Robert Hight and the AAA Ohio / Cornwell Tools Chevrolet Camaro SS Funny Car raced to a runner-up finish in the Mission Foods #2Fast2Tasty Challenge while also qualifying No. 6 for the Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Nationals at Summit Motorsports Park. Brittany Force and the Monster Energy / Flav-R-Pac dragster will start race day from No. 3, with Austin Prock and the Montana Brand / Rocky Mountain Twist dragster sitting No. 5 and John Force driving the PEAK Antifreeze and Coolant Chevy Camaro SS in 10th.
Robert Hight and the AAA Ohio Chevy had a lot on the line in the second qualifying session. Not only would the three-time champion be running to improve his qualifying effort, but he was also competing in the Mission Foods #2Fast2Tasty Challenge in a rematch of the semifinals from Bristol against Alexis DeJoria. Hight would win the first round of the challenge at the starting line with DeJoria red-lighting while also moving into the No. 6 spot with his 3.915-second pass at 324.36 mph.
In the final qualifying session and finals of the #2Fast2Tasty Challenge, Hight would be lined up against reigning world champion Ron Capps. Hight would leave first, but his 3.933-second pass mph wasn’t enough for Capps’ 3.887. Hight will still earn $3,000 and pick up two championship points that will get added to his total to start the NHRA Countdown to the Championship in September with his runner-up finish. The AAA team will start race day from the No. 6 spot to take on Mike McIntire Jr. in the first round.
“Not a bad weekend so far for this AAA Chevy. We missed it Friday night, but we managed to work our way back up a little bit. It’s not exactly where we want to be sitting, but anything can happen on race day,” Hight said. “Came up short in the specialty Mission Foods race but earned some points that will matter later. Jimmy Prock, this AAA team and I will be ready for tomorrow. We want to defend our win from last year and celebrate with AAA in the winners circle again.”
Brittany Force and the Monster Energy team open Saturday qualifying with a statement. The David Grubnic and Brandon Hazleton tuned hot rod ran 3.694 seconds at 332.10 mph to be the quickest of the session and move from No. 6 to No. 3. In the final session, Force ran into tire smoke and had to shut her dragster off early for only a 4.911 at 141.97. She kept a hold on the No. 3 spot and will race Shawn Langdon in round one.
“Qualified in the No. 2 position after two solid runs out of three. We were pretty consistent with a 3.7 and 3.69. We pushed it harder in that final run to see what we could get away with, and the car drove into smoke and didn’t make it down there. But now we know we need to pull it back tomorrow. We learned from the run, that’s the most important thing,” Force said. “We’re lined up against Shawn Langdon tomorrow first round. We’re looking for our first win of the season and my first win in Norwalk, Ohio. We definitely want that ice cream scoop.
Austin Prock and the Montana Brand Rocky Mountain Twist team picked things up in their second qualifying attempt. Prock would handle his dragster to a 3.751-second pass at 323.97 mph, but it wouldn’t be enough to win the first round of the Mission Foods #2Fast2Tasty challenge. Prock would still earn a bonus championship point for being the quickest of the Challenge losers, a point that will be added ahead of the countdown to the Championship.
In the final qualifying session, Prock and the Montana Brand dragster maintained their performance going 3.706 at 323.97, and would be quickest of the session to jump them into the top half of the field at No. 5 to face Tony Schumacher in the first round.
“It was a great ending to our qualifying efforts. This Montana Brand / Rocky Mountain Twist team made two really nice runs today. We couldn’t get the job done in the Mission Foods #2Fast2Tasty Challenge, but we did pick up a championship point and that will be important down the road,” Prock said. “I’m really proud of the progress this team has made. I’m looking forward to race day tomorrow.”
John Force and the PEAK Chevy would stay consistent from Friday night with a 3.956-second pass at 236.08 mph in his second qualifying attempt. Going into the last session on Saturday evening in the No. 11 spot, Force would have another solid pass at 3.834 at 323.58 and move one spot into No. 10.
“What a great day. These fans really turned out. Even yesterday, they stuck around, the rain, it didn’t stop them, and Bader and NHRA, they made the show happen,” Force said. “This PEAK Chevy, we made it down the track, pretty consistent, no incidents, so that’s good. We need consistency. Going to be an interesting race day, the weather will be a factor, track conditions but I feel good. We’ll see what happens.”
Racing at the Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Nationals at Summit Motorsports Park will continue Sunday with eliminations at 10:00 a.m. Television coverage of race weekend action continues with eliminations on FOX Broadcasting Network Sunday at 4:00 p.m. ET.