Torrence, High Lead the Field

  • Steve Torrence clocked 3.655 seconds at 327.43 mph in his 11,000 horsepower Capco Contractors dragster in the first Top Fuel qualifying session.
  • Hight, the Funny Car points leader, ran a massive 3.853 to 336.32 in his 11,000 horsepower Chevrolet Camaro SS Auto Club.
  • Hight’s teammate, 16-time world champion John Force, ran an identical 3.853 but was slightly slower with a 334.15 to place him second in Funny Car.

    Top Fuel’s four-time reigning world champion Steve Torrence rode his best race of the season on Friday at World Wide Technology Raceway, earning provisional qualifying No. 1 to open the race weekend at the 11th NHRA National Championships Midwest in Madison, Illinois, near St. Louis.

    Robert Hight (Funny Car), Kyle Koretsky (Pro Stock) and Matt Smith (Pro Stock Motorcycle) are also the provisional No. 1 qualifiers in the third of six championship countdown races in the 2022 NHRA season. Camping World Drag Racing Series. .

    Torrence clocked 3.655 seconds at 327.43 in his 11,000 horsepower Capco Contractors dragster in the first qualifying session in St. Louis, looking to make up ground quickly.

    If it holds, Torrence, who is currently fifth in Top Fuel points, would earn his third-best qualifier of the season and 34th of his career. Torrence, however, is trying to rack up wins in the championship countdown after falling on the second lap in the first two heats. He recently had success in St. Louis as the event’s defending winner and hopes to add to that this weekend.

    “It’s a year’s work going into a race like this,” Torrence said. “These guys have worked really hard to get the car to where it is. We’re behind the eight ball right now, but we’re going to do everything we can. We didn’t become four-time champions by messing around, but we backed into a corner.

    “The class has really improved and everyone is so quick and fast right now. We had to run well and we’re trying to get back to it. It was great for us to do that tonight.”

    Doug Kalitta currently sits in second place with a solid 3.684 at 334.32, while Clay Millican rounds out the top three after hitting 3.703 at 334.24. Points leader Justin Ashley is currently 16th.

    Robert Hight got off to a fast start to his fifth No. 1 qualifying effort of the season.

    NHRA/National Dragster

    Hight quickly rebounded from his surprising second-lap exit last weekend, as the Funny Car points leader ran a massive 3.853-336.32 in his 11,000-hp Chevrolet Camaro SS.

    The three-time world champion is after his fifth No. 1 finish this season and 76th in his career, as well as his eighth win this season, and he also had the fastest Funny Car race of the 2022 season on Friday. Hight won Game 1 of the playoffs at Reading and looked strong to start the weekend in St. Louis as one of four cars to complete a three-second run to open qualifying.

    “(Team bosses) Jimmy Prock and Chris Cunningham were a little puzzled because a lot of the teams weren’t making it. But they stuck to their game plan because they know what this car can do,” said Hight. “We amassed a pretty good lead after Reading and we gave away a lot of that last weekend. We worked hard at the shop and to come here and do a race like that was very impressive.

    Hight’s teammate, 16-time world champion John Force, ran an identical 3.853 but was slightly slower with a 334.15 to place him second.

    Looking to make his own season-ending charge, Koretsky put in a solid pass in the first qualifying session in his Lucas Oil Chevrolet Camaro, taking first place with a run of 6.512 at 211.00. That puts Koretsky on track for his second No. 1 qualifier this season and third of his career. Koretsky is currently fifth in points and is looking for his first victory this season.

    “It was a great first outing of the trailer,” Koretsky said. “St. Louis has been pretty good with us, and the guys have been working hard on the engines. We struggled a bit, but the KB Racing guys have been working hard and we’re not giving up. It’s cool to sit No. 1 after Friday night, but you never know here. Everyone is tough and we’re going to give St. Louis one hell of a run.

    Defending world champion and KB Racing teammate Greg Anderson also dipped in the 6.51 range, dropping from 6.517 to 210.44 to take second place, while two-time race winner Troy Coughlin is third after a 6.529 at 210.60. Points leader Erica Enders is currently fifth at 6.536.

    After a year away from the World Wide Technology circuit, the Pro Stock Motorcycle class came back strong on Friday, with reigning World Champion Matt Smith clocking an impressive 6.709-202.82 run on his Denso Auto Parts Buell. It set both ends of the track record as the sun set in St. Louis, and the five-time world champion also had the fastest run of his outstanding career. Pushed back to second in points after Joey Gladstone’s win at Reading, Smith is determined to have a big weekend as the season comes at just the right time.

    Friday qualifying results

    NHRA Midwest Nationals

    Friday’s results after the first of three qualifying rounds for the 11th annual NHRA Midwest National Championships at World Wide Technology Raceway, 19th of 22 events in the NHRA Camping World Drag Racing Series. Qualifying will continue on Saturday for Sunday’s final eliminations.

    Top fuel — 1. Steve Torrence, 3.655 seconds, 327.43 mph; 2. Doug Kalitta, 3.684, 334.32; 3. Millican clay, 3.703, 334.24; 4. Lea Pruett, 3.743, 325.45; 5. Shawn Langdon, 3.746, 327.74; 6. Buddy Hull, 3.822, 315.78; 7. Kyle Würtzel, 3.824, 321.42; 8.Josh Hart, 4.035, 226.32; 9. Jacob Opatriny, 4.669, 157.96; 10. Tony Schumacher, 4.828, 147.34; 11. Mike Salinas, 5.139, 132.09; 12. Austin Prock, 6.111, 104.29; 13. Scott Palmer, 6.374, 102.34; 14. Doug Foley, 6.460, 105.22; 15. Anthony Brown, 6.831, 94.74; 16. Justin Ashley, 6.984, 82.66. Unskilled: 17. Lex Joon, 7.362, 93.40; 18. Force of Brittany, 8.879, 71.60.

    funny car — 1.Robert Hight, Chevy Camaro, 3.853, 336.32; 2. John Force, Camaro, 3.853, 334.15; 3. Matt Hagan, Dodge Charger, 3.896, 334.98; 4. Cruz Pedregon, Charger, 3.897, 331.36; 5. Dale Creasy Jr., loader, 4.027, 290.32; 6. Bobby Bode, Ford Mustang, 4.189, 228.85; 7. Tim Wilkerson, Mustang, 4.276, 214.79; 8. Daniel Wilkerson, Mustang, 4.786, 149.30; 9. Terry Haddock, Mustang, 5.532, 128.84; 10. Bob Tasca III, Mustang, 5.713, 122.17; 11. JR Todd, Toyota Supra, 7.074, 89.19; 12. Alexis DeJoria, Supra, 7.076, 95.56; 13. Blake Alexander, Mustang, 7.770, 92.87; 14. Jim Campbell, Charger, 7.888, 73.81; 15. Ron Capps, Supra, 10.582, 67.72.

    Professional stock — 1.Kyle Koretsky, Chevy Camaro, 6.512, 211.00; 2. Greg Anderson, Camaro, 6.517, 210.44; 3. Troy Coughlin Jr., Camaro, 6.529, 210.60; 4. Dallas Glenn, Camaro, 6.531, 210.77; 5. Erica Enders, Camaro, 6.536, 211.49; 6. Aaron Stanfield, Camaro, 6.539, 211.16; 7. Bo Butner, Camaro, 6.540, 211.96; 8. Matt Hartford, Camaro, 6.550, 210.24; 9. Mike DePalma, Ford Mustang, 6.551, 210.60; 10. Camrie Caruso, Camaro, 6.556, 210.64; 11.Mason McGaha, Camaro, 6.564, 210.80; 12. Fernando Cuadra, Mustang, 6.572, 209.75; 13. Fernando Cuadra Jr., Mustang, 6.589, 208.17; 14. Chris McGaha, Camaro, 6.590, 210.60; 15. Deric Kramer, Camaro, 24.608, 42.87.

    Pro Stock Motorcycle — 1. Matt Smith, EBR, 6.709, 202.82; 2. Angelle Sampey, Suzuki, 6.726, 201.67; 3. Angie Smith, EBR, 6.748, 201.19; 4. Eddie Krawiec, Suzuki, 6.759, 199.67; 5. Marc Ingwersen, EBR, 6.785, 198.82; 6. Jerry Savoie, Suzuki, 6.791, 197.42; 7. Joey Gladstone, Suzuki, 6.792, 199.32; 8. Steve Johnson, Suzuki, 6.835, 198.20; 9. Kelly Clontz, Suzuki, 6.865, 196.93; 10. Ron Tornow, Victory, 6.886, 193.29; 11. Karen Stoffer, Suzuki, 6.906, 195.17.

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