• Robert Hight's second qualifying run stood strong throughout Saturday qualifying for his 61st career No. 1 qualifier.
• Defending Top Fuel world champion Steve Torrence locked-in his first No. 1 qualifier of the season with his final qualifying pass
• Rodger Brogdon secures first Pro Stock No. 1 qualifier since Gainesville 2011
Steve Torrence (Top Fuel) and Rodger Brogdon (Pro Stock) are also No. 1 qualifiers in their respective categories at the first of 24 events on the 2019 NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series schedule.
Hight's second qualifying run of 3.871-seconds at 329.67 mph from Friday evening in his Auto Club of Southern California Chevrolet Camaro stood strong throughout Saturday's qualifying efforts. After tallying three No. 1 qualifiers in 2018, he locked down his first of the season and 61st of his career.
"We are here to show these guys we know what we're doing," Hight stated. "The guys worked hard over the winter and found some things we did wrong during the Countdown. Testing went well and we've won here quite a few times and been No. 1 qualifier here before, so we normally are able to shine when it counts."
Hight will face Terry Haddock in the first round of eliminations. Jack Beckman is second after running a 3.900 at 330.23 in his Infinite Hero Foundation Dodge Hellcat and faces Phil Burkhart Jr, while teammate Tommy Johnson Jr. is third with a 3.904 at 327.03 in his Make-A-Wish Dodge Hellcat.
"We came here, and the dragsters weren't where we wanted them to be," Torrence said. "We made some changes this morning, learned from them and it played well for us during Q4. It's really humbling and unique to be a world champion in a class that is the pinnacle of the sport and to come out and compete is just a dream for me."
S. Torrence will race Steve Faria in a first round match-up. Billy Torrence is second after running a 3.662 at 326.79 in his Capco Contractors/Torrence Racing dragster and will race Cameron Ferre.
"I feel good and I've got a great team," Brogdon stated. "We tested last week, and everything went really well. The Elite (Motorsports) bunch is incredible. I never really thought I could be No. 1, maybe top three with a good run, but I feel really good about this."
Erica Enders qualified second with a 6.528 lap at 212.09 in her Melling Performance/Elite Motosports Chevrolet Camaro and defending event winner Bo Butner rounds out the top three with his run of 6.530 at 213.10, the top speed in the class during qualifying.
Eliminations for the Lucas Oil NHRA Winternationals presented by ProtectTheHarvest.com begin at 11 a.m. at Auto Club Raceway.
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