Kalitta, Force, Gray Earn No. 1 Qualifiers For Opening Countdown Event at Charlotte

For the seventh time of the Mello Yello NHRA Drag Racing Series season, Courtney Force earned the No. 1 qualifier distinction. She will be on top of the Funny Car ladder for Sunday’s 10th annual NHRA Carolina Nationals at zMAX Dragway.

Force, claimed the top spot by running a 3.891-second, 330.07 mph run on Friday evening. She’s hoping she can fare much better than the other six times that she’s been the top qualifier this season. Force, was eliminated in the first round in three of those six times, with a second round defeat in another. She’s yet to make it to the finals as a No. 1 qualifier this year.

She will face Bob Gilbertson in the first round.

U.S. Nationals winner J.R. Todd will be the No. 2 qualifier as he qualified with a pass of 3.898-seconds, 329.18 mph in his DHL Toyota. Todd, will face Jeff Diehl in the opening round. Despite winning two of the last four events, he was eliminated in the opening round of the other two.

Tommy Johnson Jr. will be the three seed and take on Dave Richards in the first round. Points leader Ron Capps will be the No. 10 seed and take on No. 7 Tim Wilkerson.

In Top Fuel competition, Doug Kalitta earned the No. 1 qualifier for the second time of the season. The other time was at Norwalk where he made it all the way to the finals where he lost to Steve Torrence.

Like Force, Kalitta set his quick time on Friday with a pass of 3.723-seconds, 329.50 mph. He will face Chris Karamesines in the first round.

Torrence, enters as the top seed in the countdown and qualified second in his Capco Contractors dragster with a pass of 3.724-seconds, 327.51 mph. He takes on Terry Haddock in the opening round.

Leah Pritchett secured the No. 3 seed and will face Wayne Newby in Round 1.

Tanner Gray held onto the top spot in Pro Stock competition and will face Val Smeland on Sunday. It was his fourth top qualifier result of the season as he had a pass of 6.559-seconds, 210.50 mph.

Four-time Pro Stock champ Greg Anderson was the No. 2 qualifier and will take on Alan Prusiensky.

Points leader Bo Butner was third and will face Shane Tucker.

Top Fuel Ladder

No. 16 Chris Karamesines vs. No. 1 Doug Kalitta

No. 9 Tony Schumacher vs. No. 8 Shawn Langdon

No. 12 Dom Lagna vs. No. 5 Clay Millican

No. 13 Terry McMillen vs. No. 4 Antron Brown

No. 11 Pat Dakin vs. No. 6 Brittany Force

No. 14 Wayne Newby vs. No. 3 Leah Pritchett

No. 10 Scott Palmer vs. No. 7 Richie Crampton

No. 15 Terry Haddock vs. No. 2 Steve Torrence

Funny Car Ladder

No. 16 Bob Gilbertson vs. No. 1 Courtney Force

No. 9 John Force vs. No. 8 Cruz Pedregon

No. 12 Jonnie Lindberg vs. No. 5 Alexis Dejoria

No. 13 Jim Campbell vs. No. 4 Jack Beckman

No. 11 Matt Hagan vs. No. 6 Robert Hight

No. 14 Dave Richards vs. No. 3 Tommy Johnson Jr.

No. 10 Ron Capps vs. No. 7 Tim Wilkerson

No. 15 Jeff Diehl vs. No. 2 J.R. Todd

Pro Stock Ladder

No. 16 Val Smeland vs. No. 1 Tanner Gray

No. 9 Erica Enders vs. No. 8 Alex Laughlin

No. 12 Kenny Delco vs. No. 5 Chris McGaha

No. 13 Larry Morgan vs. No. 4 Jason Line

No. 11 Vincent Nobile vs No. 6 Jeg Coughlin

No. 14 Shane Tucker vs. No. 3 Bo Butner

No. 10 Allen Johnson vs. No. 7 Drew Skillman

No. 15 Alan Prusiensky vs. No. 2 Greg Anderson

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