MADISON, Ill. (Oct. 01, 2022) – Robert Hight and the AAA Missouri Chevrolet Camaro SS officially earned their fifth No. 1 qualifying spot of the season Saturday at the NHRA Midwest Nationals at World Wide Technology Raceway. John Force and the PEAK Antifreeze and Coolant Chevy maintained their No. 2 spot. In Top Fuel, Brittany Force and the Flav-R-Pac / Monster Energy team improved to the No. 5 spot while Austin Prock and the Montana Brand / Rocky Mountain Twist team would have to settle for No. 12.
Robert Hight and the AAA Chevy entered the day as the No. 1 qualifiers and held onto the role through both Saturday qualifying sessions. In the first, the AAA team overpowered the track smoking the tires early to shut off for 6.459-seconds at 103.91 mph. In their final qualifying attempt, Hight would go 3.900 at 328.70. The points leaders will start race day with a bye run and on the opposite side of the ladder from teammate John Force.
“Honestly, that last run was anticlimactic. We tried to run better than our 3.85 from last night, but we wore the clutch out of it. I’m a little amazed the 3.85 held, we thought there were a handful of cars out there that could beat it, but we’ll take it. With 15 cars on the property, we get a practice run first round,” Hight said. “Love being here in St. Louis, there’s nothing better than seeing full grandstands. St. Louis really does have the best sports fans in the United States. Tomorrow is a new day and I hope we can put on a great show for them.”
John Force and the PEAK Chevy team kept up their performance Saturday afternoon laying down a solid 3.906-second pass at 327.35 mph that earned them two bonus points for being second quickest of the session. Force stayed consistent in the final session with a 3.908 at 319.52. The PEAK Camaro will enter race day No. 2 off their Friday night 3.853 at 334.15 to race against Terry Haddock first round.
“Beet a good two days of qualifying for this PEAK Chevrolet. Feels good to go out and make some quality runs, be consistent. It’s what we’ve been working towards and trying to come out every weekend and do. Hopefully we’re putting all the pieces together at just the right time,” Force said. “Great to see such a big crow here in St. Louis, got to give them a good show and hopefully tomorrow we come and do it again, go some rounds and end up in the winner’s circle.”
Brittany Force and the Flav-R-Pac dragster had their work cut out for them on Saturday. Coming in as the No. 18 qualifier, Force had a wild ride to open the day going 3.795-seconds at 279.04 mph after not only putting a hole out but pushing a rod out as well and experienced an engine explosion to cap it all off. The run did move them into a much more comfortable No. 11 position with one run left. The David Grubnic and Mac Savage tuned Flav-R-Pac dragster earned their No. 5 qualifying spot on a stellar 3.685-second pass at 335.48 mph in the final qualifying session.
“We struggled all through qualifying and even last weekend in Charlotte, so to be able to get a clean run in that last session at 3.685, that’s what we needed. To be able to step up to No. 5 it feels good, especially going into race day,” Force said. “Unfortunately, we face our teammate Austin Prock in the first round, but this Flav-R-Pac team is confident. Conditions are going to be great so we plan to improve and step it up. We’re looking for our win lights and winning this thing tomorrow.
After a disappointing Friday evening pass, Austin Prock and the Montana Brand / RMT dragster shifted their way from twelfth into the No. 9 position with their 3.748-second run at 329.18 mph on Saturday afternoon. While Prock was on a decent run in the third qualifying session, it was disallowed due to an NHRA timing issue resulting in his No. 12 qualifying spot from his 3.748. Unfortunately that puts Prock facing Brittany Force in the first round of eliminations on Sunday.
“Disappointing end to qualifying with that run being thrown out. But, according to the early numbers, it was on a good run so this Montana Brand / Rocky Mountain Twist team feels good going into race day tomorrow,” Prock said. “Unfortunately, just to add salt to the wound, we have to race our teammate Brittany. That’s the way it goes. Wish it was in a final but we’re going to go out there and try to get the job done, go some rounds and make up some points.”
Competition at the NHRA Midwest Nationals at World Wide Technology Raceway continues with eliminations at 10:30 a.m. on Sunday. Television coverage of the event will be on Sunday with a qualifying show at 12:30 p.m. ET immediately followed by eliminations coverage at 2 p.m. ET on FOX Sports 1 (FS1).