CONCORD, N.C. — Courtney Force took the Funny Car No. 1 qualifier Saturday with her Friday pass in the NHRA Carolina Nationals, the opening event in the Countdown to the Championship.

Force had a 3.891-second run at 330.07 mph during her second pass Friday. She has a Funny Car-best seven No. 1 qualifiers this year, but is winless.

“I’m really proud of my team for giving me a great race car, it’s been a lot of fun to drive this car and get these No. 1 qualifiers,” Force said. “We know we have to bring that same success into Sunday, and I am just looking forward to tomorrow as we try to end up in the winner’s circle.”

Doug Kalitta (Top Fuel), Tanner Gray (Pro Stock) and Andrew Hines (Pro Stock Motorcycle) also topped qualifying in the first of six playoff events.

Kalitta’s Friday run of 3.723 at 329.50 help up Saturday. Gray also held onto the top spot after driving to a 6.559 at 210.50 during his first pass Friday. Hines had a 6.825 at 196.50, also Friday.


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