Up and Down Weekend for Team Speed Society at NHRA Arizona Nationals
Alex Laughlin carried the Speed Society Banner the farthest into eliminations this weekend at the NHRA Arizona Nationals, while Jonnie Lindberg got caught up in one of the most intense moments of his career in the second round.
Laughlin, piloting his Hot Wheels Car Care sponsored Camaro, would start from the number three qualifying position, taking out Val Smeland in the first round and fellow Elite Motorsports teammate Jeg Coughlin in round number two. He faced off with eventual event winner Chris McGaha in the semifinal, laying down a solid number, 6.574 to McGaha’s winning 6.562. The solid showing leaves Alex in the #5 spot in points heading to the third race of the season in Gainesville in two weeks.
In Funny Car, was saw Team Speed Society driver get caught up in a nasty top end crash with John Force that, through no fault of his own, leaves Lindberg and the Head Racing team without a complete car and their budget, which is a fraction of that of the larger corporate teams, stretched thin. We’ll keep you updated on their return to the track, hopefully taking place at Gainesville in 2 weeks. Notably, as seen in the video below from NHRA, Force’s daughter Courtney went on to win the race. Team Speed Society’s newest wheelman Ron Capps also fell in round number two, losing to Shawn Langdon in what started as a great side-by-side race. Capps’ NAPA Auto Part sponsored Dodge Charger began hazing the tires around halftrack though, allowing Langon to pull away and take the win.
In Top Fuel, Clay Millican, Leah Pritchett and Antron Brown all qualified in the top half of the field, but all three had traction issues end their days earlier than expected. Millican, racing out of the #3 spot, lost to Brittany Force when he smoked the tires in the opening round. Antron and Leah both met the same fate in round number two, the Brown falling to #16 qualifier Greg Carillo and Pritchett losing to #12 Scott Palmer.
Look for our drivers to roll into Gainesville in two weeks with plans of going deeper into eliminations. That will be the first race of the year where I’ll join the team at the track and bring you guys some photo action from the track and behind the scenes.