Jeff Arend led qualifying in Funny Car and Max Naylor was tops in Pro Stock on Sunday at the U.S. Nationals at O’Reilly Raceway Park in Clermont, Ind.
Top Fuel leader Tony Schumacher and Pro Stock motorcycle racer Chip Ellis also led their events. John Force and Warren Johnson, the winningest drivers in NHRA history, failed to make the cut. Top Fuel contenders Whit Bazemore and J.R. Todd also failed to qualify.
Arend led qualifying for the first time in 79 career tries with a time of 4.754 seconds at 327.51 mph. Ashley Force was second, matching her best qualifying effort with a 4.754 at 309.70 mph.
Elyria’s Dave Connolly claimed the No. 3 spot in Pro Stock with a run of 6.659 seconds at 206.42 mph.
“We got down the (slower) lane on the last run and I hope we don’t have to be in that lane,” said Connolly, who will have lane choice in the opening round today. “We learned some things on the last run that could help us some more. I’m looking forward to getting the first round of the Countdown over. It should be exciting.”