More track records fall in NHRA qualifying at Virginia

Lyle Ellerbee

Matt Hagan was aspect of another report-placing day at Virginia Motorsports Park, earning the quickest Funny Car run in keep track of heritage on Saturday to qualify No. 1 at the Virginia NHRA Nationals. Brittany Pressure (Top Gas) and Angie Smith (Professional Inventory Bike) also experienced No. 1 at the seventh of 22 races through the 2022 NHRA Tenting Globe Drag Racing Collection time.

Observe documents were set in all 3 groups, with Hagan’s operate of 3.853-seconds at 331.45 mph in his 11,000-horsepower Smithfield Brand Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat foremost the way in Humorous Automobile. It gives the details chief and standout driver for Tony Stewart Racing his next No. 1 place this season and 44th in his profession. This is also Hagan’s 300th profession start out as he seems to be to win for the 3rd time in 2022 with the initial-calendar year Tony Stewart Racing group.

“What a good task by the men at the observe and Protection Safari to put a great race track beneath us so we were in a position to lay down a good quantity out there,” Hagan stated. “I cannot say sufficient about this race automobile. This has almost certainly been the ideal begin I have had in my profession in NHRA and (crew main) Dickie Venables, (assistant crew chief) Mike Knudsen and (car or truck main) Alex Conaway and all the men who are putting this point collectively are undertaking a great task.

“Everybody asks, ‘How’s Tony? How’s it operating for Tony?’ and I’ve normally needed to acquire for myself but Tony’s the form of dude you want to get for. You glance at all the things he’s done and it is just a respect point. You want the dude to be proud of you. You are completely ready to make factors happen. This Smithfield car or truck is just managing tricky.”

Defending world winner Ron Capps moved up to the next spot with a potent run throughout the next qualifying session, going 3.864 at 332.75. Alexis DeJoria completed 3rd with a 3.896 at 326.95.

In Top Gasoline, Pressure topped Friday’s track-file run 2 times on Saturday, finishing with a 3.654 at 333.33 in her 11,000-horsepower Flav-R-Pac dragster. It shattered her E.T. record from a working day in the past, giving the points leader her second No. 1 qualifier this year and 34th in her career. She’ll head into eliminations wanting for her third earn this season and with a lot of momentum, location the track E.T. history a few instances all through qualifying and generating the fastest run in monitor heritage with her 335.82 blast on Friday.

“That was exceptional for this Monster Strength/Flav-R-Pac group, enhancing and improving and enhancing with each individual operate,” Drive mentioned. “Now the challenging portion is doing that tomorrow (all through eliminations). That is heading to be the hard one particular, but as lengthy as we can make some steady runs all working day tomorrow, I imagine we need to be in good condition. I have self esteem in this staff and assurance in myself in acquiring down this keep track of. This is one particular of the very best tracks we have been on. It’s sleek and it felt rapid, so we ended up actually delighted with it.”

Austin Prock momentarily had the keep track of history just before Force’s operate, heading 3.672 at 326.87 to qualify next to his John Power Racing teammate. Four-time defending earth champ Steve Torrence took the 3rd location with a 3.683 at 327.51, though Clay Millican manufactured the quickest run of the closing session many thanks to a 3.698 at 325.45.

Soon after environment keep track of data on Friday in Pro Stock Motorcycle, Smith followed up with an even quicker 6.756 at 201.37 on her Denso Automobile Pieces Buell during the 2nd qualifying session, also setting the velocity report that she at first established a working day before. The 3rd session in the course was cancelled because of to weather conditions.

For Smith, it is her 2nd vocation No. 1 qualifier as she stays the only rider to have created a 200-mph run at Virginia Motorsports Park. She is right after her very first victory of the 2022 season.

“I understood the bike experienced additional in it,” Smith stated. “Matt (Smith) didn’t consider it would go very that rapid, but the bike obtained off the line really properly. I noticed Angelle (Sampey) run that 6.78 and I understood this bicycle had it in it. I could not be prouder of my group and the task they are carrying out. It’s all about momentum and continuing to make good runs suitable now. We’re just going to retain making an attempt to do what we have been undertaking. It’s a humbling sport, so we have obtained to continue to stay focused.”

Angelle Sampey moved up to 2nd in that same session with her operate of 6.786 at 199.52, when factors chief Steve Johnson, who has gained again-to-back again races, certified third with his 6.826 at 198.12 from Friday.

In the FuelTech NHRA Pro Mod Drag Racing Sequence presented by D-Wagon, Kris Thorne took the No. 1 location with his run of in his ProCharger-driven Camaro. The weekend’s race is driven by LAT Racing Oils. Thorne is the points chief on the strength of victories at the initial two races of the season.

Eliminations for the Virginia NHRA Nationals commence at 12 p.m. ET on Sunday at Virginia Motorsports Park.

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