DeJoria, S. Torrence, Pollacheck pick up No. 1 qualifiers at Bristol

Friday afternoon set the tone for what has been been a wild weekend at Bristol Dragway with Tim Wilkerson, Brittany Force and Matt Smith provisionally setting the No. 1 spot.

Saturday was also challenging as early morning rain showers rolled through the area and the day appeared to be a wash.

It was the first time since 2019 that NHRA has been at Bristol as the series skipped last year due to COVID. But thanks to the NHRA Safety Safari team, the officials were able to get the track dried and host all three rounds of qualifying. Even after track drying, most of the drivers had trouble keeping the cars/bikes on track before shutting them off coming to the finish line. Three drivers were able to set the pace, hang onto their machines and gain the No. 1 spot. After the end of three qualifying sessions, it will be Alexis DeJoria in Funny Car, Steve Torrence in Top Fuel and Scott Pollacheck in Pro Stock Motorcycle when eliminations kick off Sunday morning at 11:30 a.m. ET. First round match ups are posted below.

Top Fuel — 1. Steve Torrence, 3.667 seconds, 331.28 mph vs. 14. Cameron Ferre, 11.398, 70.10; 2. Mike Salinas, 3.668, 329.83 vs. 13. Antron Brown, 4.572, 172.45; 3. Brittany Force, 3.672, 333.58 vs. 12. Lex Joon, 4.271, 199.64; 4. Billy Torrence, 3.672, 329.58 vs. 11. Doug Kalitta, 4.203, 221.78; 5. Justin Ashley, 3.688, 330.80 vs. 10. Shawn Langdon, 3.763, 329.91; 6. Leah Pruett, 3.691, 327.11 vs. 9. Spencer Massey, 3.761, 322.19; 7. Josh Hart, 3.696, 330.88 vs. 8. Clay Millican, 3.711, 326.87.

Funny Car — 1. Alexis DeJoria, Toyota Camry, 3.907, 326.79 vs. 14. Paul Lee, Dodge Charger, 6.006, 112.69; 2. Ron Capps, Charger, 3.945, 325.61 vs. 13. Blake Alexander, Ford Mustang, 5.732, 139.11; 3. Matt Hagan, Charger, 3.958, 330.31 vs. 12. J.R. Todd, Camry, 5.703, 122.17; 4. Tim Wilkerson, Mustang, 3.965, 295.27 vs. 11. Bob Tasca III, Mustang, 5.653, 124.13; 5. Robert Hight, Chevy Camaro, 3.968, 323.50 vs. 10. Cory Lee, Mustang, 4.195, 282.95; 6. John Force, Camaro, 3.968, 322.73 vs. 9. Jim Campbell, Charger, 4.004, 303.16; 7. Cruz Pedregon, Charger, 3.975, 320.13 vs. 8. Dave Richards,
Mustang, 3.983, 315.27.

Pro Stock Motorcycle — 1. Scotty Pollacheck, EBR, 6.859, 197.80 vs. Bye; 2. Matt Smith, EBR, 6.865, 197.54 vs. 15. Angie Smith, EBR, 8.952, 102.32; 3. Karen Stoffer, Suzuki, 6.867, 194.41 vs. 14. Lance Bonham, Buell, 7.313, 183.74; 4. Andrew Hines, Buell, 6.906, 195.56 vs. 13. Angelle Sampey, Suzuki, 7.262, 169.66; 5. Chris Bostick, Suzuki, 6.913, 193.27 vs. 12. Charles Poskey, Suzuki, 7.175, 190.83; 6. Steve Johnson, Suzuki, 6.942, 193.60 vs. 11. Ron Tornow, Victory, 7.084, 189.58; 7. Kelly Clontz, Suzuki, 6.965, 191.13 vs. 10. Ryan Oehler, EBR, 7.042, 193.13; 8. Eddie Krawiec, Buell, 6.966, 196.36 vs. 9. Joey Gladstone, Suzuki, 6.966, 193.35.

Funny Car

Alexis DeJoria has been enjoying the best season of her Funny Car career. She picked up the No. 1 qualifier for the first time since 2016. DeJoria powered her Funny Car machine to a time of 3.907 seconds and 326.79 mph to take over the top spot that was originally held by Tim Wilkerson and Matt Hagan.

The No. 1 qualifier is the fifth of DeJoria’s career and the first of the season. She’ll look to continue a solid season Sunday with five semi-final appearances and one runner-up finish that occurred at Denver where she lost to Matt Hagan in the final. DeJoria will face No. 14 qualifier Paul Lee in the first round.

“This is the first No. 1 qualifier for DC Motorsports since Del Worsham and I began in 2020 and I’m so happy that it came at the same track where I went to my first Funny Car final with Del as my crew chief in 2012,” said DeJoria. “Everything’s going to come together and we’re going to break through for a win very soon. This track has a lot of very good memories for me. To come back here with our own team and get a No. 1 qualifier is huge. We have had so many No. 2s and I am not complaining but this No. 1 is so gratifying. It means so much. It kind of feels like a win. This is a huge weight lifted off our shoulders.”

Last week’s Dallas winner, Ron Capps, qualified second with a time of 3.945 seconds and 325.61 mph. Matt Hagan was third with a time of 3.959 seconds and 326.24 mph. In the first round, Capps will face Blake Alexander, while newly announced Tony Stewart Racing driver, Hagan, will face J.R. Todd.

“It’s been tricky this weekend at Bristol,” Capps said. “That first session today was tough and nobody got down that tricky left lane. We knew we’d have the right lane for the late Q3 run and it’s been the better lane. The Safety Safari has done a heck of a job working on this track and making both lanes equal. It can be treacherous out there with the bumps. The car pushed me around after that second bump and I didn’t think it ran that great, so when they came on the radio and said 3.94, I was ecstatic.
“We have a great race car and we’ve been more successful getting down a tricky Bristol race track than a lot of other guys and gals out here,” Hagan said after qualifying. “It’s very tricky in both lanes. We’re used to coming here in June when it’s hot and sticky and not this cool out. This track has a lot of bumps, and this Hellcat has been bumping around out there like a roller coaster. I’m confident in Dickie Venables and this team, and I know they’ll put together a great package to be able to go some rounds. We start from the No. 3 spot and that’s great. I’m excited about it. We have Jason Johnson and the entire Johnson’s Horsepowered Garage crew here supporting us, and we want to put on a heck of a show for them and these great Thunder Valley fans and turn on some win lights.”

Funny Car Starting Lineup:

  1. Alexis DeJoria
  2. Ron Capps
  3. Matt Hagan
  4. Tim Wilkerson
  5. Robert Hight
  6. John Force
  7. Cruz Pedregon
  8. Dave Richards
  9. Jim Campbell
  10. Cory Lee
  11. Bob Tasca III
  12. J.R. Todd
  13. Blake Alexander
  14. Paul Lee

Top Fuel

Top Fuel had quite an interesting show as well when it came to qualifying. Originally, the No. 1 spot appeared to be going to Brittany Force once again after the California native went 3.682 seconds and 328.98 mph following her Friday night run. Unfortunately for Force, she’ll have to settle for the No. 3 spot, as the new Toyota Racing driver for the 2022 season Steve Torrence bested her run Saturday afternoon. In fact, Torrence’s run was fast enough to break the track record with an ET of 3.667 seconds and 331.28 mph.

“Never count out these Capco boys,” Torrence said of Saturday’s performance. “We’ve been just a tick behind on the performance meter for a few races but that should give them something to think about. Hats off to Richard Hogan, Bobby Lagana and the best crew in drag racing.”

Torrence will face the No. 14 of Cameron Ferre in the first round.

Force did her best to beat his time but wasn’t quick enough despite going 333.58 mph and 3.672 seconds which was good enough for the No. 3 spot. Force will face Lex Joon in the first round.

“Overall good qualifying. Two solid passes for this Flav-R-Pac / Monster Energy team. We have a great ladder tomorrow,” Force said. “Looking to go out and win Thunder Valley and put Flav-R-Pac in the winner’s circle. We want to end on a high note since this is the last time this season we’ll be representing Flav-R-Pac as our primary sponsor.”

Top Fuel Qualifying Results

  1. Steve Torrence
  2. Mike Salinas
  3. Brittany Force
  4. Billy Torrence
  5. Justin Ashley
  6. Leah Pruett
  7. Josh Hart
  8. Clay Millican
  9. Spencer Massey
  10. Shawn Langdon
  11. Doug Kalitta
  12. Lex Joon
  13. Antron Brown
  14. Cameron Ferre

Pro Stock Motorcycle

There was also a change at the top for the Pro Stock Motorcycle class. Scotty Pollacheck knocked off Matt Smith to earn his third No. 1 qualifier of the season after going 6.859 seconds and 197.80 mph, which bettered Smith’s 6.865 seconds and 197.54 mph. In addition to Pollacheck’s effort, his ET was the lowest and the top speed of the weekend. Pollacheck will have a bye run in the first round.

Pollacheck seeks his first win since Atlanta earlier in the season where he defeated Matt Smith in the finals.

Despite getting knocked off the top spot, Matt Smith’s time of 6.859 seconds was still good enough for second.

Pro Stock Motorcycle Qualifying Results

  1. Scotty Pollacheck
  2. Matt Smith
  3. Karen Stoffer
  4. Andrew Hines
  5. Chris Bostick
  6. Steve Johnson
  7. Kelly Clontz
  8. Eddie Krawiec
  9. Joey Gladstone
  10. Ryan Oehler
  11. Ron Tonow
  12. Charles Poskey
  13. Angelle Sampey
  14. Lance Bonham
  15. Angie Smith

Eliminations will begin at 11:30 a.m. ET live on NHRA.TV (with a subscription or weekend pass) as Fox Sports 1 will pick up eliminations at 2 p.m. ET. In addition, highlights from today’s qualifying sessions will be shown on FS1 as well with a start time of 1 p.m./ET.

*Please note, the Pro Stock car class will not be racing this weekend. They will return and be back on the schedule at Las Vegas next weekend.



The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of SpeedwayMedia.com.

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