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‘Motor Sports’ Articles

Pritchett, Capps, Butner win NHRA categories at Springnationals near Houston


BAYTOWN, Texas – Leah Pritchett piloted her Papa John’s dragster to the Top Fuel victory Sunday at the 30th annual NHRA SpringNationals at Royal Purple Raceway.


Ron Capps (Funny Car) and Bo Butner (Pro Stock) were also winners in their respective categories at the fifth event of 24 on the 2017 NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series schedule.


Pritchett raced a 3.781-second pass at 321.96 mph to defeat Steve Torrence who ran a 3.787 at 322.11 in his Capco Contractors dragster. This is Pritchett’s fourth career victory and third of the season.


“Our goal was to leave as the points leader and that was not easy at all,” said Pritchett, who takes over the points lead with the victory. “Going into the final we said this is our bounce back and we’re going to keep it interesting. Never been in a position to really be counting points and I know it is early in the season, but I’m definitely enjoying that.”


Pritchett raced past Scott Palmer, Doug Kalitta and defending champion Antron Brown en route to the victory. Torrence faced Shawn Reed, Troy Coughlin Jr. and No. 1 qualifier Clay Millican before seeing Pritchett in the final round.


Defending Funny Car champion, Ron Capps, claimed his first victory of the season when he outran Robert Hight with a 4.004 pass at 284.33 in his NAPA Auto Parts Dodge Charger R/T. Hight pushed his AAA Texas Chevy Camaro to a 4.107 at 202.88 in his first runner-up effort this season. It is Capps’ 51st career win and third at Houston.


“These things become so hard to win these days,” Capps said. “But you take things for granted where I felt like we should’ve won at any of those first three races of the season. NHRA Mello Yello Funny Car division has to be the most competitive thing in the world right now; its cut-throat.”


Hight experienced engine problems and crossed the center line before the finish line while Capps’ engine violently exploded as he reached the finish.


Capps pushed past Todd Simpson, 16-time world champion John Force and teammate Jack Beckman before facing Hight in the finals. Hight defeated Jim Campbell, J.R. Todd and fellow John Force Racing teammate Courtney Force before falling to Capps.


Butner obtained the first Pro Stock win of his career when he raced his Jim Butner’s Auto Chevy Camaro to a 6.550 pass at 212.26 to defeat No. 1 qualifier Jeg Coughlin Jr. Coughlin Jr. raced his / Elite Performance Chevy Camaro to a 6.562 at 212.03 in his first final round appearance since Seattle in 2015. This was Butner’s seventh final round appearance.


“Any win that you stand on that stage, Super Stock, Super Street or whatever it is (the feeling) never gets old. It’s a great feeling and you can’t explain it unless you experience it,” Butner stated. “To make four consecutive win lights is very tough and a lot harder than I expected.”

Butner defeated Allen Johnson and Greg Anderson before facing Coughlin Jr. in the finals. Coughlin Jr. lined up against Chris McGaha and Tanner Gray en route to his finals appearance.


The 2017 NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series season continues at the Eighth annual NHRA Four-Wide Nationals April 28-30 at zMax Dragway.




BAYTOWN, Texas — Final finish order (1-16) at the 30th annual NHRA SpringNationals at Royal Purple Raceway.  The race is the fifth of 24 events in the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series.



1.  Leah Pritchett; 2.  Steve Torrence; 3.  Antron Brown; 4.  Clay Millican; 5.  Doug Kalitta; 6.

Bob Vandergriff; 7.  Tony Schumacher; 8.  Troy Coughlin Jr.; 9.  Shawn Langdon; 10.  Terry McMillen; 11.  Shawn Reed; 12.  Brittany Force; 13.  Terry Haddock; 14.  Scott Palmer; 15.  Steven Chrisman; 16.  Troy Buff.



1.  Ron Capps; 2.  Robert Hight; 3.  Courtney Force; 4.  Jack Beckman; 5.  J.R. Todd; 6.  John Force; 7.  Alexis DeJoria; 8.  Jonnie Lindberg; 9.  Cruz Pedregon; 10.  Del Worsham; 11.  Jim Campbell; 12.  Tommy Johnson Jr.; 13.  Matt Hagan; 14.  Tim Wilkerson; 15.  Jeff Diehl; 16.  Todd Simpson.



1.  Bo Butner; 2.  Jeg Coughlin; 3.  Greg Anderson; 4.  Tanner Gray; 5.  Chris McGaha; 6.  Vincent Nobile; 7.  Richie Stevens; 8.  Erica Enders; 9.  Alex Laughlin; 10.  Allen Johnson; 11.  Drew Skillman; 12.  Jason Line; 13.  Alan Prusiensky.



1.  Steve Matusek; 2.  Shane Molinari; 3.  Mike Castellana; 4.  Jonathan Gray; 5.  Danny Rowe; 6.Mike Janis; 7.  Troy Coughlin; 8.  Shannon Jenkins; 9.  Chuck Little; 10.  Michael Biehle; 11.

Eric Latino; 12.  Steven Whiteley; 13.  Larry Morgan; 14.  Khalid alBalooshi; 15.  Sidnei Frigo.



BAYTOWN, Texas — Sunday’s final results from the 30th annual NHRA SpringNationals at Royal Purple Raceway. The race is the fifth of 24 in the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series:


Top Fuel — Leah Pritchett, 3.781 seconds, 321.96 mph  def. Steve Torrence, 3.787 seconds, 322.11 mph.


Funny Car — Ron Capps, Dodge Charger, 4.004, 284.33  def. Robert Hight, Chevy Camaro, Foul – Centerline.


Pro Stock — Bo Butner, Chevy Camaro, 6.550, 212.26  def. Jeg Coughlin, Camaro, 6.562, 212.03.


Pro Modified — Steve Matusek, Chevy Camaro, 8.985, 124.96  def. Shane Molinari, Pontiac Firebird, Foul – Red Light.


Top Fuel Harley — Jay Turner, Triple J, 6.219, 222.47  def. Bob Malloy, Buell, 6.312, 209.88.


Top Alcohol Dragster — Joey Severance, 5.203, 275.39  def. Mia Tedesco, 5.445, 264.70.


Top Alcohol Funny Car — Doug Gordon, Chevy Camaro, 5.428, 272.12  def. Jay Payne, Camaro, 11.171, 66.34.


Super Stock — Norvell Bowers, Pontiac Firebird, 10.587, 124.18  def. Kevin Helms, Dodge Challenger, 9.383, 130.15.


Stock Eliminator — Kevin Helms, Dodge Challenger, 10.096, 121.74  def. Austin Ford, Ford Mustang, 9.632, 131.56.


Super Gas — Steve Collier, Chevy Vega, 9.900, 167.66  def. Roger Warren, Chevy Corvette, 9.899, 162.00.



Super Comp — Alan Savage, Dragster, 8.888, 182.01  def. Britt Cummings, Dragster, 8.876, 166.23.



Super Street — Chris Vang, Chevy Chevelle, 10.834, 137.72  def. Val Harmon, Chevy Nova, Foul – Red Light.


Top Sportsman presented by — Keith Raftery, Chevy Camaro, 6.479, 195.68  def. Vince Hoda, Camaro, 6.851, 198.93.


Top Dragster presented by — J.R. Baxter, Dragster, 6.130, 227.31  def. William Kruse, Dragster, Foul – Red Light.



BAYTOWN, Texas — Final round-by-round results from the 30th annual NHRA SpringNationals at Royal Purple Raceway, the fifth of 24 events in the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series:




ROUND ONE — Tony Schumacher, 3.758, 322.11 def. Troy Buff, Broke; Clay Millican, 3.729, 326.79 def. Steven Chrisman, 9.654, 83.58; Troy Coughlin Jr., 3.852, 277.20 def. Brittany Force, 3.871, 274.55; Doug Kalitta, 3.761, 325.06 def. Terry McMillen, 3.833, 315.86; Antron Brown, 3.752, 321.04 def. Terry Haddock, 3.931, 283.79; Steve Torrence, 3.748, 324.20 def. Shawn Reed, 3.867, 315.86; Leah Pritchett, 3.748, 324.59 def. Scott Palmer, 4.766, 152.52; Bob Vandergriff, 3.770, 323.43 def.Shawn Langdon, 3.813, 318.84;

QUARTERFINALS — Brown, 3.766, 326.00 def. Vandergriff, 3.778, 323.89; Millican, 3.784, 320.97 def.Schumacher, 3.779, 317.34; Torrence, 3.755, 324.20 def. Coughlin Jr., 6.779, 93.70; Pritchett, 3.763, 324.05 def. Kalitta, 3.759, 326.56;

SEMIFINALS — Pritchett, 3.772, 319.45 def. Brown, 3.815, 322.11; Torrence, 3.760, 323.27 def.Millican, 8.621, 87.00;

FINAL — Pritchett, 3.781, 321.96 def. Torrence, 3.787, 322.11.




ROUND ONE — Ron Capps, Dodge Charger, 3.897, 327.90 def. Todd Simpson, Chevy Camaro, 11.347, 81.01; Courtney Force, Camaro, 5.344, 132.02 def. Jeff Diehl, Toyota Solara, 10.819, 77.81; John Force, Camaro, 4.216, 220.08 def. Del Worsham, Toyota Camry, 4.485, 205.51; Robert Hight, Camaro, 3.870, 331.77 def. Jim Campbell, Charger, 4.543, 195.51; J.R. Todd, Camry, 3.959, 323.58 def. Cruz Pedregon, Camry, 3.935, 322.04; Jack Beckman, Charger, 4.224, 222.62 def. Matt Hagan, Charger, 5.142, 162.12; Jonnie Lindberg, Camry, 3.944, 326.16 def. Tommy Johnson Jr., Charger, 4.556, 190.16; Alexis DeJoria, Camry, 3.927, 327.03 def. Tim Wilkerson, Ford Mustang, 8.109, 112.19;

QUARTERFINALS — Capps, 3.951, 321.04 def. Lindberg, 5.159, 153.63; Hight, 3.898, 327.82 def. Todd, 3.958, 324.36; Beckman, 3.897, 329.18 def. J. Force, 4.134, 273.39; C. Force, 3.947, 294.37 def.DeJoria, 4.146, 260.16;

SEMIFINALS — Hight, 3.908, 324.98 def. C. Force, 3.943, 324.28; Capps, 3.926, 325.37 def. Beckman, 6.126, 114.85;

FINAL — Capps, 4.004, 284.33 def. Hight, Foul – Centerline.




ROUND ONE — Chris McGaha, Chevy Camaro, 6.565, 211.86 def. Drew Skillman, Camaro, Foul – Red Light; Vincent Nobile, Camaro, 6.548, 211.89 def. Jason Line, Camaro, 6.581, 210.97; Tanner Gray, Camaro, 6.555, 212.03 def. Alex Laughlin, Camaro, 6.563, 210.90; Richie Stevens, Dodge Dart, 6.589,210.64 def. Erica Enders, Camaro, Foul – Red Light; Greg Anderson, Camaro, 6.536, 211.46 def. Alan Prusiensky, Dart, 6.588, 211.03; Bo Butner, Camaro, 6.523, 213.33 def. Allen Johnson, Dart, 6.567, 211.16; Jeg Coughlin, Camaro, 6.499, 213.03 was unopposed;

QUARTERFINALS — Gray, 6.547, 211.86 def. Stevens, 6.628, 209.75; Anderson, 6.558, 211.73 def.Nobile, 6.590, 211.73; Butner, 6.544, 212.06 was unopposed; Coughlin, 6.546, 211.73 def. McGaha, 6.574, 211.43;

SEMIFINALS — Coughlin, 6.558, 211.63 def. Gray, Foul – Red Light; Butner, 6.536, 212.69 def.Anderson, Foul – Red Light;

FINAL — Butner, 6.550, 212.26 def. Coughlin, 6.562, 212.03.




ROUND ONE — Bob Rahaim, Chevy Corvette, DQ def. Sidnei Frigo, Corvette, DQ; Troy Coughlin, Corvette, 5.789, 251.77 def. Khalid alBalooshi, Chevy Camaro, 10.699, 82.60; Steve Matusek, Camaro, 5.817, 250.18 def. Steven Whiteley, Cadillac CTS-V, 6.273, 175.11; Mike Janis, Camaro, 5.825,246.53 def. Eric Latino, Camaro, 5.934, 224.06; Danny Rowe, Corvette, 5.811, 250.00 def. Larry Morgan, Camaro, 6.707, 161.83; Shane Molinari, Pontiac Firebird, 5.815, 254.76 def. Chuck Little, Corvette, 5.816, 247.34; Jonathan Gray, Camaro, 5.815, 223.17 def. Shannon Jenkins, Ford Mustang, 5.809, 240.68; Mike Castellana, Camaro, 5.722, 251.77 def. Michael Biehle, Mustang, 5.845, 254.66;

QUARTERFINALS — Castellana, 5.685, 252.99 was unopposed; Gray, 5.801, 250.04 def. Coughlin, 10.018, 81.15; Matusek, 5.793, 251.77 def. Rowe, 5.944, 208.42; Molinari, 5.811, 255.92 def. Janis, 6.446, 167.72;

SEMIFINALS — Molinari, 5.843, 240.38 def. Gray, 9.355, 94.35; Matusek, 5.804, 251.95 def.Castellana, 7.361, 130.30;

FINAL — Matusek, 8.985, 124.96 def. Molinari, Foul – Red Light.



BAYTOWN, Texas — Point standings (top 10) following the 30th annual NHRA SpringNationals at Royal Purple Raceway, the fifth of 24 events in the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series -


Top Fuel


1.  Leah Pritchett, 494; 2.  Antron Brown, 440; 3.  Tony Schumacher, 438; 4.  Doug Kalitta, 358; 5.

Steve Torrence, 352; 6.  Brittany Force, 282; 7.  Clay Millican, 269; 8.  Troy Coughlin Jr., 228; 9.  Terry McMillen, 195; 10.  Scott Palmer, 180.


Funny Car


1.  Matt Hagan, 400; 2.  Ron Capps, 398; 3.  John Force, 371; 4.  Tommy Johnson Jr., 357; 5.  (tie) Courtney Force, 301; Robert Hight, 301; 7.  Jack Beckman, 282; 8.  Jonnie Lindberg, 235; 9.  J.R.

Todd, 222; 10.  Jim Campbell, 211.


Pro Stock


1.  Greg Anderson, 457; 2.  Bo Butner, 426; 3.  Jason Line, 403; 4.  Jeg Coughlin, 372; 5.  Tanner Gray, 370; 6.  Shane Gray, 278; 7.  Erica Enders, 255; 8.  Chris McGaha, 246; 9.  Vincent Nobile, 235; 10.  Drew Skillman, 225.


Pro Modified


1.  Mike Castellana, 169; 2.  Steve Matusek, 147; 3.  Steven Whiteley, 146; 4.  Danny Rowe, 129; 5.

Troy Coughlin, 125; 6.  Shane Molinari, 106; 7.  Mike Janis, 104; 8.  Michael Biehle, 82; 9.  Eric Latino, 78; 10.  Jonathan Gray, 77.




NHRA Saturday Qualifying from Saturday’s Springnationals in Greater Houston area



BAYTOWN, Texas – Courtney Force secured the Funny Car No. 1 qualifier Saturday at the 30th annual NHRA SpringNationals at Royal Purple Raceway.


Clay Millican (Top Fuel) and Jeg Coughlin Jr. (Pro Stock) were also No. 1 qualifiers in their respective categories at the fifth event of 24 on the 2017 NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series schedule.


Defending race winner, Force, set both ends of the track record with a pass of 3.851-seconds at 330.23 mph in her Advance Auto Parts Chevy Camaro during Friday’s qualifying to earn her 12th career No. 1 qualifier.


“It definitely feels good to come back to a track that we were able to win at last year,” Force said. “I feel like we’ve got a more consistent race car which was a goal coming off of Las Vegas testing. I feel like we’re heading in the right direction.”


In the first round of eliminations Force, who will be in pursuit of her first victory this season, will face Jeff Diehl. Ron Capps is qualified second with a 3.884 at 326.56 in his NAPA Auto Parts Dodge Charger R/T and will race Todd Simpson and John Force and his PEAK Chevy Camaro are in third and will line up against Del Worsham.


Millican piloted his Parts Plus / Great Clips dragster to the fifth No. 1 qualifier of his career with a track elapsed time record of 3.722 at 328.22. He will face Steve Chrisman in the first round.


“It is really cool for me to qualify No. 1 by a thousandth,” Millican stated. “Since we did qualify No. 1, my plan is to go out there and stomp on that loud pedal four times and turn on that win light four times. These races are getting harder and harder, but we have a good car.”


Defending world champion, Antron Brown, is qualified second with a 3.723 pass at 322.50 in the Matco Tools dragster and will face Terry Haddock. Doug Kalitta is in the third qualifying position.


In Pro Stock, Coughlin Jr.’s 6.557 pass at 210.70 in his / Elite Performance Chevy Camaro held up from Friday to clench his first No.1 qualifying position since 2014. He won his first race here in the fall of 1997 after only two starts in Pro Stock.


“Car feels great and the track is really holding up nicely,” Coughlin Jr. said. “This is the site where I started my Pro Stock career 20 years ago. To get my first professional win here was extremely special. This was like the Disney Land of race tracks for Pro Stock as I was coming into the class.”


Bo Butner is second with a 6.560 at 210.80 in his Jim Butner’s Auto Chevy Camaro and will line up against Alan Prusiensky in the first round of eliminations. Veteran Greg Anderson and his Summit Racing Equipment Chevy Camaro are qualified third and race Richie Stevens, husband of two-time world champion Erica Enders, in round one.


Eliminations for the 30th annual NHRA SpringNationals begin at 11 a.m. on Sunday. Catch the action on FOX Sports 1 beginning at 6 p.m. ET.




BAYTOWN, Texas — Sunday’s first-round pairings for eliminations for the 30th annual NHRA SpringNationals at Royal Purple Raceway, the fifth of 24 events in the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series.  Pairings based on results in qualifying, which ended Saturday. DNQs listed below pairings.


Top Fuel — 1. Clay Millican, 3.722 seconds, 325.69 mph  vs. 16. Steven Chrisman, 5.767, 119.17; 2.

Antron Brown, 3.723, 322.50  vs. 15. Terry Haddock, 3.980, 301.74; 3. Doug Kalitta, 3.731, 327.03 vs. 14. Terry McMillen, 3.891, 316.97; 4. Steve Torrence, 3.743, 321.58  vs. 13. Shawn Reed, 3.869, 320.43; 5. Brittany Force, 3.745, 327.27  vs. 12. Troy Coughlin Jr., 3.862, 316.82; 6. Leah Pritchett, 3.747, 326.87  vs. 11. Scott Palmer, 3.832, 316.52; 7. Bob Vandergriff, 3.781, 320.43 vs. 10. Shawn Langdon, 3.825, 314.53; 8. Tony Schumacher, 3.783, 321.50  vs. 9. Troy Buff, 3.810, 289.01.


Funny Car — 1. Courtney Force, Chevy Camaro, 3.851, 330.23  vs. 16. Jeff Diehl, Toyota Solara, 11.833, 68.24; 2. Ron Capps, Dodge Charger, 3.884, 326.56  vs. 15. Todd Simpson, Camaro, 8.421, 85.90; 3. John Force, Camaro, 3.890, 325.53  vs. 14. Del Worsham, Toyota Camry, 4.139, 267.00; 4.

Robert Hight, Camaro, 3.894, 329.67  vs. 13. Jim Campbell, Charger, 4.126, 299.73; 5. Cruz Pedregon, Camry, 3.897, 324.98  vs. 12. J.R. Todd, Camry, 4.016, 322.65; 6. Jack Beckman, Charger, 3.907, 327.90  vs. 11. Matt Hagan, Charger, 3.974, 322.19; 7. Tommy Johnson Jr., Charger, 3.934,

321.12  vs. 10. Jonnie Lindberg, Camry, 3.961, 323.50; 8. Tim Wilkerson, Ford Mustang, 3.946,

322.34  vs. 9. Alexis DeJoria, Camry, 3.946, 323.43.


Pro Stock — 1. Jeg Coughlin, Chevy Camaro, 6.557, 210.70  vs. Bye; 2. Bo Butner, Camaro, 6.560,

211.03  vs. 13. Allen Johnson, Dodge Dart, 6.645, 208.84; 3. Greg Anderson, Camaro, 6.563, 211.10 vs. 12. Alan Prusiensky, Dart, 6.625, 209.01; 4. Erica Enders, Camaro, 6.573, 210.44  vs. 11.

Richie Stevens, Dart, 6.615, 208.52; 5. Tanner Gray, Camaro, 6.575, 210.57  vs. 10. Alex Laughlin, Camaro, 6.611, 209.36; 6. Jason Line, Camaro, 6.576, 211.20  vs. 9. Vincent Nobile, Camaro, 6.604, 209.59; 7. Drew Skillman, Camaro, 6.587, 210.87  vs. 8. Chris McGaha, Camaro, 6.598, 210.14.




Qualifying from Saturday’s NHRA J&A Pro Mod Series Springnationals at Houston



BAYTOWN, Texas – Mike Castellana maintained the qualifying lead and ran the quickest elapsed time in NHRA Pro Mod history during eliminations Saturday at the NHRA J&A Service Pro Mod Drag Racing Series portion of the SpringNationals at Royal Purple Raceway. This weekend’s Pro Mod racing, presented by Real Pro Mod Association, is the second of 12 events this season.


Castellana’s 5.759-second pass at 250.46 mph in his Al Anabi Racing ’17 Camaro during Friday’s qualifying sessions secured him the No. 1 qualifier. During eliminations, Castellana defeated Michael Biehle II with a national elapsed time record run of 5.722 at 251.77.


“It’s great,” Castellana said. “First I gotta thank Khalid Hamad for giving me the opportunity to drive this car this year. I gotta thank Frank Manzo and my crew. It’s unbelievable what they do. Right now, I feel like I’m in Wonderland or something right now.”


Jonathon Gray, who is racing Rickie Smith’s second car while Smith recovers from back surgery, qualified second and went on to defeat Shannon Jenkins in the first round. Gray ran a 5.815 at 223.17 to defeat Jenkins on a holeshot.


Shane Molinari, who qualified third, defeated Chuck Little and No. 4 qualifier Danny Rowe bettered Larry Morgan.


J&A Pro Mod Series eliminations continue Sunday at approximately 12:30 p.m. at Royal Purple Raceway.




BAYTOWN, Texas — First round results from the 30th annual NHRA SpringNationals at Royal Purple Raceway, the race is the second of 12 events in the NHRA Pro Mod Drag Racing Series.




ROUND ONE — Bob Rahaim, Chevy Corvette, DQ vs. Sidnei Frigo, Corvette, DQ; Troy Coughlin, Corvette, 5.789, 251.77 def. Khalid alBalooshi, Chevy Camaro, 10.699, 82.60; Steve Matusek, Camaro, 5.817, 250.18 def. Steven Whiteley, Cadillac CTS-V, 6.273, 175.11; Mike Janis, Camaro, 5.825, 246.53 def. Eric Latino, Camaro, 5.934, 224.06; Danny Rowe, Corvette, 5.811, 250.00 def. Larry Morgan, Camaro, 6.707, 161.83; Shane Molinari, Pontiac Firebird, 5.815, 254.76 def. Chuck Little, Corvette, 5.816, 247.34; Jonathan Gray, Camaro, 5.815, 223.17 def. Shannon Jenkins, Ford Mustang, 5.809, 240.68; Mike Castellana, Camaro, 5.722, 251.77 def. Michael Biehle, Mustang, 5.845, 254.66;


BAYTOWN, Texas – Final order after 3 rounds of qualifying in Pro Modified at the

30th annual NHRA SpringNationals.  The race is the second of 12 events in the NHRA Pro Mod Drag Racing Series.


Psn—Num-Driver, Home Town, Car Type—————Qual-ET–Qual-Spd-Top Spd


1   44 Mike Castellana, Oyster Bay NY,  ’17 Camaro     5.759@ 250.46  250.97

2   13 Jonathan Gray, Artesia NM,  ’15 Camaro          5.788  250.97  250.97

3 6718 Shane Molinari, Battle Ground WA,  ’68 Firebird 5.792  257.24  257.24

4    8 Danny Rowe, Laguna Hills CA,  ’15 Corvette      5.800  250.00  250.00

5    5 Steve Matusek, Olathe KS,  ’68 Camaro           5.813  252.28  252.28

6 1456 Mike Janis, Lancaster NY,  ’16 Camaro           5.815  247.29  247.29

7    2 Troy Coughlin, Delaware OH,  ’15 Corvette       5.820  253.90  253.90

8    3 Bob Rahaim, Grosse Pointe MI,  ’15 Corvette     5.837  248.02  248.11

9  288 Sidnei Frigo, Sao Paulo BZ,  ’16 Corvette       5.846  251.53  251.53

10    7 Khalid alBalooshi, Ajman UA,  ’17 Camaro        5.847  249.44  249.53

11 1938 Eric Latino, Port Perry ON,  ’69 Camaro         5.853  245.81  251.34

12 5200 Steven Whiteley, Grand Junction CO,  ’14 CTS-V  5.859  247.20  247.20

13  357 Larry Morgan, Newark OH,  ’17 Camaro            5.861  241.71  249.44

14 1262 Chuck Little, Atkinson NH,  ’63 Corvette        5.864  246.12  246.12

15   77 Shannon Jenkins, Tuscaloosa AL,  ’16 Mustang    5.868  247.02  247.02

16    4 Michael Biehle, North Vernon IN,  ’67 Mustang   5.893  253.09  253.09


———— Not Qualified ————


17 220F Kevin Fiscus, Jacksonville FL,  ’10 Mustang     5.893  249.95  249.95

18  213 Chip King, Roxboro NC,  ’69 Daytona             5.895  245.49  245.49

19  280 Steve Jackson, Evans GA,  ’17 Camaro            5.913  233.96  233.96

20  205 Kevin Rivenbark, Wallace NC,  ’15 Corvette      5.916  241.32  241.54

21 2105 Doug Winters, Pleasant Garden NC,  ’69 Chevelle 5.928  237.34  241.80

22 5087 Jim Whiteley, Grand Junction CO,  ’69 Camaro    5.936  245.27  245.27

23  202 Todd Tutterow, Yadkinville NC,  ’69 Camaro      5.946  243.94  244.16

24  325 Harry Hruska, Hebron IN,  ’14 Camaro            5.971  249.81  249.81

25 1518 Pete Farber, Baldwinville MA,  ’69 Daytona      5.986  244.29  244.29

26 275T Ruben Tetsoshvili, Wesley Chapel FL,  ’17 Cama  6.323  188.17  188.17

27 5011 Mike Knowles, Grand Junction CO,  ’67 Mustang   6.436  214.14  214.14

28  701 Clint Satterfield, Albuquerque NM,  ’68 Firebi  7.067  228.31  228.31




Quotes from IndyCar’s Saturday practice for Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama

“What They’re Saying” from qualifying at Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama

SIMON PAGENAUD (No. 1 Menards Team Penske Chevrolet): “It’s phenomenal for the Penske team. They did a fantastic job preparing these cars. This is a really good track for us in general. We have a really good grip and an understanding of the aero package, as well. Personally, it was a good session for the No.1 Menards Chevy. It was a little hectic in the beginning on pit lane. I couldn’t really go on my out lap to get the tires up to speed, so it was very difficult to transfer with only one lap on the tires. So, unfortunately, we wore out the tires Q1, Q2, and then I pushed a little too hard in the Firestone Fast Six, but I guess that’s what it’s all about. It’s racing. We were very aggressive with the setup and I think we went a tick too far. That was great qualifying and phenomenal for the race team starting 1-2-3.

JOSEF NEWGARDEN (No. 2 Fitzgerald Glider Kits Team Penske Chevrolet): “We took a gamble on trying to save a set of sticker reds for the Firestone Fast Six and we just missed. We wanted to put the Fitzgerald Glider Kits Chevrolet on the pole and thought it was worth it. We’re a little disappointed, but we’re in good shape for the race. It was a good session for Team Penske. Our cars have been good all weekend and definitely looking forward to tomorrow.”

HELIO CASTRONEVES (No. 3 AAA Insurance Team Penske Chevrolet): “It’s a great team effort, especially the No. 3 AAA Chevy guys who did a phenomenal job during qualifying because we kept chasing the car. It was phenomenal towards the end. My teammate, Will Power, he definitely has something on this place. He did a great job putting a lap towards to the end. Now we’re looking for tomorrow. Hopefully the weather, it’s going to be a little bit cooler, and I think everybody’s car is going to be fast. Starting from the front row is a good place to be and now we’ve just got to look forward and hopefully beat my teammate.”

CONOR DALY (No. 4 ABC Supply AJ Foyt Chevrolet): “I think we would have had a pretty good lap had we not caught Helio (Castroneves) on our best lap there. It is what it is. We caught a little traffic which is a shame because I think we could have shown a little better than we did.”

JAMES HINCHCLIFFE (No. 5 Arrow Schmidt Peterson Motorsports Honda): “It’s super competitive in the Verizon IndyCar Series at the moment and track position and a good starting position is such an important part of it. We focused a lot of our energy and efforts on that in over the offseason. We were decent and had a decent strike rate in that last year but certainly consistently getting the No. 5 Arrow Honda in the Firestone Fast Six is great and has put us in the position to lead laps so far this season and obviously take a victory last week in Long Beach. Proud of the Arrow Electronics guys, and everybody at Schmidt Peterson Motorsports to consistently be giving us a car good enough to be competing with the best of the best.”

MIKHAIL ALESHIN (No. 7 SMP Racing Schmidt Peterson Motorsports Honda): “Well that was a very good qualifying. I think it was great for the whole team. James (Hinchcliffe) was in the top six and I was in the top eight, so I think it shows our potential for tomorrow. I was definitely happy to move on from the first group of qualifying. Tomorrow we’ll have different weather. We might have rain, but definitely cooler weather. We’ll see how the car setup does in warmup, but I think it’s a great result for Schmidt Peterson Motorsports with both cars starting in the top 10.”

MAX CHILTON (No. 8 Gallagher Honda): “Well considering we weren’t great yesterday, this is the best turnaround we’ve had since I’ve been with Ganassi. But this is where we should’ve been or even higher because we were P2 here at the test a month ago. I was slightly disappointed with that last run – there was definitely more in the car there. We did something to go backwards. On the whole though, we’re starting in the top 10 and hopefully we’ll have a good day tomorrow.”

SCOTT DIXON (No. 9 NTT Data Honda): “We have a very good NTT Data Honda. The Penske cars are pretty fast, but we kept up pretty well given the rise in temperature today. Tomorrow is supposed to be much cooler and I feel our car will respond to that better than the temps we saw today. I’m happy with our starting spot and hope we have something to get to the front here at Barber Sunday.”

TONY KANAAN (No. 10 NTT Data Honda): “The No. 10 NTT Data Honda was pretty quick in that first round of qualifying, but we just couldn’t put a good lap together to move on to the Firestone Fast Six in the second round. We’re still struggling with grip, but we’re definitely making progress and moving in the right direction.”

WILL POWER (No. 12 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet): “Having a very good team and car is key and the No.12 Verizon Chevy is definitely working well this weekend. I’m kind of focusing very well, making sure I’m looking at the right things, and felt like I had a much better car on used tires. I think that’s kind of where we’ve been going wrong. It’s a very good result.”

CARLOS MUNOZ (No. 14 ABC Supply AJ Foyt Racing Chevrolet): “We made some changes at the end and it didn’t work as we expected. But we learned from it and we’ll go back over the changes we did. The Verizon IndyCar series is like that–if you don’t put everything together you won’t be in the top six. Our group was pretty tough but I think we have a better race car than qualifying car. We have to keep working. It’s a long race tomorrow and anything can happen.”

GRAHAM RAHAL (No. 15 Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing Honda): “We’re all sliding around, it’s just the level at which you are doing that. We can’t seem to get the tire to bite the road at all.  I had nothing else for qualifying. This morning I put in one miracle lap but couldn’t get within half of a second of it again. That’s what we have been banking on in qualifying. It got us through once in St. Pete and got us into the Firestone Fast Six in Long Beach but we weren’t able to do that today. We have to unload competitive right away because we don’t have a second car to split the workload and try different setups, spring rates or anything. For us as a single car team, it’s impossible to catch up over a race weekend. We’ve always been good here. We want to win races and get the PennGrade car in victory lane.”

SEBASTIEN BOURDAIS (No. 18 Sonny’s BBQ Honda): “We made some major changes to the car but they didn’t work. There’s something missing and we’re just not quite understanding what it is. Quite truthfully to make it into the fast 12 was a big surprise with the understeer we had. Using another set of (Firestone alternate) reds didn’t feel like the right thing to do to maybe get a better lap time, so we kept a new set for tomorrow and used the same reds we ran in Round 1. We figured it was best to swallow the pill today and hope for a better day tomorrow with two brand new sets of Firestone reds. We’re scratching our heads but we’ll keep working and see what we can do. As I’ve said before, some weekends we’ll get it and some weekends we won’t, but we’ll keep on trying and not give up.”

ED JONES (No. 19 Boy Scouts of America Honda): “It was a really good day. We started off Practice 3 this morning with some changes to the Boy Scouts of America car and I made improvements in myself as well. The team and myself came together and we produced a really good car. We were 12th in practice this morning which was so much better than yesterday. We made a little bit more of jump again this afternoon for qualifying and got through to the fast 12 which was our qualifying target this weekend, and we’ve accomplished that. I look forward to the race and hopefully we can get another top 10 finish.”

SPENCER PIGOT (No. 20 Fuzzy’s Vodka Chevrolet): “It’s definitely not how we wanted qualifying to go. It’s frustrating to be starting in the back. We could have potentially gone a little quicker. I made a mistake and went off in Turn 1 on the set of (Firestone alternate) reds at the end. We’ll be working hard to get the Fuzzy’s Vodka car to the front tomorrow.”

ZACH VEACH (No. 21 Fuzzy’s Vodka Chevrolet): “Literally every session we’ve picked up a half a second, we just keep closing that gap. I’ve wanted to come into this weekend very methodically for Ed Carpenter Racing, I didn’t want to jump in too deep, too fast. We are working our way up to speed. This is my first time in a race car since last October. It’s been a lot to get in and process in just a day and a half. The Fuzzy’s Vodka guys have been doing a great job, just helping me get up to speed. JR Hildebrand has been coaching me this weekend as well, which has been so helpful. If we can find another half a second in warm up tomorrow, we will only be a half a second after the leaders and we can go for it from there.”

TAKUMA SATO (No. 26 Andretti Autosport Honda): “Tough qualifying. It looked really close – a few hundredths of a second through the top positions. Obviously disappointed, the boys have done a great job to recover the speed today. We are just going to have to build a good car for tomorrow, have a solid warm up and hopefully we will have a strong race.”

MARCO ANDRETTI (No. 27 Andretti Autosport Honda): “I was just a bit loose, but with the margin I had this morning, there is really no excuse – I should’ve had it through. I don’t know what to say, this one definitely hurts to miss (Round Two) by a hundredth (of a second) over fifth. I’m going to need a start like I did last year for sure.”

RYAN HUNTER-REAY (No. 28 DHL Honda): “Not a bad place to start, considering last year we qualified 18th – it’s a good turn around. I definitely had my hands full out there. We need to try to make some changes for the race tomorrow that could potentially settle the car a little bit and make it a bit more predictable to get that DHL Honda its third victory here. That’s the goal.”

CHARLIE KIMBALL (No. 83 Tresiba Honda): “We just missed it a little bit on balance going to the Firestone alternates. We just didn’t quite have the lap time out of the car that I thought we could’ve had, but overall I’m frustrated for the guys because they worked so hard this weekend. I think the No. 83 Tresiba Honda was better yesterday afternoon and we just didn’t quite get it right today. We’ll make it better for warm-up tomorrow and then ideally have a smart clean race, stay out of trouble, settle into a rhythm, and let the race come to us.”

ALEXANDER ROSSI (No. 98 Andretti/Curb Honda): “It’s pretty disappointing. We’ve been struggling for pace all weekend. I was hoping we’d be able to pull something out with the Firestone reds (alternate tire), but the car balance isn’t there. We’ve run through a lot of different configurations and we can’t seem to find one that works. It’s always tough when it’s like that, but we’ll just keep pushing forward and try to come up with something for tomorrow.”



Will Power claims fourth pole at Barber Motorsports Park

Will Power at Carb Day 2015 by Sarah Stierch - Own work. Licensed under CC BY 4.0 via Wikimedia Commons

Power claims fourth Verizon P1 Award for pole position at Barber

BIRMINGHAM, Alabama (Saturday, April 22, 2017) – Something about Will Power, Team Penske and Barber Motorsports Park go well together in Verizon IndyCar Series qualifying.

Power negotiated the 2.3-mile, 17-turn permanent road course in 1 minute, 6.9614 seconds (123.653 mph) in the Firestone Fast Six, the climactic round of knockout qualifying. It earned the 36-year-old Australian the Verizon P1 Award and his fourth pole position at the track for the Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama presented by America’s First.


Power, in the No. 12 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet, edged a pair of teammates and past Barber pole winners for qualifying honors. Helio Castroneves was second in the No. 3 AAA Insurance Team Penske Chevrolet (1:07.1429, 123.319 mph) and Simon Pagenaud third in the No. 1 Menards Team Penske Chevrolet (1:07.3817, 122.882 mph).

“Congratulation to Will,” said Pagenaud, the defending Barber race winner and reigning Verizon IndyCar Series champion. “That was great qualifying and phenomenal for the race team: 1-2-3.”

Power’s 46th career pole – fifth all time – was the seventh for Team Penske in eight events at Barber Motorsports Park. It was also the 248th in Indy car history for the team, which Power said is where it all starts.

“First, it’s having a very good team and car, definitely working well this weekend,” said Power, the 2014 series champion who has Barber race wins in 2011 and ’12. “Kind of focusing very well and making sure I’m looking at the right things. Felt like I had a much better car on used tires; I think that’s kind of where we’ve been going wrong. Yeah, just very good result.”

Scott Dixon qualified fourth in the No. 9 NTT Data Honda for Chip Ganassi Racing (1:07.5817, 122.518 mph). Ryan Hunter-Reay, the only non-Penske driver to ever win a pole at Barber, was fifth in the No. 28 DHL Honda for Andretti Autosport (1:07.6851, 122.331 mph).

“This weekend, we struggled with just keeping up with the car,” said Dixon, a six-time podium finisher at Barber but never a race winner at the track. “It’s been tough in the conditions out here, but I think that was kind of the best we could hope for in qualifying. Pretty happy with that. Penskes have been strong all weekend and I think we’re in a good starting position.”

James Hinchcliffe, winner of the most recent Verizon IndyCar Series race, the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach on April 9, qualified sixth in the No. 5 Arrow Schmidt Peterson Motorsports Honda (1:07.8710, 121.996 mph).

Championship points leader Sebastien Bourdais qualified 12th in the No. 18 Sonny’s BBQ Honda, one position behind his Dale Coyne Racing teammate, rookie Ed Jones. It’s the best qualifying effort for Jones, the driver of the No. 19 Boy Scouts of America Honda, in his three Verizon IndyCar Series races thus far.

A final 30-minute warmup practice is scheduled for 10:45 a.m. ET Sunday (streamed Live coverage of the 90-lap race starts at 3 p.m. ET on NBCSN and the Advance Auto Parts INDYCAR Radio Network.

Fitzgerald Glider Kits sponsoring Newgarden at Barber, Montoya at Indy

Team Penske announced today that Fitzgerald Glider Kits, North America’s leading truck glider kit assembler, is building on its partnership with the team to become a primary sponsor for three Verizon IndyCar Series races in 2017, including this weekend’s Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama presented by America’s First.

Josef Newgarden is driving the No. 2 Fitzgerald Glider Kits Chevrolet at Barber Motorsports Park. Fitzgerald will also be the primary sponsor for Juan Pablo Montoya in the month of May at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, on the No. 22 Team Penske Chevrolet for both the INDYCAR Grand Prix on the road course and the 101st Indianapolis 500 presented by PennGrade Motor Oil on the 2.5-mile oval.

“Team Penske is proud to work with Fitzgerald and to have the company build on its partnership with us in NASCAR to now expand to INDYCAR, it certainly shows their commitment to motorsports and to our organization,” said team owner Roger Penske. “This is a great opportunity for our team and Fitzgerald to team up for the greatest motorsport event in the world – the Indianapolis 500. With a two-time Indy 500 winner and proven champion in Juan Pablo Montoya behind the wheel, it definitely could be a special month of May at Indianapolis for Fitzgerald and our other partners.”

Tommy Fitzgerald Sr., the founder of Fitzgerald Glider Kits, is excited about the exposure his opportunity his company will receive with Newgarden this weekend and with two-time Indianapolis 500 winner Montoya next month.

“To be a part of the Indianapolis 500, and to do it with Team Penske, is going to be so exciting for our employees and customers,” Fitzgerald said. “What makes it even more special is getting a chance to work with a driver like Juan who, has such an incredible resume and track record at Indy. We are really excited to showcase the Fitzgerald brand to the fans of INDYCAR while still being a big part of Team Penske’s NASCAR operation. We’re looking forward to building on this momentum for the rest of the year.”

Hinchcliffe makes TV acting debut on ‘Private Eyes’

He’s flashed his dance moves on “Dancing with the Stars” and shared his wit and knowledge on “Celebrity Family Feud.” Now the world gets to see if Verizon IndyCar Series driver James Hinchcliffe can act.

The Schmidt Peterson Motorsports driver recently taped a guest star role on “Private Eyes,” the Toronto-based crime drama starring Jason Priestley, the former Indy Lights driver. The episode involving Hinchcliffe, who plays himself, is the season premiere for the second season and will air in May.

The driver of the No. 5 Arrow Honda, who won the most recent Verizon IndyCar Series race April 9, the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach, is leaving it to others to critique his acting performance.

“It went pretty well, I guess,” Hinchcliffe said today prior to qualifying for the Honda Grand Prix of Alabama presented by America’s First. “We’ll see the finished product. It was tough because I’m ‘playing myself,’ but Jason kind of set up the scene so that his character and me had a little bit of friction.

“So I had to be a bit of a jerk and it’s not naturally what I would default to. We’ll see how my jerk comes across.”

“Private Eyes” airs on Global TV in Canada and on ION Television in the United States.

Mazda Road to Indy recap

Nico Jamin became the third winner in as many races this season in Indy Lights presented by Cooper Tires, winning the first race of the series’ weekend doubleheader at Barber Motorsports Park. The Andretti Autosport driver made an early pass for the lead and drove away to a 2.6525-second win over Kyle Kaiser of Juncos Racing. Sunday’s race will be the 400th in the history of Indy Lights, the top rung of the Mazda Road to Indy presented by Cooper Tires development ladder.

In the Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship powered by Mazda, the entry level for Mazda Road to Indy, Oliver Askew of Cape Motorsports made it a weekend sweep by winning the second race today. For the second straight day, Team Pelfrey’s Kaylen Frederick finished second. Askew has won three of the first four USF2000 races this season.




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