Brittany Force and her nemesis Steve Torrence surely under the Lucas Oil Raceway lights Friday night changed the minds of anyone who has thought that the NHRA’s “Indy,” the U.S. Nationals, “The Big Go” has lost some of its luster. 

Together they put on an epic show on the 1,000-foot course to close nitro qualifying on the opening day of the Dodge SRT U.S. Nationals. 

And Force kept her iron grip on Top Fuel qualifying superiority, claiming the provisional top spot with a 3.684-second elapsed time at a class-best 334.57-mph speed in the Monster Energy Dragster. 

In the opposite lane, Torrence clocked 3.688 seconds at 329.50 mph with his Capco Contractors Dragster.   

“We want everything we can get. We came out with a plan,” she said. She said registering a 3.68-second E.T. was the target, “and we hit our mark.” 

Force is seeking her sixth consecutive No. 1 qualifying position and eighth overall in 13 races this season. 

“That says a lot about this team. We want No. 1 qualifiers. We also want to win on race day. It’s every driver’s dream. We had some luck in Topeka a few weeks back, but we want to do it here, at the biggest race of the season. 

“I’ve been coming here since I was a baby. Love this place, and we want to get the win here,” she said. 

The 2017 Top Fuel champion shared tentative top-qualifying honors with her Funny Car-driving dad, John Force, with whom she shared the winners circle at Topeka recently. 

Doug Kalitta, who was atop the leaderboard until the final pairing, was third with a 3.751-second effort. 

And the provisional Nos. 3-6 racers – Kalitta, Josh Hart, Leah Pruett, and Billy Torrence – were separated overnight by a mere five-thousandths of a second. 

Two more qualifying sessions are scheduled for Saturday, setting the fields for Sunday’s eliminations.