LAS VEGAS – Qualifying concluded today for the 15th installment of the Toyota NHRA Nationals at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway and John Force Racing placed all four of their race cars in the top half of their respective fields. Courtney Force and Robert Hight led the way in their Chevrolet Camaro SS Funny Cars as the No. 2 and No. 3 qualifiers, respectively. John Force and Brittany Force were the No. 8 qualifiers in Funny Car and Top Fuel after tough qualifying sessions on Saturday.

Courtney Force kept a tight grip on the No. 2 position after the fourth and final qualifying session was complete tonight. The Traxxas Chevrolet Camaro SS Funny Car sped down The Strip on Friday and Force posted a career-best E.T. at 3.933 seconds, 325.77 mph. The time held through two qualifying sessions today and the Traxxas driver will face No. 15 qualifier Paul Lee in the opening round of eliminations tomorrow.

“We definitely stepped it up this weekend in the Traxxas Chevrolet Camaro SS Funny Car. We took our car straight to the No. 2 spot in the second qualifying session yesterday with that 3.933 second run. That was a career-best for me and it was definitely exciting,” said Force.

This is the third time Force has raced Lee in eliminations. They are currently 1-1 and ironically enough have only raced each other at this event in the past (2012 and 2014). This is the second year in-a-row that they have met in the first round at the NHRA Toyota Nationals.

“I’m excited for my entire team to be able to jump up and qualify in a high position. We’re just looking forward to tomorrow. We’ll be racing Paul Lee. It’s going to be a tough first round, but I definitely feel good about this weekend. We have a little boost of confidence. We definitely pushed hard on Q4 and the car wasn’t happy. It wasn’t going for it. We were trying to run better than the 3.933 that we already had,” said Force.

In 2013 Force qualified No. 2 at both the spring and fall events at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway and ended both weekends in the runner-up position. In four years, Force has never qualified lower than No. 6 at this specific race track until the SummitRacing.com NHRA Nationals in Las Vegas earlier this season where she qualified No. 13 and lost in the first round of eliminations.

“We’re excited to race tomorrow and just happy to be back at the top of the field. Hopefully we can keep the ball rolling tomorrow,” added Force.

Right behind Force in Funny Car qualifying is teammate Robert Hight who was runner-up at The Strip at the spring race. Hight had one of the most consistent Funny Cars this weekend posting qualifying runs of 3.982, 3.937, and 4.035 seconds before his Chevy Camaro overpowered the track in the final qualifying session. Hight picked up qualifying bonus points in the first two sessions and on the strength of his No. 3 qualifying effort moved up to the No. 8 position in the Mello Yello point standings.

“I am excited we all qualified really well and we could get three of these Chevrolet Camaros to the semi-finals. We made three really good runs in this Auto Club Camaro and we were just aggressive on that last run,” said Hight, who has four wins at The Strip in his career. “We are No. 3 going into race day and the key for us is to just race the track and go rounds. We can help out John Force with some round wins and help him stay in championship contention and that is what we want to do. I also have a lot of people from the Auto Club of Southern California here and we would love to get them a win.”

Robert Hight is 12-0 versus Gary Densham, his first round opponent. The last time they met was here at The Strip at the spring race in 2012. This is the ninth time they have met in the first round.

John Force started the qualifying sessions this weekend with a strong 3.980 second run and he held onto that pass as his best qualifying time giving him the No. 8 starting spot. In the following three qualifying sessions the four-time winner at The Strip smoked the tires at varying spots on the track. Force was undeterred by his sporadic qualifying effort chalking the runs up to experimentation and an aggressive attitude with the championship on the line.

“I always believe we can win. It is a long shot but we still have a shot. That is the attitude you have to have if you want to win races and championships. Our cars have been running good numbers. I smoked the tires twice but we are trying to run hard. I ran 3.98 and four flat. If you don’t push these race cars you won’t know what they can do. We are starting to get more information for these last two races,” said Force, the 2015 winner of the spring race at The Strip.

“We love Vegas. This is a great track that Bruton (Smith) built and the people that promote it are great. We had a huge crowd today and there are kids trick-or-treating now. We were over in the track VIP hospitality and Courtney and I had a big crowd. It is fun to go on stage and entertain with Courtney. I am running the EiKO Lighting Chevy Camaro and fans are calling me the EiKO Lighting Man. I have been called everything now. I am excited because of all the work we have done to get into this championship chase and it is still out there. I never give up thinking that. All the progress we have made this season has me the most excited.”

In the first round Force will race rising star Alexis DeJoria. He has won the last five meetings against DeJoria including all three races this season. He has a 15-7 career head to head record versus DeJoria.

It came down to the final run for the Monster Energy Top Fuel dragster today. Heading into the fourth qualifying session Brittany Force was in the No. 14 position and before she finally ran she had slipped to the No. 16 spot. On her last run crew chiefs Todd Smith and Ronnie Thompson were not shy and tuned the Monster Energy dragster to a solid 3.773 second run at 323.74 mph. It catapulted Force up to the No. 7 spot and she eventually settled into the No. 8 qualifying position.

“We definitely turned things around on that last run. We really needed that run because we struggled on Friday. That is not normal for this Monster Energy team lately. We have been really consistent so far in the Countdown but we turned it around when we needed to. We jumped up to No. 8 and I feel comfortable going into eliminations tomorrow against Dave Connolly,” said Force at the end of the day.

Brittany Force is 3-1 against Dave Connolly. She is 1-1 against Connolly in the Countdown and she most recently won in the first round of Reading when Force was the No. 1 qualifier.