, Traxxas John Force Racing Camaro SS Funny Car, is the No. 10 qualifier with a pass of 4.102-seconds/312.71 mph.

Brittany Force, Monster Energy/John Force Racing/Chevrolet Top Fuel Dragster, posted a pass of 3.802-seconds/326.95-mph to secure the No. 3 qualifier spot in NHRA Top Fuel.

Larry Morgan, Fireade Chevrolet Camaro SS, will lead the Team Chevy effort in NHRA Pro Stock as the No. 2 Qualifier. Morgan’s pass of 6.878-seconds/200.20 mph was one of six drivers to break the 200 mph barrier for the first time at Bandimere.

Defending NHRA Pro Stock champion Erica Enders, Elite Motorsports Chevrolet Camaro SS, put down a pass of 6.882-seconds/200.65 mph to take the No. 3 qualifiers slot. Jonathan Gray, Gray Motorsports Chevrolet Camaro SS and Shane Gray, Gray Manufacturing Tech Chevrolet Camaro SS, are the No. 4 and No. 5 Pro Stock qualifiers respectively.

Pro Stock points leader Greg Anderson, Summit Racing Camaro SS, will be the 11th qualifier on the elimination ladder.

The Mile-High Nationals Final Eliminations are scheduled to start at 11:00 a.m. MT Sunday, July 26, 2015. Live audio coverage can be found at . Tape-delayed television will broadcast on ESPN2 Sunday, July 26 from 9:00 p.m. to 12:00 a.m. ET.

JOHN FORCE, JOHN FORCE RACING, BLUE DEF/PEAK CHEVROLET CAMARO SS, NO. 1 QUALIFIER: THIS IS YOUR SECOND NO. 1 QUALIFYING RUN OF THE SEASON AND 154TH OF YOUR CAREER. TALK ABOUT THAT LAST RUN OUT THERE, YOU ENDED UP HAVING THE LOW OF THE DAY “Well, when you run good, you stay at the end of the pack and you get in better conditions. We also saw what our other cars could do. Robert ran an .08 and Courtney kind of led the way in a lane that was oiled. She ran that .12 or .13. We didn’t know, but it kept getting cooler and we said that this would not be the conditions we would run in tomorrow, not even in the evening if we make it to the final, but let’s see what it will do. And Jon Schaffer said to me, the kid is very saavy, ‘don’t want to smoke the tires, let’s make it go A to B,’. And then it ran an .05, so the kid is doing really good. He, Mike Neff, and the whole team are doing great. I am starting to build my brain trust again and getting pretty excited about it.”
HOW DO YOU FEEL YOUR TEAM HAS BEEN PERFORMING THIS WEEKEND. AS YOU SAID, YOU HAVE BEEN WORKING ON DIFFERENT STUFF: “Well, a lot of it is mental. To come up here on this mountain when you have no data, and we have no data….in our clutch program, our motor program, and a lot of stuff that we are kind of hit and miss on. Then you face the altitude up here at Mile High. We thought if any track would throw us a curve, this would be it. But boy, Mike Neff rose to the plate. Todd Smith and the dragster boys are in the hunt, so yes, it will build your confidence but you know if you get jacked up around that tomorrow you could get picked off by anybody. A guy tried to interview me down below, but I just thanked the fans because it is just unbelievable to see the track pack it Friday night and pack it Saturday night. That is pretty impressive. So to NHRA and Bandimere did their job. But I am excited because my sponsors that are out there like Chevrolet, like Blue Def, Traxxis, and Monster Energy who came on board – all these people know I have a game plan. I have always dreamed and I have never had the money of Penske, never had the money of Hendrick, and don’t want to. But I want to be that caliber of a race team that IndyCar and NASCAR have. I am really proud of that.”
ROBERT HIGHT JOHN FORCE RACING AUTO CLUB CHEVROLET CAMARO SS, NO. 5 QUALIFIER: “We had another good day today with the Auto Club Chevrolet. We were third quickest of the second session last night and we were third quickest of the last session. Those points are important but so are consistent runs. I am confident about tomorrow and I think we have a good shot at defending our win from last season. I love racing here and we have had good luck. I won in my rookie season here and we have some momentum going into race day I think. You want to be in the top half of the field and we did that with the No. 5 qualifier.”

COURTNEY FORCE ,JOHN FORCE RACING , TRAXXAS CHEVROLET CAMARO SS, NO. 10 QUALIFIER: “We qualified 10th with our run from yesterday. Obviously today we were looking to improve. In Q3 it went out and chattered the tires and we were out of it early. With the cooler track we were looking to improve on our 4.10 from yesterday. We ran a 4.14 and our speed was down to 298 mph because we dropped a hole early and just tried to keep it straight down the center of the groove to put any kind of better number on the board. But with that, we have a pretty good race car this weekend. We’ve had ups and downs and some stuff we still need to work out before tomorrow, but we’re going to regroup and our Traxxas team will be ready to go up against Alexis. We’re excited. She’s definitely going to be tough. We’re both 10th and 11th in points right now so it’s definitely going to be a huge round and a lot of pressure on both of us, but our Traxxas team is going to give it all we got. We don’t have lane choice, but we’ll just have to see what kind of car we can give her tomorrow,”

BRITTANY FORCE, JOHN FORCE RACING-MONSTER ENERGY TOP FUEL DRAGSTER, NO. 3 QUALIFIER: “I feel very excited and confident for the Monster Energy team going into tomorrow. The biggest thing we have been working on is making the most of our four qualifying passes. We want to go down the track every single run. We were able to do that this weekend. We seem to like Denver we went to the final round last year. Our plan is to go all the way tomorrow with this Monster Energy Top Fuel dragster.”

LARRY MORGAN, FIREADE CHEVROLET CAMARO SS, NO. 2 QUALIFIER: “We were second in Chicago, we were the second driver to go 200 here and we were second in qualifying.Hey, that’s pretty good, but I want to be first. I’m going try my hardest tomorrow to be first, that’s for sure. We haven’t really been at our best, either. We’ve had a couple issues with our engines, and we haven’t exactly nailed the setup yet. If we can nail all that, and I think we can, we’ll be right there with them Sunday. Johnny (Gray) and all the Grays have been wonderful to me this year.n Their stuff is really good, and we were really fast when we tested here last week. I know AJ (Allen Johnson) has won a lot here lately, but it’s time for that streak to end, don’t you think? He beat me in Chicago, so it’s only fair if I beat him here, right?”
ERICA ENDERS, ELITE MOTORSPORTS CHEVROLET CAMARO SS, NO. 3 QUALIFIER: A LOT OF TEMPERATURE VARIATION IN THE RUNS FROM YESTERDAY AND TODAY. ANYTHING YOU LEARNED TO TAKE INTO SUNDAY? “Absolutely. Today we are a little more comparable to what tomorrow will be than running two sessions in the night. So we were able to try some things for our race day set up and we were second fastest in the first qualifier today and quickest for tonight’s session. So that gives us a lot of confidence heading into tomorrow and it’s really refreshing to have a quick Chevy Camaro up here on the mountain. I want to knock those Dodge boys off their rocker.”
“Yesterday wasn’t as great as we would have liked it to be but we are learning. Having said that we are still the third quickest from the session last night so it’s encouraging for tomorrow. Today was more comparable to what tomorrow is going to be than having two night sessions,” Enders said. “We were able to get our raceday setup ready, and I’m feeling confident. I went up there and tried to cut a good light. and my guys just gave me a really awesome racecar. I knew that when I uncluched it that it wanted to go somewhere. It’s definitely nice to go to sleep on a Saturday night with a run like that under your belt. Tomorrow is going to be challenging. A.J. (Allen Johnson) has dominated up here for a lot of years and our single goal is to win this race tomorrow so we will do our best and let God do the rest and see what happens. It’s pretty cool to have a fast Chevy up here.”
JONATHAN GRAY, GRAY MOTORSPORTS CHEVROLET CAMARO SS, NO. 4 QUALIFIER: ANYTHING YOU LEARNED WITH YOUR CAMARO IN THE TWO TEMPERATURE RUNS TODAY THAT WILL HELP TOMORROW? “I don’t really know. You know obviously the track cooled off and the track got a little better and we picked up three-hundredths. But we made a better run as well. Typically we have had a pretty good hot weather race car here lately. So this thing will go down the race track pretty well when the track gets hot. I think we will be in good shape tomorrow, I think we will be alright.”
“I think we’ve had a pretty good weekend so far. Last night’s good session didn’t work out real well, but overall I’d say we did good. I expected to run well up here after how well we tested, and I actually expected that we would run a little better, to be honest, but to go 6.88 out of the box with my Chevy Camaro was good. It’s a different deal driving a car up here in this high altitude condition. Everything happens so fast in the car, and that makes it a little tricky. But I think tomorrow we’ll have a good day. We’ve always had a good hot weather tune-up for my Gray Manufacturing Camaro, and it’s always favored hot racetracks. We’ll have to see, but I feel pretty good”
SHANE GRAY, GRAY MANUFACTURING TECH CHEVROLET CAMARO SS, NO. 5 QUALIFIER: “It was really something to be the guy who broke the 200mph mark here at Bandimere Speedway. I’m proud of our team; the Gray Motorsports guys have worked real hard back at the shop and here at the racetrack, and it was a neat deal to see that pay off. We knew we had something when we tested here a couple of weeks ago, but to be able to bring that to the table at a national event is great. The Gray Motorsports Chevrolet Camaros are running well, and tomorrow we’ll just have to keep it up and see what we can do.”

JASON LINE, KB RACING-SUMMIT RACING CHEVROLET CAMARO SS, NO. 7 QUALIFIER: “We had hoped to have run a little better than we did, but we learned a few things with our Summit Racing Chevrolet Camaros during qualifying here. Hopefully, we’ll be a little better for tomorrow, but we have a decent car for raceday, so I’m optimistic. The track was great during qualifying, just as you would expect. The Bandimere family does an outstanding job of promoting the sport of drag racing, and they’re certainly some of the best ambassadors we have out here. It’s just fun to race here, and hopefully tomorrow will be even better for Team Summit. This is a top-notch facility, the racetrack is great, and we would really like to do well on Sunday. I haven’t won here yet, and it’s something I’d really like to do. I race my KB Racing teammate Vincent Nobile tomorrow, and I don’t mind racing a teammate – I just don’t like to race them that early in the day. But it is what it is – we just have to make the best of it.”

DREW SKILLMAN, RAY SKILLMAN CHEVROLET CAMARO SS, NO. 9 QUALIFIER: ANYTHING YOU GUYS LEARNED ON YOUR SET UP TODAY THAT YOU WILL TAKE INTO TOMORROW? “Yeah, we are learning a lot and we are getting really close on our set up. Erica had a really great run and we are getting there but unfortunately we are still ninth. For the session I think we are pretty good and tomorrow is a whole different day. We are the first pair out, so that is always going to be a challenge. I think we have a real good shot to win this thing as long as we keep our head down and just keep working on our stuff.”


GREG ANDERSON, KB RACING-SUMMIT RACING CHEVROLET CAMARO SS: NO. 11 QUALIFIER: ANYTHING YOU LEARNED IN THE HOTTER CONDITIONS YOU CAN TAKE TO ELIMINATIONS TOMORROW? “Yes definitely. Obviously it looks like, for whatever reason, we are better off with a hotter temperature. The killer night sessions when it’s gotten real cool our car has gotten real tight and we have been a little off in both sessions. So I think by the look of it we are going to have sun tomorrow and I think the sun is going to be our friend to be honest with you. You love to be able to run fast when the conditions get good, but when the sun goes down and the track gets tight, for some reason our cars are struggling a little bit with that situation. They definitely came to life better this afternoon when the sun was on the race track. So hopefully we are going to see that fireball in the sky tomorrow and hopefully it plays into our hands. So that is the forecast and hope the weather man is on the money and this Summit Chevy Camaro will come to life.

“We did get a bonus point, and that’s great. Obviously, we did better when the sun was blaring on the racetrack than we did with the runs yesterday. We had cloud cover all day, and the racetrack was great. It was killer, and we struggled. We came out today and had sun and much hotter temperatures, and some people had issues at the starting line – which played into our hands a little. We missed on that, and it’s our fault, but the good news is that it’s going to be hot and sunny tomorrow and it should come to us. We certainly learned a few things in the four runs that we made. We have four rounds of data, and I think come tomorrow, it’ll be a different day. We’ll be right in the thick of things with our Summit Racing Chevy Camaros. I race Chris McGaha tomorrow, and he’s hungry for that first win. He wants it bad, and he has a very fast racecar so it will be a royal battle first round. We’ll treat that first round like a final, and may the best man win.”