CHEVROLET RACING IN NATIONAL HOT ROD ASSOCIATION
NHRA ARIZONA NATIONALS
WILD HORSE PASS MOTORSPORTS PARK AT CHANDLER, ARIZONA
QUALIFYING RESULTS AND DRIVER QUOTES
SATURDAY, FEB. 25, 2016
Chevrolet Drivers Occupy Nos. 1-2 Qualifying Spots in Second Race of Season
· Reigning Pro Stock champion Jason Line is No. 1 qualifier for 51st time
· KB Racing teammate Greg Anderson is No. 2 Pro Stock qualifier
· Courtney Force is No. 2 Funny Car qualifier for third year in row at event
· John Force Racing closing in on 2,500 Funny Car round wins
CHANDLER, Ariz. (Feb. 25, 2017) – In 2015 and ’16, Courtney Force was the No. 2 Funny Car qualifier in the National Hot Rod Association (NHRA) event at Wild Horse Pass Motorsports Park, but found her path to the winner’s circle blocked by John Force Racing teammates.
On Sunday, Force will attempt to secure her ninth career Funny Car victory again from the No. 2 qualifier position on a racetrack that has yielded record runs this weekend in Funny Car and Top Fuel.
In Pro Stock, reigning world champion and No. 1 qualifier Jason Line leads a Chevrolet contingent that swept the top 10 and is separated by five-hundredths of a second through four qualifying sessions. Also, Brittany Force, the Top Fuel runner-up in the NHRA Arizona Nationals last year, qualified No. 7 in the Monster Energy Chevrolet dragster.
Courtney Force’s elapsed time of 3.838 seconds at 333.33 mph in the Advance Auto Parts Chevrolet Camaro SS in the first qualifying session reset track records held by teammate Robert Hight, and she was the provisional No. 1 qualifier through three rounds. Tommy Johnson Jr.’s final pass of 3.837 seconds prevented Force from earning her 11th career No.1 qualifier honor, and the corresponding 333.58 mph speed set the track and national record.
Force, who was the No. 3 qualifier and advanced to the final round in the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series season opener two weeks ago in Pomona, California, is confident entering eliminations of the NHRA Arizona Nationals. She is 5-5 in elimination rounds at the track over five years.
“We missed out by one thousandth of a second. But I’m still feeling good about where we qualified, and still very happy that our Advance Auto Parts team is going into race day No. 2 in qualifying,” said Force, who lost in the semifinals to her father, John Force, in 2016 at Wild Horse Pass and to Hight in the quarterfinals in ’15. “We’ve got a consistent car, a great team, great crew chiefs behind us, and I believe throughout qualifying we learned a lot about this race car.
“We still have that 3.80 in the back of our heads from testing a few weeks ago, so it’d be really cool if we could do it again on race day. But more important than anything, we’re looking for a consistent race car to get us through the day and end up in the winner’s circle.”
John Force Racing is six round wins from reaching 2,500 in Funny Car competition with nine drivers.
Hight (Auto Club Chevrolet Camaro SS) was the No. 9 qualifier at 3.987 seconds, and John Force qualified No. 12 in the PEAK Coolant & Motor Oil Chevrolet Camaro SS.
Line also continued to roll on in the Summit Racing Equipment Chevrolet Camaro SS, earning his second consecutive No. 1 qualifier honor with a pass of 6.509 seconds at 212.19 mph. Line won the season opener and won at Wild Horse Pass in 2016 as the No. 2 qualifier.
KB Racing teammate Greg Anderson (Summit Racing Equipment Chevrolet Camaro SS) was second and Tanner Gray, competing in his second Pro Stock event in the Valvoline Chevrolet Camaro SS for Gray Motorsports, qualified third.
FOX Sports 1 will telecast eliminations and finals at 6 p.m. ET Sunday.
Dan Fletcher, driving the PEAK/K&N/Denso Chevrolet COPO Camaro, fell in the second round of eliminations in the Stock Eliminator class to remain at 99 career Sportsman wins. Al Corda, who qualified sixth in the Scoggin-Dickey Parts Chevrolet COPO Camaro, was eliminated in the first round.
In Super Stock, Ray Martin of Anchorage, Alaska, lost in the second round of eliminations in his debut race in the Sage Management Chevrolet COPO Camaro. Bryan Broaddus, driving the DNB Engineering Chevrolet COPO Camaro, advanced to the third round of eliminations before falling.
CHEVROLET RACING POST-QUALIFYING DRIVER QUOTES
An interview with JASON LINE, KB RACING, SUMMIT RACING EQUIPMENT CHEVROLET CAMARO SS (No. 1 Pro Stock qualifier at 6.509 seconds and 212.19 mph):
Q: AFTERHAVING SUCH A GREAT DAY (FRIDAY), WHAT DO YOU WORK ON IN Q3 AND Q4 GOING INTO TOMORROW?
JASON LINE: “Today wasn’t a great day. We tried a few things and I didn’t do a great job. We tried some new stuff and it needs a little work before we bring it out. All in all, it’s a good time (6.509 seconds) and it’s a time to try to learn some other stuff to try to get ready for tomorrow.”
Q: IS THAT A LUXURY TO HAVE THOSE GOOD NUMBERS ON FRIDAY?
JASON LINE: “It’s a big deal so you can try different things, and it will be a big deal later in the year.”
Q: YOUR THOUGHTS ABOUT THE (TRACK) CONDITIONS TOMORROW; YOU’LL RUN A LITTLE BIT EARLIER IN THE DAY THAN YOU HAVE THE PAST TWO DAYS.
JASON LINE: “I heard it was going to be cloudy and cool, so that might change things a bit. The track is really good but it’s cold. I think you’ll see some really good racing tomorrow.”
Q: WHAT HAPPENED IN Q4 WITH YOUR CAR?
JASON LINE: “After I pre-staged it, it shut off. I had to restart it, and I was able to stage and get it done. That was not planned. It was still a decent run all things considered.”
BRITTANY FORCE, JOHN FORCE RACING, MONSTER ENERGY CHEVROLET DRAGSTER (qualified seventh): “It’s been a rough weekend for the Monster team. Friday, we had two qualifying passes and couldn’t get the car down the track. Coming out today and making two decent runs — improving on Q4 — has us all set up and ready for Sunday. It’s going to be tough, but we plan to battle it out and go after it.”
COURTNERY FORCE, JOHN FORCE RACING, ADVANCE AUTO PARTS CHEVROLET CAMARO SS (qualified second): “It’s going to be tough competition. We’re up against Jim Campbell, and I don’t think we’re going to get lucky like we did in Pomona, so we’re going to have to be good tomorrow and get this race car back to how we usually are. I made two really good passes with it – obviously with the 3.83 and then the 3.85. It’s going to be cooler conditions tomorrow, so that’s going to change a few things. I’m looking forward to race day.”
JOHN FORCE, JOHN FORCE RACING, PEAK COOLANT & MOTOR OIL CHEVROLET CAMARO SS (qualified 12th): “Tomorrow’s a whole new ball game. Now, we find the tigers in the drivers, and we got after them. We’ve had four runs to learn how to race. Let’s take it to the starting line. That’s all we can do.”
ROBERT HIGHT, JOHN FORCE RACING, AUTO CLUB CHEVROLET CAMARO SS (qualified ninth): “The good news is that yes, it’s going down the track, but it’s slow. I feel that you learn a lot more when the car goes down the track, rather than if it shakes or smokes the tires, you don’t learn a lot. We’ve changed a lot of things in this car, and so it’s still going down the track, just not as quick as we want. (Crew chief) Mike Neff says he’s got a game plan to speed it up in the morning and still be safe. We’re still kind of learning. With any luck, we can get some round wins tomorrow and get this thing on track.”
BO BUTNER, JIM BUTNER AUTO, BUTNER AUTO SALES CHEVROLET CAMARO SS (qualified sixth): “Somehow, we managed to go backwards every run, and we’re not used to that. This is probably the lowest I’ve qualified in a while, but I shouldn’t complain – six is good. But we want to be 1, 2 and 3 every week. Now we have to fight it out. I guess I’m spoiled, I know it’s wrong and I should be thankful not to be seventh. But we tried some stuff, and I think we’ll get better. Tomorrow is what counts.”
GREG ANDERSON, KB RACING, SUMMIT RACING EQUIPMENT CHEVROLET CAMARO SS (qualified second): “Yesterday was great, we hit the bullseye twice, hit the target with both of our Summit Racing Chevrolet Camaros really good, but today we missed a little bit on both runs. It got a little bit warmer out there today and we just didn’t make the right adjustments. Now we have two different conditions we raced on these last two days and tomorrow might be different again. But we have the data, we just have to make adjustments. You’re going to have to drive good, the cars are all bunched together and running fast, but we can, too.”
VINCENT NOBILE, MOUNTAIN VIEW RACING, MOUNTAIN VIEW TIRE CHEVROLET CAMARO SS (qualified fourth): “Our car has been really consistent; it’s run within one-thousandth (of a second) on four passes. And four fast passes at that, and I can’t complain about that. I’m pretty stoked about (eliminations). I think we have a good hot rod and have a good chance to win.”
CHRIS MCGAHA, HARLOW SAMMONS RACING, HARLOW SAMMONS OF ODESSA CHEVROLET CAMARO SS (qualified eighth): “Sometimes we wish for big increments, but the small battles will help you win in the end. We built this new 2017 Chevy Camaro and it’s run really well. I was hoping it was going to be as good as the previous car, and with time it’s going to be better.”
DREW SKILLMAN, RAY SKILLMAN MOTORSPORTS, RAY SKILLMAN AUTO CHEVROLET CAMARO SS (qualified ninth): “You have to stay positive. We made a good effort as a team. We’re going in the right direction. We’re not there yet, but if we keep up the positive runs we’ll be right there in the next few races. That’s our game plan.”
TANNER GRAY, GRAY MOTORSPORTS, VALVOLINE CHEVROLET CAMARO SS (qualified third): “It’s going really well. I’m really happy with the car swap (with his father, Shane Gray). I feel like I’ve been hitting the tree decent this weekend for the runs I’ve made. I’m excited going into Sunday.”
SHANE GRAY, GRAY MOTORSPORTS, GRAY MANUFACTURING TECH CHEVROLET CAMARO SS (qualified seventh): “We’ve been throwing all kinds of stuff at the car testing (Friday and Saturday). We’ll take it up there and race it, see where it’s at and try to learn some stuff for Tanner (Gray). The main focus is Tanner. We’re racing slash testing. He’s doing a great job and I think we have a good car for him tomorrow.”
JEG COUGHLIN JR., ELITE MOTORSPORTS, ELITE CHEVROLET CAMARO SS (qualified fifth): “We came here with a bit of a new combination from preseason that showed a lot of promise, but we were struggling with getting down the track efficiently. We did some testing coming into this event and felt we had that behind us and were ready to pour it on. It wasn’t done challenging us, and we spent the better part of the first two runs analyzing the data and making the car and engine as one. Finally made a really nice run in Q4, which moved us up a couple of spots.”
ERICA ENDERS, ELITE MOTORSPORTS, ELITE CHEVROLET CAMARO SS (qualified 10th): “To be honest, we’re testing. We’re trying stuff all throughout qualifying. We have our baseline setup that we know we can go back to. I have all the confidence in the world that we’ll be just fine tomorrow. I don’t mind my draw at all (Shane Gray in first round) and I don’t think lane choice means anything here. I think we’re moving in the right direction. I’ve won here a couple of times and I’m confident for tomorrow.”