2019 NHRA THUNDER VALLEY NATIONALS - EVENT RESULTS
SUNDAY - A YEAR AFTER LOSING IN FINALS AT BRISTOL, TASCA AND SALINAS BOTH CLAIM WINS AT THUNDER VALLEY
Bob Tasca III powered to his first Funny Car win in nearly seven years, knocking off John Force in the final round on Sunday at the 19th annual NHRA Thunder Valley Nationals at Bristol Dragway.
Mike Salinas also picked up the victory in Top Fuel at the 11th of 24 events during the 2019 NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series season. Both Salinas and Tasca advanced to the final round in Bristol a year ago before falling, but it was a different story for each driver in 2019.
Tasca, who last won late in the 2012 season, denied Force his 150th career win, going 4.008-seconds at 316.23 mph in his Motorcraft/Quick Lane Ford Shelby Mustang to beat Force’s 4.155 at 287.05 and claim his fifth career win and first in 100 races.
Tasca, who qualified third, beat James Campbell, Robert Hight and back-to-back Bristol winner Ron Capps, who beat Tasca in the final round a year ago, to reach his 13th career final round.
“It was just a hard-fought effort,” said Tasca, who improved to ninth in Funny Car points. “I knew it would be a slugfest against Force, but I love racing John. It was probably one of the biggest wins in my career. We had to build this car from scratch, but the chemistry on this team is good and I’ve never had a race car like this. It’s fast and the guys put me in a position to win. I love racing here. There’s so much history with my family racing in Thunder Valley and I really wanted to win this one. It was just a great day.”
Force knocked off Jack Beckman and Tommy Johnson Jr. to reach his 252nd final round, but he will now have to wait until next weekend in Norwalk to try and get his 150th career win.
In Top Fuel, Salinas snapped the five-race winning streak of points leader and defending world champion Steve Torrence thanks to a final-round pass of 3.836 at 325.69 in his Scrappers Racing dragster. Torrence, who had won 22 straight rounds before Sunday’s loss in the finals, went 3.892 at 287.60, slowing at the finish line.
After winning his first career Top Fuel race earlier this year at Las Vegas, Salinas picked up round wins against Scott Palmer, Antron Brown and No. 1 qualifier Doug Kalitta on Sunday en route to his second career win.
“It’s kind of surreal what is happening,” said Salinas, who jumped to third in Top Fuel points. “The guys are amazing, they’re doing a great job and we’re having a lot of fun. You can’t take anybody lightly out here. I have all the confidence in this team and it’s just amazing to be in the seat with these guys. Alan Johnson and the crew, they just know how to do it and it’s just amazing, it really is.”
Torrence, who maintains a commanding points lead, reached his 48th career final round thanks to wins against Pat Dakin, Clay Millican and Dom Lagana.
The Mello Yello Drag Racing series continues at the Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Nationals, June 20-23 at Summit Racing Equipment Motorsports Park in Norwalk, Ohio.
SATURDAY - KALITTA, J. FORCE AND TUTTEROW SECURE NO. 1 QUALIFYING SPOTS AT NHRA THUNDER VALLEY NATIONALS
On a milestone weekend for Doug Kalitta, the Top Fuel veteran claimed his 50th No. 1 qualifier on Saturday during his 500th career NHRA start at the 19th annual NHRA Thunder Valley Nationals at Bristol Dragway.
John Force also qualified No. 1 in Funny Car at the 11th of 24 events during the 2019 NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series season.
Kalitta powered to his first No. 1 qualifier of the season after his run of 3.755-seconds at 324.67 mph in his MAC TOOLS dragster from Friday held up. It is Kalitta’s first No. 1 qualifier since 2017 and his first career top spot at Bristol Dragway. Kalitta, who has 45 career wins, will meet Cameron Ferre in the first round of eliminations on Sunday as he seeks his second win of 2019 and fourth in Thunder Valley.
“It would be perfect timing to get a win, that’s for sure,” Kalitta said. “With it being Father’s Day weekend, I’ve got my son here with me this weekend, so it would be a great thing. We’re going to work our tail off to try to make it happen, that’s for sure. My car has been pretty consistent, so we’ll see how it goes. It’s been a lot of fun and we want to keep it going.”
Leah Pritchett qualified second with a 3.757 at 323.04, while points leader and defending champion Steve Torrence, who has five straight wins, will start eliminations from third after his 3.768 at 326.00.
In Funny Car, Force, who is looking for his 150th career victory, earned his third No. 1 qualifier of 2019 and 158th in his standout career thanks to his pass of 3.911 at 326.95 from Friday in his PEAK Chevrolet Camaro SS. The 16-time world champion is after his fourth win at Bristol Dragway and Force will try to become the first Funny Car No. 1 qualifier to ever win at the track.
“I’m in the game, feeling good and we’ll go out there tomorrow and see if we can win some rounds,” said Force, who has two career No. 1 qualifiers in Thunder Valley. “You can win from anywhere in this class. I go out and do the best I can, that’s all I can do. You’ve got to be good to win and my car is coming around. It’s fast and I’m starting to come around, too.”
Shawn Langdon will start from the second spot thanks to his 3.944 at 324.51 and Bob Tasca qualified third with a 3.959 at 318.54.
In the E3 Spark Plugs NHRA Pro Mod Drag Racing Series presented by J&A Service, Todd Tutterow picked up his first career No. 1 qualifier in the class, a week after he crashed in Topeka. Tutterow, who is second in points and has one win in 2019, raced to a class-best time of 5.774 at 248.66 in his supercharged Al-Anabi Performance Camaro.
“I know we would we make a good run, but it’s just confidence in the car and confidence in my crew,” Tutterow said. “As many changes as we made, I thought it turned out pretty good.”
Eliminations at the NHRA Thunder Valley Nationals begin at 12 p.m. ET on Sunday.
Sunday's first-round pairings for eliminations for the 19th annual NHRA Thunder Valley Nationals at Bristol Dragway, the 11th of 24 events in the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing
Series. Pairings based on results in qualifying, which ended Saturday. DNQs listed below pairings.
Top Fuel -- 1. Doug Kalitta, 3.755 seconds, 324.67 mph vs. 16. Cameron Ferre, 11.244, 69.28; 2. Leah Pritchett, 3.757, 323.04 vs. 15. Lex Joon, 5.050, 142.75; 3. Steve Torrence, 3.768, 326.00 vs. 14. Pat Dakin, 4.080, 219.72; 4. Antron Brown, 3.768, 325.14 vs. 13. Audrey Worm, 4.010, 280.25; 5. Mike Salinas, 3.774, 325.69 vs. 12. Scott Palmer, 3.834, 311.77; 6. Austin Prock, 3.783, 325.92 vs. 11. Clay Millican, 3.825, 320.51; 7. Brittany Force, 3.790, 325.45 vs. 10. Dom Lagana, 3.811, 323.58; 8. Terry McMillen, 3.795, 312.78 vs. 9. Richie Crampton, 3.807, 320.13.
Funny Car -- 1. John Force, Chevy Camaro, 3.911, 326.95 vs. Bye; 2. Shawn Langdon, Toyota Camry, 3.944, 324.51 vs. 15. Jeff Diehl, Camry, 10.986, 76.66; 3. Bob Tasca III, Ford Mustang, 3.959, 318.54 vs. 14. Jim Campbell, Dodge Charger, 4.573, 190.48; 4. Jack Beckman, Charger, 3.976, 319.90 vs. 13. Tim Wilkerson, Mustang, 4.468, 195.03; 5. J.R. Todd, Camry, 3.984, 318.99 vs. 12. Terry Haddock, Mustang, 4.156, 300.33; 6. Robert Hight, Camaro, 3.998, 318.99 vs. 11. Cruz Pedregon, Charger, 4.054, 310.70; 7. Ron Capps, Charger, 4.002, 317.79 vs. 10. Blake Alexander, Mustang, 4.053, 298.07; 8. Tommy Johnson Jr., Charger, 4.003, 318.24 vs. 9. Matt Hagan, Charger, 4.012, 317.27.
FRIDAY - J. FORCE AND KALITTA PROVISIONAL QUALIFYING LEADERS AT THE NHRA THUNDER VALLEY NATIONALS
The Funny Car 16-time world champion John Force went to the top of the category during the second qualifying session Friday evening at the NHRA Thunder Valley Nationals at Bristol Dragway.
Doug Kalitta is also the provisional No. 1 qualifier in Top Fuel for the 11th of 24 events on the 2019 NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series season.
Force paced the Funny Car category Friday evening with a run of 3.911-seconds at 326.95 mph in his PEAK Chevrolet Camaro SS. He is chasing his third No. 1 qualifier of the season, first win of the year and fifth at Bristol Dragway.
“We’re learning and I really thought that there would be a number of cars that would step up,” Force stated. “Especially Jimmy Prock (Robert Hight’s crew chief) and I thought he would run an .88 or something. Our car went though, and it was really hunting down there. Tomorrow is a new day but I’m excited for my guys. It’s a good race car and I’m proud to drive it. I’m learning about it and at my age I thought I knew everything about it.”
Shawn Langdon sits in the No. 2 spot with his pass of 3.944 at 324.51 in his Global Electronics Toyota Camry and Bob Tasca III rounds out the top three.
Kalitta powered to the top of the class with a run of 3.755 at 324.67 during the second round qualifying in his MAC TOOLS dragster. He is looking for his first No. 1 qualifier of the season, second victory of the year and seventh career final round at the NHRA Thunder Valley Nationals.
“We are always excited to come here,” Kalitta said. “I remember coming here when I was working on Connie’s (Kalitta, team owner) cars back in the ‘80s so it’s a lot of cool history coming here just for me. It was a nice run though. It’s been awhile since we were low qualifier any of the days. I’m real proud of my guys though. We’re working our tails off to try and make it happen.”
Leah Pritchett is currently in the second position with her second qualifying pass of 3.757 at 323.04 and defending world champion Steve Torrence is third.
Qualifying continues for the NHRA Thunder Valley Nationals at 1 and 4 p.m. ET on Saturday.
Friday's results after the first two of four rounds of qualifying for the 19th annual NHRA Thunder Valley Nationals at Bristol Dragway, 11th of 24 events in the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series. Qualifying will continue Saturday for Sunday's final eliminations.
Top Fuel -- 1. Doug Kalitta, 3.755 seconds, 324.67 mph; 2. Leah Pritchett, 3.757, 323.04; 3. Steve Torrence, 3.768, 326.00; 4. Antron Brown, 3.768, 325.14; 5. Mike Salinas, 3.774, 325.69; 6. Austin Prock, 3.783, 325.92; 7. Brittany Force, 3.790, 325.45; 8. Terry McMillen, 3.795, 312.78; 9. Richie Crampton, 3.807, 320.13; 10. Dom Lagana, 3.811, 323.58; 11. Scott Palmer, 3.834, 311.77; 12. Clay Millican, 3.837, 316.30; 13. Pat Dakin, 4.080, 219.72; 14. Audrey Worm, 4.978, 144.50; 15. Lex Joon, 5.361, 130.17; 16. Cameron Ferre, 11.244, 69.28.
Funny Car -- 1. John Force, Chevy Camaro, 3.911, 326.95; 2. Shawn Langdon, Toyota Camry, 3.944, 324.51; 3. Bob Tasca III, Ford Mustang, 3.959, 318.54; 4. Jack Beckman, Dodge Charger, 3.976, 319.90; 5. J.R. Todd, Camry, 3.984, 318.99; 6. Robert Hight, Camaro, 3.998, 318.99; 7. Matt Hagan, Charger, 4.012, 317.27; 8. Tommy Johnson Jr., Charger, 4.025, 313.51; 9. Cruz Pedregon, Charger, 4.054, 310.70; 10. Terry Haddock, Mustang, 4.156, 300.33; 11. Blake Alexander, Mustang, 4.198, 236.42; 12. Tim Wilkerson, Mustang, 4.497, 191.02; 13. Jim Campbell, Charger, 4.573, 190.48; 14. Ron Capps, Charger, 5.217, 142.10; 15. Jeff Diehl, Camry, 10.986, 76.66.
FRIDAY SPORTSMAN RESULTS
1 201 GT/JA Herbie Null Jr., Greencastle PA, '87 Cama 9.758 10.80 -1.042
2 3131 SS/IA Ricky Decker, Charlestown IN, '94 Camaro 9.738 10.70 -0.962
3 3255 GT/KA Tom Beasley, Scott Depot WV, '09 Cobalt 9.961 10.90 -0.939
4 J202 FSS/B Jeffrey Bragg, Fort Myers FL, '17 Camaro 8.289 9.20 -0.911
5 205 GT/MA Courtney Russell, Ardmor AL, '95 Achieva 10.322 11.20 -0.878
6 114T GT/KA Troy Huntzberry, Hagerstown MD, '89 Camaro10.024 10.90 -0.876
7 10 SS/JA Mike Cotten, Cave Creek AZ, '70 Barracuda 10.170 11.00 -0.830
8 7 GT/JA Tyler Bohannon, Louisville KY, '88 Camaro 9.995 10.80 -0.805
9 229 SS/IA Lynwood Daugherty, Salem VA, '98 Firebird 9.934 10.70 -0.766
10 105D GT/EA David Chiles, Reedville VA, '08 Cobalt 9.368 10.10 -0.732
1 1967 I/SA Jim Marshall, Indian Land SC, '77 Nova 11.179 12.30 -1.121
2 243 FS/B Roy Hill, Sophia NC, '12 Mustang 9.039 10.00 -0.961
3 2203 M/SA Marcus Widuch, Mount Juliet TN, '79 Aspen 11.892 12.85 -0.958
4 3074 K/S Tommy Turner, Tompkinsville KY, '85 Musta 11.609 12.55 -0.941
5 4860 G/SA Jimmy Hidalgo, Donaldsonville LA, '91 Cor 11.119 12.00 -0.881
6 3113 F/S David Walther, Lanesville IN, '69 Camaro 10.928 11.80 -0.872
7 43 E/SA Jimmy Hidalgo Jr., Donaldsonville LA, '04 10.834 11.70 -0.866
8 3391 D/SA Jerry Bennett, Hickory KY, '71 Duster 10.689 11.55 -0.861
9 1741 E/S Matt Welker, Clear Spring MD, '68 Camaro 10.796 11.65 -0.854
10 2007 FS/D Daren Poole-Adams, Shelby NC, '18 Camaro 9.772 10.60 -0.828