Shawn Langdon qualified second in the Al-Anabi Racing dragster with a 3.809 at 321.58 and he will open against Tim Boychuck. Australian David Grubnic qualified third in his Optima Batteries dragster and will face Terry McMillen.
Force scored his 142nd No. 1 in Funny Car and second of the season with his Friday effort of 4.051 at 313.44 in a Castrol GTX Ford Mustang. Force, who posted the two quickest runs on Saturday, will meet Dave Richards in the opening round. Richards, who is making his first Funny Car start at this event, will be the 136th different driver Force has faced in his career.
“It was low every round and all I can say is Mike Neff, Mike Neff, Mike Neff,” Force said. “I’m excited. This is an important market for our sponsors so we’re happy to give them a No. 1 and it’s a good weekend so far.”
Force is thrilled with the massive turnout of New England area fans who have greeted him in his pit area during this inaugural event.
“It has been packed all weekend,” Force said. “It makes you feel really good. This is awesome. This is a crowd that’s hungry for our sport and we need that. What excites me is to see the people. People have lots of options and up here they wanted a drag race. You can’t go anywhere around the area without getting approached from people. It’s been great to see.”
Matt Hagan is second in his Magneti Marelli Dodge Charger with a 4.057 at 317.49 and he will meet fellow Virginian Blake Alexander in the first round. Last season’s rookie of the year, Courtney Force, will start third in her Traxxas Ford Mustang with a 4.083 at 313.37 and she will meet rival Alexis DeJoria in the opening round.
Local Funny Car favorite Bob Tasca III, from Hope, R.I., qualified seventh in his Motorcraft/Quick Lane Ford Shelby Mustang with a 4.096 at 312.13 and he will race defending world champion Jack Beckman in round one.
In Pro Stock, Coughlin claimed his second No. 1 of the season and the 19th of his career with a 6.533 at 212.43 in his JEGS.com/Mopar Dodge Avenger.
“I owe a lot to the JEGS.com team and also to the J&J Racing/Mopar team,” Coughlin said. “They’ve done a great job of providing horsepower, and I feel fortunate to have such a great group in my corner. We’ve had a great season so far. Allen [Johnson, teammate] and I are second and third in the points [respectively], and there is only one team [Edwards] that is doing better than we are. We just need to take this momentum and carry it through the summer and hopefully keep the world championship in the J&J camp.”
Johnson will start second in his Team Mopar Avenger with a 6.549 at 212.79 and will race John Gaydosh, while series points leader Edwards is third and will race Kenny Delco in the opening round.