DINWIDDIE, Va. – Sixteen-time Funny Car champion John Force paced the Funny Car category Friday evening during the second annual Virginia NHRA Nationals at Virginia Motorsports Park.

Clay Millican (Top Fuel), Jason Line (Pro Stock) and Matt Smith (Pro Stock Motorcycle) are also the provisional qualifying leaders in their respective categories at the eighth of 24 events during the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series season.

Force is chasing his second No. 1 qualifier of the season and 157th of his career after he set the track E.T. record of 3.899 seconds at 321.88 mph in his PEAK Coolant and Motor Oil/Heculiner Chevrolet Camaro SS. He took the top spot during the second qualifying session.

“I just want to thank my crew chiefs because they’re saying that this is the smoothest track surface on the circuit and this is what we live for,” J. Force stated. “I do appreciate all that the (Franklin) family has invested here. I’ve got low E.T. so far but that won’t last tomorrow. The kids now know what’s out there. I’m learning every day how to race against these guys. I’m having to reinvent myself is what I’m having to do.”

Millican is looking for his first No. 1 qualifier of the season and 20th of his career after he the E.T. track record with a 3.749-second pass at 325.30 mph in his Parts Plus/Strutmaster.com dragster. Mike Salinas follows in the second spot with his run of 3.754 seconds at 323.04 mph as Brittany Force rounds out the top three.

Line finished atop the qualifying order in Pro Stock with a 6.563-second run at 210.11 mph in his Summit Racing Chevrolet Camaro. He is in pursuit of first No. 1 qualifier of the season and 54th of his career. KB Racing teammates Greg Anderson and Bo Butner are in the second and third positions, respectively.

In Pro Stock Motorcycle, defending champion Smith leads the category after a run of 6.844 seconds at 197.91 mph on his Elite Performance/DENSO Auto Part/Stockseth EBR. He is in pursuit of his second No. 1 qualifying position of the season and 33rd of his career.