Brittany Force earned her eighth consecutive No. 1 qualifier in Top Fuel competition and took over the overall points lead, while her father, 16-time Funny Car champion John Force, powered his dragster to the top of the Funny Car ladder for the 163rd time in his career at Saturday’s DEWALT NHRA Carolina Nationals.
Brittany Force’s Friday night, track-record pass of 3.662 seconds at 331.85 mph held up in the heat on Saturday, while John Force used a 3.860-second pass at 332.18 mph to earn top honors in the Funny Car ranks.
For the younger Force, the eight-race streak sets a single-season Top Fuel qualifying record that has only been eclipsed once, when Gary Beck earned nine in a row (over two seasons) in 1983, three years before she was born.
“We’re not there yet, but the possibility that we could hold a big record with a name like that, that’s really cool,” Force said. “It makes me very proud of this entire team. It’s not easy to do, I’ll tell you that. But what’s really not easy is winning on race day, and that’s what we’re focused on right now.”
Saturday’s feat also marked the fifth time the father-daughter duo both earned No. 1 qualifiers at the same event, including once when the NHRA last visited zMAX Dragway in May. And while the qualifying accolades are special, both drivers said the ultimate goal is going rounds on Sunday and earn critical championship points.
“We’re excited about the weekend,” John Force said. “It’s Countdown time and now’s the time to show your stuff. As I said yesterday, there’s a bunch of other cars in this hunt. There’s five or six that right within a round anybody can take a lead, so we’ll just see how it goes.”
In Pro Stock, Bossier City, Louisiana native Aaron Stanfield earned the first No. 1 qualifier of his career, holding off championship hopefuls Greg Anderson and Erica Enders to earn the yellow hat that goes to the top qualifier.
NGK NTK NHRA Four-Wide National winner Steve Johnson will look for a season sweep in the Pro Stock Motorcycle as the quickest of the two-wheel pros on Saturday.
With temperatures forecast in the mid-80s under sunny skies, the action will heat up for Sunday’s pivotal Countdown eliminations. Racing is scheduled to start at 10:30 a.m.
NHRA Camping World Drag Racing Series eliminations are scheduled for 10:30 a.m.