Funny Car points leader Robert Hight continued his torrid start to the 2011 season by earning the provisional No. 1 qualifying position at the VisitMyrtleBeach.com NHRA Four-Wide Nationals at zMAX Dragway. The other provisional No. 1 qualifiers at the fourth of 22 races in the 2011 NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series season were Doug Kalitta (Top Fuel) and Greg Anderson (Pro Stock).
Hight, the 2009 NHRA Full Throttle Series champion, has won two of the first three races this season and he sits atop the Funny Car qualifying order with his 4.062sec pass at 313.07mph in his Auto Club Ford Mustang.
“When you race aggressive like Jimmy Prock does, why back off,” Hight said. “That's why we have a lot of No. 1 qualifiers. That's why we're No. 1 in points.”
If it holds, it would be Hight's 39th No. 1 qualifier in just his 143rd career race, placing only six shy of Top 10 status on NHRA's all-time list of No. 1 qualifiers (No. 10 on the list right now is Angelle Sampey with 45).
In Top Fuel, Kalitta earned the provisional top spot with a 3.814sec pass at a track-record 325.45mph.
“Real relieved there after that run,” said Kalitta, who made a marked improvement from his 3.910 Q1 pass in the Kalitta Air dragster. “Dixon (3.824) and some of the other cars on that first run really put down a good number. I went back and talked to my crew chief, Jim O(berhofer) and was wondering if he could step this thing up so we could run with those guys and he did a great job.”
In Pro Stock, four-time and defending champion Anderson, from nearby Mooresville, N.C., earned the provisional No. 1 with a 6.566sec pass at 210.37mph in his Summit Racing Pontiac GXP.
“You can't be too conservative with one of these cars as close as this class is. You've got to go for it pretty much every time out there,” Anderson said.
Qualifying at the VisitMyrtleBeach.com NHRA Four-Wide Nationals concludes with the third and fourth sessions on Saturday when the fields will be set for Sunday's final eliminations.