Bob Tasca raced to the provisional No. 1 spot in Funny Car to lead the way on Friday during the Magic Dry Organic Absorbent NHRA Northwest Nationals at Pacific Raceways.
Mike Salinas (Top Fuel) and Jeg Coughlin Jr. (Pro Stock) are also provisional No. 1 qualifiers in their respective categories at the 16th of 24 races during the 2019 NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series season. The event is also the final of three races during the NHRA’s famed Western Swing.
Tasca, who has two wins this season, powered to a career-best run of 3.871-seconds at 330.63 mph in his Ford Performance/Motorcraft/Quick Lane Ford Shelby Mustang to take the provisional top spot. It marks Tasca’s first run of more than 330 mph. If it holds, it would be Tasca’s first No. 1 qualifier of 2019 and fourth in his career. Defending world champ J.R. Todd’s 3.886 at 325.85 has him currently in second, while Matt Hagan ran 3.888 at 329.75, good enough for third.
“This is a set-up we’re really starting to dial in, and we kind of felt the 330-plus mph run and mid-3.80 run building,” Tasca said. “I’m just excited and humbled to be the behind of the wheel of this thing. This is a brand new body we needed to learn, and you just saw it come together tonight and put us in position to win on Sunday. At this point in the season you’re battle-tested and it’s all hands on deck. There’s a lot of hard work paying off and that’s what I’m most proud of, and this Mustang keeps getting stronger and stronger.”
Top Fuel’s Salinas drove his Scrappers Racing dragster to an impressive 3.694 at 327.66. It would give Salinas, who has two wins in 2019, his fourth No. 1 qualifier this year and fifth in his career if it holds. Brittany Force is currently second after going 3.702 at 326.87, while points leader and defending world champ Steve Torrence ran 3.705 at 328.46 to put him in the third position.
In Pro Stock, Coughlin went 6.539 at 210.57 to take the No. 1 spot in his JEGS.com Chevrolet Camaro. Coughlin is aiming for his first top qualifier of 2019 and 30th in his career. His Elite Motorsports teammates are in the next two spots, as Alex Laughlin, the runner-up last weekend in Sonoma, is second with a 6.541 at 210.64 and Erica Enders went 6.542 at 210.97 to sit in third. Greg Anderson, who is trying to sweep the Western Swing, is sixth after running 6.558 at 209.52.
Qualifying continues Saturday at the Magic Dry Organic Absorbent NHRA Northwest Nationals at 1:30 p.m. PT. Television coverage on FS1 includes live qualifying 5 p.m. ET, as well as additional action from qualifying at 10:30 p.m.