Line among top qualifiers heading into Sunday’s eliminations

Pro Stock driver and Minnesota native Jason Line secured his second No. 1 qualifier of the 2019 season and the 55th of his career at the 38th annual Lucas Oil NHRA Nationals at Brainerd International Raceway.

Jason Line, Pro Stock

Brittany Force (Top Fuel) and Matt Hagan (Funny Car) also qualified No. 1 in their respective categories, setting up a showdown on Sunday when eliminations start at 11 a.m.

Line secured the top spot when his run of 6.606 seconds at 207.27 mph from Friday held up in his Summit Racing Equipment Chevrolet Camaro. He will race for his first win this season on Sunday where he will face Wally Stroupe in the first round. Erica Enders is right behind in second after her Friday run of 6.616 seconds at 206.99 mph, while Bo Butner finished third in qualifying after going 6.624 seconds at 207.08 mph.

“My car is really good. It’s certainly the best car I’ve had in years,” Line said. “We made four really good runs and that’s not always easy to do. It’s been very predictable and it’s doing what we ask it to, so that’s a good feeling.”

Brittney Force, Top Fuel

In Top Fuel, Force earned the top spot with her run of 3.722 seconds at 328.14 mph in the final round of qualifying on Saturday in her Carquest Filters dragster. This is her fifth No. 1 qualifier of 2019 and the 15th of her career. She will meet Chris Karamesines in the opening round of eliminations. Steve Torrence qualified second following a run of 3.738 seconds at 328.70 mph on Friday and Mike Salinas will start race day from the third position after his 3.743-second run at 329.58 mph on Friday.

“It was a clean run all the way down there and it put us at No. 1 so this Advance Auto Parts/Carquest team is very happy with that,” Force said. “(Crew Chief David) Grubnic said on this last run, we’re gonna push. We were safe in the field and he was going to push to see if he could move us up there and wow, he moved us up quite a bit. So I’m very excited about that. It just puts overall more energy in our pit and confidence going into race day tomorrow.”

Matt Hagan, Funny Car

Funny Car’s Hagan picked up his first No. 1 qualifier of 2019 and 35th in his career thanks to his Friday run of 3.890 seconds at 328.46 mph in his Mopar Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Widebody Funny Car. He will meet Dale Creasy in the opening round of eliminations. 

“I didn’t know if that pass would hold or not,” Hagan said. “We ran a little later this evening and everyone was pushing. All in all, we really feel good about the car and the race day setup and everything that’s kind of coming together right now so as long as we turn four win lights on tomorrow, that’s all that really matters.”

Jack Beckman remained second in Funny Car with his 3.908-second pass at 325.53 mph, and John Force is a spot behind in third thanks to his pass of 3.923 seconds at 321.12 mph on Saturday. 

Below are Sunday’s first-round pairings for the 38th annual Lucas Oil NHRA Nationals at BIR. Pairings based on results in qualifying, which ended Saturday. DNQs listed below pairings.

Top Fuel – 1. Brittany Force, 3.722 seconds, 328.14 mph vs. 16. Chris Karamesines, 4.270, 204.79; 2. Steve Torrence, 3.738, 328.70 vs. 15. Cameron Ferre, 4.115, 261.22; 3. Mike Salinas, 3.743, 329.58 vs. 14. Luigi Novelli, 3.989, 292.65; 4. Leah Pritchett, 3.756, 325.53 vs. 13. Kyle Wurtzel, 3.962, 267.75; 5. Billy Torrence, 3.763, 325.53 vs. 12. Antron Brown, 3.849, 322.58; 6. Clay Millican, 3.765, 318.77 vs. 11. Richie Crampton, 3.809, 316.75; 7. Doug Kalitta, 3.768, 325.92 vs. 10. Terry McMillen, 3.794, 323.66; 8. Austin Prock, 3.769, 323.35 vs. 9. Scott Palmer, 3.771, 316.60. 

Did Not Qualify: 17. Terry Totten, 4.366, 189.12; 18. Todd Paton, 5.284, 132.70. 

Funny Car – 1. Matt Hagan, Dodge Charger, 3.890, 328.46 vs. 16. Dale Creasy Jr., Charger, 4.256, 237.55; 2. Jack Beckman, Charger, 3.908, 325.53 vs. 15. Terry Haddock, Ford Mustang, 4.076, 277.32; 3. John Force, Chevy Camaro, 3.923, 321.12 vs. 14. Bob Bode, Mustang, 4.038, 311.05; 4. Robert Hight, Camaro, 3.924, 326.48 vs. 13. Cruz Pedregon, Charger, 4.031, 315.49; 5. Tommy Johnson Jr., Charger, 3.926, 318.54 vs. 12. Tim Wilkerson, Mustang, 3.993, 312.78; 6. Shawn Langdon, Toyota Camry, 3.935, 318.02 vs. 11. Paul Lee, Charger, 3.969, 318.69; 7. Ron Capps, Charger, 3.936, 325.53 vs. 10. J.R. Todd, Camry, 3.963, 321.27; 8. Bob Tasca III, Mustang, 3.950, 322.96 vs. 9. Jonnie Lindberg, Mustang, 3.963, 322.65. 

Did Not Qualify: 17. Jim Campbell, 4.304, 231.20. 

Pro Stock – 1. Jason Line, Chevy Camaro, 6.606, 207.27 vs. 16. Wally Stroupe, Camaro, 6.725, 204.70; 2. Erica Enders, Camaro, 6.616, 206.99 vs. 15. Shane Tucker, Camaro, 6.683, 204.88; 3. Bo Butner, Camaro, 6.624, 207.08 vs. 14. Val Smeland, Camaro, 6.673, 206.51; 4. Deric Kramer, Camaro, 6.627, 207.50 vs. 13. Fernando Cuadra Jr., Camaro, 6.668, 205.79; 5. Jeg Coughlin, Camaro, 6.627, 206.54 vs. 12. Kenny Delco, Camaro, 6.663, 206.20; 6. Matt Hartford, Camaro, 6.628, 205.63 vs. 11. Richard Freeman, Ford Mustang, 6.657, 206.39; 7. Fernando Cuadra, Camaro, 6.640, 206.89 vs. 10. Chris McGaha, Camaro, 6.647, 207.21; 8. Greg Anderson, Camaro, 6.641, 205.98 vs. 9. Alex Laughlin, Camaro, 6.642, 205.98. 

Did Not Qualify: 17. Alan Prusiensky, 6.736, 204.42; 18. Cristian Cuadra, 6.755, 203.12; 19. Mark Hogan, 6.843, 200.92; 20. Robert River, 6.858, 198.47.