NHRA has returned to St. Louis at Gateway Motorsports Park to delight of a huge crowd on hand for day 2 of the AAA Insurance NHRA Midwest Nationals. The grandstands were packed as the NHRA as Saturday qualifying is now complete. The weather is absolutely perfect with temperatures around 75 degrees and there was not a cloud in the sky.
The top qualifiers for Sunday’s finals:
Pro Stock: Jason Line
Pro Stock Motorcycle: Hector Arana Jr
Funny Car: Jack Beckman (current)
Top Fuel: Antron Brown
Friday night Antron Brown set the pace as many track records were shattered. Brown’s raced his Matco Tools / Aarons Top Fuel dragster down the straight-a-way at a time of 3.737 seconds at 326.79 mph to qualify. His teammate Spencer Massey, was second with a 3.752 at 326.16 in his FRAM/Prestone dragster.
Massey had the fastest run in the Top Fuel pace in the first round Saturday with a time of 3.838 at 321.19 mph.
Brown and Massey are tied at the top of the Top Fuel standings, Brown gained a two-point lead because of his top qualifying effort Friday night but Spencer gained 2 points on Saturday tie things back up.
On Saturday the 1st round Funny Car times were a bit slower so there is no change in the qualifying order.
Jack Beckman on Friday night broke a track record with a time of 4.049 at 308.85 in his Valvoline/NextGen Dodge Charger. Fan favorite, John Force was second in Funny Car qualifying with a 4.060 at 308.35 in his Castrol GTX High Mileage Ford Mustang. Matt Hagen posted a 4.061 at 305.42 in his Aaron’s/Mopar Dodge Charger.
Series points leader Ron Capps was sixth in his NAPA Auto Parts Charger, with 4.083 at 309.34 mph.
Hector Arana Jr. on Saturday morning was able to beat his Friday pass in Pro Stock Motorcycle session, with a 6.804 better than his Friday-leading pass of 6.826.
“We always hope to run faster [on day 2],” said Arana, “But I was surprised with the run. The track conditions were great and we were able to make the right adjustments.”
For Arana Jr, this is his third top qualifying finish of the year and tenth of his career. He is top qualifier for tomorrow’s final. His father is in second place with ET of 6.809 and 196.70 mph. Arana also made it a clean sweep of bonus points, netting the maximum 12 session points after having the quickest bike in each of the four Pro Stock Motorcycle qualifying sessions.
Jason Line and Greg Anderson both improved in the morning Pro Stock Saturday 1st qualifying session. Line’s Camaro improved on its already field-leading 6.514, 212.53 dual-track-record effort from Friday with a stout 6.496 at 213.47 to reset both marks. Line’s speed is the fifth fastest in class history; Line also holds the time slip for the fastest run ever, 213.91 mph, set earlier this year in Charlotte.
Anderson improved from 6.533 to a 6.517 to go from sixth to third, behind Alen Johnson’s Friday 6.516. A.J. ran 6.517 at a better speed than Anderson to claim two session bonus points.
The Full Throttle teams scheduled to make their final qualifying pass at 3:30 p.m.