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B. Force, DeJoria, Koretsky and S. Johnson Lead the Way After Day One in Vegas

Already the track record holder in Top Fuel, Brittany Force added another impressive performance at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway on Friday, racing to the provisional No. 1 spot at the Dodge//SRT NHRA Nationals presented by Pennzoil.

Alexis DeJoria (Funny Car), Kyle Koretsky (Pro Stock) and Steve Johnson (Pro Stock Motorcycle) are also the provisional No. 1 qualifiers at the 19th of 20 races during the 2021 NHRA Camping World Drag Racing Series season and the sixth race in the Countdown to the Championship playoffs.

Force powered to another standout run to close out qualifying on Friday, this time going 3.693-seconds at 333.41 mph in her 11,000-horsepower Monster Energy dragster. Should it hold, Force would earn her 12th No. 1 qualifier this season, one off the Top Fuel record for a single season, and the 32nd in her career. It’s been a dominant season in qualifying for Force, but the former world champ is after race wins as she tries to track down three-time defending world champ Steve Torrence. Force entered the weekend 73 points back of the Texan.

“That was a great run and a great start for us,” Force said. “We’ve had success here in Vegas and won the event in 2019. We’re in the hunt for (the championship) and that’s exciting for all of us. We’re going to throw down and we’re going to go for it. Every run matters and we’re going to try to throw down every run. We want to get this done, but we need to do well and we need to get a win this weekend. We’re off to a great start and we want to get as close as we can (to Torrence).”

Clay Millican is currently qualified second with his pass of 3.732 at 328.70, while Bristol winner Mike Salinas is fourth after going 3.766 at 321.12. Torrence went 3.771 and 325.92 and sits fourth.

After winning the most recent event, Alexis DeJoria kept up her strong pace in Funny Car, qualifying No. 1 in her 11,000-horsepower Bandero Premium Tequila ROKiT Toyota Camry with a strong pass of 3.896 at 327.03. It would also give DeJoria her second straight No. 1 qualifier after picking up her first top spot in five years when she went to No. 1 in Bristol, handing her plenty of possible momentum to close out the 2021 season. Championship contenders John Force and J.R. Todd are currently second and third, respectively, after Force went 3.902 at 328.54 and Todd turned in a 3.911 at 329.02.

Points leader Ron Capps is currently seventh while defending world champ and event winner Matt Hagan, who trails Capps by just one point, is fourth after a 3.931 at 322.34.

In Pro Stock, Kyle Koretsky got off to a great start in his Lucas Oil Chevrolet Camaro, going to the No. 1 spot on his pass of 6.667 at 205.10. If it holds, it would be Koretsky’s second career No. 1 qualifier and would take place at an event where he went to his first career final round a year ago. Koretsky fell in that race to defending world champ Erica Enders, but the rising star is looking to a big finish to his second year in Pro Stock, one that has included his first career victory.

Points leader Greg Anderson drove to the second spot on Friday after his pass of 6.670 at 205.32. Anderson, who became the all-time wins leader in Pro Stock history with his victory in Dallas, had an 81-point lead over Enders entering the weekend. Star rookie Dallas Glenn is currently third after going 6.687 at 203.40.

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Needing a big weekend after considerable struggles in Bristol, Pro Stock Motorcycle’s Steve Johnson turned in a splendid opening day on Friday in Las Vegas, racing to the No. 1 position with his pass of 6.848 at 196.24 on his USA Electric Mac Rak Suzuki. If it holds, Johnson would pick up his fourth No. 1 qualifier this year and eighth this season. The championship hopeful needs a big weekend after a first-round loss in Bristol that dropped him 56 points out of first heading into Las Vegas.

Johnson got the solid start he needed on Friday, but points leader and defending world champ Matt Smith is right behind after going 6.869 at 197.83. Angelle Sampey, who is second in points and is the most recent race winner, rounds out the current top three after going 6.869 at 195.19.

Qualifying continues at 12:00 p.m. ET on Saturday at the Dodge//SRT NHRA Nationals presented by Pennzoil at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.


LAS VEGAS — Friday’s results after the first one of three rounds of qualifying for the 21st Annual Dodge//SRT NHRA Nationals presented by Pennzoil at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, 19th 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, 3.693 seconds, 333.41 mph; 2. Clay Millican, 3.732, 328.70; 3. Mike Salinas, 3.766, 321.12; 4. Steve Torrence, 3.771, 325.92; 5. Alex Laughlin, 3.809, 318.54; 6. Leah Pruett, 3.843, 310.55; 7. Cameron Ferre, 3.851, 318.39; 8. Josh Hart, 3.862, 276.07; 9. Brandon Welch, 3.940, 260.26; 10. Shawn Langdon, 3.952, 255.15; 11. Billy Torrence, 4.055, 245.99; 12. Rob Passey, 4.510, 233.64; 13. Antron Brown, 5.336, 135.69; 14. Justin Ashley, 6.027, 103.17; 15. Troy Buff, 6.694, 87.16; 16. Doug Kalitta, 6.853, 97.05.
Not Qualified: 17. Tripp Tatum, 10.224, 87.48.

Funny Car — 1. Alexis DeJoria, Toyota Camry, 3.896, 327.03; 2. John Force, Chevy Camaro, 3.902, 328.54; 3. J.R. Todd, Camry, 3.911, 329.02; 4. Matt Hagan, Dodge Charger, 3.931, 322.34; 5. Bob Tasca III, Ford Mustang, 3.935, 329.34; 6. Tim Wilkerson, Mustang, 3.948, 324.67; 7. Ron Capps, Charger, 3.973, 304.60; 8. Tony Jurado, Mustang, 3.986, 318.17; 9. Chad Green, Mustang, 4.122, 256.60; 10. Paul Lee, Charger, 4.320, 219.76; 11. Jeff Diehl, Camry, 4.320, 216.03; 12. Chris Morel, Charger, 4.335, 248.43; 13. Steven Densham, Mustang, 4.338, 285.59; 14. Robert Hight, Camaro, 4.660, 174.12;
15. Jim Campbell, Charger, 7.204, 84.04; 16. Cruz Pedregon, Charger, 8.401, 87.07.
Not Qualified:
17. Terry Haddock, 9.833, 81.80; 18. Bobby Bode, 13.218, 42.58.

Pro Stock — 1. Kyle Koretsky, Chevy Camaro, 6.667, 205.10; 2. Greg Anderson, Camaro, 6.670, 205.32; 3. Dallas Glenn, Camaro, 6.687, 203.40; 4. Chris McGaha, Camaro, 6.693, 205.38; 5. Mason McGaha, Camaro, 6.694, 205.32; 6. Erica Enders, Camaro, 6.696, 203.77; 7. Matt Hartford, Camaro, 6.699, 205.51; 8. Deric Kramer, Camaro, 6.701, 204.88; 9. Alan Prusiensky, Dodge Dart, 6.715, 203.22; 10. Bo Butner, Camaro, 6.743, 202.64; 11. Marty Robertson, Ford Mustang, 6.748, 203.34; 12. Richie Stevens, Camaro, 6.772, 203.52; 13. Aaron Stanfield, Camaro, 6.798, 177.42; 14. Cristian Cuadra, Mustang, 6.818, 176.93; 15. Troy Coughlin Jr., Camaro, 6.826, 176.63; 16. John Callahan, Dart, 6.874, 200.20.
Not Qualified: 17. Kenny Delco, 11.890, 73.13.

Pro Stock Motorcycle — 1. Steve Johnson, Suzuki, 6.848, 196.24; 2. Matt Smith, EBR, 6.869, 197.83; 3. Angelle Sampey, Suzuki, 6.869, 195.19; 4. Jerry Savoie, Suzuki, 6.900, 193.43; 5. Eddie Krawiec, Buell, 6.933, 195.14; 6. Scotty Pollacheck, EBR, 6.990, 194.80; 7. Chris Bostick, Suzuki, 7.017, 189.18; 8. Ryan Oehler, EBR, 7.063, 191.38; 9. Kelly Clontz, Suzuki, 7.086, 188.15; 10. Freddie Camarena, Suzuki, 7.092, 190.62; 11. Joey Gladstone, Suzuki, 7.098, 193.40; 12. Charles Poskey, Suzuki, 7.530, 182.38; 13. Andrew Hines, Buell, 7.879, 124.32; 14. Karen Stoffer, Suzuki, 11.228, 72.42; 15. Angie Smith, EBR, 15.383, 49.15.

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This story was originally published on October 30, 2021. Drag Illustrated

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