Savoie sets track record on second day of NHRA Toyota Nationals qualifying at The Strip at LVMS
Ideal track conditions kept the times and speeds flying, and another track record fell at The Strip at LVMS during the second day of qualifying for the NHRA Toyota Nationals on Saturday.
Pro Stock Motorcycle racer Jerry Savoie, the top qualifier on Friday, set a track record for elapsed time with his 6.852-second pass during the first qualifying session. Andrew Hines was second at 6.909 seconds, while Michael Ray was third-fastest with a 6.913-second ET.
The alligator farmer hit 196.02 miles per hour on that run and was the day's quickest qualifier in that class.
"Tim [Kulungian, crew chief] is smart," said Savoie, who is now only 26 points back of points leader Andrew Hines. "He's a numbers guy. He has a way of getting the bike in that window. We were trying to go a [6.84]. I am proud to be here, and if you go about second-guessing yourself, you will drive yourself crazy.
"If I get the number one (world championship) spot, it will be good. If I don't get it, then it's been a great season. I won't beat myself up over it."
Reigning Pro Stock World Champion Erica Enders grabbed the No. 1 spot for Sunday's bracket racing thanks to her track record 6.559-second run from Friday. She has won 18 rounds in a row at The Strip at LVMS and could wrap up her second consecutive world championship with a strong performance.
"We made two really good passes, so we were just trying to get ready for tomorrow," said Enders, who will race Deric Kramer in the opening round. "It was good to make more consistent passes. I am pumped going into tomorrow, and we'll see what happens.
"Tomorrow is going to take consistency. Every round is tough, and there are no gimmies in Pro Stock. Las Vegas has been really good to me in the past, and I want to continue that trend tomorrow. I want to win the race, and that's my first goal tomorrow."
Greg Anderson enters Sunday in the second spot after a 6.584 ET, with Bo Butner in third at 6.591.
Antron Brown is the Top Fuel class' top qualifier after a track record 3.722-second pass from Friday and is looking to clinch his second career world title at The Strip on Sunday.
"Every race, we're just trying to get anything possible we can get," Brown said. "Tomorrow is where all of the big points are earned, so our main focus now is to build on what we accomplished in qualifying. We just need to go out there, execute and get past that first round.
"Our car has been very consistent and ran well during all of the qualifying rounds. We've got to go out there and be flawless, and hopefully we can go compete. We know we're in a good spot for the championship, and we're going to keep racing hard until we can see that big trophy coming into our pit area."
Larry Dixon will enter the 16-driver bracket in the second spot, while Billy Torrance will be third.
Tommy Johnson Jr.'s Funny Car track record of 3.931 seconds from Friday held up as the fastest pass of qualifying, and he will enter the bracket in the No. 1 spot. Courtney Force was second at 3.933, and Robert Hight is third with a 3.937-second run.
The Avon, Ind., driver was surprised on one was able to lower his track record on a cool night on Saturday.
"I thought for sure it was going to get beat," Johnson Jr. said. "We were trying to run better, and it might have run better if we hadn't gotten loose out there and started dropping some cylinders somewhat early. We were trying some different things in Q-three, and we can adjust for the different track conditions."
The top 16 qualifiers advanced to Sunday's knockout rounds for a chance to win a coveted "Wally."
Pedregon named analyst for FOX Sports' 2016 TV team
NHRA and FOX Sports officials announced Saturday that two-time Funny Car world champion Tony Pedregon will provide the analysis and color commentary for FOX Sports' television coverage of the 2016 NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series.
Pedregon, a 43-time winner on the NHRA circuit, has driving experience in several NHRA categories, including Funny Car, Top Fuel and Top Alcohol Dragster.
"All of us at NHRA are thrilled that Tony Pedregon will be joining our FOX Sports broadcast team next season as our expert analyst in the broadcast booth," NHRA President Peter Clifford said. "As a two-time NHRA Funny Car world champion, a team owner and a top competitor for more than two decades, Tony brings an in-depth knowledge of NHRA and its teams and drivers. As one of the most respected and personable competitors in our sport, we think Tony will connect with our existing fans and with new viewers."
Starting in 2016, the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series will be televised by FOX Sports 1 (FS1), with four events airing on the FOX national broadcast network during each season of the long-term agreement, providing the world's fastest motorsport with live coverage of a majority of its events. FS1 will provide coverage of Friday and Saturday qualifying and Sunday eliminations for each NHRA Mello Yello Series event, with a minimum of 16 Sunday eliminations shows to be presented in a live coverage format, and the remainder shown either in weekend afternoon or primetime time slots.
Four of those live elimination shows will air on the FOX national broadcast network. The 2016 NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series season opens with the Circle K NHRA Winternationals, Feb. 11-14 from historic Auto Club Raceway at Pomona in Southern California.
NHRA Toyota Nationals
Final qualifying results
- Antron Brown, 3.722 seconds, 326.95 mph vs. 16. Jenna Haddock, 3.952, 251.11; 2. Larry Dixon, 3.733, 328.30 vs. 15. Leah Pritchett, 3.916, 312.57; 3. Billy Torrence, 3.733, 327.19 vs. 14. Noah Stutz, 3.847, 317.94; 4. Steve Torrence, 3.745, 324.51 vs. 13. Doug Kalitta, 3.839, 318.09; 5. Richie Crampton, 3.752, 317.94 vs. 12. Troy Buff, 3.828, 314.68; 6. Shawn Langdon, 3.768, 332.67 vs. 11. Clay Millican, 3.822, 315.64; 7. J.R. Todd, 3.770, 327.51 vs. 10. Tony Schumacher, 3.779, 323.81; 8. Brittany Force, 3.773, 323.74 vs. 9. Dave Connolly, 3.773, 325.06. Did Not Qualify: 17. Chris Karamesines, 3.994, 301.27; 18. Terry McMillen, 3.996, 305.98; 19. Tim Boychuk, broke.
- Tommy Johnson Jr., Dodge Charger, 3.931, 320.43 vs. 16. Bob Bode, Toyota Solara, 4.136, 303.03; 2. Courtney Force, Chevy Camaro, 3.933, 325.77 vs. 15. Paul Lee, Charger, 4.076, 315.27; 3. Robert Hight, Camaro, 3.937, 322.81 vs. 14. Gary Densham, Charger, 4.050, 311.41; 4. Jack Beckman, Charger, 3.940, 324.28 vs. 13. Tony Pedregon, Toyota Camry, 4.031, 302.48; 5. Ron Capps, Charger, 3.967, 323.12 vs. 12. Cruz Pedregon, Camry, 4.017, 310.05; 6. Del Worsham, Camry, 3.969, 325.92 vs. 11. Matt Hagan, Charger, 4.010, 322.58; 7. Chad Head, Camry, 3.976, 310.77 vs. 10. Tim Wilkerson, Ford Mustang, 3.992, 317.94; 8. John Force, Camaro, 3.980, 321.50 vs. 9. Alexis DeJoria, Camry, 3.984, 319.22. Did Not Qualify: 17. John Bojec, 4.140, 303.78; 18. Terry Haddock, 4.271, 266.37; 19. Brandon Welch, 4.306, 291.51; 20. John Hale, 4.415, 289.82; 21. Jeff Arend, 4.792, 182.90; 22. Tim Gibbons, 4.830, 192.63.
- Erica Enders, Chevy Camaro, 6.559, 210.28 vs. 16. Deric Kramer, Dodge Dart, 6.678, 207.05; 2. Greg Anderson, Camaro, 6.584, 209.56 vs. 15. Matt Hartford, Pontiac GXP, 6.667, 207.08; 3. Bo Butner, Camaro, 6.591, 209.43 vs. 14. V. Gaines, Dart, 6.647, 207.94; 4. Jason Line, Camaro, 6.593, 209.39 vs. 13. Kenny Delco, Camaro, 6.636, 207.46; 5. Drew Skillman, Camaro, 6.594, 209.49 vs. 12. Alex Laughlin, Camaro, 6.619, 208.59; 6. Chris McGaha, Camaro, 6.600, 209.04 vs. 11. Larry Morgan, Camaro, 6.611, 209.33; 7. Vincent Nobile, Camaro, 6.601, 209.56 vs. 10. Allen Johnson, Dart, 6.607, 208.88; 8. Shane Gray, Camaro, 6.601, 208.81 vs. 9. Jonathan Gray, Camaro, 6.605, 208.62. Did Not Qualify: 17. Joey Grose, 6.682, 207.02; 18. Alan Prusiensky, 6.727, 205.54.
Pro Stock Motorcycle
- Jerry Savoie, Suzuki, 6.852, 196.02 vs. 16. Freddie Camarena, Suzuki, 7.030, 191.70; 2. Andrew Hines, Harley-Davidson, 6.909, 194.55 vs. 15. Jim Underdahl, Suzuki, 6.982, 193.49; 3. Michael Ray, Buell, 6.913, 193.63 vs. 14. Mike Berry, Buell, 6.981, 191.02; 4. Eddie Krawiec, Harley-Davidson, 6.922, 194.27 vs. 13. Shawn Gann, Buell, 6.978, 191.73; 5. LE Tonglet, Suzuki, 6.930, 194.88 vs. 12. Hector Arana Jr, Buell, 6.976, 194.13; 6. Karen Stoffer, Suzuki, 6.937, 193.29 vs. 11. Hector Arana, Buell, 6.974, 193.16; 7. Scotty Pollacheck, Buell, 6.951, 192.19 vs. 10. Matt Smith, Victory, 6.972, 191.40; 8. Steve Johnson, Suzuki, 6.960, 192.30 vs. 9. Chip Ellis, Buell, 6.962, 192.77. Did Not Qualify: 17. Joe DeSantis, 7.050, 189.92; 18. Angie Smith, 7.074, 188.60; 19. Redell Harris, 7.078, 187.94; 20. Eddie Reed, 7.099, 187.52; 21. Kalle Lyren, 7.100, 189.28; 22. Robert Karlsson, 7.110, 189.39; 23. Katie Sullivan, 7.112, 188.46; 24. Luke Crowley, 7.134, 189.36; 25. Rhett Lougheed, 7.215, 186.82; 26. Melissa Surber, 7.246, 185.59; 27. Lance Bonham, 7.357, 185.21; 28. Cory Reed, 10.762, 185.72; 29. Brian Pretzel, broke.
Pete Farber, Dodge Daytona, 5.933, 244.12 def. Eric Latino, Chevy Camaro, 5.971, 240.94; Bob Rahaim, Chevy Corvette, 6.001, 217.91 def. Mike Janis, Camaro, 6.860, 142.63; Sidnei Frigo, Corvette, 5.902, 249.72 def. Robert Patrick Jr., Ford Mustang, 6.968, 149.40; Troy Coughlin, Corvette, 5.867, 248.02 def. Danny Rowe, Corvette, 5.964, 241.93; Steven Whiteley, Cadillac CTS-V, 5.861, 245.72 def. Dan Stevenson, Camaro, 5.893, 245.94; Khalid alBalooshi, Camaro, 5.829, 247.16 def. Rickie Smith, Camaro, 5.944, 244.03; Rick Snavely, Camaro, 5.837, 257.09 def. Chip King, Dodge Charger, 5.952, 236.71; Don Walsh, Camaro, 5.876, 216.83 def. Jeff Naiser, Camaro, 6.372, 218.37.
ROUND TWO PAIRINGS
Walsh v. Farber; Frigo v. Coughlin; Snavely v. Rahaim; alBalooshi v. Whiteley.