NHRA U.S. Nationals Thursday Update

DragChamp has daily Lucas Oil sportsman coverage from the NHRA U.S. Nationals at Lucas Oil Raceway

INDY – Day #2 is in the books at the 65th Annual U.S. Nationals! Lucas Oil sportsman competitors had a full day of racing action with time trials, qualifying, and even some final eliminations.

Drag Champ Logo

The highlights of the day included Stock class eliminations, HEMI Challenge qualifying, and the historic Top Dragster/Top Sportsman qualifying sessions.

At the end of the day, the Super Comp and Super Gas fields were cut in half after one round of competition was completed at the U.S. Nationals.

See class by class results below.

US Nationals Logo

Competition Eliminator

The Comp cars made a couple of hits today and to no one’s surprise, Brad Plourd parked his 6-second buggy on the pole. Brad drove his AA/AM ’23-T Altered to a -.780 under 6.260 to claim the top spot.

Plourd was followed closely by John Marottek’s -.669 under 6.811 in his A/ND dragster and Doug Engels’ -.625 under 7.385 lap in his D/DA dragster.

On Friday, the Comp class will receive one additional qualifying shot before moving into first round of eliminations at the U.S. Nationals.

Super Stock

Jimmy Hidalgo
Hidalgo Racing

With two rounds of qualifying complete, Ernie Neal sits atop the qualifying ladder with an impressive -1.762 under 10.888 lap in his SS/PA ’96 Caprice. Neal is followed by Dan Jacobs’ -1.353 under 9.397 lap in his GT/K ’05 Cavalier.

Ron Terrell grabbed the three spot with a -1.324 effort from his SS/KA ’87 Camaro. Bill Zaskowski sits on the bump after two rounds of qualifying with a -.764 under 10.286 effort with his GT/N ’66 Nova.

Friday is Super Stock class eliminations day as competitors will battle it out to see who has the fastest car in each of the Super Stock classes.

Stock Eliminator

Emmons Motorsports Racing
Emmons Motorsports

The Stockers made a couple of qualifying shots on Wednesday and then spent Thursday vying for the coveted U.S. Nationals class trophies.

After two qualifying sessions, Gary Summers claimed the #1 spot on the ladder with a -1.808 under 12.842 lap in his U/S ’77 Mustang. Summers was followed by Bill Dyer’s -1.704 under 10.196 effort in his FS/K ’10 Mustang. Sitting in third is Randy Hopkins’ FS/B ’12 Mustang with a -1.455 under 8.545 best.

Class eliminations filled the day on Thursday with a number of racers claiming big wins. See below for a list of each winner as posted on dragracecentral.com.

Friday is an off day for the Stock racers as it allows the class winners time to button up their engines after tear down inspections are completed.

Stock will hit the track again on Saturday morning for the first round of final eliminations.

Super Comp

Craig Anderson and Joe Hessling SC
Craig Anderson and Joe Hessling

The 8.90 racers had one time trial this morning and then moved straight into final eliminations in the afternoon. The 134-car field was quickly reduced to 67 this evening.

Our DragChamp pre-race picks included Luke Bogacki, Brad Plourd, and Tom Stalba. All three made it through the first round. Other prominent names moving into round #2 include John Labbous, Chris Garretson, Mike Robilotto, Edmond Richardson, Gary Stinnett, and more.

See the full list of round one winners below courtesy of dragracecentral.com.

Friday’s racing schedule includes rounds two and three for the Super Comp class.

Jeremy Maples SC US Nationals
Jeremy Maples

Super Gas

Gary Mitchell SG US Nationals
Gary Mitchell

Like Super Comp, the 9.90 class had one time trial on Thursday morning and then moved straight into final eliminations in the afternoon.

Two of our three pre-race picks to win made it past the first round. John Labbous and Phil Smida found some electricity on Thursday while Iggie Boicesco did not.

Other prominent first round winners included Jeff Lopez, Randi Lyn Shipp in her Super Gas debut, Devin Isenhower, Jacob Elrod, Roger Warren, and Steve Hoyt.

See the full list of round one winners below courtesy of dragracecentral.com.

Friday’s schedule includes rounds two and three for the Super Gas class.

Top Sportsman

Jeff Brooks TS US Nationals

For the first time in U.S. Nationals history, Top Sportsman competitors got a shot at Lucas Oil Raceway on Labor Day weekend. Thirty-eight cars took to the track on Thursday for two rounds of qualifying.

After two rounds, Lester Johnson claimed the #1 spot with a quick 6.154 at 230.53 mph. Lester’s wicked ’55 Chevy is one of the quickest cars in the class at most races so it’s no surprise that he grabbed the top spot today.

Lucas Oil Nationals winner Larry Demers rounded out the 32-car qualified field with a 6.760 in his ’10 Cobalt.

The full qualifying list is show below courtesy of dragracecentral.com.

The Top Sportsman class will receive one last qualifying shot on Friday morning before moving into round one of eliminations on Saturday.

Top Dragster

Afton Swanson TD US Nationals
Afton Swanson

Like Top Sportsman, this is the first time the Top Dragster class has competed at the famed U.S. Nationals.

Phil Dion narrowly escaped the index enforcement policy when he posted a 6.011 in round one of qualifying. Frank Young’s best of 6.040 in round two of qualifying was thrown out as well. That leaves Young outside the field with one qualifying attempt remaining.

Bob Button of Lafayette, LA claimed the top spot in qualifying with a 6.108 at 227.92 mph. The full qualifying list is show below courtesy of dragracecentral.com.

The fast dragster class will receive one additional qualifying shot on Friday before moving into first round of eliminations on Saturday.

HEMI Challenge

Jimmy Daniels HEMI Challenge US Nationals
James Daniels

The HEMI cars completed their second round of qualifying on Thursday as they prepared for raceday on Friday.

Three-time HEMI Challenge winner James Daniels maintained his strangle-hold on the class by posting an 8.473 to earn the top spot on the ladder. Daniels is followed closely by Steve Comella who posted an 8.480 in his ’68 Dart.

The 19-car field will run eliminations throughout the day on Friday until a champion is crowned just prior to the Friday night Pro session.

Full qualifying results are shown below courtesy of dragracecentral.com.

Follow DragChamp daily for complete sportsman race results from the NHRA U.S. Nationals! DragChamp is your source for sportsman drag race results.

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