The NHRA Winternationals, Leah Pruett, Blake Alexander Greg Anderson & Matt Smith Leading Friday Qualifying At Pomona!


The NHRA Winternationals, Leah Pruett, Blake Alexander Greg Anderson & Matt Smith Leading Friday Qualifying At Pomona!

(Photos by Jeff and Mike Burghardt) – Leah Pruett is on track for her first No. 1 qualifier of 2021 in Top Fuel, taking the provisional top spot in qualifying on Friday during the 61st annual Lucas Oil NHRA Winternationals at historic Auto Club Raceway at Pomona.

 

Blake Alexander (Funny Car), Greg Anderson (Pro Stock) and Matt Smith (Pro Stock Motorcycle) are also provisional No. 1 qualifiers in their respective categories at the 10th race of the 2021 NHRA Camping World Drag Racing Series season and the final event of the famed three-race NHRA Western Swing.

Under dark southern California skies, Pruett covered the 1,000-foot strip in 3.780-seconds at 321.88 mph in her 11,000-horsepower Sparkling Ice Spiked dragster. That run gave Pruett her first No. 1 qualifier of the season (if it holds) and the 13th of her career, continuing the strong showing for the Don Schumacher Racing team after advancing to the final round in Sonoma last weekend. Pruett is also seeking her second win at Auto Club Raceway at Pomona following her 2017 triumph.

Pruett feels comfortable at Pomona, “We’re living up to our expectations and that is being a force to be reckoned with,” Pruett said. “This is a continuation of momentum from Sonoma. We can’t get too excited, but I knew about halfway down the track that we were on a good run. It’s those small little glimpses of success that show us we’re on the right track.” Pruett had early success here in Steve Plueger’s Nostalgia Nitro Funny Car.

 

Mike Salinas in his Scrappers top fuel dragster went 3.840 at 308.35 mph, running side-by-side with Pruett to take the second position and Buddy Hull is currently third after going 4.105 at 278.69 with only 13 Top Fuel Dragsters in the pits.

 

Blake Alexander had the run of the evening in Funny Car, blasting to the No. 1 position with his run of 3.961 at 318.84 in his Pronto Auto Service Center/Head Inc-backed Ford Mustang. With two more qualifiers left on Saturday, Alexander could clinch his first career No. 1 qualifier. Robert Hight, who won in Sonoma last week, is right behind Alexander, going 3.962 at 327.11, and Cruz Pedregon is third after his solid run of 3.967 at 317.34

Qualifying continues to treat Greg Anderson very well, as he took took the provisional No. 1 spot with a run of 6.588 at 209.23 in his HendrickCars.com Chevrolet Camaro. Should it hold, Anderson, the current points leader, would qualify No. 1 for an incredible eighth time in nine Pro Stock races this season. It would also give the four-time champ his 114th career No. 1 qualifier as he chases his 13th Pomona win and 97th career victory, which would tie him with Warren Johnson for the most in Pro Stock history. Erica Enders, the reigning Pro Stock world champ, is second thanks to her 6.590 at 207.15, while Matt Hartford is right behind after his run of 6.593 at 207.82.

Matt Smith’s bid to end the Western Swing on a strong note started in impressive fashion on Friday, as the points leader and defending world champ went 6.806 at 199.20 on his Denso Auto Parts/Stockseth/Matt Smith Racing EBR. If it holds, it would give Smith his third No. 1 qualifier this season and the 46th in his standout career.

 

Qualifying continues at 3:30 p.m. PT on Saturday at the Lucas Oil NHRA Winternationals presented by ProtectTheHarvest.com.

***

POMONA, Calif. — Friday’s results after the first of three rounds of qualifying for the 61st annual Lucas Oil NHRA Winternationals presented by ProtectTheHarvest.com at Auto Club Raceway at Pomona, 10th of 20 events in the NHRA Camping World Drag Racing Series. Qualifying will continue Saturday for Sunday’s final eliminations.

 

Top Fuel — 1. Leah Pruett, 3.780 seconds, 321.88 mph; 2. Mike Salinas, 3.840, 308.35; 3. Buddy Hull, 4.105, 278.69; 4. Shawn Langdon, 5.158, 132.46; 5. Steven Chrisman, 5.406, 129.70; 6. Brittany Force, 5.429, 120.68; 7. Antron Brown, 5.792, 116.59; 8. Doug Kalitta, 6.343, 109.52; 9. Jim Maroney, 6.807, 88.33; 10. Justin Ashley, 6.857, 84.46; 11. Clay Millican, 6.951, 82.60; 12. Steve Torrence, 6.956, 81.68; 13. Brandon Welch, broke.

Funny Car — 1. Blake Alexander, Ford Mustang, 3.961, 318.84; 2. Robert Hight, Chevy Camaro, 3.962, 327.11; 3. Cruz Pedregon, Dodge Charger, 3.967, 317.34; 4. Ron Capps, Charger, 3.971, 318.69; 5. Matt Hagan, Charger, 4.009, 312.13; 6. J.R. Todd, Toyota Camry, 4.044, 322.04; 7. Bob Tasca III, Mustang, 4.226, 225.56; 8. Jeff Diehl, Camry, 4.259, 272.23; 9. Jim Campbell, Charger, 4.340, 216.90; 10. John Force, Camaro, 4.552, 283.67; 11. Tim Wilkerson, Mustang, 6.149, 107.49; 12. Bobby Bode, Mustang, 6.589, 102.63; 13. Paul Lee, Charger, 6.748, 100.40; 14. Jason Rupert, Mustang, 6.751, 96.05; 15. Alexis DeJoria, Camry, 7.277, 87.52; 16. Terry Haddock, Mustang, 11.265, 81.39. Not Qualified: 17. Steven Densham, 13.921, 72.75.

 

Pro Stock — 1. Greg Anderson, Chevy Camaro, 6.588, 209.23; 2. Erica Enders, Camaro, 6.590, 207.15; 3. Matt Hartford, Camaro, 6.593, 207.82; 4. Kyle Koretsky, Camaro, 6.604, 208.17; 5. Aaron Stanfield, Camaro, 6.605, 206.64; 6. Mason McGaha, Camaro, 6.609, 208.39; 7. Troy Coughlin Jr., Camaro, 6.626, 206.45; 8. Aaron Strong, Camaro, 6.634, 206.86; 9. Kenny Delco, Camaro, 6.636, 208.88; 10. Dallas Glenn, Camaro, 6.644, 208.01; 11. Alan Prusiensky, Dodge Dart, 6.728, 203.58; 12. Rob Tucker, Dart, 8.527, 111.40; 13. Deric Kramer, Camaro, 12.446, 71.31. Not Qualified: 14. Chris McGaha, broke.

 

Pro Stock Motorcycle — 1. Matt Smith, EBR, 6.806, 199.20; 2. Scotty Pollacheck, EBR, 6.865, 196.64; 3. Joey Gladstone, Suzuki, 6.889, 195.73; 4. Andrew Hines, Buell, 6.893, 197.39; 5. Angie Smith, EBR, 6.901, 195.42; 6. Eddie Krawiec, Buell, 6.903, 198.44; 7. Jerry Savoie, Suzuki, 6.945, 187.39; 8. Jianna Salinas, Suzuki, 7.056, 187.89; 9. Freddie Camarena, Suzuki, 7.147, 190.19; 10. Cory Reed, Suzuki, 7.160, 182.23; 11. Jim Underdahl, Suzuki, 8.525, 111.62; 12. Karen Stoffer, Suzuki, 9.916, 83.63; 13. Steve Johnson, Suzuki, broke.


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One thought on “The NHRA Winternationals, Leah Pruett, Blake Alexander Greg Anderson & Matt Smith Leading Friday Qualifying At Pomona!

  1. Jeff

    Definitely disappointing to see the low car counts, only funny car has a full field ….and this is POMONA! Between the lack of cars entered and the sparse crowds in the stands I think it’s safe to say we have a serious problem.

    Reply

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