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Brittany Force, Cruz Pedregon & Camrie Caruso Top Qualifiers After NHRA Winternationals Opening Day

POMONA, Calif. (March 31, 2023) – Brittany Force and the Flav-R-Pac / Monster Energy Chevrolet Top Fuel dragster team currently sit in the No. 1 spot Friday at the Lucas Oil NHRA Winternationals at In-N-Out Burger Pomona Dragstrip.

Brittany Force handled the Flav-R-Pac dragster to a 3.712-second pass at 328.86 mph despite having a cylinder out and heavy tire shake.

“Honestly, it didn’t feel like a great run to me, so when we got down to the top and they told me it was a 3.71 and we were currently low, it was exciting, but it surprised me a little,” Force said. “It kind of rattled half-track to the thousand-foot mark. I just thought at any second this thing is going to pop behind me and it’s going to get me in trouble. Right before the thousand-foot mark, it shut off.”

Force will be looking to earn her second No. 1 qualifying position of the season, 44th of her career with two more qualifying tries on Sunday. Her provisional No. 1 also earns her three bonus points.

Cruz Pedregon, who has had a disappointing start to the season with two first-round losses after winning the season finale in Pomona in dominating fashion, fired back impressively with a strong 3.865 from his Snap-On Tools Dodge to be the provisional low qualifier in Funny Car on Friday.

"I think going from dominating to disappointing in the first two races has humbled us a bit," he said. "I was joking with the guys I think we sat around and admired our handiwork a little too much over the winter. it wasn't the start we wanted in Gainesville or Phoenix, but I think we're notoriously slow starters.

"Truth be known there was a little left on the table even on that run. I clicked it a little early because I've been trying really hard to keep the car in the groove. It's been wanting to dart and wander all over the place in Gainesville and in Arizona, so I really would just focus on keeping it in the groove and I just lost a little bit of sight of where I was on the track and I right as I closed the throttle I saw the the the [finish line] placards there on the wall. It was a great run and think put me back in the seat. The numbers were better than any of the numbers we had run even at the Finals in November."

Camrie Caruso carried the momentum of her breakthrough first career win last weekend at the NHRA Arizona Nationals in Pomona and sits in the No. 1 spot after the first of three sessions with a 6.519.

"That was just awesome," she said. " I knew we were gonna run good because Pomona has always been good to us in the past, but to go No. 1 right after Phoenix was super special.

"Right here before we ran I told my guys, "It's such a relief to get that first win, and they said 'We all knew you can do it. You just had to prove it to yourself,' and that's exactly what it was coming into a team that's been so successful. I didn't want to hold them back and not let them win. So it's been really awesome. And I'm happy that we got that out of the way."

The Lucas Oil NHRA Winternationals continues with qualifying Saturday at 12:30 and 3:30 p.m. with eliminations slated to begin at 11 a.m. on Sunday. Television coverage of the event begins with qualifying shows Saturday at 7 p.m. ET and Sunday at 12:30 p.m. ET on FOX Sports 1 (FS1). Eliminations will begin on FS1 Sunday at 7 p.m. ET.

See the recap from Phil Burgess, NHRA National Dragster Editor:

Lucas Oil NHRA Winternationals Friday photo gallery:

Content: NHRA | John Force Racing PR

Photo's: NHRA


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