Brittany Force, Robert Hight, Kyle Koretsky & Angelle Sampey Lead Way After Friday’s NHRA Qualifying At Maple Grove

Story By: NHRA – MOHNTON, PA – Looking to qualify No. 1 for the seventh straight race, Brittany Force powered to a great start, taking the provisional top spot and setting the track speed record at Maple Grove Raceway on Friday at the 36th annual Mopar Express Lane NHRA Nationals presented by Pennzoil.

Robert Hight (Funny Car), Kyle Koretsky (Pro Stock) and Angelle Sampey (Pro Stock Motorcycle) are also the provisional No. 1 qualifiers at the 14th of 20 races during the 2021 NHRA Camping World Drag Racing Series season and the first race in the Countdown to the Championship playoffs.

Force rocketed to No. 1 on Friday in her 11,000-horsepower Flav-R-Pac dragster with a run of 3.666-seconds at 335.57 mph, making the fastest run in Maple Grove Raceway history in Top Fuel. If that holds, the former world champ would qualify No. 1 for the seventh straight race, the ninth time in 2021 and the 29th time in her standout career. It would also mark a great start to the Countdown to the Championship for Force, who entered the playoffs second in points behind defending three-time world champ Steve Torrence.

“That run felt fast; that finish line came up quick,” said Force. “So, it’s get the chutes out, turn the fuel off, but it feels good to be able to run like that for our first qualifying pass of the night. To grab that No. 1 currently, it gives confidence to the entire team. It helps us feel strong going into tomorrow. Right now, this Countdown has begun right here in Reading, Pennsylvania. Everything is on the line right now. We have to repeat that the rest of the weekend.”

Torrence is second after the first round of qualifying following his pass of 3.692 at 327.19 and Clay Millican is third with a 3.696 at 322.65.

Hight enjoyed a strong start to his 2021 playoffs, making the quickest run in Funny Car on Friday with a tremendous pass of 3.883 at 333.82 in his 11,000-horsepower Auto Club Chevrolet Camaro SS. If it holds, Hight would qualify No. 1 for the second time this year and 70th time in his standout career. Entering the playoffs sixth in points, Hight is eager to make a big jump to kick off the Countdown to the Championship. Tommy Johnson Jr. went 3.895 at 333.82 to position himself second. He is filling in for Matt Hagan, who is recovering from COVID-19. Bob Tasca III is third following his run of 3.913 at 328.22.

Racing at his home track, Pro Stock’s Koretsky impressed in front of friends and family, vaulting to the No. 1 position with a pass of 6.547 at 209.98 in his Lucas Oil Chevrolet Camaro. His KB Racing teammate, points leader Greg Anderson, ran an identical time, but Koretsky’s speed was faster than Anderson’s 209.33, putting him in the top spot as the young standout seeks his second straight No. 1 qualifier. Koretsky has also raced to back-to-back final rounds, including last weekend’s U.S. Nationals, and continued that momentum on Friday. Following Anderson is Aaron Stanfield, who is currently in the third position after going 6.548 at 209.62.

Fresh off her final round at the U.S. Nationals, Pro Stock Motorcycle’s Sampey turned in a strong run right off the trailer on her Mission Foods/Vance & Hines Suzuki, going 6.761 at 198.85. If it holds, it would be Sampey’s second top qualifier this season and 53rd in her career. Opening the Countdown to the Championship fifth in points, Sampey had a fantastic start at the site of her first career victory in the class. Her teammate and U.S. Nationals winner Eddie Krawiec followed in second with a run of 6.763 at 201.67, setting the track speed record and making the first 200-mph run in the class at Maple Grove Raceway. Defending world champ and points leader Matt Smith is currently third after going 6.766 at 201.34.

Qualifying continues at 12:15 p.m. ET on Saturday at the Mopar Express Lane NHRA Nationals presented by Pennzoil at Maple Grove Raceway.

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MOHNTON, Pa. — Friday’s results after the first one of three rounds of qualifying for the 36th annual Mopar Express Lane NHRA Nationals presented by Pennzoil at Maple Grove Raceway, 14th of 20 events in the NHRA Camping World Drag Racing Series. Qualifying will continue Saturday for Sunday’s final eliminations.

Top Fuel — 1. Brittany Force, 3.666 seconds, 335.57 mph; 2. Steve Torrence, 3.692, 327.19; 3. Clay Millican, 3.696, 322.65; 4. Mike Salinas, 3.699, 332.18; 5. Billy Torrence, 3.699, 327.98; 6. Justin Ashley, 3.729, 327.74; 7. Leah Pruett, 3.733, 323.89; 8. Josh Hart, 3.793, 323.81; 9. Doug Kalitta, 3.833, 319.67; 10. Doug Foley, 3.856, 297.55; 11. Antron Brown, 3.871, 302.14; 12. Joe Morrison, 4.167, 223.84; 13. Shawn Langdon, 4.870, 147.70.

Funny Car — 1. Robert Hight, Chevy Camaro, 3.883, 330.39; 2. Tommy Johnson Jr., Dodge Charger, 3.895, 333.82; 3. Bob Tasca III, Ford Mustang, 3.913, 328.22; 4. Cruz Pedregon, Charger, 3.914, 321.42; 5. Ron Capps, Charger, 3.932, 325.06; 6. Tim Wilkerson, Mustang, 3.932, 290.82; 7. Alexis DeJoria, Toyota Camry, 3.940, 327.98; 8. J.R. Todd, Camry, 3.956, 328.38; 9. Blake Alexander, Mustang, 4.036, 308.50; 10. Jim Campbell, Charger, 4.113, 292.27; 11. John Force, Camaro, 6.880, 92.36; 12. Paul Lee, Charger, 9.838, 75.83. Not Qualified: 13. Cory Lee, broke.

Pro Stock — 1. Kyle Koretsky, Chevy Camaro, 6.547, 209.98; 2. Greg Anderson, Camaro, 6.547, 209.33; 3. Aaron Stanfield, Camaro, 6.548, 209.62; 4. Dallas Glenn, Camaro, 6.550, 209.04; 5. Troy Coughlin Jr., Camaro, 6.552, 208.42; 6. Erica Enders, Camaro, 6.553, 209.85; 7. Matt Hartford, Camaro, 6.565, 209.30; 8. Chris McGaha, Camaro, 6.570, 209.65; 9. Mason McGaha, Camaro, 6.573, 210.21; 10. Vincent Nobile, Camaro, 6.579, 207.88; 11. Deric Kramer, Camaro, 6.593, 208.94; 12. Bob Benza, Camaro, 6.614, 208.62; 13. John Gaydosh Jr, Camaro, 6.640, 208.10; 14. Alan Prusiensky, Dodge Dart, 6.643, 207.85; 15. Larry Morgan, Camaro, 6.704, 189.84; 16. Kenny Delco, Camaro, 8.103, 161.19.

Pro Stock Motorcycle — 1. Angelle Sampey, Suzuki, 6.761, 198.85; 2. Eddie Krawiec, Buell, 6.763, 201.67; 3. Matt Smith, EBR, 6.766, 201.34; 4. Scotty Pollacheck, EBR, 6.829, 198.52; 5. Cory Reed, Suzuki, 6.867, 194.24; 6. Angie Smith, EBR, 6.872, 199.94; 7. Steve Johnson, Suzuki, 6.879, 195.90; 8. Joey Gladstone, Suzuki, 6.882, 196.02; 9. Ryan Oehler, EBR, 6.924, 194.49; 10. Chris Bostick, 6.942, 191.57; 11. Jim Underdahl, Suzuki, 7.004, 192.28; 12. Jianna Salinas, Suzuki, 7.005, 191.43; 13. Andrew Hines, Buell, 7.099, 198.41; 14. Ron Tornow, Victory, 7.120, 189.26; 15. David Barron, EBR, 7.379, 150.72; 16. Kelly Clontz, Suzuki, 7.476, 160.84. Not Qualified: 17. Karen Stoffer, 10.454, 79.47; 18. Marc Ingwersen, broke.

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