BRISTOL, Tenn. (June 10, 2023) – Robert Hight and the Cornwell Tools / AAA Chevrolet Camaro SS team earned their second No. 1 of the season and 79th Hight’s career and second of the 2023 Camping World Drag Racing Series season Saturday at the NHRA Thunder Valley Nationals at Bristol Dragway. Brittany Force and the Monster Energy / Flav-R-Pac dragster are No. 2 while Austin Prock and the Montana Brand / Rocky Mountain Twist team are No. 8 and John Force will start the BlueDEF PLATINUM Chevy from the No. 10 spot.
In the third qualifying session, Hight had his hands full with his Chevy Camaro Funny Car making a move to the left and ultimately crossing the centerline. The mishap disqualified the three-time champion’s run. Still sitting No. 1 from his Friday night run of 3.938 seconds at 321.35 mph, Hight closed out qualifying with a 4.046 at 304.32. With the No. 1 spot, Hight will take on Alex Laughlin in the first round of eliminations.
“I don’t think we’re that far off from having the runs we want. We need to fix a few problems, cylinders dropping. In that last run, it dropped a cylinder early and still ran 4.04 seconds. If we had all eight cylinders, there was a 3-second run out there. Tomorrow is a new day. We’re starting from a good spot. We’re back with Cornwell Tools and we need to get them their first win,” Hight said. “My Cornwell Tools / AAA team has a good handle on all different conditions. We have a lot of data we can look at. We are running a new combination that we’re trying to work through. Once we get the cylinder situation figured out we’ll make three-second runs every run tomorrow, especially the first round and that’s probably what it’s going to take to get the win. When you have Jimmy Prock as your crew chief, it always feels like you’re just one run away from winning the race.”
Brittany Force and the Monster Energy team opened up qualifying on Saturday with a pedalfest. Force would handle the Monster dragster to a 4.322-second pass at 274.05 mph. In the final Thunder Valley Nationals qualifying session, Force handled her hotrod to a solid 3.828 pass at 328.38 mph. Force will face drag racing veteran Antron Brown in the first round of eliminations.
“We came into Bristol with two races in one, the New England Nationals and the Thunder Valley Nationals. Into the Bristol race we are currently qualified No. 2. We face Antron Brown tomorrow and this Monster Energy / Flav-R-Pac team is still hunting for that first win,” Force said. “We’ve learned a lot this weekend and I feel like we’ve turned our car around a little bit. We’ve made some solid passes and I’m looking forward to race day tomorrow.”
The Montana Brand / RMT team had to shut off early in the third qualifying session after driving into tire smoke early on the run. Prock would cross the finish line to record a 7.412-second pass at 83.99 mph. In the final qualifying session, Prock had a cylinder out at the hit but would get the Montana Brand dragster to the finish line in 4.015 seconds and 276.41 mph.
“We haven’t had the weekend we’ve wanted but tomorrow is a new day. We’ve learned from each session and will get this Montana Brand / Rocky Mountain Twist hot rod running with the best of them,” said Prock who will race Cameron Ferre in the first round. “I’m ready to get started bright and early tomorrow morning.”
John Force and the BlueDEF Chevy were consistent during qualifying on Saturday with two solid passes. First a 4.090-second pass at 318.54 mph in the afternoon followed by a 4.085 at 320.51. He stays No. 10 from his Friday run of 4.063 at 324.36 to line up against J.R. Todd in the first round.
“It was a busy day, a lot going on, a lot on the line. We had some decent runs in the mix of everything. So we have some good data,” Force said. “You know, it’s another race day, back-to-back, hopefully we can get the job done and get in the winner’s circle here in Thunder Valley, get the job done for PEAK, Chevy, BleuDEF and all our partners who let us do what we love. Hope tomorrow continues to be a good show for all these fans that have come out.”
The NHRA Thunder Valley Nationals at Bristol Dragway continues with eliminations set to begin at 10 a.m. on Sunday. Television coverage on FOX Sports 1 (FS1) continues Saturday with the remaining NHRA New England Nationals coverage at 10:30 p.m. ET. Sunday at 12:30 p.m. ET will be a second Thunder Valley Nationals qualifying show and at 7:00 p.m. ET will air the Thunder Valley Nationals eliminations.