TEAM JFR QUALIFYING REPORT
2009 NHRA Friday Qualifying Summary
5th of 24 races in the NHRA Full Throttle Series
10th annual SummitRacing.com NHRA Nationals
The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway
Las Vegas, Nev.
Mar. 2-5, 2009
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Team John Force Racing Qualifying Highlights: John Force races to No. 3 qualifying position… Mike Neff holds down No. 12 position…Robert Hight and Ashley Force Hood will attempt to qualify during Saturday sessions.
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JOHN FORCE LEADS WAY AT THE STRIP AT LVMS FOR JFR
LAS VEGAS –- High winds, rain and technical problems delayed racing at the 10th annual SummitRacing.com NHRA Nationals enough that NHRA officials shortened the first day of qualifying. Pro Stock and Funny Car teams were only afforded one shot at the famed race track to try and grab one of the top twelve provisional qualifying positions. The Top Fuel session was stopped short after only one dragster.
14-time Funny Car champion John Force made the best pass of his quartet of Mustangs posting a 4.149 second run at 300 miles per hour. Force watched two of his young guns Robert Hight and Mike Neff make passes with mixed results. Neff’s run of 4.347 at 215.75 was quick enough to stay in the top twelve but Hight’s Auto Club Ford Mustang struck the tires and slowed to 9.249 seconds as it crossed the finish line.
“It was on a real good run. We thought there would be a 4.05 or 4.06 run based on the track temperature and how good this track is usually. As it turned out nobody was even close to that. We were trying to run a lot better than the track could take. Our Ford Drive One Mustang was running real good until half track then it spun the tires but I guess we just missed it,” said Neff. “I don’t really understand why more cars didn’t run better. There was a lot of wind and a lot of dirt out there on the track. The wind was blowing so hard coming off the grandstands. There were difficult conditions out here today.
Most recent race winner Ashley Force Hood was the last John Force Racing Mustang to take to the track and her Dean Antonelli and Ron Douglas tuned Castrol GTX machine smoked the tires as it passed the Christmas Tree. Force Hood attempted to pedal her 8000 horsepower Mustang but once it was out of the groove she lifted and coasted across top end at 8.130 seconds.
“We only got one shot with this wind but it will be better to come back tomorrow to get two runs in hopefully. It just throws another curve at you. Tomorrow we’ll get two shots. Hopefully we will make it down for both,” said Force Hood.
“In Houston we had some wind but I really didn’t feel it. When the chutes hit you just have to be ready for it especially when you turn the corner to go off the track. I think the wind here is a bigger problem because of the stands. When you go past the stands you can feel it. I think it affects some of the other classes more.”
Qualifying will begin tomorrow at 12:30 p.m. with a second session at 3:30 p.m.
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JOHN FORCE, 59, Castrol GTX High Mileage Ford Mustang
Friday Qualifying: 3rd at 4.149 seconds, 300.00 mph
ASHLEY FORCE HOOD, 26, Castrol GTX Ford Mustang
Friday Qualifying: Made 15th quickest run of day at 8.130 seconds, 86.59mph
ROBERT HIGHT, 39, AAA Texas Ford Mustang
Friday Qualifying: Made 16th quickest run of the day at 9.249 seconds, 72.27 mph
MIKE NEFF, 41, Drive One Ford Mustang
Friday Qualifying: 12th at 4.347 seconds, 215.75 mph
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Saturday, April 4
Qualifying 12:30 p.m. and 3:30 p.m.
Sunday, April 5
Opening Ceremonies 10 a.m.
Eliminations 11 a.m.
FOLLOW JOHN FORCE RACING AT www.twitter.com/jfr_racing.com