Drag Race Central - NHRA
Sat, 19 Oct 2019, 21:24 PM

B. Force, J. Force, Coughlin & M. Smith Take No. 1 Spots Into Raceday
Courtesy of NHRA Communications
Photo copyright 2019 NHRA/National Dragster

At AAA Texas NHRA FallNationals

ENNIS, Texas -

Brittany Force
ENNIS, Texas - Brittany and John Force both raced to the No. 1 spot in their respective classes Saturday at Texas Motorplex during the 34th annual AAA Texas NHRA FallNationals, as they try to become the first father-daughter combo in NHRA history to win at the same event.

Jeg Coughlin Jr. (Pro Stock) and Matt Smith (Pro Stock Motorcycle) also earned No. 1 qualifiers in their respective categories at the fourth of six races during the NHRA Mello Yello Countdown to the Championship playoffs. It is also the 22nd of 24 events in during the 2019 NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series season.

B. Force's track record run of 3.651-seconds at 331.28 mph from Friday in her Advance Auto Parts dragster held up to take the No. 1 spot for the eighth time in 2019 and 18th time in her career. She finished qualifying with another impressive run in the 3.60s on Saturday and will meet Cameron Ferre to open eliminations. It marks the second time B. Force and her father qualified No. 1 at the same event, with the first also coming in Texas during the race in Houston last spring.

"It's always really special to hold the No. 1 qualifier with my dad," B. Force said. "He's the one who taught me everything about this sport and he's the reason I'm out here. We did it earlier in the season and to do it again, it's special to me. It's on my bucket list to double-up (with a win) with my dad. It would just be awesome to share that with him. Our team is in a very good place."

Leah Pritchett qualified second thanks to her 3.681 at a track speed record of 332.10 from Friday, and Mike Salinas' 3.681 at 331.12 has him third. Points leader Steve Torrence qualified fourth with a 3.689 at 329.18.

John Force
Funny Car's J. Force earned his fifth No. 1 qualifier this season and a remarkable 160th in his career thanks to his 3.834 at a career-best 337.33 on Friday in his PEAK Coolant and Motor Oil / BlueDEF Chevrolet Camaro SS. A seven-time winner in Dallas, J. Force will try to win for the sixth time from the No. 1 spot at Texas Motorplex and join his daughter in the winner's circle.

"That makes it really special anytime you can do something with your kids," said J. Force, who will race Jeff Arend in the opening round on Sunday. "I'm looking forward to tomorrow. This is what we do and what we love. Those were prime conditions (last night), and we wanted to push it today. We've got a good car for raceday tomorrow."

After qualifying second with a 3.851 at 335.07 from Friday, Robert Hight is racing for a third straight win in Dallas. Defending world champ J.R. Todd went 3.866 at 334.40 to qualify third.

Jeg Coughlin Jr.
In Pro Stock, Jeg Coughlin Jr. earned his second No. 1 in 2019 and 31st in his career after his 6.509 at 210.41 in his JEGS.com Chevrolet Camaro from Friday held up. Coughlin, who now has back-to-back No. 1 in Dallas, made a pair of consistent runs on Saturday as well, including the quickest of the final qualifying session, adding to his momentum for Sunday. He will race Richie Stevens in the opening round of eliminations.

Coughlin's Elite Motorsports teammate, points leader Erica Enders, will start raceday from the second position after going 6.510 at 211.53. She had been the No. 1 qualifier at the first three playoff races. Charlotte winner Deric Kramer qualified third with a 6.609 at 209.17.

"We've had some unique weather conditions here, so it feels great to be No. 1," said Coughlin, who is after his second victory of 2019. "We've got three races left in the Countdown and we were No. 1 in three of the four sessions, so our team is looking really, really strong. I'm really looking forward to hitting the track tomorrow."

Matt Smith
Defending Pro Stock Motorcycle world champ Matt Smith stayed in the top spot after his impressive run of 6.776 at 200.26 on his Denso Auto Parts/Stockseth/MSR EBR on Friday. Smith, who also set the track speed record, earned fifth No. 1 qualifier of 2019 and 36th in his career. Jerry Savoie will begin eliminations from the second position after his 6.790 at 196.13 on Friday, while Steve Johnson moved into the third spot on Saturday with a 6.830 at 194.44. Points leader Andrew Hines qualified sixth with a 6.851 at 196.96.

"It's just a lot of hard work after the struggles we had at Charlotte," Smith said. "We had two tough days of non-stop work, and I can't say enough about my crew guys and the people who help me. Not only are we No. 1 qualifier, we get some bonus points and we get a bye in the first round. All in all, we've got a good bike for tomorrow."

Drew Skillman Clinched the 2019 SAM Tech.edu Factory Stock Showdown
Drew Skillman clinched the 2019 SAM Tech.edu Factory Stock Showdown championship on Saturday, locking up his first world title at the conclusion of qualifying. Skillman had a banner 2019 campaign, winning three races en route to the championship.

Eliminations at the AAA Texas NHRA FallNationals begin at 11:00 a.m. CT on Sunday.

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