Although NHRA’s Countdown to the championship doesn’t begin until Sept. 14-16 at Charlotte, N.C., four drivers have already clinched based on how they have already performed at the Mile-High Nationals. Pro Stock drivers and Summit Racing teammates Greg Anderson and Jason Line clinched spots. All Anderson had to do was make a qualifying attempt, which he did and Line just had to qualify. Anderson and Line qualified ninth and fifth. The last time Anderson qualified ninth or lower was at Norwalk in 2011 when he qualified No. 9 and lost in the first round to Allen Johnson.
Johnson, who qualified on the Mile-High Nationals pole, also secured a Countdown spot by qualifying eighth or better.
Robert Hight also clinched a spot in the Funny Car Countdown and Eddie Krawiec in the Pro Stock Motorcycle Countdown by just qualifying for the Mile-High Nationals. Hight and Krawiec qualified No. 2 and No. 4.
There are also a handful of others drivers who could secure Countdown spots today.
In Top Fuel, points leader Spencer Massey will clinch a Countdown spot by going one round further than either Bob Vandergriff Jr. or Clay Millican or by going to round three Sunday. Massey’s teammate Tony Schumacher can also get in the Countdown by going to Denver’s final round.
Speaking of Schumacher, up until the fourth round of qualifying he was No. 13 in the field. The Sarge did had a solid 4.013-second run in the last session Saturday to move up to eighth. Schumacher clashes with Khalid alBalooshi in first round. Red-hot Ron Capps of Don Schumacher Racing also will get in the Funny Car Countdown by advancing to the Denver finals. Andrew Hines, Krawiec’s Harley-Davidson teammate, will clinch a Countdown spot by going to round two Sunday.
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