NHRA runs second Countdown race Hart, Wilkerson, Koretsky, Sampey pick up wins
The second race in the Countdown was full of excitement and surprises
This weekend the NHRA headed to Charlotte, North Carolina for the DeWalt NHRA Carolina Nationals, aka Charlotte II, the second race in the Countdown and it definitely brought the excitement and surprise.
Starting with Top Fuel, on the left side of the ladder, number 1 qualified Brittany Force, her 8th consecutive number 1, started her day by taking on number 16 Artie Allen. Brittany went a to b with a 3.68 while Artie slowed running 5.70. In the second round she took on former full time Top Fuel driver Spencer Massey, it was a good race but with a 3.73 to a 3.81, Brittany was into the semifinals. Her semifinal matchup was against Steve Torrence, this was a big race for the points and it was very close but a 3.72 to a 3.75 put Brittany and the Monster Energy team into the finals. On the other side of the ladder number 7 qualified Josh Hart started his day by taking on number 10 Alex Laughlin. Josh ran a solid 3.78 while Alex went 4.95. In the second round Josh faced Mike Salinas, Mike had problems going 9.93 while Josh ran a solid 3.80. His semifinal matchup was against the tough Justin Ashley. Justin had his problems, running 6.96, while Josh went 4.12 putting him and the R&L Carriers team into the finals. This final round was actually huge, Brittany is the points leader and Josh is outside the Top 10 so he's playing spoiler. It was a super close race, but a hole shot (.044) to (.072) helped Josh and his 3.77 defeat Brittany and her 3.75, giving him the win and his second career Wally.
Next we have Funny Car, on the left side of the ladder number 8 qualified Tim Wilkerson started his day by taking on number 9 Bob Tasca III. It looked like it was going to be a good race, but Tasca III had some problems and Tim was able to drive around him with a 3.93 to a 4.44. In the second round Tim faced John Force, this is one of those matchups that people look forward to because you know it's going to be exciting and this one was no different. It was a great side by side race until the end when John took out the last timing block giving him an automatic DQ. Tim on the other hand went 3.95 and was into the semifinals. His semifinal matchup was against the always tough Ron Capps and it was a very good and close race but with a 3.90 to a 3.93 Tim and the Levi, Ray and Shoup team were into the finals. On the other side of the ladder number 3 qualified Cruz Pedregon started his day by taking on number 14 Dave Richards. Cruz went a to b with a 3.90 while Dave had problems and went 11.83. In the second round Cruz took on JR Todd, JR and Cruz have had some back and forth recently so all eyes were on this matchup. Cruz ended up with the win this time, with a 3.96 as JR had problems and ran 7.38. His semifinal matchup was against the always tough Alexis DeJoria. Alexis had problems, going 11.51 while Cruz went 3.95 putting him and the Snap On team into the finals. This was a really good final round and with a 3.92 to a 3.94 Tim took home the Wally.
Moving on we have Pro Stock, on the left side of the ladder number 4 qualified Kyle Koretsky started his day by taking on number 13 Cristian Cuadra. It was a good race but Kyle's 6.60 bested Cristian's 6.63 and he was into the second round where he faced Dallas Glenn. Dallas pulled a perfect light (.000) but had problems immediately, eventually running 18.34 while Kyle went a to b with a 6.64. His semifinal matchup was against Wally Stroupe, it looked like it was going to be a good race, but Wally had problems running a 15.60 while Kyle went 6.66 putting him and his Lucas Oil team into the finals. On the other side of the ladder number 3 qualified Greg Anderson started his day by taking on number 14 Fernando Cuadra, it was a good race but with a 6.59 to a 6.65 Greg was into the second round. In the second round he faced Troy Coughlin Jr. Again, it was a solid race, but with a 6.59 to a 6.64, Greg was into the semifinals. His semifinal matchup was one that we've seen many times before, with Erica Enders. Erica had issues going 18.90 while Greg went 6.57 putting him and the HendrickCars.com team into the finals. It was a very good and very close race for the KB teammates and Greg is going for win number 98 to make history, but a 6.62 to a 6.63 gave Kyle his first Wally and Greg will have to try again next week.
And finally we have Pro Stock Motorcycle, on the left side of the ladder number 4 qualified Joey Gladstone started his day by taking on number 13 Jianna Salinas. Jianna had problems running 23.47 while Joey went 6.91. In the second round Joey took on his friend and teammate Cory Reed. Joey was better on the tree (.028) to (.062) and that helped him and his 6.94 best Cory's 6.93. It didn't stop there though, Cory couldn't get his bike back over in his lane which resulted in him and Joey colliding, Cory being thrown off his bike and the bike flipping through the air. It was scary to watch and he was taken for evaluations at a local hospital but he was alert and talking so we're all sending him thoughts and prayers for a quick recovery. Joey's semifinal matchup was against Steve Johnson. It was a close race from start to finish and Steve probably would have won, but he hit a timing block and almost collided with Joey and when he took out the block it didn't give either of them a time. But Joey and the Reed Motorsports/Suzuki Hayabusa team were into the finals. On the other side of the ladder number 2 qualified Angelle Sampey started her day by taking on number 15 Ryan Oehler. It was a decent race, but with a 6.84 to a 6.97 Angelle was into the second round. In the second round Angelle took on her teammate Andrew Hines. This was a really good and close race, and a hole shot (.022) to (.051) helped Angelle's 6.907 best Andrew's 6.901. Her semifinal matchup was against her other teammate Eddie Krawiec. It was a good race and with a 6.86 to a 6.90 Angelle and her Vance and Hines/Mission Foods team were into the finals. This would have been a really good final and it started out that way, but partway through the kill switch on Joey's bike came off and Angelle was able to drive around him and his eventual 7.15 with a 6.86 and she picked up the Wally.
The next race will be the third race in the Countdown, the NHRA Midwest Nationals, September 24th - 26th in St. Louis, Missouri.