Team Speed Society US Nationals Final Qualifying Results
Clay Millican wheeled the Great Clips/Parts Plus dragster to the top of the qualifying ladder for this weekend’s 63rd annual Chevrolet Performance US Nationals with a new track record ET of 3.663 seconds. Millican and tuner David Grubnic have been fine-tuning their setup for the Countdown to the Championship, which starts in two weeks when the series returns to ZMax Dragway in Charlotte, North Carolina. “Grubby has been tweaking this deal in qualifying for the last few races, just trying to really get her dialed in for the Countdown. We really found what it liked in Brainerd, and it worked well here in Indy too. We have this great young crew that’s really just killing it, these guys are so driven and just doing such a great job! Now we just gotta get her to go down through there on raceday!” said Millican of Grubnic’s approach. He will face off with Kebin Kinsley in the opening round of eliminations on Monday.
Sitting just a few thousandths of a second behind Clay, Leah Pritchett has her Papa Johns Pizza sponsored Don Schumacher Racing dragster ready to do battle and try to take home her first US Nationals victory. Co-crew chiefs Todd Okuhara and Joe Barlam dialed up a 3.667 in Friday’s lone session, turning the unseasonably cool Indianapolis air into a blistering pass that stood as the track record until Millican slipped ahead in Saturday’s Q3 session. Pritchett also quickly pointed to her crew for the credit for the car’s performance. “That says our team is relentless about being the best. They continually strive for that, and it has shown all year and especially in the last two weeks.” Pritchett brings in some heavy momentum coming off her performance at the Lucas Oil NHRA Nationals in Brainerd, MN last weekend, where she qualified number won, won the race, and reset the national ET record. Her first round opponent will be Wayne Newby.
Three time and defending world champion Antron Brown sits in the sixth spot after laying down a solid 3.689 in the home-run-ball Friday session. Brown, who has won the US Nationals three times, twice in Pro Stock Bike and in Top Fuel in 2011, looks to return to the winner’s circle with co-tuners Brian Corradi and Mark Oswald calling the shots on the tuneup come raceday. Brown rolled into Indy leading the points and looks to continue his consistent late-round performances that have him set to roll into the Countdown with the lead, but the points reset following Indy, so Antron and crew will have to keep the Matco Tools/Toyota Racing DSR dragster going rounds. The car is wearing special Mello Yello livery this weekend in honor of the refreshing citrus drink extending its agreement with the NHRA as the series sponsor. Brown will line up alongside Scott Palmer in the first round.
In Pro Stock, Alex Laughlin’s 6.576 elapsed time from Friday’s session has him squarely in the top half of the field at #5 heading into his second US Nationals. After taking the past 4 races off, Laughlin and his crew returned to action in Indy and laid down a stellar run with the Gas Monkey Energy sponsored Camaro in the excellent air on Friday. They spent the rest of qualifying refining their raceday tune, laying down consistent runs as the temperatures heated up throughout the weekend. Laughlin, who relies on horsepower from the Elite Motorsports camp, was excited to return to action and lay down such a great run. “To come to Indy after taking the last few races off and go within a hundredth of the #1 guy shows that we have a great car and the speed shows this Elite engine is making great power. I really feel like we have a great shot to put this car in the winner’s circle this weekend!” Laughlin will face off with Shane Gray in the opening stanza on Monday.
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