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First Day of Qualifying Complete at 58th Annual U.S. Nationals

Veteran driver Tony Schumacher (above) raced to the Top Fuel qualifying lead in his U.S. Army dragster at the 58th annual Mac Tools US Nationals presented by Auto-Plus at Lucas Oil Raceway at Indianapolis during Friday’s opening qualifying session. Jack Beckman (Funny Car), Erica Enders (Pro Stock) and Andrew Hines (Pro Stock Motorcycle) also were qualifying leaders at the NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series event.

Schumacher ran low ET and top speed of the round with his 3.814 second pass at 324.67 mph under the lights at Lucas Oil Raceway which earned him the provisional No. 1 qualifying position.

Tony Schumacher

“It was a lot of pressure tonight but the NHRA did a great job with the track and we got it right and ended up No. 1,” Schumacher said. “We wanted to get down the track tonight and we managed to earn the top spot. We tested here last week and we ran great and it definitely helped up tonight.”

Schumacher is tied with “Big Daddy” Don Garlits as the winningest driver at the Mac Tools US Nationals with eight wins and he hopes that starting the weekend off in the No. 1 position will lead to his ninth win at “The Big Go.”

“We’ve won this race eight times, but I’ve won one race in the last two years,” said Schumacher. “We’re just getting back to the way we used to be with the car running good. I’d rather race here than anywhere else because of the amount of success we’ve had.

“We’ve had some luck at other tracks, but this place has been so special from ’96 when I ran my first race as a kid who’d never driven a Top Fuel car in his life before and went all the way to the final. We’ve had so many great years and great moments.”

If Schumacher holds on to the No. 1 position it will be the fourth time he has been No. 1 qualifier at the Mac Tool US Nationals, fourth of the season and 70th of his career.

Jack Beckman

Beckman earned the qualifying lead during the opening round of qualifying Friday evening under the lights at Lucas Oil Raceway. Beckman recorded a 4.051 second pass at 302.62 mph for the provisional No. 1 qualifying position heading into Saturday.

“It was hugely important [to get a good first run] because now it doesn’t matter what happens the rest of the weekend,” Beckman said. “Whether we get all the qualifying runs or not, we won’t get bumped out. We are absolutely safe, and everybody can breathe a sigh of relief.”

If Beckman maintains the No. 1 position through qualifying on Saturday and Sunday, it will be the third No. 1 qualifying position of the season, the seventh of his career and first at Indianapolis.

Enders continued her recent dominance in Pro Stock with her Chevy Cobalt when she went straight to the qualifying lead Friday afternoon thanks to her 6.624 second pass at 208.84 mph.

“I really feel very honored to be here, to be able to carry the momentum that we’ve had in the last few races into this event,” Enders said. “Our goal and what we’re really focused on is winning the championship. We’ve worked really hard all year, testing, and doing R&D stuff back in the engine shop. We wanted to be able to showcase what we’ve learned during the entire year right before the Countdown and then the last six races of the schedule.”

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The most successful woman in Pro Stock history is coming off her third win of the season and if she holds onto the No. 1 qualifying position it will be the second No. 1 of the season and fifth of her career.

Two-time Pro Stock Motorcycle world champion Andrew Hines continued the Harley-Davidson dominance when he raced his Screamin’ Eagle Vance & Hines Harley-Davidson V-Rod to the qualifying lead with his 6.928 second pass at 194.21 mph.

“We want to keep our streak going here,” Hines said. “I’ve won four times here in the [former] Ringers Gloves Battle so I know the way to the winner’s circle. I just need to get there on Monday. It does add some pressure to know we’ve won every race this year but we just want to keep it up.”

Qualifying for the NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series event continues Saturday at 2:30 p.m ET and 6 p.m. and Sunday at 11 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. Eliminations are set for Monday at 11 a.m.

(Photos courtesy NHRA/National Dragster; Click to enlarge)

BROWNSBURG, Ind. — Friday’s results after the first one of five rounds of qualifying for the 58th annual Mac Tools U.S. Nationals presented by Auto-Plus at O’Reilly Raceway Park at Indianapolis, 17th of 23 events in the NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series. Qualifying will continue Saturday for Monday’s final eliminations.

Top Fuel

1. Tony Schumacher, 3.814 seconds, 324.67 mph; 2. Khalid alBalooshi, 3.817, 320.97; 3. Doug Kalitta, 3.824, 321.88; 4. Shawn Langdon, 3.825, 304.19; 5. Brandon Bernstein, 3.835, 321.19; 6. Antron Brown, 3.844, 319.37; 7. David Grubnic, 3.844, 317.79; 8. Clay Millican, 3.872, 316.30; 9. Bob Vandergriff, 3.898, 317.64; 10. T.J. Zizzo, 3.908, 307.30; 11. J.R. Todd, 3.913, 313.00; 12. Terry McMillen, 3.964, 311.49.  Not Qualified: 13. Cory McClenathan, 4.004, 295.08; 14. Scott Palmer, 4.050, 278.52; 15. Ike Maier, 4.115, 264.75; 16. Tommy Johnson, 4.121, 227.38; 17. Luigi Novelli, 4.150, 241.45; 18. Troy Buff, 4.192, 270.97; 19. Hillary Will, 4.220, 203.86; 20. Keith Murt, 4.348, 193.43; 21. Pat Dakin, 4.437, 204.57; 22. Steve Torrence, 4.822, 151.15; 23. Bruce Litton, 4.948, 144.32; 24. Spencer Massey, 5.984, 103.69; 25. Morgan Lucas, 6.511, 109.25; 26. Chris Karamesines, 7.196, 78.86; 27. Brady Kalivoda, 7.449, 78.35.


Funny Car

1. Jack Beckman, Dodge Charger, 4.051, 302.62; 2. Johnny Gray, Charger, 4.079, 310.98; 3. Courtney Force, Ford Mustang, 4.085, 311.56; 4. Mike Neff, Mustang, 4.089, 306.53; 5. Bob Tasca III, Mustang, 4.107, 303.50; 6. Alexis DeJoria, Toyota Camry, 4.108, 310.55; 7. John Force, Mustang, 4.119, 309.20; 8. Ron Capps, Charger, 4.122, 308.00; 9. Jeff Arend, Camry, 4.144, 310.27; 10. Jim Head, Toyota Solara, 4.151, 292.33; 11. Todd Lesenko, Chevy Impala, 4.209, 296.05; 12. Blake Alexander, Chevy Monte Carlo, 4.224, 280.25.  Not Qualified: 13. Matt Hagan, 4.225, 294.95; 14. Bob Bode, 4.232, 292.58; 15. Tim Wilkerson, 4.533, 192.93; 16. Jon Capps, 4.693, 201.79; 17. Tony Pedregon, 5.851, 118.60; 18. Robert Hight, 6.584, 81.88; 19. Cruz Pedregon, 8.201, 87.49.

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Pro Stock

1. Erica Enders, Chevy Cobalt, 6.624, 208.84; 2. Vincent Nobile, Dodge Avenger, 6.631, 208.78; 3. Allen Johnson, Avenger, 6.634, 208.42; 4. Jason Line, Chevy Camaro, 6.646, 208.52; 5. Greg Anderson, Camaro, 6.655, 208.17; 6. Mark Martino, Pontiac GXP, 6.659, 207.69; 7. Richie Stevens, Avenger, 6.673, 207.46; 8. Shane Gray, Camaro, 6.674, 206.70; 9. V. Gaines, Avenger, 6.678, 207.66; 10. Ron Krisher, GXP, 6.687, 206.42; 11. Ronnie Humphrey, GXP, 6.693, 206.83; 12. Jeg Coughlin, Avenger, 6.705, 207.27.  Not Qualified: 13. Rodger Brogdon, 6.714, 206.13; 14. Chris McGaha, 6.716, 206.16; 15. Larry Morgan, 6.734, 206.80; 16. Greg Stanfield, 6.735, 205.16; 17. Richard Freeman, 6.745, 205.79; 18. Jerry Eckman, 6.771, 201.55; 19. Kevin Lawrence, 6.777, 203.86; 20. Lewis Worden, 6.790, 203.43; 21. Dave River, 6.879, 201.13; 22. John Gaydosh Jr, 6.919, 199.82; 23. Warren Johnson, 8.119, 122.05; 24. Mike Edwards, 11.826, 73.66; 25. Steve Spiess, 14.111, 53.93; 26. Kurt Johnson, 16.064, 67.76; 27. Steve Schmidt, 16.555, 49.88; 28. Mark Hogan, 26.083, 28.60; 29. Dave Connolly, broke.


Pro Stock Motorcycle

1. Andrew Hines, Harley-Davidson, 6.928, 194.21; 2. Hector Arana Jr, Buell, 6.932, 189.66; 3. Eddie Krawiec, Harley-Davidson, 6.953, 192.93; 4. Scotty Pollacheck, Buell, 6.978, 188.67; 5. Hector Arana, Buell, 6.992, 191.46; 6. Karen Stoffer, Suzuki, 6.998, 191.19; 7. Chip Ellis, Buell, 7.011, 190.43; 8. Matt Smith, Buell, 7.019, 190.22; 9. Mike Berry, Buell, 7.038, 189.52; 10. Kieth Burley, Buell, 7.059, 189.73; 11. LE Tonglet, Suzuki, 7.069, 185.31; 12. Shawn Gann, Buell, 7.073, 192.28.  Not Qualified: 13. Dawn Minturn, 7.091, 187.47; 14. John Hall, 7.118, 187.63; 15. Redell Harris, 7.127, 189.87; 16. Jim Underdahl, 7.140, 190.54; 17. Katie Sullivan, 7.247, 183.00; 18. Michael Phillips, 7.275, 179.33; 19. James Surber, 8.114, 176.51; 20. Steve Johnson, broke.

This story was originally published on September 1, 2012. Drag Illustrated

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