Courtney Force, Antron Brown are top seed heading into Sunday's NHRA Summernationals

BY Bobby Bennett • June 10, 2017

Courtney Force secured her fifth No. 1 qualifier of the season during final day qualifying for the NHRA Summernationals in Englishtown, NJ.

Joining Force atop their respective divisions were Antron Brown (Top Fuel), Bo Butner (Pro Stock) and LE Tonglet (Pro Stock Motorcycle).

Force's run came during Friday qualifying when she established a new track record with a 3.862 elapsed time at 331.12 miles per hour.

Force showed no weakness in running a back-up car this weekend, following last weekend's explosive effort which destroyed her primary Advance Auto Parts Camaro.

“Going to the top spot that time was a lot less exciting than last weekend, which I’m more than happy about,” said Force, who faces Jeff Diehl in Sunday's first round. “Pulling out a spare car and running it this weekend and getting the top spot really makes me give props to my guys, especially our fab shop guys back in Brownsburg, Ind. They deserve a lot of credit, and they definitely don’t get enough of it.”

Force's teammate Robert Hight was second quickest with a 3.880 while defending series champion Ron Capps was third with a 3.883.

In Top Fuel, Brown secured the top qualifier honors for the 48th time in his storied career on the strength of a track record 3.713 elapsed time at 329.42 miles per hour.

Brown, who calls Raceway Park his home track, reveled in the moment of not only qualifying on top for the first time this season but also in resetting a track record he previously established.

"Every time I come to this track it brings back so many memories of me racing here with my uncle and my dad,” Brown said. “I started over at the dirt bike track, and we went over to the dragstrip. I remember being in these stands and thinking one day I wish I could be on this track and set some world records and win some races and
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maybe I could be on a team that wins some championships. By golly, the Lord has blessed me in so may ways. I’ve won so many races and three championships and qualifying No. 1 in front of my grandma and family and friends; it doesn’t get any better than that.”

Brown faces Blake Alexander in the first round, and with a bye gets a competition bye run into the semi-finals.

Steve Torrence was second with a 3.725, 326.40 while Doug Kalitta was third with a 3.733, 329.75.

Two-time 2017 Pro Stock winner Bo Butner retained his No. 1 qualifying position throughout the final day of qualifying with a
6.551, 211.59 best. Tanner Gray held onto the second spot with a 6.555, 211.59 best. Jason Line remained third with a 6.559, 210.73.

Butner faces Val Smeland in the first round, and like Brown can receive a competition bye run into the semi-finals with a win.

Past NHRA Pro Stock Motorcycle champion LE Tonglet held on to the top spot amongst the bikes recording a 6.800 elapsed time at 195.62 miles per hour.

Slipping into second and third was the one-two punch of Hector Arana Jr., and father Hector Sr, with a 6.801 and 6.823 respectively.
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Bobby Bennett is the Publisher/Editor of CompetitionPlus.com, a leading independent online drag racing magazine, since 1999. For the latest in dragster news worldwide, visit www.competitionplus.com or follow on Twitter @competitionplus


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