7:15 p.m. – Good night from The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Spectator gates will open Saturday morning at 7:30 and racing will resume at 8 a.m. with Sportsman eliminations. Professional qualifying sessions will be held at 11 a.m. and 1:45 p.m.
Be sure to check back here throughout the weekend for continual updates from the third and fourth rounds of pro qualifying for the 11th annual Big O Tires NHRA Nationals.
7:10 p.m. – Comments from Brandon Bernstein, the provisional No. 1 qualifier in Top Fuel following the second round of qualifying:
“It felt great. The car really seemed like it didn’t move – it was really a straight run. At 321, with that kind of speed, you always know that it’s a great run when you run that kind of speed and the finish line comes so much quicker. We’ve been really trying to focus on making four good qualifying runs and just trying to get some round wins on Sunday. This is a good start for our team to get number one so far. That morning session tomorrow is going to be critical because you can be able to swing for the fences on that one, so hopefully it stands up.
“Coming into this race, we knew that there was no way we can win the championship but we’re one of those cars that can definitely run with these guys and hopefully we come out on Sunday and do some damage. I don’t like the word spoiler; we’re just out here trying to win. We’re one of those teams right now that needs a win and that’s what we’re out here trying to get.”
7 p.m. – Comments from Robert Hight, the provisional No. 1 qualifier in Funny Car following the second round of qualifying:
“I think the conditions are going to be good tomorrow. We’re in Vegas and that’s why I never gamble because I would have bet anything that we wouldn’t have been number one – especially being the first car out. The track cooled down a lot since we ran but (crew chief) Jimmy Prock just goes up there with a lot of confidence and he makes this Auto Club Ford thunder. We love racing here in Vegas – we won it earlier this year but this is exactly what we need to do to get back in the hunt.
“This track is going to come around and you’re going to see good conditions. I’ll be honest: I don’t believe that 4.08 is going to stick but looking at the data, we can probably run a little quicker but we need to do that four times on race day and that gives us a shot to get back in this (championship race).”
6:50 p.m. – Comments from Jason Line, the provisional No. 1 qualifier in Pro Stock following the second round of qualifying:
“This is definitely a good way to start. We haven’t traditionally been strong the last few years here. The goal is to make a big rebound from Phoenix -- we kind of stunk up the joint there and we’re not going to do that two weeks in a row. We’re off to a good start. We were terrible here in the spring race and I tend to remember the bad races. We’re certainly not going to do anything differently than we have the rest of the year. We want to keep doing those things and finish it off.”
(What would it mean to clinch the championship here in Las Vegas, the hometown of team owner Ken Black?) “It would be a big deal. (Teammate Greg Anderson) tends to do a better job showing off than I do. He did it last year but I’d like to do it once, too, and maybe that can happen. We’ll see about that.”
6:35 p.m. – Comments from Hector Arana, the provisional No. 1 qualifier in Pro Stock Motorcycle following the second round of qualifying:
“It feels good to me. We’ve been working hard and finally it seems like everything is lining up and going to my favor, my side.”
(On winning the provisional pole while his son, Hector Arana III, is in a battle with Ed Krawiec for the points championship) “Definitely, I’m playing defense. I know he has it, the power is there, but he’s struggling a little bit off the starting line. I told him, ‘I’m going to be right behind you – either you take first or I’m going to take it away from you.’ I know he wants it and we’ve seen a couple little mistakes and if he concentrates for tomorrow, he should have the number one (qualifying position).”
(On racing at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, where he could earn his third consecutive No. 1 qualifying spot in the fall event here) “This is one of my favorite tracks. It’s good, it’s smooth. Now that you say that it (could be) three years in a row, I definitely would like to keep the number one. It’s a pleasure to come here. The fans are awesome. They receive us very well so it makes us feel at home.”
6:20 p.m. – Brandon Bernstein took advantage of a cooler track early in the evening and grabbed the provisional pole in Top Fuel with a pass of 3.833 seconds at 321.27 mph during the second round of qualifying.
Spencer Massey was second quickest in the session at 3.856 at 319.67 and Steve Torrence improved to third at 3.856 at 317.49. Bob Vandergriff (3.858 at 321.88) is fourth and Antron Brown (3.863 at 318.54) fifth going into Saturday’s third round of qualifying.
Stay tuned for comments from the top qualifiers.
5:30 p.m. – Robert Hight grabbed the provisional pole in Funny Car with a 4.085-second pass on the first run of the second round of qualifying.
Matt Hagan (4.093 at 310.05) was second quickest and Melanie Troxel (4.103 at 310.20) was third. Alexis DeJoria, making only her third attempt at a race, was fourth with a 4.121-second pass at 305.15 and Johnny Gray (4.126 at 311.99) was fifth.
4:38 p.m. – Jason Line and Mike Edwards remained the top two qualifiers in Pro Stock following the second round of qualifying.
Greg Anderson, a seven-time winner in Las Vegas, moved up one spot to third with a 6.633-second pass at 208.14 mph. Ron Krisher is fourth and Ronnie Humphrey is fifth going into Saturday’s third round of qualifying.
4:10 p.m. – Hector Arana vaulted to the No. 1 qualifying spot with a 6.924-second pass at 190.86 mph in the second round of Pro Stock Motorcycle qualifying.
Andrew Hines turned in a 6.940-second pass at 191.84 mph and moved up two spots to No. 2. Eddie Krawiec slipped from first to third despite improving his speed (6.948 at 192.74) from the first round. Hector Arana III is fourth after two rounds of qualifying and Gerald Savoie is fifth.
3 p.m. – Fans attending the 11th annual Big O Tires NHRA Nationals at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway this weekend will have the opportunity to meet two of the legendary drivers of the NHRA: Don “The Snake” Prudhomme and Tom “Mongoose” McEwen.
Both Prudhomme and McEwen will be available throughout the weekend and will be participating in meet-and-greets and autograph sessions from 10-11 a.m. and 1:45-2:30 on Saturday and 12:30-1 p.m. on Sunday. Both drivers also will take part in the “Track Walk with a Legend” at 9:30 Sunday morning at The Strip.
In addition, both drivers’ cars and haulers from the 1970s will be displayed all weekend in the pits.
2:42 p.m. – Del Worsham was the top qualifier in the opening round of Top Fuel qualifying with a 3.879-second pass at 316.97 mph.
TJ Zizzo was second quickest at 3.899 at 310.13 mph and Tony Schumacher was third at 3.902 at 318.24. Larry Dixon (3.903 at 317.57) and Spencer Massey (3.903 at 316.01) were fourth and fifth, respectively. Antron Brown, who led Dixon by 20 points in the Top Fuel standings coming into Las Vegas, was the 12th qualifier at 3.941 (315.56 mph).
The second round of pro qualifying is scheduled to begin at 3:15 p.m.
1:55 p.m. – Matt Hagan is on the provisional pole after a 4.142-second pass at 301.40 mph in the first round of Funny Car qualifying.
Mike Neff (4.145 at 309.98) was second quickest and Alexis DeJoria (4.145 at 302.96) was third quickest. Jack Beckman (4.149 at 303.64) was fourth and Tim Wilkerson (4.154 at 286.86) fifth after one round of qualifying.
1:15 p.m. – Jason Line grabbed the provisional pole with a 6.624-second pass at 207.66 mph in the first round of Pro Stock qualifying. Mike Edwards was second quickest (6.627 at 208.33) and Ron Krisher was third quickest (6.638 at 208.33). Greg Anderson (6.650 at 207.94) and Ronnie Humphrey (6.650 at 206.76) rounded out the top five.
12:48 p.m. – Eddie Krawiec, a three-time winner this season and the Pro Stock Motorcycle points leader, holds the No. 1 qualifying position after the first round of Pro Stock Motorcycle qualifying with a pass of 6.952 seconds. Gerald Savoie is second quickest at 6.970 seconds and Hector Arana third at 6.980. Andrew Hines (6.996) and Hector Arana III (7.006) round out the top five after one round.