Leading final qualifying session, Monster Energy driver Brittany Force ready for Charlotte eliminations

Monster Energy driver Brittany Force picked the right time to get hot in qualifying for the NHRA Carolina Nationals at zMAX Dragway.
Force posted the quickest elapsed time in the final qualifying session on Saturday afternoon, barreling down a hot race track nice and smooth. That gives Force some positive momentum heading into eliminations on Sunday for the first race of the title-determining Countdown to the Championship.
“That last lap for the Monster team was a big one,” Force said. “It was super hot out and a hot race track – 135 degrees on the track – and that race car went straight down there. That’s what we were looking for going into race day because it’s going to be the same conditions.
“That was an important run for us. It was low of the session and gave us three points, so we’ll be ready for tomorrow.”
Force’s run of 3.777 seconds at 318.47 mph in Q4 led all Top Fuel dragsters, many of which struggled in the heat. But Force’s John Force Racing dragster, tuned by crew chief Brian Husen and consultant Alan Johnson, had no such issues.
That pass was nearly as quick as Force’s best of the weekend – a run of 3.749 seconds at 329.18 mph – contested in the second qualifying session on Friday.
She lines up against No. 11 qualifier Pat Dakin in round one on Sunday. Dakin’s best effort was a pass of 3.789 at 299.73 mph.
“I always feel good about this race, mostly because we’ve won here before,” said Force, who won the Four-Wide Nationals here last April. “Coming into the track, you feel like you’ve dominated on the track before, you can definitely do it again.”
Final eliminations are slated to begin at noon Eastern on Sunday, with Fox Sports 1 providing three hours of live coverage starting at 2:30 p.m.
4-Second Reads:
  • Qualifying Round 1 (Left Lane): 4.492 seconds/172.85 mph; strong run until about 700 feet then slows and shuts after a loss of traction (No. 11 of session and No. 11 overall; no bonus points in session)
  • Qualifying Round 2 (Right Lane): 3.749 seconds/329.18 mph; kept it strong from start to finish in one of the strongest passes of the session (No. 5 of session and No. 5 overall; no bonus points in session and no bonus points overall)
  • Qualifying Round 3 (Left Lane): 4.849 seconds/146.65 mph; smoke at about 330 feet (No. 10 of session and No. 6 overall; no bonus points in session and no bonus points overall)
  • Qualifying Round 4 (Right Lane): 3.777 seconds/318.47 mph; straight down the track, narrowly edging Shawn Langdon for top spot in session by a thousandth of a second (No. 1 of session and No. 6 overall; three bonus points in session and three bonus points overall)
  • This marks the second time this season and 10th time in her career Force has qualified No. 6. The last time Force qualified No. 6 was in July at Bandimere Speedway in Morrison, Colo. She is looking for her first victory and second career finals appearance from the No. 6 position.
  • Force has a record of 10-9 in 19 elimination rounds from No. 6. She has won six of nine first-round matchups from No. 6.
  • This is the first time Force has qualified No. 6 at Charlotte. Her best qualifying effort at Charlotte came in the 2016 fall race, when she qualified No. 2.
  • Force’s first-round matchup against No. 11 Pat Dakin marks the seventh time the two will compete against each other, all of which have come in the first round. Force holds a 4-2 advantage overall, and won the only matchup this season – at Summit Racing Equipment Motorsports Park in Norwalk, Ohio.

John Force Racing PR/Photo Gary Nastase and Auto Imagery

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