Del Worsham raced to the No. 1 qualifying position in Top Fuel Saturday at the Lucas Oil NHRA Nationals. Matt Hagan, Jason Line and Eddie Krawiec also took the provisional top spots in their respective categories at the 15th of 22 events in the NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series.
Worsham drove his Al-Anabi dragster to the top of the field with a run of 3.808-seconds at 322.04mph. His Saturday run was strong enough to take the top spot away from Spencer Massey and earn the driver his fifth No. 1 qualifier of the season, 10th of his career and only second at Brainerd International Raceway, with his last coming his rookie season in 1991.
"There's definitely a generation gap in there,” said Worsham, referring to his last No. 1 in Brainerd. “The Al-Anabi guys did a great job getting our car to run well in the first session today. We smoked the tires on the last run, but that was just Alan Johnson testing the parameters of what the track will hold.”
Doug Kalitta secured his spot in the NHRA Full Throttle Countdown to the Championship, the 6-race playoff for the world championship, by qualifying his Kalitta Air dragster 13th in the field.
In Funny Car, Matt Hagan held on to the top spot in the field when qualifying ended Saturday. Hagan drove his Die Hard Dodge Charger to a 4.101 at 303.57 to secure his second No. 1 qualifier of the season and eighth of his career.
"We've got a good setup that works in hot and cold weather, so we're ready for whatever tomorrow brings us,” said Hagan. “We're just going to do our deal, race the racetrack, and try to go rounds tomorrow. We've been talking about luck a lot this year, and we haven't had a whole lot of it, so we're going to leave luck out of it. It's a pleasure to have a special-edition car with Freightliner on the side of it, so we're going to try to do something special with it on race day.”
Defending world champion John Force secured his berth in the Countdown to the Championship by qualifying 15th, while Don Schumacher Racing driver Ron Capps also locked in a spot in the Countdown by qualifying fourth.
In Pro Stock, points leader Jason Line took the top spot in the category away from Mike Edwards. Line's run of 6.581 of 209.26 in his Summit Racing Equipment Pontiac GXP gave the Minnesota native his third No. 1 qualifier of the season and 20th of his career.
“The track was really good today and we made a couple of good runs,” said Line, a native of Wright, Minn. “If I win this thing they might give me the key to the city. (Wright) is a small town and I know they are proud. Heck, I think most of them are here this weekend. Seriously, winning this race would be the best for me.”
Krawiec stayed at the top of the Pro Stock Motorcycle field with his run from Friday night. Krawiec's track record-setting run of 6.885 at 194.463 on his Screamin' Eagle Vance & Hines Harley-Davidson was strong enough to give the rider his second No. 1 qualifier of the season and eighth of his career.
“This year I've lost three low qualifiers in the last session, said Krawiec. “I know it doesn't mean a whole lot but it's good for bragging rights. No matter, I'm happy to be up there. Saturday is more about race conditions. Friday night (qualifying) is more for glory. I did have low E.T. this morning, which shows how good our overall package is.”
Eliminations will begin Sunday at 11 a.m.