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2014 CARQUEST Auto Parts NHRA Nationals qualifying: J. Force on top again

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NHRA Funny Car driver John Force continues his hot streak in the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series, earning his second No. 1 qualifier of the 2014 season at the . CARQUEST Auto Parts NHRA Nationals at Wild Horse Pass Motorsports Park in Chandler, Arizona. Doug Kalitta (Top Fuel) and Chris McGaha (Pro Stock) earned No. 1s in their respective categories as well.

Force set track record e.t. and speed on Friday with a 3.990-second pass at 317.79 mph; he’ll face Jeff Diehl in the first round of eliminations on Sunday. Tommy Johnson Jr. sits second on the ladder, followed by Robert Hight, Alexis DeJoria and Del Worsham.

“We watched Robert Hight and Mike Neff run that (4).03,” said Force after Friday’s qualifying rounds. “We knew it was there, but we also wanted to make sure we got it in tonight. I think Jimmy (Prock, crew chief) had it back in shape, ran 3.99 smooth as can be.”

Kalitta also collected his second No. 1 of the season in Top Fuel with a 3.735-second pass at 327.74 mph. Kalitta faces Scott Palmer in the first round. Tony Schumacher, Steve Torrence, Shawn Langdon and Antron Brown round out the top five in Top Fuel.

“It’s pretty exciting,” Kalitta said Friday about his dragster’s consistency. “I’ve definitely got to keep up with the performance of that thing. I’m trying really hard. Hopefully we can get it done on Sunday.”

McGaha’s Friday time also held up for No. 1 in Pro Stock (6.530 seconds at 210.64 mph); he’ll face Shane Tucker during Sunday’s first round. Erica Enders-Stevens, Jason Line, Vincent Nobile and Shane Gray complete the top five in Pro Stock. This was McGaha’s first No. 1, in equipment he purchased from 2009 Pro Stock champ Mike Edwards.

“I’ve made runs before,” said McGaha on Friday. “Made good runs before and stayed No. 1 for a little bit, but then here comes all the fast guys. You have to wait till the fast guys run before you can decipher what’s going to happen.”

Final eliminations for the CARQUEST Auto Parts NHRA Nationals begin at 11 a.m. MT on Sunday, February 23rd. Keep up with the action at www.nhra.com.

Quotes in this piece provided by the NHRA.

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