NHRA Charlotte Saturday qualifying results, Sunday pairings
- Justin Ashley (Top Fuel), John Force (Funny Car) and Erica Enders (Pro Stock) qualified No. 1 in the second of six championship countdown races.
- Ashley and Brittany Force put on a show during their side-by-side duo in qualifying on Saturday, posting the two fastest races in track history.
- Force’s 336.91 set the track speed record, while Ashley nearly matched it as he made his way to the top.
Top Fuel points leader Justin Ashley had a career-best run to close out qualifying at the 14th Annual Betway NHRA Carolina Nationals, winning the No. 1 qualifier on Saturday and clinching his second straight zMAX Dragway finish. this season.
John Force (Funny Car) and Erica Enders (Pro Stock) also qualified No. 1 in the second of six championship countdown races in the 2022 NHRA Camping World Drag Racing Series season.
Ashley reached the top with an impressive run of 3.668 seconds at 335.65 mph in her 11,000 horsepower Phillips Connect dragster, clinching her second career No. 1 qualifier. Ashley and Brittany Force also put on a show during their side-by-side pairing, posting the two fastest races in track history. Force’s 336.91 set the track record, while Ashley nearly matched it as he made his way to the top. The standout youngster advanced to the final round to open the championship countdown to take the points lead and he will open race day on Sunday against Alex Laughlin, seeking his third victory this season.
“There’s something about zMAX Dragway and something about this team too,” Ashley said. “We’re just there when it’s rolling like this, and it’s so great. Our team has worked so hard. We have a big job to do tomorrow, and we want to stay here a long time. The competition is fierce, but we must continue to give the best of ourselves. We have a long way to go. It’s really important to be consistent and put yourself in the best position to win on Sunday, but given the composition of the Top Fuel field, it’s going to be a tough first round.”
Brittany Force finished second with her run of 3.685 as she tries to retake the points lead from Top Fuel.
In Funny Car, John Force retained the No. 1 position with his 3.854-330.47 run from Friday in his 11,000 horsepower PEAK Chevy Camaro SS. This gives the 16-time world champion his second consecutive qualification for the Bellagio of the dragstrips and also his second this season. It’s the 165th best qualifier for the Funny Car icon, who comes after a big day on Sunday as he looks to take a big leap in the points standings. He will open the eliminations fourth for points, but is only one lap away from second with teammate Robert Hight currently leading.
“My guys are doing a really good job and we’re learning every week,” said Force, who is aiming for her second straight win in Charlotte. “We’ll see what happens tomorrow. The cards are tilting towards me, but the guys in this class are really good and we have our work cut out for me. I’m thrilled to be No.1 and I love being in the game with these guys. I just have fun and I love racing.”
Matt Hagan’s run from 3.861 to 329.99 on Friday kept him in second place.
Enders simply dominated to close out qualifying, improving Friday’s race with a solid 6.510 at 212.46 in his Melling Performance/Elite Motorsports Chevrolet Camaro. The Pro Stock points leader had the fastest run in every qualifying session in Charlotte, continuing her recent streak of incredible performances to open the countdown to the championship. She has now had the fastest run in the past nine sessions, dating back to the second qualifying round last weekend at Maple Grove Raceway.
That includes all four rounds of eliminations in Game 1 of the playoffs en route to her seventh victory this season, and Enders, a four-timer, will look to keep the hot streak going on Sunday at zMAX Dragway when she opens the eliminations against Larry Morgan.
“I think it just shows we’re capable,” Enders said. “To come here and get nine points in qualifying, we’re going to keep chipping away at it and hopefully we can extend our lead. But we’ve got a target on our backs so we have to get to work. I don’t want it all leave it on the table and every turn is important tomorrow. Hopefully we start on the right foot and fight all day.”
Troy Coughlin Jr., who has made the final round in three of the last four races, winning twice, also had a big day, qualifying second with a 6.522-211.10 run.
Betway NHRA Carolina Nationals
Sunday’s first round pairings for eliminations for the 14th annual Betway NHRA Carolina Nationals at zMax Dragway, the 18th of 22 events in the NHRA Camping World Drag Racing Series. Pairings based on qualifying results, which ended on Saturday. DNQs listed under pairings.
Top fuel — 1. Justin Ashley, 3.668 seconds, 335.65 mph vs. 16. Alex Laughlin, 3.815, 320.89; 2. Force de Bretagne, 3,685, 336.91 against 15. Spencer Massey, 3,795, 323.35; 3. Clay Millican, 3.687, 331.20 vs. 14. Doug Foley, 3.767, 302.08; 4. Mike Salinas, 3.689, 330.63 vs. 13. Leah Pruett, 3.758, 316.82; 5. Doug Kalitta, 3.689, 328.94 vs. 12. Shawn Langdon, 3.746, 322.19; 6. Josh Hart, 3.696, 331.04 vs. 11. Tony Schumacher, 3.737, 326.63; 7. Antron Brown, 3.705, 326.08 vs. 10. Austin Prock, 3.736, 334.98; 8. Steve Torrence, 3,715, 328.86 vs. 9. Billy Torrence, 3,720, 325.77.
funny car — 1. John Force, Chevy Camaro, 3.854, 330.47 against Bye; 2. Matt Hagan, Dodge Charger, 3.861, 329.99 vs. 13. John Smith, Charger, 4.059, 299.33; 3. Robert Hight, Camaro, 3.864, 331.45 vs. 12. Jim Campbell, Charger, 3.990, 317.34; 4. Ron Capps, Toyota Supra, 3.866, 334.90 vs. 11. Blake Alexander, Ford Mustang, 3.908, 323.04; 5. Bob Tasca III, Mustang, 3.866, 331.77 vs. 10. Cruz Pedregon, Charger, 3.903, 326.00; 6. JR Todd, Supra, 3.873, 328.54 vs. 9. Alexis DeJoria, Supra, 3.903, 329.42; 7. Chad Green, Mustang, 3.887, 315.86 vs. 8. Tim Wilkerson, Mustang, 3.891, 332.34.
Professional stock — 1. Erica Enders, Chevy Camaro, 6.510, 212.46 vs. 16. Larry Morgan, Camaro, 6.603, 208.62; 2. Troy Coughlin Jr., Camaro, 6.522, 211.10 vs. 15. Fernando Cuadra, Ford Mustang, 6.586, 208.39; 3. Greg Anderson, Camaro, 6.528, 210.21 vs. 14. Chris McGaha, Camaro, 6.574, 209.52; 4. Matt Hartford, Camaro, 6.530, 210.08 vs. 13. Bo Butner, Camaro, 6.562, 210.14; 5. Dallas Glenn, Camaro, 6.530, 210.05 vs. 12. Fernando Cuadra Jr., Mustang, 6.560, 208.94; 6. Aaron Stanfield, Camaro, 6.538, 211.13 vs. 11. Deric Kramer, Camaro, 6.556, 210.37; 7. Kyle Koretsky, Camaro, 6.544, 210.83 vs. 10. Mason McGaha, Camaro, 6.553, 209.36; 8. Camrie Caruso, Camaro, 6.548, 209.69 vs. 9. Cristian Cuadra, Mustang, 6.552, 209.69. Did not qualify: 17. Rob Tucker, 6.657, 208.84.