The first day of qualifying for this weekend’s 54th annual Auto Club NHRA Finals at Auto Club Raceway in Pomona, California are in the books. Last night’s cool weather at the track, meant the NHRA Mopar teams were making big horsepower at the season’s last race of the season.
Two-time defending event champion Johnson Jr.’s second qualifying run of 3.881 at 328.54 in his Make-A-Wish Dodge Charger R/T locked-in the top spot. He is seeking to secure his fourth consecutive No. 1 qualifying position this season.
“It’s incredible they have had such a handle on the car. I wish we could get
that handle on Sunday but we are pretty close. I’m disappointed we didn’t get it done quick enough in the Countdown but at the same time I’m excited because it is such a good car now. If we can carry that on to next year I would love it.” – Tommy Johnson Jr.
Teammate Jack Beckman is in the second spot with his Infinite Hero Foundation Dodge Charger SRT HELLCAT that made a pass of 3.901 at 323.35 while reigning Funny Car world champion Robert Hight sits in the third position. Current points leader J.R. Todd is in the No. 11 spot.
Leah Pritchett rocketed her Mopar Dodge Top Fuel Dragster to the top of the category for both qualifying sessions of the evening.
California native Pritchett raced to the top of the Top Fuel class with her 3.649-second pass at 329.34 mph in her Mopar Dodge during the second session. Leah is seeking to secure her fourth No. 1 qualifying position of the season and 11th of her career.
“When you have this horsepower weather and this time of day you can just feel the energy. The reason why there’s a smile on our faces is that we were able to execute what we wanted to do. Tomorrow we’re not going to have these same conditions so that’s why we’re excited we were able to capitalize on it tonight.” – Leah Pritchett
Here is how the teams are currently qualified thus far after the first day of qualifying…
No. 1 – Leah Pritchett – Mopar Dodge – 3.649 @ 329.34
No. 11 – Tony Schumacher – U.S. Army / Mopar – 3,792 @ 326.24
No. 1 – Tommy Johnson Jr. – Make-A-Wish Charger R/T – 3.881 @ 328.54
No. 2 – Jack Beckman – Infinite Hero Foundation Charger SRT HELLCAT – 3.901 @ 323.35
No. 5 – Ron Capps – NAPA Auto Parts Charger R/T – 3.948 @ 320.66
No. 13 – Matt Hagan – Mopar Express Lane Charger SRT HELLCAT – 4.256 @ 214.62