ThatsRacin

At zMax Dragway, Courtney Force goes for something she’s yet to do this season

Courtney Force, top, took the Funny Car No. 1 qualifier Saturday with her Friday pass in the NHRA Carolina Nationals, the opening event in the Countdown to the Championship, at zMAX Dragway in Concord.
Courtney Force, top, took the Funny Car No. 1 qualifier Saturday with her Friday pass in the NHRA Carolina Nationals, the opening event in the Countdown to the Championship, at zMAX Dragway in Concord. HAROLD HINSON PHOTOGRAPHY

Courtney Force’s 3.891-second, 330.07-mph pass on Friday put the John Force Racing driver in the best possible position to capture her first win at zMAX Dragway when the tree lights up on Sunday for the NHRA Carolina Nationals.

Sunday’s event at zMAX Dragway is the first of six playoff events in the NHRA Countdown to the Championship.

Force took the Funny Car No. 1 qualifier Saturday with her Friday pass. Force has a Funny Car-best seven No. 1 qualifiers this year, but remains winless.

“I’m really proud of my team for giving me a great race car, it’s been a lot of fun to drive this car and get these No. 1 qualifiers,” Force said. “We know we have to bring that same success into Sunday, and I am just looking forward to tomorrow as we try to end up in the winner’s circle.”

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Doug Kalitta’s, bottom, 3.723-second, 329.50-mph pass from Friday held steady through Saturday’s NHRA Carolina National’s Day 2 qualifying rounds at zMAX Dragway as the quickest time in Top Fuel qualifying. Garry Eller HAROLD HINSON PHOTOGRAPHY

Doug Kalitta’s 3.723-second, 329.50-mph pass from Friday held steady through Saturday’s Day 2 qualifying rounds as the quickest time in Top Fuel qualifying.

Tanner Gray retained the pole in Pro Stock qualifying, as no one could top his 6.559-second pass at 210.50 mph on Friday.

Andrew Hines’ 196.50-mph pass in 6.825 seconds on Friday held up to give Hines the No. 1 spot in Pro Stock Motorcycle competition.

Gates open on Sunday at 8:30 a.m. with eliminations starting at noon. Tickets start at $45. Children 13 & under are free with a paying adult. Fans can also take part in free Track Walk at 10:30 a.m.

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Sunday’s NHRA Carolina Nationals at zMAX Dragway in Concord is the first of six playoff events in the NHRA Countdown to the Championship. Garry Eller HAROLD HINSON PHOTOGRAPHY

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