BROWNSBURG, Ind. — Clay Millican powered to the provisional Top Fuel lead during the second day of qualifying for the Chevrolet Performance U.S. Nationals on Saturday at Lucas Oil Raceway at Indianapolis.
Matt Hagan (Funny Car), Greg Anderson (Pro Stock) and Eddie Krawiec (Pro Stock Motorcycle) also lead the ladders in their respective categories after three sessions at the 18th of 24 events on the 2017 NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series.
Millican set the Lucas Oil Raceway at Indianapolis Top Fuel elapsed-time record during the third of five qualifying sessions, when he put up a 3.663 second run at 329.10 in his Parts Plus/Great Clips dragster.
“I’m glad to be up here tonight. I know we have two more runs tomorrow,” Millican said. “I’m just so proud of (crew chief) David Grubnic and (assistant crew chief) Mac Savage and all the guys that work on that car. They’re the ones who should be up here talking, not me. They deserve all the credit, not me.”
“I didn’t even look at the Christmas tree. My job on a run like that is to do everything a driver is supposed to do to give the race team everything they want from a driver.”
Leah Pritchett is in the No. 2 spot with her 3.667 run at 329.50 in her Papa John’s dragster from Friday, with Traxxas Nitro Shootout winner Steve Torrence in third.
Hagan leads the Funny Car field heading into day three of qualifying with his track record run of 3.799 at 338.77 in the Mopar Express Lanes Dodge Charger R/T, set during Friday’s opening qualifying run.
“I think everyone was surprised we didn’t improve,” Hagan said. “Last night was really killer,tonight was pretty killer. You lay the runs over each other and they’re identical. It’s just wild. You’re up there splitting hairs to make these cars run. It’s a real fine line. A little here and a little there makes such a difference. We got us a hot rod though, man. It’s running good, knock on wood, with three good runs in a row. It builds confidence.”
National record holder Robert Hight and his Auto Club of Southern California Chevrolet Camaro is currently second, with teammates Courtney Force and John Force following in third and fourth.
In Pro Stock, Anderson ran a 6.561 pass at 210.11 in his Summit Racing Equipment Chevrolet Camaro in the third qualifying round, taking over the No. 1 spot from rookie Tanner Gray.
“I’m a little bit surprised,” Anderson said. “The weather conditions are great out there but not nearly what they were yesterday. Quite honestly, the class as a whole kind of missed yesterday. We knew even though the weather conditions were off today if we made a better quality run we could get close and have a chance. It took a very high-quality run. We made a beautiful run and I didn’t leave much on the table.”
Gray is in the second position with his 6.566 pass at 209.88 in his Gray Motorsports/Valvoline Chevrolet Camaro from Friday evening, and three-time season winner Drew Skillman sits in third with a 6.570 at 209.33 in his Ray Skillman Chevrolet Camaro.
Krawiec raced to the top of the Pro Stock Motorcycle category with a 6.822 pass at 196.62 on his Screamin’ Eagle/Vance & Hines Harley-Davidson during his third qualifying run, bumping teammate Andrew Hines down to the second spot.
“Our bikes are performing well,” said Krawiec, who won at Indy in 2014. “We’ve made a lot of different chassis changes as the season has gone forward. It’s been a little bit of a challenge, a little bit of a struggle, but we’ve finally felt that we’ve turned the corner. That’s a tribute to our crew. It takes a lot of effort out here. It’s not one person, I just happen to be the individual on the motorcycle.”
Hines’ 6.825 pass at 194.74 from Friday night keeps him above Matt Smith, who ran a 6.840 at 196.02 in the third session and is in the current No. 3 spot.
CREDIT: NHRA Communications