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Torrence, Beckman, Enders, Johnson And Tutterow Claim No. 1 Spots In Charlotte

Current Top Fuel world champion and defending event winner Steve Torrence will start raceday from the top position for the fourth time this year after an impressive show in qualifying during the 12th annual NTK NHRA Carolina Nationals at zMAX Dragway.

Jack Beckman (Funny Car), Erica Enders (Pro Stock) and Steve Johnson (Pro Stock Motorcycle) are also No. 1 qualifiers in their respective categories at the third of six races in the 2019 NHRA Mello Yello Countdown to the Championship playoffs.

Torrence powered his way to the top spot with an impressive pass of 3.711-seconds at 325.53 mph in his Capco Contractors dragster to earn the 23rd No. 1 qualifier of his career. Leah Pritchett raced into second place after her run of 3.714 at 331.20. She is followed by Brittany Force who ran 3.730 at 321.04 to secure the third spot.

“We ran really well last night (Friday) and I’m proud of that run,” said Torrence. “Richard Hogan (Crew Chief), Bobby Lagana (Crew Chief) and every one of them Capco boys have done a really great job at supporting me. I started off this countdown a little bit rocky. I drove like I’d never sat in one of these things before and they really had my back. When you’ve got confidence in your team and in your car, it makes you a better driver and sometimes you have to look inward to see that and reflect on it.”

Reflecting on raceday tomorrow, Torrence said, “We’ve had a lot of success here and I’m looking forward to it. It’s going to be some quick and fast times out there tomorrow. The track will take whatever you’re gonna throw at it. You’ve got to be out here and ready for war.”

Funny Car’s Beckman went 3.873-seconds at 334.07 mph in his Infinite Hero Foundation Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat to earn his second No. 1 qualifier of 2019 and 26th of his career, setting the track record for speed in the process. This is the first time that he will start this event from the top position.

“If Pomona (the final race of the season) ends up coming down to a three- or four-point championship, it’s going to be who managed qualifying best,” said Beckman. “And we got 13 points out of qualifying. That’s pretty good. Anybody who tells you they don’t count points either sucks at math or they’re lying to you.”

Sitting second in Funny Car qualifying is Robert Hight with a run of 3.878 at 334.07. Beckman’s teammate Matt Hagan is in the No. 3 spot after running 3.880 at 331.69.

In Pro Stock, Enders’ Friday pass of 6.506 at 211.86 in her Melling Performance / Elite Motorsports Chevrolet Camaro kept her in the top spot through Saturday. This marks her third consecutive No. 1 qualifier in the Countdown to the Championship. She also picked up her first win of the season two weeks ago in St. Louis. Her teammate Jeg Coughlin Jr. is in second place going into Sunday with his pass of 6.524 at 210.37 and Jason Line is third after running a 6.534 at 211.53.

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Pro Stock Motorcycle’s Johnson powered his way to the top of the ladder on his Steve Johnson Racing Suzuki with a pass of 6.786 at 196.70. This is his first No. 1 qualifier of the season and the fourth of his career.

Jerry Savoie sits in second after running 6.787 at 198.73. Andrew Hines rounds out the top three in Pro Stock Motorcycle with a run of 6.814 at 198.79.

In the E3 Spark Plugs NHRA Pro Mod Drag Racing Series presented by J&A Service, Todd Tutterow powered his ’68 Camaro to the top qualifying spot with a pass of 5.744 at 251.30.

Eliminations for the NTK NHRA Carolina Nationals begin Sunday at 11:00 a.m.

CONCORD, N.C. — Sunday’s first-round pairings for eliminations for the 12th annual NTK NHRA Carolina Nationals at zMax Dragway, the 21st 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. Steve Torrence, 3.711 seconds, 325.53 mph vs. 16. Lex Joon, 4.476, 168.75; 2. Leah Pritchett, 3.714, 331.20 vs. 15. Chris Karamesines, 4.468, 184.19; 3. Brittany Force, 3.730, 321.04 vs. 14. Smax Smith, 3.938, 281.01; 4. Richie Crampton, 3.732, 329.50 vs. 13. Austin Prock, 3.850, 316.15; 5. Mike Salinas, 3.752, 328.70 vs. 12. Justin Ashley, 3.831, 319.67; 6. Billy Torrence, 3.755, 325.92 vs. 11. Pat Dakin, 3.798, 320.28; 7. Antron Brown, 3.758, 328.94 vs. 10. Doug Kalitta, 3.773, 323.35; 8. Clay Millican, 3.764, 322.11 vs. 9. Terry McMillen, 3.767, 326.24.
Did Not Qualify: 17. Cameron Ferre, 5.014, 147.79; 18. Todd Paton, 5.399, 131.79.

Funny Car — 1. Jack Beckman, Dodge Charger, 3.873, 334.07 vs. 16. Dale Creasy Jr., Charger, 4.385, 209.36; 2. Robert Hight, Chevy Camaro, 3.878, 334.07 vs. 15. Mike McIntire, Toyota Camry, 4.219, 256.99; 3. Matt Hagan, Charger, 3.880, 331.69 vs. 14. Dave Richards, Ford Mustang, 4.071, 297.16; 4. Ron Capps, Charger, 3.882, 330.55 vs. 13. Jim Campbell, Charger, 3.988, 316.75; 5. John Force, Camaro, 3.890, 331.45 vs. 12. J.R. Todd, Camry, 3.972, 308.43; 6. Bob Tasca III, Mustang, 3.891, 328.46 vs. 11. Jonnie Lindberg, Mustang, 3.972, 323.12; 7. Tim Wilkerson, Mustang, 3.945, 318.99 vs. 10. Shawn Langdon, Camry, 3.970, 326.00; 8. Tommy Johnson Jr., Charger, 3.950, 321.65 vs. 9. Cruz Pedregon, Charger, 3.955, 321.04.
Did Not Qualify: 17. Terry Haddock, 5.442, 127.92; 18. Bob Gilbertson, 7.810, 88.09.

Pro Stock — 1. Erica Enders, Chevy Camaro, 6.506, 211.86 vs. 16. Cristian Cuadra, Ford Mustang, 6.611, 209.20; 2. Jeg Coughlin, Camaro, 6.524, 210.37 vs. 15. Val Smeland, Camaro, 6.598, 209.04; 3. Jason Line, Camaro, 6.534, 211.53 vs. 14. Shane Tucker, Camaro, 6.595, 209.26; 4. Matt Hartford, Camaro, 6.546, 211.00 vs. 13. Fernando Cuadra Jr., Camaro, 6.582, no speed; 5. Alex Laughlin, Camaro, 6.547, 210.83 vs. 12. Chris McGaha, Camaro, 6.572, 211.00; 6. Greg Anderson, Camaro, 6.560, 210.64 vs. 11. Aaron Stanfield, Camaro, 6.571, 210.28; 7. Kenny Delco, Camaro, 6.562, 210.21 vs. 10. Deric Kramer, Camaro, 6.570, 209.95; 8. Fernando Cuadra, Camaro, 6.566, 210.67 vs. 9. Bo Butner, Camaro, 6.569, 210.83.
Did Not Qualify: 17. Alan Prusiensky, 6.626, 208.94; 18. Wally Stroupe, 6.647, 207.91; 19. Jeremy Martorella, 6.728, 205.57.

Pro Stock Motorcycle — 1. Steve Johnson, Suzuki, 6.786, 196.70 vs. 16. Andie Rawlings, Suzuki, 7.214, 182.26; 2. Jerry Savoie, Suzuki, 6.787, 198.73 vs. 15. Jianna Salinas, Suzuki, 7.043, 190.11; 3. Andrew Hines, Harley-Davidson, 6.814, 198.79 vs. 14. Michael Ray, Victory, 6.945, 193.43; 4. Eddie Krawiec, Harley-Davidson, 6.818, 198.47 vs. 13. Matt Smith, EBR, 6.932, 179.85; 5. Karen Stoffer, Suzuki, 6.819, 197.97 vs. 12. Kelly Clontz, Suzuki, 6.915, 194.88; 6. Scotty Pollacheck, EBR, 6.822, 197.94 vs. 11. Hector Arana, EBR, 6.886, 197.22; 7. Hector Arana Jr, EBR, 6.856, 196.73 vs. 10. Angie Smith, EBR, 6.866, 198.15; 8. Angelle Sampey, Harley-Davidson, 6.860, 196.50 vs. 9. Ryan Oehler, EBR, 6.863, 198.03.

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This story was originally published on October 12, 2019. Drag Illustrated

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