Force shoots at No. 1 in North West Nationals

Strength of Britain. (NHRA photo)

KENT, Wash. — Top Fuel points leader Brittany Force delivered a massive performance to close qualifying Saturday at Pacific Raceways, climbing to first place at the 33rd annual Flav-R-Pac NHRA Northwest Nationals.

Bob Tasca III (Funny Car) and Greg Anderson (Pro Stock) also qualified No. 1 in Race 13 of 22 in the 2022 NHRA Camping World Drag Racing Series season and the final leg in all three NHRA races Western Swing.

After struggling through the first two Top Fuel qualifying sessions, Force and his team ended the day clocking an impressive 3.753 seconds at 327.35 mph in their 11,000 horsepower Flav-R-Pac/Monster Energy dragster. That sent Force to the top, giving the Top Fuel points leader her fifth No. 1 spot of the season and 37th of her career. It may not have been the most ideal way to get to No. 1, but Force, who will open the eliminations against Jim Maroney, praised his team’s work as they look to win for the second week. consecutive and the first time in Seattle.

“It was really important for this Flav-R-Pac team to have a killer run and get down on the circuit,” Force said. “We had answers to our first two points and made a solid pass in the third. I didn’t expect that in the heat, but (team boss David) Grubnic said he wanted to push and he wanted to put us at the front of the pack. It was pretty exceptional for this Flav-R-Pac team. We have to do it at a race sponsored by Flav-R-Pac, and I think we made the boss happy today.

Steve Torrence’s 3.819 to 321.50 on Friday gave him second place as the reigning four-time world champion looks to win for the first time this season. Tony Schumacher also had a strong run to finish Saturday, qualifying third with a 3.830 at 315.78.

Tasca notched his first Funny Car No. 1 qualifier of the year in his 3.965-319.82 run on Friday in his Motorcraft/Quick Lane 11,000 horsepower Ford Mustang, but he was just as good at closing out the qualifying on Saturday, going 3.969 to 322.42. Combined, that gives Tasca plenty of confidence heading into the eliminations, where he will look to win for a second week in a row. He was the only driver in the category to complete a three-second run on Saturday, reinforcing the belief that his team is performing at a high level to close out the Western Swing.

“The conditions were the same as last night and the guys said it would work out the same way. He did it last night and he should do it again,” said Tasca, who has seven career No. 1 qualifiers. “If you look at the field, it’s a dominant race. I’m delighted to know where this team is, and we have a car that can win. We just have to keep taking this lap at a time and keep doing what we’re capable of doing. With a good car like this and running the way it is, we want to do as much damage as possible. I think people realize it’s not an accident, but we’re running the best of the best, so you have to keep doing one round at a time.

Alexis DeJoria remained second with his 3.994 at 313.95 from Friday, while John Force, who won his 150th career run in Seattle in 2019, took third with a run of 4.001 at 311.92.

Defending world champion Anderson earned his first No. 1 qualifier of 2022 and 119th of his career thanks to his 6.604-208.07 run on Saturday in his Chevrolet Camaro. Anderson had a stellar two days of qualifying, posting the fastest run in two of three sessions and missing the third on speed alone. After qualifying second and advancing to the final round in Sonoma last weekend, Anderson, who was No. 1 12 times a year ago, continues to build momentum at a perfect time. The only thing left for the KB Racing star is a win and if that happens on Sunday it would give the five-time world champion his 100th career win.

“It’s tough out there, but I’m feeling my best all year and I think our car is ready,” Anderson said. “It’s the best hot rod I’ve had all year, without a doubt, and now the driver has to do his job tomorrow. Hopefully we show we can win. We found things between Sonoma and here and it got us back into the hunt. Last weekend it was a great feeling to be back in the final round. It gives you a lot of confidence and we tried to build on that. But without a doubt, I have a great horse to race with on Sunday.

Points leader Erica Enders, who was the No. 1 provisional qualifier on Friday, will start race day from second place with her run of 6.608 to 209.26. His Elite Motorsports teammate Aaron Stanfield is close behind with a 6.609 at 208.94

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