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Hight, Salinas, Anderson And Krawiec Grab No. 1 Spots At Route 66 NHRA Nationals

JOLIET, Ill. – Robert Hight rocketed to the No. 1 qualifying position in Funny Car on Saturday at the 22nd annual Route 66 NHRA Nationals at Route 66 Raceway.

Mike Salinas (Top Fuel), Greg Anderson (Pro Stock) and Eddie Krawiec (Pro Stock Motorcycle) are also the No. 1 qualifiers in their respective categories at the ninth of 24 events during the 2019 NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series season.

After a lengthy weather delay, Funny Car points leader Hight powered to the top spot for the sixth time in 2019 and 66th time in his career with a run of 3.880-seconds at 334.24 mph during the final qualifying session in his Auto Club Chevrolet Camaro SS. Hight was 14th in qualifying before the impressive run during the fourth session, and will seek his fourth victory in 2019. The two-time world champion has two victories from the No. 1 spot this season.

Tommy Johnson Jr. moved to second during the final qualifying session with his 3.882 at 326.24, while Friday’s provisional No. 1 Ron Capps, who is seeking this third consecutive victory in 2019, finished third with a 3.882 at 325.53.

“The conditions were there tonight, and we gave it the power and it stuck,” Hight said. “It was a great run and I’m loving the conditions we’re going to have (Sunday). It’s awesome to come to Chicago and see a field like this. There are a lot of good cars here. Some didn’t make it, but for a while there we were wondering if it was going to be us. When you’re 14th going into the last session, it’s a little nerve-wracking.”

Top Fuel’s Salinas picked up his third No. 1 qualifier of 2019 and fourth in his career after his run of 3.693 at 328.30 from Friday in his Scrappers Racing dragster held up. In a strong field of 21 dragsters, Salinas was the only driver to reach the 3.60s. Antron Brown will start from second after going 3.715 at 328.14, while defending world champ and points leader Steve Torrence, who is after his fourth straight win this season, took the third spot with a run of 3.757 at 324.05.

“We do have a good program,” Salinas said. “I’m doing the same thing I was doing last year. The only difference is the people who are behind me now. They’re making this possible and I’m trying to do what they need me to do. The level we’re at now, it’s a different level than I’ve ever been. It’s pretty intense and it’s pretty amazing.”

In Pro Stock, Greg Anderson took over sole possession of third place in career No. 1 qualifiers in NHRA history with his 103rd after a run of 6.571 at 210.54 in his Summit Racing Equipment Chevrolet Camaro. Anderson, who was previously tied with Bob Glidden for career No. 1 qualifiers, earned his first top spot of 2019, slipping past teammate Jason Line during the final qualifying session.

Line finished second with a 6.575 at 209.39, while Matt Hartford took third after going 6.585 at 206.76. Anderson will also be looking for his first win of the season on Sunday.

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“That’s a huge number, no question about it,” Anderson said of his 103rd No. 1 qualifier. “Anytime you can go by one of Bob Glidden’s records, you better be proud of that. That’s pretty darn cool. This racetrack, I’ve always loved coming here. It’s a great Pro Stock track because every bit of power you can find you can apply to it. Tonight’s session was just a perfect running car. That’s great and now onto business (Sunday).”

Krawiec took his second No. 1 qualifier of the season and 45th in his career in Pro Stock Motorcycle thanks to his 6.801 at 198.79 from Friday on his Screamin’ Eagle Vance & Hines Harley-Davidson. Krawiec will be racing for his first victory of 2019 after watching teammate Andrew Hines win four of the first five events of the year. Defending world champion Matt Smith qualified second with a 6.819 at 200.00 and Hines sits third after a run of 6.835 at 197.62.

“I’ve got a great crew that’s behind me,” Krawiec said. “It’s just fun to come out here and have a great bike going into raceday. I’m just looking at making good, cleans laps because that’s what it’s going to take to win.”

Eliminations at the Route 66 NHRA Nationals begin at 11 a.m. CT on Sunday.

Sunday’s first-round pairings for eliminations for the 22nd annual Route 66 NHRA Nationals at Route 66 Raceway, the ninth of 24 events in the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series.

Pairings based on results in qualifying, which ended Saturday. DNQs listed below pairings.

Top Fuel — 1. Mike Salinas, 3.693 seconds, 328.30 mph vs. 16. Scott Palmer, 3.854, 321.73; 2. Antron Brown, 3.715, 328.14 vs. 15. Brittany Force, 3.819, 320.36; 3. Steve Torrence, 3.757, 322.34 vs. 14. Terry McMillen, 3.810, 320.28; 4. Dom Lagana, 3.763, 323.19 vs. 13. Pat Dakin, 3.808, 324.12; 5. Doug Kalitta, 3.764, 322.96 vs. 12. Shawn Reed, 3.800, 319.67; 6. Austin Prock, 3.769, 321.19 vs. 11. Richie Crampton, 3.796, 320.13; 7. Clay Millican, 3.774, 324.98 vs. 10. Jordan Vandergriff, 3.794, 325.37; 8. Leah Pritchett, 3.776, 327.82 vs. 9. T.J. Zizzo, 3.783, 323.12.

Did Not Qualify: 17. Luigi Novelli, 3.946, 297.09; 18. Cameron Ferre, 3.950, 297.48; 19. Kyle Wurtzel, 3.961, 295.40; 20. Lex Joon, 4.097, 262.59; 21. Chris Karamesines, 4.468, 191.38.

Funny Car — 1. Robert Hight, Chevy Camaro, 3.880, 334.24 vs. 16. Jim Campbell, Dodge Charger, 4.055, 314.75; 2. Tommy Johnson Jr., Charger, 3.882, 326.24 vs. 15. Paul Lee, Charger, 4.026, 296.44; 3. Ron Capps, Charger, 3.882, 325.53 vs. 14. Bob Bode, Ford Mustang, 4.015, 315.05; 4. Shawn Langdon, Toyota Camry, 3.896, 332.84 vs. 13. Jeff Arend, Mustang, 3.985, 321.12; 5. Jack Beckman, Charger, 3.899, 331.28 vs. 12. Blake Alexander, Mustang, 3.959, 325.22; 6. J.R. Todd, Camry, 3.904, 327.43 vs. 11. John Force, Camaro, 3.948, 326.48; 7. Matt Hagan, Charger, 3.936, 323.97 vs. 10. Bob Tasca III, Mustang, 3.943, 322.19; 8. Cruz Pedregon, Charger, 3.939, 321.88 vs. 9. Tim Wilkerson, Mustang, 3.940, 327.11.

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Did Not Qualify: 17. Justin Schriefer, 4.056, 305.01; 18. Dale Creasy Jr., 4.085, 308.07; 19. Terry Haddock, 4.175, 300.66.

Pro Stock — 1. Greg Anderson, Chevy Camaro, 6.571, 210.54 vs. 16. Alan Prusiensky, Dodge Dart, 6.696, 205.10; 2. Jason Line, Camaro, 6.575, 209.39 vs. 15. Kenny Delco, Camaro, 6.660, 206.54; 3. Matt Hartford, Camaro, 6.585, 206.76 vs. 14. Shane Tucker, Camaro, 6.657, 206.23; 4. Erica Enders, Camaro, 6.590, 207.43 vs. 13. Val Smeland, Camaro, 6.635, 206.61; 5. Richard Freeman, Ford Mustang, 6.593, 207.24 vs. 12. Chris McGaha, Camaro, 6.628, 208.01; 6. Deric Kramer, Camaro, 6.594, 209.07 vs. 11. Rodger Brogdon, Camaro, 6.611, 207.27; 7. Fernando Cuadra, Camaro, 6.595, 207.94 vs. 10. Alex Laughlin, Camaro, 6.606, 206.92; 8. Bo Butner, Camaro, 6.598, 209.10 vs. 9. Jeg Coughlin, Camaro, 6.599, 207.02.

Did Not Qualify: 17. Wally Stroupe, 6.707, 205.72; 18. Fernando Cuadra Jr., 6.745, 204.39; 19. Robert River, 6.876, 200.83.

Pro Stock Motorcycle — 1. Eddie Krawiec, Harley-Davidson, 6.801, 198.79 vs. 16. Michael Ray, Buell, 7.435, 145.28; 2. Matt Smith, EBR, 6.819, 200.00 vs. 15. Steve Johnson, Suzuki, 7.343, 139.14; 3. Andrew Hines, Harley-Davidson, 6.835, 197.62 vs. 14. Andie Rawlings, Suzuki, 7.337, 178.52; 4. Hector Arana Jr, EBR, 6.838, 197.22 vs. 13. Kelly Clontz, Suzuki, 7.102, 190.30; 5. Hector Arana, EBR, 6.849, 197.54 vs. 12. Jianna Salinas, Suzuki, 6.989, 190.97; 6. Angie Smith, EBR, 6.865, 197.16 vs. 11. Marc Ingwersen, Buell, 6.949, 192.85; 7. Angelle Sampey, Harley-Davidson, 6.867, 195.36 vs. 10. Scotty Pollacheck, EBR, 6.917, 193.77; 8. Ryan Oehler, Buell, 6.891, 197.19 vs. 9. Karen Stoffer, Suzuki, 6.892, 194.83.

This story was originally published on June 2, 2019. Drag Illustrated

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