Top Fuel points leader Del Worsham raced to the qualifying lead Friday at the O'Reilly Auto Parts NHRA Northwest Nationals at Pacific Raceways. John Force (Funny Car) and Greg Anderson (Pro Stock) also were qualifying leaders at the NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series event near Seattle.
Worsham posted a 3.830 second run at 319.07mph in his Al-Anabi Racing dragster to move into position to claim his fifth No. 1 qualifying position of the season if the performance holds through Saturday's two qualifying sessions (11 a.m. and 1:30 p.m.). Sunday's eliminations start at 11 a.m.
“It's a cool place to race, I love coming here,” Worsham said. “Tomorrow morning the conditions will be nice and overcast and I think somebody can run that good again. Hopefully it will be us or one of our teams. We saw Spencer (Massey) make a great run today as well. I really think someone could run quicker than that in the morning.”
Spencer Massey was second with a 3.845 at 319.67 in the FRAM/Prestone dragster and last week's winner, Antron Brown, was third with a 3.849 at 318.54 in the Matco Tools dragster. Four-time event winner Tony Schumacher was fourth with a 3.856 at 317.05 in the U.S. Army dragster.
Force was quickest in Funny Car, posting a 4.124 at a track record speed of 304.87 mph in his Castrol GTX High Mileage Ford Mustang. Force's time was well ahead of second place Jack Beckman, who posted a 4.201 at 298.67 in his Aaron's/Valvoline Dodge Charger. Track conditions proved to be a bit challenging for the Funny Car teams as only six of the 18 cars posted runs in the four-second zone.
“We just have to adapt,” Force said. “It is going to be tricky. We were all excited this morning. We thought it was going to be gorilla and we would run big numbers. (Mike) Neff was trying to run 4.05 out of the box and then when he saw everyone in trouble he pulled it back and it still didn't go. Tomorrow is a new day.”
Anderson, who won last weekend in Sonoma, Calif., continued his hot streak in Pro Stock by posting a leading run of 6.541 at 211.16 in his Summit Racing Pontiac GXP.
“We're hitting our groove so to speak and our team is really working well together right now,” Anderson said. “In fact all three of our cars are running good right now. We've got a great chance the rest of the weekend. It's a great first day. We'll see what happens tomorrow. It's certainly not over yet, there's going to be fast runs in tomorrow morning's session too. It wasn't a perfect run. It was a little soft and smooth but it got the job done. Now we'll just hope and pray we can hang on to number one.”
Mike Edwards posted a track record time of 6.541 seconds, and while it tied Anderson's No. 1 mark, Edwards earned the track record because he posted that performance first. Anderson got the tie-breaker to earn the No. 1 position by virtue of his faster speed. Allen Johnson qualified seventh, but set the track speed record of 211.16 mph in his Team Mopar Dodge Avenger.