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B. Force, Hagan and Glenn Take Top Spots at Lucas Oil NHRA Winternationals

Brittany Force powered to the top spot to close out qualifying on Saturday at In-N-Out Burger Pomona Dragstrip, earning her first No. 1 qualifier of the 2024 NHRA Mission Foods Drag Racing Series season at the 64th annual Lucas Oil NHRA Winternationals.

Matt Hagan (Funny Car) and Dallas Glenn (Pro Stock) also qualified No. 1 at the second of 20 races during the 2024 NHRA Mission Foods Drag Racing Series.

After a lengthy rain delay, Force put together a run of 3.711-seconds at 335.73 mph in her 11,000-horsepower Mark Christopher Auto Center Chevrolet/Monster Energy dragster. It was the lone qualifying session due to weather and Force claimed her 47th career No. 1 qualifier with the standout run. She’ll open eliminations looking for her first victory since 2022 when she finished the year as world champion.

“That was a good, consistent run and that’s what we’re focused on,” Force said. “We’re in a good place and it’s pretty awesome to have 47 No. 1 qualifiers. That’s (crew chief) David Grubnic and this entire team. But our focus is on raceday and trying to get a win. We’re ready for tomorrow.”

Eight-time Top Fuel world champion Tony Schumacher took second with a 3.735 at 331.85, while Billy Torrence took third with a 3.745 at 330.47. Tony Stewart’s run of 3.737 at 328.30 during the second session was ruled invalid due to a timing system malfunction.

Reigning Funny Car world champion Matt Hagan, who won the Winternationals a year ago, made the most of his run on Saturday, going to No. 1 with a run of 3.893 at 330.15 in his 11,000-horsepower Johnson’s Horsepowered Garage Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat for Tony Stewart Racing. It gives the four-time world champion 51 career No. 1 qualifiers and plenty of momentum going into raceday, where Hagan looks to pick up his milestone 50th career victory. He’ll open eliminations against Buddy Hull trying to pick up his first win of the season.

“To do a burnout and still have that many fans in the stands after the weather was pretty cool,” Hagan said. “The track was tricky, so we’ll take that run. All in all, I’m pretty happy with that. We’ve had a lot of success here and to make that run makes me feel confident going into tomorrow. We’ve won a lot of races because Dickie (Venables, crew chief) has been good on Sunday. It would be great to get that 50th (win) in Pomona. It’s such a special place and it’s really magical here. There’s so much history and when you show up here, you get chill bumps. It’s just a cool feeling.”

Ron Capps took the second spot with a 3.893 at 326.71 and Bobby Bode took third after going 3.972 at 292.96.

In Pro Stock, defending event winner Dallas Glenn racked up his fifth career No. 1 qualifier, closing out qualifying with a run of 6.536 at 209.75 in his RAD Torque Systems Chevrolet Camaro. Glenn made a big move to close out the day after the team made wholesale changes leading into the day. They struggled on Friday, but the changes paid off heading into raceday, putting the young standout in a good spot to try and earn his first win of the season. He’ll open eliminations against KB Titan Racing teammate and rookie Sienna Wildgust.

“That was really satisfying,” Glenn said. “We basically rewired my entire car this morning. We changed so much stuff on it. We were not happy with it and it had been doing some crazy stuff. It at least worked for one run and we were pretty happy with it. The run felt amazing and we made a really killer run. Pomona has always been up there as one of my favorite tracks. I’ve always loved coming here and hopefully we have it turned around.”

Defending world champion Erica Enders qualified second with a 6.547 at 210.73 and Camrie Caruso jumped to third thanks with a 6.557 at 208.88.

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Only one round of the Mission #2Fast2Tasty NHRA Challenge was completed on Saturday due to weather as well. Shawn Langdon and Steve Torrence both won the opening round in Top Fuel, while J.R. Todd and Austin Prock picked up the Funny Car victories. In Pro Stock, Glenn and Enders raced to Challenge wins.

Eliminations for the Lucas Oil NHRA Winternationals begin at 10 a.m. PT on Sunday at In-N-Out Burger Pomona Dragstrip.

This story was originally published on March 24, 2024. Drag Illustrated

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