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Hight, B. Torrence, Enders & Johnson Strike First with Provisional No. 1 Spots at AAA Insurance NHRA Midwest Nationals

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midwest nats bannerMADISON, Ill. (September 26, 2019) – Robert Hight put on a show during qualifying on Friday, racing to the provisional No. 1 spot in Funny Car during the eighth annual AAA Insurance NHRA Midwest Nationals at Worldwide Technology Raceway.

Billy Torrence (Top Fuel), Erica Enders (Pro Stock) and Steve Johnson (Pro Stock Motorcycle) are also provisional No. 1 qualifiers in their respective categories at the second of six races during the NHRA Mello Yello Countdown to the Championship playoffs. It is also the 20th of 24 events in during the 2019 NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series season.

Returning to the site where he broke his collarbone during a crash just past the finish line in the final round a year ago, Hight put together an outstanding run of 3.877-seconds at 334.90 mph in his AAA Missouri Chevrolet Camaro SS on Friday. Hight, the defending event champ, is racing for his ninth No. 1 qualifier of 2019 and 69th in his standout career as he looks to regain the points lead in St. Louis. Bob Tasca III is currently in the second spot thanks to his run of 3.904 at 324.98, while John Force is a spot back after going 3.911 at 329.18. Points leader Jack Beckman is in fourth with a run of 3.916 at 329.99.

“We had high hopes,” Hight said. “We made four really good runs testing, and (crew chief) Jimmy Prock was not going to let this thing slow down. That’s not how you’re going to win a championship and it’s not what you need in the Countdown. It was pretty exciting and to do it in AAA country and at my sponsor’s race, that’s a good way to shine and show off. We need to keep gathering up those little qualifying points. That’s going to put us back in the ballgame.”

Top Fuel’s Billy Torrence put together a blistering pass of 3.699 at 321.88 in his Capco Contractors dragster to move into the top spot. It would be Torrence’s second No. 1 qualifier this season and third in his career if it holds. A spot behind sits his son, Steve, who is the defending race winner and world champ. The younger Torrence, who won eight races in the regular season, went 3.711 at 325.85, while Top Fuel rookie Austin Prock’s 3.726 at 328.94 has him third. Points leader Doug Kalitta is fifth after his run of 3.743 at 323.58.

In Pro Stock, Enders continued her impressive performance in qualifying during the Countdown to the Championship, going 6.580 at 207.15 in her Melling Performance/Elite Motorsports Chevrolet Camaro. Enders is aiming for her second straight No. 1 qualifier and 21st of her career. The two-time world champ is also after her first win of the year. Deric Kramer is second with a run of 6.585 at 209.20 and Bo Butner is third with his 6.586 at 208.17. Points leader Jason Line sits sixth after Friday’s two sessions with a 6.593 at 209.14.

Pro Stock Motorcycle veteran Johnson raced to the top spot on his Slick 50 Suzuki, going 6.838 at 196.02 to set a commanding statement to open the weekend. It would be Johnson’s first No. 1 qualifier since 2013 if it holds, and the fourth in his career. Johnson also put considerable distance between his next competitor, as Andrew Hines is currently qualified second with a 6.879 at 195.85. Eddie Krawiec is a spot back with a 6.884 at 196.70, while points leader Jerry Savoie is seventh after going 6.908 at 196.62.

Mello Yello Drag Racing Series qualifying will feature the final two rounds of qualifying on Saturday, Sept. 28, at 1:45 and 4:30 p.m. Final eliminations are scheduled for 11 a.m. on Sunday, Sept. 29.

To purchase general-admission or reserved seats, call (618) 215-8888. Tickets also are available online at www.gatewaymsp.com. Kids 12 and under are free in general admission areas with a paid adult. For more info about NHRA visit www.NHRA.com.nhra logoMADISON, Ill. — Friday’s results after the first two of four rounds of qualifying for the eighth annual AAA Insurance NHRA Midwest Nationals at World Wide Technology Raceway, 20th of 24 events in the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series. Qualifying will continue Saturday for Sunday’s final eliminations.

Billy Torrence

Billy Torrence

Top Fuel — 1. Billy Torrence, 3.699 seconds, 321.88 mph; 2. Steve Torrence, 3.717, 325.85; 3. Austin Prock, 3.726, 328.94; 4. Mike Salinas, 3.728, 327.90; 5. Doug Kalitta, 3.743, 323.58; 6. Antron Brown, 3.764, 323.04; 7. Scott Palmer, 3.771, 322.73; 8. Pat Dakin, 3.785, 325.45; 9. Leah Pritchett, 3.794, 322.27; 10. Terry McMillen, 3.804, 315.93; 11. Richie Crampton, 3.867, 312.86; 12. T.J. Zizzo, 3.900, 261.07; 13. Kyle Wurtzel, 3.945, 296.31; 14. Clay Millican, 3.971, 247.47; 15. Cameron Ferre, 3.973, 301.20; 16. Brittany Force, 4.055, 228.11. Not Qualified: 17. Luigi Novelli, 5.874, 103.27; 18. Chris Karamesines, 6.338, 92.86; 19. Lex Joon, 7.593, 90.60.

Robert Hight

Robert Hight

Funny Car — 1. Robert Hight, Chevy Camaro, 3.877, 334.90; 2. Bob Tasca III, Ford Mustang, 3.904, 324.98; 3. John Force, Camaro, 3.911, 329.18; 4. Jack Beckman, Dodge Charger, 3.916, 329.99; 5. Matt Hagan, Charger, 3.921, 327.66; 6. Tommy Johnson Jr., Charger, 3.938, 326.63; 7. Jonnie Lindberg, Mustang, 3.939, 319.90; 8. J.R. Todd, Toyota Camry, 3.940, 329.83; 9. Shawn Langdon, Camry, 3.940, 328.62; 10. Tim Wilkerson, Mustang, 3.949, 309.91; 11. Ron Capps, Charger, 4.012, 323.50; 12. Blake Alexander, Mustang, 4.036, 310.98; 13. Jim Campbell, Charger, 4.038, 314.90; 14. Cruz Pedregon, Charger, 4.047, 314.97; 15. Bob Bode, Mustang, 4.212, 275.11; 16. Terry Haddock, Mustang, 4.232, 285.11. Not Qualified: 17. Dale Creasy Jr., 4.258, 237.05; 18. Jack Wyatt, 7.335, 98.44.

Erica Enders

Erica Enders

Pro Stock — 1. Erica Enders, Chevy Camaro, 6.580, 207.15; 2. Deric Kramer, Camaro, 6.585, 209.20; 3. Bo Butner, Camaro, 6.586, 208.17; 4. Jeg Coughlin, Camaro, 6.588, 207.82; 5. Alex Laughlin, Camaro, 6.589, 207.62; 6. Jason Line, Camaro, 6.593, 209.14; 7. Matt Hartford, Camaro, 6.597, 206.76; 8. Aaron Stanfield, Camaro, 6.603, 208.10; 9. Chris McGaha, Camaro, 6.617, 208.88; 10. Greg Anderson, Camaro, 6.622, 208.10; 11. Fernando Cuadra, Camaro, 6.625, 208.78; 12. Kenny Delco, Camaro, 6.633, 208.42; 13. Alan Prusiensky, Dodge Dart, 6.654, 207.56; 14. Val Smeland, Camaro, 6.659, 207.50; 15. Cristian Cuadra, Ford Mustang, 6.661, 205.04; 16. Wally Stroupe, Camaro, 6.673, 205.88. Not Qualified: 17. Fernando Cuadra Jr., 6.684, 206.86; 18. Steve Graham, 6.686, 207.46; 19. Robert River, 6.843, 202.73.

Steve Johnson

Steve Johnson

Pro Stock Motorcycle — 1. Steve Johnson, Suzuki, 6.838, 196.02; 2. Andrew Hines, Harley-Davidson, 6.879, 195.85; 3. Eddie Krawiec, Harley-Davidson, 6.884, 196.70; 4. Karen Stoffer, Suzuki, 6.886, 195.76; 5. Angelle Sampey, Harley-Davidson, 6.897, 194.80; 6. Scotty Pollacheck, EBR, 6.908, 196.79; 7. Jerry Savoie, Suzuki, 6.908, 196.62; 8. Matt Smith, EBR, 6.910, 197.94; 9. Angie Smith, EBR, 6.955, 197.59; 10. Hector Arana, EBR, 6.961, 195.76; 11. Hector Arana Jr, EBR, 6.963, 195.93; 12. Kelly Clontz, Suzuki, 6.998, 192.71; 13. Ryan Oehler, EBR, 7.021, 195.25; 14. Andie Rawlings, Suzuki, 7.140, 185.05; 15. Jianna Salinas, Suzuki, 7.209, 185.92; 16. Michael Ray, Victory, 7.488, 146.48.

AAA INSURANCE NHRA MIDWEST NATIONALS

WHAT: Eighth annual AAA Insurance NHRA Midwest Nationals, the 20th of 24 events in the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series and the second of six races in the NHRA Mello Yello Countdown to the Championship playoffs. Drivers in four categories – Top Fuel, Funny Car, Pro Stock and Pro Stock Motorcycle – earn points leading to 2019 NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series world championships.

WHERE: World Wide Technology Raceway – located five minutes from downtown St. Louis at the intersection of Interstates 55/70 and Ill. Route 203 (Exit 4).

COURSE: Championship drag strip; Track elevation is 445 feet above sea level; Track direction is south to north.

WHEN: Friday through Sunday, Sept. 27-29

world wide technology racewaySCHEDULE:
SATURDAY, Sept. 28 – LUCAS OIL SERIES eliminations
E3 SPARK PLUGS NHRA PRO MOD DRAG RACING SERIES
– qualifying at 1:00 p.m. and 3:45 p.m.
MELLO YELLO SERIES
– qualifying at 1:45 p.m. and 4:30 p.m.

SUNDAY, Sept. 29 – Pre-race ceremonies, 10 a.m.
MELLO YELLO SERIES eliminations begin at 11 a.m.fox logo 18TELEVISION:
Saturday, Sept. 28, FS1 will televise one hour of qualifying coverage at 9 p.m. (ET).
Sunday, Sept. 29, FS1 will televise one hour of coverage at 1 p.m.
Sunday, Sept. 29, FS1 will televise three hours of live finals coverage starting at 2 p.m. (ET).

2018 EVENT WINNERS: Steve Torrence, Top Fuel; Robert Hight, Funny Car; Tanner Gray, Pro Stock; Matt Smith, Pro Stock Motorcycle.

MOST VICTORIES: Antron Brown, 5, TF; Gary Scelzi, 4, TF and FC; Ron Capps, 4, FC; John Force, 3, FC; Kurt Johnson, 3, PS; Del Worsham, 3, FC; Doug Kalitta, 3, TF; Warren Johnson, 3, PS; Angelle Sampey, 3, PSM.nhra logoTRACK RECORDS:
Top Fuel – 3.631 sec. by Clay Millican, Sept. ‘17; 332.75 mph by Leah Pritchett, Oct. ‘17
Funny Car – 3.830 seconds by Robert Hight, Sept. ‘17; 338.60 mph by Hight, Sept. ‘17
Pro Stock – 6.492 sec. by Greg Anderson, Sept. ’15; 213.47 mph by Jason Line, Sept. ‘12
PS Motorcycle – 6.764 seconds by Chip Ellis, Sept. ’18; 199.61 mph by Matt Smith, Sept. ‘18

NATIONAL RECORDS:
Top Fuel – 3.623 sec. by Brittany Force, Sept. ’19, Reading, Pa.; 336.57 mph by Tony Schumacher, Feb. ‘18, Phoenix, Ariz.
Funny Car – 3.793 sec. by Robert Hight, Aug. ’17, Brainerd, Minn.; 339.87 mph by Robert Hight, July ’17, Sonoma, Calif.
Pro Stock 6.455 sec. by Jason Line, March ’15, Charlotte, N.C.; 215.55 mph by Erica Enders, May ’14, Englishtown N.J.
Pro Stock Motorcycle – 6.720 sec. by Andrew Hines, March ‘19, Gainesville, Fla.; 201.76 mph by Matt Smith, March ‘19, Gainesville, Fla.

TICKETS: For tickets call (855) RACE-TIK (722-3845). Tickets are also available at www.wwtraceway.com.

Photos and videos courtesy of NHRA

About NHRA
Headquartered in Glendora, Calif., NHRA is the primary sanctioning body for the sport of drag racing in the United States. NHRA presents 24 national events featuring the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series, NHRA Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series and E3 Spark NHRA Plugs Pro Mod Drag Racing Series presented by J&A Service. NHRA provides competition opportunities for drivers of all levels in the NHRA Summit Racing Series and the NHRA Drags: Street Legal Style presented by AAA. NHRA also offers NHRA Jr. Street program for teens and the Summit Racing Jr. Drag Racing League for youth ages 5 to 17. NHRA’s Youth and Education Services (YES) Program reaches over 30,000 students annually to ignite their interest in automotive and racing related careers. In addition, NHRA owns and operates four racing facilities: Atlanta Dragway in Georgia; Gainesville Raceway in Florida; Lucas Oil Raceway at Indianapolis; and Auto Club Raceway at Pomona in Southern California. For more information, log on to www,NHRA.com, or visit the official NHRA pages on FacebookYouTube and Twitter.

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