ANDERSON WINS K&N HORSEPOWER CHALLENGE; TORRENCE, C. FORCE AND LINE ARE NO. 1 QUALIFIERS AT DENSO SPARK PLUGS NHRA NATIONALS
LAS VEGAS – Greg Anderson raced to victory in the K&N Horsepower Challenge defeating Shane Gray in the final round on Saturday at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.
Anderson powered his Pro Stock Summit Racing Equipment Chevy Camaro to a 6.684-second pass at 205.47 mph to better Gray’s 6.699 at 206.26 to claim the $50,000 prize and the opportunity to walk away from the weekend with more than $100,000. With a victory at tomorrow’s DENSO Spark Plugs NHRA Nationals, Anderson could earn an additional $50,000 including a $25,000 sweep bonus.
“It’s been a great start to the season, first of all,” Anderson said. “This day is all about fun. All about thanking K&N for all they do for this class, for this sport and a whole big pile of cash at the end of the rainbow and we found our way there. It’s just a lot of fun. We have a chance to double up tomorrow. It adds more pressure but more fun for tomorrow. It’s going to be a great day tomorrow.”
He opened the challenge as the No. 2 seed and outran Drew Skillman, and Ken Black Racing teammate Bo Butner to advance to the finals. It was Anderson’s sixth victory, second consecutive, in the Pro Stuck bonus event.
In other racing, Steve Torrence (Top Fuel), Courtney Force (Funny Car) and Jason Line (Pro Stock) secured the No. 1 qualifying positions in their respective categories at the fourth of 24 events on the 2017 NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series schedule.
Torrence held on to the top spot with his 3.720 run at 327.03 in his Capco Contractors dragster from Friday. This is the 14th No. 1 qualifier of his career and first of the season.
“We seem to have a good handle on the conditions here in Las Vegas,” Torrence said. “When we come here, we typically run well right out of the trailer. We usually run well on Q1 and then we build on that. And that’s huge for going rounds on Sunday but even just even doing well in qualifying for having a good base and a good platform to tune off of.”
Eight-time world champ Tony Schumacher and his U.S. Army dragster are in the No. 2 spot and will face Terry Haddock in the first round of eliminations. Brittany Force is third in her Monster Energy dragster.
Courtney Force holds The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway’s elapsed time track record in Funny Car with her No. 1 qualifying pass of 3.867 at 327.66 in the Advanced Auto Parts Chevy Camaro.
“This is an awesome run for our team,” Force said. “To head down there and run a 3.86 to set the track record. That definitely felt good. It was a great run for us. We’re excited about it. It all comes down to tomorrow, though. Our main goal is going rounds tomorrow and heading to the winner’s circle in Vegas.”
This was the 11th No. 1 qualifier of Force’s career. She will face Gary Densham in the first round of eliminations. Matt Hagan is qualified in the second position and will line up against 2015 Funny Car champ Del Worsham. Tim Wilkerson is in the third spot.
Line maintained his No. 1 qualifier status with his 6.647 pass at 206.29 in his Summit Racing Equipment Chevy Camaro from the weekend’s first qualifying session on Friday.
“The strategy is to go out there and go as fast as you can every time,” Line said. “Obviously try to do the best job you can to get every bit of performance out of the race car. Its’ not just me. I’m just one small part of it. I’m the guy who can mess it up. [Crew chief] Rob [Downing] and the guys do a really good job of getting the race car down the racetrack. It’s a very good hot rod right now.”
This is Line’s 53rd No. 1 qualifier of his career. Veteran Jeg Coughlin is qualified second in his JEGs.com / Elite Performance Chevy Camaro and will race Tom Huggins.
Eliminations for the DENSO Spark Plugs NHRA Nationals will begin at noon on Sunday. Watch the action live on FOX Sports 1 at 6 p.m. ET.
LAS VEGAS — Sunday’s first-round pairings for eliminations for the 18th annual DENSO Spark Plugs NHRA Nationals at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, the fourth 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. Steve Torrence, 3.720 seconds, 327.35 mph vs. Bye; 2. Tony Schumacher, 3.739, 326.87 vs. 15. Terry Haddock, 10.509, 51.35; 3. Doug Kalitta, 3.758, 319.60 vs. 14. Steven Chrisman, 8.759, 78.81; 4. Brittany Force, 3.760, 323.58 vs. 13. Steve Faria, 5.450, 122.95; 5. Leah Pritchett, 3.778, 324.98 vs. 12. Troy Buff, 3.972, 237.92; 6. Clay Millican, 3.781, 323.74 vs. 11. Tripp Tatum, 3.828, 317.72; 7. Troy Coughlin Jr., 3.790, 310.27 vs. 10. Terry McMillen, 3.825, 319.82; 8. Antron Brown, 3.792, 322.42 vs. 9. Scott Palmer, 3.819, 316.67.
Funny Car — 1. Courtney Force, Chevy Camaro, 3.867, 327.66 vs. 16. Gary Densham, Ford Mustang, 5.263, 138.23; 2. Matt Hagan, Dodge Charger, 3.868, 330.96 vs. 15. Del Worsham, Toyota Camry, 4.577, 236.75; 3. Tim Wilkerson, Mustang, 3.876, 331.28 vs. 14. Robert Hight, Camaro, 4.495, 272.83; 4. Ron Capps, Charger, 3.877, 324.12 vs. 13. Jonnie Lindberg, Camry, 4.297, 231.04; 5. Jack Beckman, Charger, 3.886, 329.18 vs. 12. Cruz Pedregon, Camry, 4.213, 222.84; 6. Tommy Johnson Jr., Charger, 3.887, 328.46 vs. 11. Jim Campbell, Charger, 4.180, 308.00; 7. John Force, Camaro, 3.924, 329.34 vs. 10. Phil Burkart, Charger, 4.133, 297.16; 8. Alexis DeJoria, Camry, 3.936, 327.27 vs. 9. J.R. Todd, Camry, 3.936, 324.67.
Did Not Qualify: 17. Jeff Arend, 5.504, 131.92; 18. Bob Bode, 6.753, 98.74; 19. John Hale, 7.203, 96.51.
Pro Stock — 1. Jason Line, Chevy Camaro, 6.647, 206.76 vs. Bye; 2. Jeg Coughlin, Camaro, 6.652, 206.92 vs. 15. Tom Huggins, Dodge Dart, 6.829, 199.85; 3. Bo Butner, Camaro, 6.655, 206.67 vs. 14. Alan Prusiensky, Dart, 6.748, 205.01; 4. Greg Anderson, Camaro, 6.660, 206.20 vs. 13. Allen Johnson, Dart, 6.736, 204.91; 5. Tanner Gray, Camaro, 6.665, 206.76 vs. 12. Deric Kramer, Dart, 6.722, 204.57; 6. Vincent Nobile, Camaro, 6.666, 206.32 vs. 11. Erica Enders, Camaro, 6.713, 206.45; 7. Chris McGaha, Camaro, 6.674, 206.20 vs. 10. Matt Hartford, Camaro, 6.712, 205.47; 8. Drew Skillman, Camaro, 6.683, 206.26 vs. 9. Shane Gray, Camaro, 6.703, 206.92.
LAS VEGAS — K&N Horsepower Challenge final finish order (1-16) at the 18th annual DENSO Spark Plugs NHRA Nationals at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. The event is a special bonus race within a race for Pro Stock.
1. Greg Anderson; 2. Shane Gray; 3. Bo Butner; 4. Erica Enders; 5. Allen Johnson; 6. Jason Line; 7. Drew Skillman; 8. Vincent Nobile.
LAS VEGAS — Saturday’s K&N Horsepower Challenge final results from the 18th annual DENSO Spark Plugs NHRA Nationals at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. The event is a special bonus race within a race for Pro Stock.
K&N Horsepower Challenge — Greg Anderson, Chevy Camaro, 6.684, 205.47 def. Shane Gray, Camaro, 6.699, 206.26.
LAS VEGAS — K&N Horsepower Challenge final round-by-round results from the 18th annual DENSO Spark Plugs NHRA Nationals at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. The event is a special bonus race within a race for Pro Stock.
ROUND ONE — Shane Gray, Chevy Camaro, 6.950, 204.51 def. Vincent Nobile, Camaro, 17.490, 44.28; Bo Butner, Camaro, 6.677, 206.23 def. Drew Skillman, Camaro, 16.178, 50.03; Greg Anderson, Camaro, 6.670, 205.19 def. Allen Johnson, Dodge Dart, Foul – Red Light; Erica Enders, Camaro, 6.723, 206.26 def. Jason Line, Camaro, Foul – Red Light;
SEMIFINALS — Gray, 6.714, 206.92 def. Enders, 13.796, 61.80; Anderson, 6.669, 206.20 def. Butner, 6.719, 206.67;
FINAL — Anderson, 6.684, 205.47 def. Gray, 6.699, 206.2
RACE RECAP WRITTEN BY & A COURTESY OF NHRA COMMUNICATIONS
Team Ready to Take Flight With Several Top Prospects
Lakeland, FL – The Lakeland Flying Tigers have announced their tentative 2017 Opening Day roster. It will feature ten top 10 draft picks and 14 players who appeared in games for the Flying Tigers in 2016. The roster includes 13 pitchers, 2 catchers, 6 infielders, 4 outfielders and 1 player on the disabled list and 1 player on the inactive list.
Starting pitcher Beau Burrows headlines a list of prospects. Burrows is currently rated the third-best prospect in the Detroit Tigers organization by MLB.com. He was selected by the Tigers in the first round (22nd overall) of the June 2015 draft from Weatherford High School in Texas. The rotation will also include Sandy Baez, Matt Hall, Spencer Turnbull and A.J. Ladwig. Baez is currently rated the 11th-best prospect in the Tigers organization by MLB.com. Ladwig was the Flying Tigers Pitcher of the year in 2016 and was also selected to the Florida State League midseason All-Star Team.
Jose Azocar is currently rated the 12th-best prospect in the Tigers organization by MLB.com. The 20-year-old outfielder from Venezuela finished last season tied for second in the Midwest League with eight triples and was tied for fifth with 141 hits and 501 at-bats. He was named a Tigers Minor League Gold Glove winner in both 2016 and 2015. Third Baseman Zac Shepherd and Second Baseman Joe Pankake both return from last year’s squad. Pankake was selected to the Florida State League midseason All-Star team and finished tied for fifth in the league with 15 home runs. Shepherd also finished tied for fifth in the FSL with 15 home runs and ranked sixth with 64 walks.
Andrew Graham begins his first season as manager of the Flying Tigers. This season will mark Graham’s seventh season as a minor league manager in the Tigers organization. He has spent the three previous seasons managing the West Michigan Whitecaps of the Midwest League. He guided the Whitecaps to the Midwest League’s championship in 2015
Tim Garland (hitting), Mark Johnson (pitching), Chris Vick (Athletic Trainer), Allan Williamson (Strength and Conditioning Coach), Jim McKew (video coordinator) and Adam Daily (Video Coordinator) will all begin their first season with the Flying Tigers.
The Flying Tigers first home game of the season will be Saturday, April 8 against the Tampa Yankees. First pitch is scheduled for 6:00 p.m. and gates to Publix Field at Joker Marchant Stadium will open at 4:30 p.m. The first 2,000 fans that enter the ballpark will receive a 2017 Flying Tigers magnet schedule. Following the game will be a spectacular fireworks show.
The Flying Tigers are a Class A Affiliate of the Detroit Tigers. For more information please visit the Flying Tigers online atwww.LakelandFlyingTigers.com or call (863) 686-8075.
PRESS RELEASE WRITTEN BY Zach Burek; COURTESY LAKELAND FLYING TIGERS