After having a couple of weeks off, the NHRA Camping World Drag Racing Series got their season back on track Friday night at New England Dragway for the annual New England Nationals.
The Camping World Drag Series took to the track late Friday night for the first session of qualifying and a rarity of Friday night qualifying.
The teams were eager to rocket their cars down the track to post a fast time in hopes of being the provisional No. 1 qualifier. However, many cars had traction trouble in the first round as there was multiple tire smoke from various drivers resulting in slower mph speed and slower times.
A few lucky drivers in the Funny Car division were able to elapse the 300 mph mark, including Blake Alexander, J.R. Todd and the current provisional No. 1 qualifier, Matt Hagan for Don Schumacher Racing. Hagan went 3.891 seconds and 331.53 mph in the Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Redeye machine. Should Hagan hang on through the remaining two rounds, the qualifying run will give him his first No. 1 qualifier of the 2021 season. Hagan will receive three bonus points for his efforts.
“New England Dragway has shown us a lot of love these past couple of years. When you put Don Schumacher Racing Performance and Dickie Venables together, that’s the kind of results you can expect,” said Hagan, a 36-time Funny Car winner who is hopeful history will repeat itself on Sunday, and he’ll be able to break through for his first victory of the season.
“We’ve got great parts, great people, and I’m glad we laid down a great run tonight. A lot of people had trouble making it down the track with it being so cold. There was a lot of shaking, a lot of smoking, a lot of stuff going on, but Dickie had a really good combo for that. It just builds a lot of confidence going into tomorrow. Hats off to my guys for putting a great race car underneath me.”
In one of the more intriguing runs of the night, Cruz Pedregon was up against Blake Alexander in his initial qualifying run. Unfortunately for the two-time champion, the Pedregon Snap-On machine ending up breaking. The result put him last on the speed charts (13th) and missing the show. Fortunately for Pedregon, he will have two more chances Saturday to improve his qualifying run.
Steve Torrence and the CAPCO crew, who have three wins in five races and one runner-up finish, were looking to continue their 2021 season dominance . Despite Torrence dominating most of the season so far, it was the other Torrence (Billy, Steve’s father) who posted a quick time of 3.744 seconds and 324.98 mph to put him to the top of the board for Round 1. Billy Torrence will be seeking his first No. 1 qualifier of the season since Atlanta earlier in the season.
For the Pro Stock category, up and comer Mason McGaha put in a decent run of 6.538 and 210.28 mph to climb to the top of the charts. Currently, McGaha has not had any No. 1 qualifiers in his young 13-race career so far. This weekend would be his first if McGaha stays on top of the board.
Official Round 1 Qualifying Results are below. Please note, Pro Stock Motorcycles are not scheduled to compete this weekend as this race is not on their schedule.
Top Fuel — 1. Billy Torrence, 3.744 seconds, 324.98 mph; 2. Justin Ashley, 3.774, 322.58; 3. Doug Kalitta, 4.002, 252.80; 4. Antron Brown, 6.610, 88.28; 5. Brittany Force, 6.663, 87.22; 6. Shawn Langdon, 8.534, 86.09; 7. Steve Torrence, 8.562, 78.47; 8. Joe Morrison, 8.784, 87.76; 9. Mike Salinas, 9.062, 62.46; 10. Leah Pruett, 16.497, 37.37.
Funny Car — 1. Matt Hagan, Dodge Charger, 3.891, 331.53; 2. J.R. Todd, Toyota Camry, 3.976, 324.05; 3. Blake Alexander, Ford Mustang, 4.040, 317.94; 4. Ron Capps, Charger, 7.303, 93.34; 5. John Force, Chevy Camaro, 7.431, 85.24; 6. Cory Lee, Mustang, 7.479, 89.55; 7. Alexis DeJoria, Camry, 7.603, 88.35; 8. Jim Campbell, Charger, 7.735, 83.46; 9. Tim Wilkerson, Mustang, 7.863, 82.65; 10. Bob Tasca III, Mustang, 8.332, 77.51; 11. Terry Haddock, Mustang, 12.863, 80.87; 12. Robert Hight, Camaro, 14.152, 69.47. Not Qualified: 13. Cruz Pedregon, broke.
Pro Stock — 1. Mason McGaha, Chevy Camaro, 6.538, 210.28; 2. Aaron Stanfield, Camaro, 6.545, 210.83; 3. Erica Enders, Camaro, 6.548, 210.24; 4. Matt Hartford, Camaro, 6.551, 210.37; 5. Dallas Glenn, Camaro, 6.554, 210.28; 6. Greg Anderson, Camaro, 6.556, 210.47; 7. Troy Coughlin Jr., Camaro, 6.589, 209.72; 8. Val Smeland, Camaro, 6.603, 209.17; 9. Alan Prusiensky, Dodge Dart, 6.657, 207.98; 10. Richie Stevens, Camaro, 6.676, 209.26; 11. Deric Kramer, Camaro, 7.126, 151.77; 12. Kenny Delco, Camaro, 11.414, 86.35; 13. John Gaydosh Jr, Camaro, 14.821, 87.89; 14. Bob Benza, Camaro, 16.604, 45.53; 15. Chris McGaha, Camaro, 35.927, 22.74; 16. Kyle Koretsky, Camaro, broke.
The NHRA Camping World Drag Racing Series will have two more rounds of qualifying on Saturday with the second round slated for 12:30 p.m. ET live on NHRA.TV (subscription service).