Robert Hight and the AAA Missouri Chevrolet Camaro SS are the provisional No. 1 qualifiers Friday night at the NHRA Midwest Nationals at World Wide Technology Raceway. They narrowly held off John Force and the PEAK Antifreeze and Coolant Chevy who sit No. 2. In Top Fuel, Austin Prock has the Montana Brand / Rocky Mountain Twist dragster sitting No. 12 and Brittany Force and the Flav-R-Pac / Monster Energy dragster are No. 18.
Robert Hight and the AAA team blasted to the No. 1 spot off their 3.853-second pass at 336.32 mph and earn three bonus qualifying points. Their run only nearly earned them the No. 1 spot with John Force and the PEAK Auto Chevy going an identical 3.853-seconds but at a slower 334.15 mph.
Hight, who is the track record holder for both elapsed time and speed, is chasing his fifth No. 1 position at World Wide Technology Raceway and ultimately his third win at the Midwest Nationals.
“It’s huge, there’s only 15 cars so No. 1 spot is every important for Sunday. We’re counting points, every single one counts. We amassed a decent lead with our win in Reading, but we gave a lot of it back last weekend in Charlotte. We worked hard at the shop this week and tried to identify any potential problems,” Hight said. “To come out here and make a run like that, it’s the fastest I’ve run in a long time. It’s impressive. I’m confident in my crew chiefs Jimmy Prock and Chris Cunningham. They saw the cars in front of us having issues, but they stuck to the course and were confident in their combination.
John Force and the PEAK Auto team are looking to capture a fourth No. 1 spot at the Midwest Nationals and are attempting their fourth win but first in seven years.
“That’s a good way to get this weekend started. Trying to keep up. My guys, Danny Hood and Tim Fabrisi, they have us running right on par,” Force said. “We’ve learned a lot the last several races and it’s showing. Right up there with Robert and the AAA car. Just have to keep it going. Hopefully we’re getting our act together at the right time.”
Austin Prock and the Montana Brand / RMT dragster would drive into fire smoke early in their first qualifying attempt. Prock would try to pedal it a few times before clicking off for a 6.111-second pass at 104.29 mph.
“That was a tough start for this Montana Brand / Rocky Mountain Twist team. It’s the first time we shook the tires all year,” Force said. “We will be okay tomorrow. I believe in this team and know what we’re capable of.”
Brittany Force and the Flav-R-Pac dragster had trouble early in their first qualifying attempt. Force would have to click it off to coast to an 8.879-seconds at 71.60 mph.
“Not the way this Flav-R-Pac / Monster Energy team wanted to get started here in St. Louis. Our car didn’t get down the track, but we know what the problem is. Once we get it straightened out we’ll be good,” Force said. “We have two more runs tomorrow to get set up and then go some rounds on race day.”
Competition at the NHRA Midwest Nationals at World Wide Technology Raceway continues with qualifying Saturday at 2:30 and 5:30 p.m. with eliminations at 10:30 a.m. on Sunday. Television coverage of the event will be on Sunday with a qualifying show at 12:30 p.m. ET immediately followed by eliminations coverage at 2 p.m. ET on FOX Sports 1 (FS1).