Brittany Force and her father John Force led the nitro categories on day one of the US Nationals. (NHRA photo)
CLERMONT, Ind. – The Force family dominated the Lucas Oil Raceway in Indianapolis on Friday as both Brittany and John Force in the biggest race of the season in Top Fuel and the 67th Annual Dodge // SRT NHRA US Nationals, respectively.
Kyle Koretsky (Pro Stock) and Eddie Krawiec (Pro Stock Motorcycle) are also the No. 1 preliminary qualifiers at the 13th event of the NHRA Camping World Drag Racing Series season. It is also the last race of the NHRA regular season before the countdown to the championship playoffs begins.
B. Force took the top spot in Top Fuel on Friday with a speed of 3.684 seconds at 334.57 mph in their 11,000 horsepower Monster Energy Dragster to continue their incredible run in qualifying. If it holds up, it would give the former world champion her sixth consecutive number 1 qualifying spot and eighth place during her banner season. Earlier this year father and daughter Force won the same weekend to become the first father-daughter winner on the same day in NHRA Camping World Drag Racing Series history, and B. Force would love it if it did the biggest Drag racing happened again on stage.
“That says a lot about this team,” said B. Force. “We want the number 1 qualifier and we want to win on race day. We want to do that here in the biggest race of the season. I love this place and we want to get this victory. There is so much history behind this race and winning here is the only thing every driver wants to achieve. I was chasing the Indy win and we want to come here and make it this weekend. “
Championship leader and three-time defending champion Steve Torrence drove 3.688 seconds at 329.50 mph and finished second, while Doug Kalitta finished third after doing 3.751 seconds at 317.05 mph.
J. Force took first place in Funny Car in his 11,000 hp Chevrolet Camaro with a mileage of 3.877 seconds at 330.72 mph. He is 1st after his runner-up place this year and 162nd in his legendary career. Another Indy win could bring him back to the championship lead at a crucial point in the season too, and Force loved the 330 mph rush while running the Big Go under the lights.
“I’ve always loved walking here at night,” said J. Force. “Daniel Hood is doing a great job with my car. He’s a smart guy and he really knows what he’s doing. It’s a great night in Indy and I’m really proud of Brittany. We’re just doing very well together. When I go down in the dark, I get so pumped up there. I just love getting in the car. “
Bob Tasca III drove a 3.889-second run at 332.67 mph to qualify in second place, while Forces teammate Robert Hight drove 3.889 seconds at 329.67 mph to finish third. Points leader Matt Hagan tested positive for COVID-19 and withdrew from the competition this weekend. Veteran Tommy Johnson Jr. will drive the team car this weekend.
Aspiring pro-stock star Kyle Koretsky continued his upswing in the late season, hitting the best run in class on Friday, finishing first in his Lucas Oil Chevrolet Camaro with a run of 6.572 seconds at 208.07 mph Place. Koretsky, currently sixth on points, was provisional number 1 qualifier two races ago at Topeka but it hasn’t held as the driver made his first number 1 qualifying start of his young career in his sophomore year and his first win as a good.
Troy Coughlin Jr., who was the top qualifier at Topeka, is runner-up after the opening session with a run of 6.584 seconds at 206.57 mph. Defending champion and US Nationals winner Erica Enders drove 6.588 seconds to 206.59 mph, finishing third, while championship leader Greg Anderson finished seventh with a run of 6.607 seconds at 207.24 mph lies.
To get his season started at the right time, Eddie Krawiec had a great start in Pro Stock Motorcycle on Friday, jumping to the top on his Vance & Hines Buell with a run of 6.826 seconds at 199.40 mph. If it holds, Krawiec would pick up his first No. 1 qualifier of the season and 49th of his career. Currently eighth in the points and looking for his first win of the season before the countdown to the championship, Krawiec impressed on Friday with his outstanding run.
Steve Johnson is currently second with a run of 6.860 seconds at 196.56 mph and Scotty Pollacheck, the defending champion of the US Nationals, is third with 6.866 seconds at 197.74 mph. Championship leader Matt Smith drove 6.892 seconds at 200.17 mph to sit in sixth place.