NHRA Funny Car driver Tommy Johnson Jr. posted his first career three-second pass on his way to the No. 1 qualifier for Sunday’s O’Reilly Auto Parts Route 66 NHRA Nationals at Route 66 Raceway in Joliet, Illinois. Doug Kalitta (Top Fuel), Allen Johnson (Pro Stock) and Eddie Krawiec (Pro Stock Motorcycle) also took No. 1 qualifiers in their respective classes for Sunday’s eliminations.
Johnson Jr.’s 3.999-second pass at 317.19 mph earned the Honor Flight Network a $10,000 donation from Snap-On Tools, who offered the donation for any three-second Funny Car runs at Chicago event. Johnson Jr. faces two-time world champ Tony Pedregon in the opening round.
“The conditions out here were difficult,” said Johnson Jr. “It’s hot and humid. Personally I didn’t think we could do it. But the guys were swinging for the fence, they were going for it.”
Del Worsham, Robert Hight, and John and Courtney Force round out the top five in Funny Car.
Kalitta posted a 3.767-second pass at 327.43 mph during the final qualifying session for his fifth No. 1 of the season; he’ll face Pat Dakin in the first round.
“I was sitting back there in the staging lanes and it was pretty exciting,” said Kalitta, the Top Fuel points leader. “Everybody that was running seemed to be going low. I think the fans got a good session out of that.”
Seven-time Top Fuel champ Tony Schumacher took the No. 2 spot, followed by Antron Brown, Brittany Force and Steve Torrence.
Johnson will face Mark Hogan in the first round Sunday after winning his third No. 1 of the season recorded with his Friday time of 6.485 seconds at 212.79 mph.
“Conditions today weren’t as favorable as they were last night; it was a bit warmer and more humid but the track stayed awesome,” said Johnson. “Our Mopar crew did a heck of a job and we were No. 1 in three of four runs. We really like racing in these conditions.”
Erica Enders-Stevens qualified No. 2, with Jeg Coughlin Jr., Jason Line and Shane Gray rounding out the top five in Pro Stock.
Krawiec claimed his fourth straight No. 1 with a track record 6.872 seconds at 194.86 mph on Friday and faces LE Tonglet in the first round. Hector Arana Jr., Scotty Pollacheck, Matt Smith and Hector Arana round out the top five in PSM.
“Today it was a little hotter and more humid, but the track was great,” said Krawiec. “My hat’s off to NHRA and the Route 66 Raceway crew. They did a great job with the racing surface.”
Eliminations for the O’Reilly Auto Parts Route 66 NHRA Nationals get underway Sunday at 11 a.m. CT. Keep up with the action at www.nhra.com.
Quotes in this piece provided by John Force Racing and the NHRA.
Check out Paula’s Examiner columns on motorsports:
· Motorsports Travel
· Joe Gibbs Racing
· Kyle Busch Motorsports
· Buffalo Motorsports
Follow Paula on:
· Facebook – Paula Thompson Freelance and yeahstub.com Motorsports
· Twitter – @paulat14
· Website – paulathompsonfreelance.com
· Flickr – Paula Thompson Freelance
Contact Paula at firstname.lastname@example.org