BROWNSBURG, Ind. – Clay Millican secured the No. 1 qualifying position in the NHRA Top Fuel class on Sunday during the Chevrolet Performance U.S. Nationals thanks to his Lucas Oil Raceway record-setting pass from Saturday.
Matt Hagan (Funny Car), Greg Anderson (Pro Stock) and Eddie Krawiec (Pro Stock Motorcycle) secured the No. 1 qualifying position in their respective categories at the 18th of 24 events on the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series schedule.
Millican piloted his Parts Plus / Great Clips dragster to his second consecutive Chevrolet Performance U.S. Nationals Top Fuel No. 1 qualifier, his third of the season and eighth of his career with his track elapsed time record pass of 3.663 at 329.10 mph on Saturday.
“I’m up here the one talking but (crew chief) David Grubnic is amazing,” Millican said. “It’s his tune up. It’s not someone else’s tune up that he’s massaging. And he’s been working on this for three years. Qualifying to me is definitely about the guys that work on it, and the tuners. I’ve done this for 19 years and they look and talk about things that I have no idea what they are talking about. Everybody knows their job and we all work together to help each other with their jobs.”
Millican will lineup against Kebin Kensley for first round eliminations. Following Millican is Leah Pritchett who qualified second with a 3.667 at 329.50 mph. She will see Wayne Newby in the first round. Top Fuel NHRA Traxxas Nitro Shootout winner Steve Torrence is in third and races rookie Ashley Sanford in round one.
Hagan powered his Mopar Express Lane Dodge Charger R/T Funny Car to a 3.799 pass at 338.77 mph for his fourth No. 1 qualifier of the season, 30th of his career and fourth at the Chevrolet Performance U.S. Nationals. His run from Friday’s first qualifying session set both ends of the Lucas Oil Raceway track record.
“The U.S. Nats is a huge race,” Hagan said. “We won it last year. I guess no one has ever doubled-up and gone No. 1 twice. It’s a pretty tough stat to hear but I hope we can make some history tomorrow and do that. I feel really good about the car, about the race track and what we’re doing. I think it’s going to be similar conditions for tomorrow. Today is really a race day set-up and our car ran well today and kind of repeated itself both laps. So, I think it was all we could ask for so I’m pretty excited for that.”
Hagan will race Jim Campbell in the first round. In the No. 2 spot is Hight who ran a 3.807 at 333.91 mph to square off with Justin Schriefer in round one. Ron Capps, driver of the NAPA Auto Parts Dodge Charger R/T is qualified eighth but has clinched the No. 1 seed heading into the Countdown to the Championship, NHRA’s six race playoff.
Anderson secured his 90th career Pro Stock No. 1 qualifier, third of the season and fifth at Indianapolis with the 6.561 pass at 210.11 mph in his Summit Racing Equipment Chevrolet Camaro from Saturday.
“We knew this afternoon was going to be very, very similar to what we are going to see tomorrow made a lot of changes to the race car and it responded perfectly. My Chevy is just happy up here, it loves this place just as much as I do. It doesn’t seem like it wants to or can make a bad run, knock on wood. I hope it’s going to be great the rest of the weekend. We’re always greedy and we always feel like we don’t make the perfect run but I’m telling you these last three runs you can’t pick much off of them.”
Anderson faces Kenny Delco in the first round. Rookie Tanner Gray is in second with his 6.566 pass at 209.88 mph in his Gray Motorsports / Valvoline Chevrolet Camaro. He will race Deric Kramer while Drew Skillman is third and will see veteran Jeg Coughlin Jr. in eliminations.
Krawiec secured his third Pro Stock Motorcycle No. 1 qualifier of the season, 36th of his career and second at the Chevrolet Performance U.S. Nationals with his 6.822 pass at 196.62 mph on his Screamin’ Eagle / Vance & Hines Harley-Davidson Saturday evening.
“Fortunate for me I’ve had low elapsed time pretty much four out of the last five rounds and tied low E.T. of the first session,” Krawiec said “So, I have an awesome motorcycle going into tomorrow. And right now my main focus is just going out there keeping good reaction time, making clean laps down the drag strip. Lucas Oil Raceway has been good to me so far so hopefully its really good to me tomorrow.”
Krwaiec will face-off against Jim Underdahl in the first round of eliminations. Krawiec’s teammate, Andrew Hines, qualified second with his 6.825 pass at 194.74 mph on Saturday and he will race Angelle Sampey in the first round. Points leader L.E. Tonglet has clinched his No. 1 seed into the Countdown to the Championship after qualifying in the eighth position.