70-year-old John Force topped the qualifying charts once again in his funny car. His best run was 3.842 seconds at 334.40 mph in his PEAK Chevrolet Camaro funny car, and that put him first on the charts. It's his fourth time this season and 159th in his career.
“It was a good night for me, and I do love this, I do love the fans and I love driving these race cars,” Force said. “We’ve got a real good team and we’re out there fighting the fight. I’m excited I get to drive a car that’s this good.”
Mike Salinas qualified first in the top fuel category, Erica Enders was fastest in Pro Stock, and Matt Smith had the top spot in the Pro Stock Motorcycle series.
With the field set, the 20th of the 24 events on this year's calendar began. With a final round of only Kalitta Motorsports Toyota Camry funny cars, Shawn Langdon beat J.R. Todd to win that category of racing. Billy Torrence won Top Fuel, Erica Enders won in Pro Stock, and Karen Stoffer in Pro Stock Motorcycle.
“What an incredible day,” said Langdon. “We had a consistent car. We’ve got such a great group of guys and it was a pretty good day. Anytime you can get a win in this class, it builds momentum."
Top Fuel was a father-son shootout, with the senior Torrence beating his son, Steve. Billy said “To get to race Steve in the final was the goal.You’re at the pinnacle of drag racing on this level, but I’ve got to have fun. It’s just a blessing to get to be out here with my family. We’ve raced everything and it’s just really fun. It’s a family sport and we’re right in the middle of it.”
This year's Midwest Nationals boasted a sellout crowd and incredible racing. The sport will move to Charlotte for the NTK NHRA Carolina Nationals at zMAX Dragway next weekend, part of the process of determining a champion.