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PRO STOCK MOTORCYCLE Q1 (5:24 p.m.): The annealed breeze that helped accumulate the admirers air-conditioned at Avenue 66 Raceway wreaked calamity on the Pro Stock Motorcycle chic as several riders were afflicted to arrest their Q1 condoning runs. The riders afflicted included Karen Stoffer, Matt Smith, Cory Reed, and Angelle Sampey. The riders who were best able to acclimate to the altitude were five-time best Andrew Hines, who rode his Screamin’ Eagle Harley-Davidson to a 6.862 to aces up three benefit points. Jerry Savoie additionally fabricated a solid run with a 6.881 on his White Alligator Suzuki and Hector Arana Jr. was third-best afterwards a 6.883. Arana Jr. additionally had top acceleration with a 195.05 best on his Lucas Oil EBR.

PRO STOCK Q1 (5:45 p.m.): Bent to end his winless aridity eventually rather than later, Greg Anderson started his weekend at Avenue 66 Raceway on a aerial agenda with a 6.554, 210.93 that was the quickest canyon of the aboriginal condoning session. Houston champ Matt Hartford connected his contempo cord of absorbing performances with a 6.559, 209.95 run that was second-quickest while Erica Enders additionally best up a benefit point afterwards her 6.581, 209.69 accomplished as the third-quickest run of the round. A complete of nine drivers ran in the 6.5s but accepted credibility baton Vincent Nobile was not one of them. Nobile, the alone backstab champ in the chic this season, befuddled the tires and shut off in his Mountain View Camaro.

FUNNY CAR Q1 (6:34 p.m.): Courtney Force continues to boss the Funny Car field, this time with a 3.966-second canyon to booty her Advance Auto Genitalia Chevy Camaro to the top of the condoning sheet. She anesthetized her father, John Force, with the aftermost canyon of the affair and acquire three condoning benefit points. John ran a 3.971 and acceptable a brace of credibility while Bob Tasca III ran the alone added 3-second canyon of the affair (3.988) to annular out the top three. Robert Hight, the third John Force Antagonism aspirant in Funny Car, is captivation bottomward the bang atom with an 8.255.  

TOP FUEL Q1 (7:05 p.m.): There’s no slowing bottomward Clay Millican. The best contempo champ on bout acceptable three benefit credibility by authoritative the quickest run in the aboriginal affair of qualifying, a 3.753-second hit that put him advanced of credibility baton Steve Torrence (3.768). Leah Pritchett (3.798) is currently the No. 3 qualifier and acceptable a distinct benefit point as a result. Local racer T.J. Zizzo started the affair with a 3.8, accepting his analysis off to a aerial start, while Antron Brown (3.801) additionally fabricated a accomplished canyon to get his JEGS Avenue 66 NHRA Nationals started in style. 

PRO STOCK MOTORCYCLE Q2 (7:57 p.m.): Less wind fabricated it easier for Pro Stock Motorcycle teams to cross the Avenue 66 Raceway quarter-mile but surprisingly, there was not a lot of improvement, abnormally at the top of the condoning order. Eddie Krawiec angry abettor Andrew Hines Q1 ability with a 6.862, but Hines maintained his authority on the top atom acknowledgment to his hardly faster speed, 193.90 to 193.24. Jerry Savoie additionally fabricated a ample advance with a 6.886,193.71 and Angie Smith best up a benefit point afterwards benumbed her Denso Buell to a 6.942, 190.59. With 19 bikes on the acreage there will be three riders who do not accomplish Sunday’s addition introductions. Currently, three-time apple champ Angelle Sampey is one of the addition who is not qualified.

PRO STOCK Q2 (8:16 p.m.): Another ascendant ability by Greg Anderson accent the additional annular of Pro Stock condoning with the four-time best extending his advance over the blow of the acreage with a 6.546, 211.03 in his Summit Camaro. Anderson was a abounding hundredth quicker than Tanner Gray, who acceptable two benefit points, and confused into the No. 2 atom in the field, with his 6.556, 210.18 in his Gray Motorsports Camaro. Anderson’s teammate, Jason Line, was third-quickest of the annular with a 6.560, 210.67. Matt Hartford, who was the conditional No. 2 qualifier afterwards the aboriginal round, befuddled the tires and shut off so he wasn’t able to advance on his beforehand 6.559, 209.95 run. Jeg Coughlin Jr. additionally confused into the top bisected of the acreage acknowledgment to an bigger 6.579, 209.07 in his JEGS.com Camaro.

FUNNY CAR Q2 (9:08 p.m.): Abundant acclimate offered prime altitude for Funny Cars and a host of teams stepped up in the final affair on Friday. Among them was Topeka runner-up Matt Hagan, whose 3.917-second canyon confused him into pole position afterwards two sessions at the JEGS Avenue 66 NHRA Nationals. Ron Capps (3.921) and Jack Beckman (3.944) are the No. 2 and No. 3 qualifiers, affective accomplished Courtney Force and scoring benefit credibility as a result. The complete quick bisected of the acreage (eight cars) is there on the aback of 3-second runs, while Jonnie Lindberg is captivation bottomward the bang atom with a 5.64. 

TOP FUEL Q2 (9:55 p.m.): Steve Torrence set both ends of the clue almanac with a 3.677-second canyon at 333.58 mph. That acceleration is the 10th fastest of all time and the e.t. moves the credibility baton into pole position afterwards the aboriginal day of qualifying. Brittany Force confused into the No. 2 position with a 3.721 and Tony Schumacher took over the No. 3 atom with a 3.749. The quick bisected of the acreage all ran quicker than 3.8 and Kyle Wurtzel is captivation bottomward the bang atom with a 5.361. T.J. Zizzo confused up with a 3.771 run. 

Pro Stock Motorcycle low qualifier Andrew Hines: “This is strange. We activated aftermost anniversary in Indy and it was 95-degrees and 90-percent humidity; it was actually horrible. I told my guys I didn’t anticipate I’d be accusatory about actuality algid in Chicago this week. It’s not archetypal atmospheric altitude for Avenue 66 Raceway.The motors like it better. I like it bigger but a little added difficult than what were’ acclimated to 60-foot times aftermost anniversary at Indy. We’re blessed all about and makes our guys added acquisitive to appear out tomorrow and try to aces off akin quicker E.T.’s.

“We’re as abutting as we can get to Milwaukee with an NHRA annoyance race. Accomplishing it for the branch Harley-Davidson agency a lot to us. We’ll accept some admiral out actuality and it consistently nice to be in the backyard of Harley-Davidson and do actually well. Hopefully Eddie [Krawiec] and I can adhere on to the top two spots. Hopefully, we don’t accept a crosswind tomorrow. If I had a authority of it today, you’d accept apparent a 6.83 pop up on the boards.”

Pro Stock low qualifier Greg Anderson: “I anticipate this [weather] bent us all a little off guard. We didn’t apprehend it to air-conditioned bottomward like this. It was a accurate change because every time actuality like this happens. Aback the temperature goes bottomward and the clamminess goes bottomward it makes these Pro Stock cars appear alive. We adulation that. You’ve got a abundant racetrack and you can crank the screws and accord it aggregate you’ve got and run fast.

“I like this trace track. I haven’t had a ton of wins here, but I consistently run able-bodied actuality and I adulation advancing here. I’m gonna fix that accord of not acceptable actuality abundant and I’m gonna alpha with it this weekend. We’ve got a lot of racers in this chic that can win and accept won and I charge to become one of them.”

Funny Car low qualifier Matt Hagan:  “It was a abundant run and article we can anatomy off of. I acquainted like we affectionate of bankrupt the gap on Courtney and some of the cars active abundant numbers advancing out of Topeka. You accord (crew chief) Dickie Venables abundant time and he’ll accomplish it happen. I’m actual assured in the moves and the administration we’re making. This is aloof a abundant clue out here. I’ve won some contest and set some annal actuality and the admirers are aloof great.” 

“I could see the auto axis in Dickie’s apperception and I was affairs myself in bound because I knew if we could get accomplished the timberline that we would accomplish a acceptable run. I anticipate there’s been a lot of actuality we’ve had to change the aftermost few contest to get breadth we are appropriate now, but it’s consistently difficult in a Funny Car no amount what the altitude are or what the clue is. You’re consistently relying on so abundant actuality to go appropriate aback you get in one of these cars.”

Top Ammunition No. 1 qualifier Steve Torrence: “It affectionate of afraid me a little bit because I saw a lot of cars smoker the tires a little bit. I was aloof acquisitive we’d go 3.70 or article and be in the game. But with these conditions, you either go out there and smoke the tires or go low e.t. (Crew arch Richard Hogan) has done a actually acceptable job accomplishing some altered things in the alarm apartment and it’s actually advancing around. I anticipate that afraid me to see the 3.67, but I was animated to see it. Chicago has consistently been appealing fast, and we were able to go through there and go 3.76 on the aboriginal lap and afresh anatomy on it.” 

“I’ve awfully not had abundant success afore aftermost year and I’ve consistently had a acceptable car but aftermost year we got the monkey off our back. We’re still not aback to breadth we were in agreement of bendability but we’re demography accomplish in the appropriate direction. You gotta exhausted for the fence aback you’re antagonism actually quick guys like Clay Millican. This is a abode breadth you gotta footfall on it and we did that today.”

Friday recap: Steve Torrence sets both ends of clue almanac in Chicago. 

Whether it’s the abandonment of longtime aggregation arch Brian Corradi, the new basic clue implemented by NHRA or run of the comminute gremlins, one thing’s for certain: Things haven’t actually been the aforementioned for Antron Brown and the Matco Tools / U.S. Army Top Ammunition Dragster aggregation this season. Afterwards averaging a 3.75 delayed time aftermost year, the band has slowed to a 3.78 through the aboriginal eight contest of 2018.

“We’ve battled some affliction and it’s time to footfall up,” said Brown. “We’ve been accepting a actually difficult time the accomplished few contest affliction the engines, disturbing actuality up and alarming things up, which is article we haven’t dealt with in the past. That’s article we hoped to accept addressed and ample out aftermost anniversary while testing in Indy.”

The team, still led by longtime aggregation arch Mark Oswald and anew answer Brad Mason, activated at Lucas Oil Raceway advanced of Memorial Day to try to assignment out some of the kinks in the car. Time will acquaint if that proves successful.

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“Our car has been active able-bodied and we’ve able able-bodied but, every time we go to footfall up, we had article automated go wrong,” Brown said. “The aggregation led by Mark and Brad has been alive actually adamantine and you are activity to see a actually aggressive Matco Tools/U.S. Army car aback we cycle out there in Chicago. The added runs we get with the aggregate that we are active now, the bigger we will be.”

Despite actuality off a few hundredths in delayed time, Brown charcoal in eighth abode in the Top Ammunition standings. Akin that is ambiguous because of how deeply bunched the dragsters are above credibility baton Steve Torrence. So, all that’s to say Brown can get appropriate aback in the exhausted of things if he starts accepting bottomward the clue a little added consistently. Appropriate now, he’s authoritative passes quicker than 3.9 abnormal about 42 percent of the time, which is about boilerplate in the class. That’s able-bodied off the clip for Brown.

It’s become admirable to downplay the approved analysis but do so at your own peril. These credibility matter, too.

Clay Millican acceptable his additional career win at the Menards NHRA Heartland Nationals aloof two weeks ago acknowledgment to the blazon of bendability the Tennessee built-in has approved all analysis long. That’s abundant account for the Abundant Clips / Genitalia Additional team, led by aggregation arch David Grubnic. The above disciplinarian angry tuner helped the dragster to four-straight apple-pie passes en avenue to ability in Topeka, affective Millican 95 credibility abaft Steve Torrence.

“All the assignment Grubby has put in is starting to pay off,” said Millican. “He’s actually started to accomplished tune his model, which is what he calls it. He’s starting to get a actually acceptable handle on it.”

Millican drives the quickest car in annoyance antagonism by two standards. The dragster set the civic almanac for delayed time in Pomona with a 3.628 hit and he has the quickest boilerplate e.t. with a 3.747 mark. That’s great, but bendability has been a botheration for the aggregation all season. It wasn’t in Topeka, and if that trend continues affective forward, there could be added Wallys lying ahead.

“My aplomb is at an best aerial because what actually fabricated Topeka actualization how acceptable our car is appropriate now is that we did it in actually acceptable altitude on Sunday night,” said Millican. “Then to appear aback on Monday in actually altered altitude than we had run all weekend and to run bigger than anybody, that was unbelievable.”

It ability not analyze to the authentic affect of his aboriginal win in Bristol, but Millican’s additional win in Topeka actually stands as his best impressive. Four abundant passes advancing over two canicule put Millican in a abundant position. Now, he’s aback two weeks afterwards to see if he and the blow of the aggregation can do it all over again.

Terry McMillen hasn’t added a additional Wally to his bays case aloof yet, but he’s gotten alarmingly abutting in contempo weeks. The champ of the abatement Las Vegas accident runnered up at the Menards NHRA Heartland Nationals aloof two weeks ago and enters Chicago in sixth place. McMillen is aloof 47 credibility abaft fifth abode disciplinarian Leah Pritchett and is will ablaze of 11th abode 10 contest until the Countdown begins. 

“We’ve been actually advantageous appropriate now that we’ve been to three final circuit and we appetite to abide to move up the ladder in credibility and to be in the top 10 during the aftermost six contest of the year,” he said. “I anticipate the added affair we appetite to do is befitting acrimonious up wins. We appetite to get added constant and get bottomward the clue and aces up e.t. while we’re accomplishing it.”

The racer credits that to the bendability of his crew, which has now been calm for a brace of years. That’s accustomed aggregation arch Rob Wendland added time to assignment on putting calm a bigger activity into the Amalie Motor Oil Top Ammunition Dragster. 

“What’s happened is that the aggregation has been putting the car actually flawlessly every distinct time, that’s acceptance Rob to absorb added time on the computer and try added things,” said McMillen. “Those decisions are advantageous off and that starts with the crew. He doesn’t accept to be bottomward there active cossack affected every distinct time because he can assurance them to do things the appropriate way.”

McMillen is attractive to get into the top bisected of the acreage during the aboriginal two hits during Friday condoning aback altitude are prime. 

Winning aback to aback contest is absorbing but accomplishing so in the ascendant actualization Courtney Force has is article else. That’s abnormally accurate because how akin the antagonism has been in the Funny Car chic so far this season. Not so abundant in Atlanta nor Topeka aback Force looked ascendant both in agreement of active and tune-up.

Co-crew chiefs Brian Corradi and Danny Hood accept the Advance Auto Genitalia Chevy Camaro accursed on all cylinders bottomward the band and Force is accomplishing a adept job muscling it to the added end. She currently owns the second-quickest car in the chic (3.917) and one of the best consistent, article that’s been difficult to appear by as the Funny Car chic has struggled to acclimate to new clue basic procedures.

Jack Beckman currently holds the delayed time advance (3.915) but Force’s Camaro is a bit added constant than Beckman’s Charger, for what it’s worth. The top Funny Cars in the chic are bunched up boss tight, with Robert Hight (3.919) and Matt Hagan (3.923) all accepting account claims to the “quickest car” title. So, the point is it’s anyone’s chase aback those cars band up on Sunday – which is abundant account if you’re a fan of abutting racing.

“The antagonism akin has never been college and you accept to be at the top of your bold throughout condoning and abnormally on chase day,” said Force. “That’s what has fabricated NHRA so great, how abutting these contest are won and lost. I accept abstruse a lot from my teammates and the abutment I get from my Advance Auto Genitalia aggregation is incredible. They actually advance me to go out there and try my hardest on every pass.”

So far, so acceptable for Force. She leads the Funny Car credibility standings and is block her third win in a row. Capturing it would mark the aboriginal such ability of her career.

Tim Wilkerson acceptable his aboriginal Funny Car win at Avenue 66 Raceway in 1999, article he still remembers affectionately for several reasons. First, well, it was his first. Second, anyone added than John Force or Tony Pedregon scoring a win in 1999 was a big accomplishment. Third, Wilkerson defeated Force in the final to account that aboriginal Wally at one of the finest venues in NHRA Annoyance Racing.

“We were complete advantageous to exhausted him that day, and it was actually a lot of fun,” said Wilkerson. “We were so excited. I will never balloon Force advancing up to me and saying, ‘I told [crew chief, Austin] Coil, bethink aback it was fun to win?’ It was a abundant day, and one we’d abiding like to repeat.”

Wilkerson got his 2018 analysis off on the amiss foot, accident in the aboriginal annular in three of the aboriginal four contest of the season. He additionally fabricated aloof one 3-second canyon during that stretch, which able him No. 6 at the season-opening Lucas Oil NHRA Winternationals. The adept tuner/driver’s ability best up starting at the NHRA SpringNationals in Houston, though. He’s able in or about the top bisected of the acreage at anniversary of the four contest starting in Houston and won three rounds.

A first-round accident to Matt Hagan in Chicago has Wilkerson aback out in 11th abode and out of the Countdown to the Championship for now, but it seems he’s on the appropriate track. His allotment of 3-second runs still ranks amidst the everyman in the Funny Car category, but it’s trending in the appropriate direction. That bodes able-bodied as Wilkerson active to one of his admired tracks.

Chicago is complete abutting to home, and we’ll accept a ton of LRS bodies there,” said Wilkerson. “It was the armpit of my aboriginal ammunition win ever, so I’m consistently aflame about activity to Chicago. NHRA has been prepping the clue abnormally this year, and hopefully we can amount out how to accomplish our car run able-bodied with it there. We’ll accept a lot of accompany there, and we’d like to actualization them article in Chicago.”

Bob Bode is aback at the annoyance band for the aboriginal time aback the Denso Spark Plugs NHRA Four-Wide Nationals in Las Vegas, a four-race break, and he has a lot of new actuality on his Funny Car. That’s a breach he bare to regroup afterwards a aggravating end to the 2017 season. The complete racer feels his aggregation is on bigger basement now and can move in the appropriate direction. 

“We accept lots of new parts, so hopefully they work,” said Bode. “You never know, but maybe the car will like it. We haven’t been active that good, so hopefully we’re on a bigger track.”

This is a hometown chase for the Illinois native, who resides in Barrington and fabricated 10 appearances during the 2017 season. He has already raced alert this season, including stops in Pomona and Las Vegas. 

“We accept new rods, pistons, clamp and bigger blower stuff,” said Bode. “We’re activity to go 800 anxiety and see how it cast it. We accept new heads, this is basically a cast new car in the blower area. We accept date seven heads, we had been active sixes. If we’re animated afterwards on, you’ll apperceive that it worked.”

Greg Anderson has two wins in Chicago in 2011 and 2016 but he’s additionally go six runner-up finishes including his memorable 2012 final adjoin first-time champ Erica Enders, so he can’t advice but anticipate about the ones that got away. Anderson has been a barbarian this year in condoning with four poles in eight contest in his Summit Camaro, but on chase day he’s not alone winless, but has yet to ability a final round.

There accept been seven altered winners in the aboriginal eight Pro Stock contest of the season, and Anderson would be blessed to move that cardinal to eight with a third win in Chicago.

“[Route 66 Raceway] was the one clue we couldn’t crack, and there wasn’t any alibi or any affectionate of reason,” said Anderson. “It’s a admirable racetrack, and we’ve consistently run able-bodied there – we aloof weren’t able to abutting the deal. We assuredly got the monkey off our aback there a few years back, and we accept no worries activity there anymore. We go there complete every year, and we adulation to chase on abundant racetracks like they accept there at Avenue 66 Raceway. It’s one of the top bristles in the country, and it’s aloof a neat, accurate activity aback you go to Chicago to race.”

The actuality that the Avenue 66 Nationals is now sponsored JEGS, a battling mail adjustment aggregation to Summit, has not gone disregarded by Anderson and his KB Antagonism teammates.

“This year it’s a little different,” Anderson said. “We don’t accept Summit Antagonism or Chevrolet on the wall, but that gives us a little added motivation, and it makes it a little added acceptable aback you can booty a little of the spotlight abroad from the added guy. It actually adds to the one of the affidavit we’re aflame to get there. We’ve got all the appropriate genitalia and all the appropriate bodies with our Summit Antagonism team, and we’re ready.”

Ironically, Anderson has not won an accident yet he is additional in the credibility standings abaft Mountian View Antagonism disciplinarian Vincent Nobile. Anderson has been antagonism Pro Stock continued abundant to apperceive that counting credibility in aboriginal June is about an exercise in futility.  

“It’s actually too aboriginal to anticipate about the championship, and actually honestly, I don’t apperceive that anybody in the chic could actually accede themselves a admired appropriate now,” Anderson said. “There are so abounding acceptable active cars, and the acreage is advanced open. Things could change abundantly by the time we get to the playoffs. We’re still in architecture approach appropriate now, and the key is to aiguille at the appropriate time. That doesn’t beggarly you can be a slacker the blow of the year, we haven’t been, but we accept fabricated some mistakes and haven’t been able to abutting the accord on Sunday. We’ve got to get bigger at that afore we get to the playoffs. There would be no bigger abode to alpha our advancement exhausted than Chicago this weekend.”

Following his attenuate first-round accident in Topeka, ascendant Mello Yello champ Bo Butner slipped from additional to fifth in the Pro Stock standings and he’s bent not to lose afterimage of the advance pack. Butner’s analysis began with a win in Pomona and a brace of runner-up finishes in Gainesville and Las Vegas, so he knows the abeyant is there. Butner’s focus branch into Chicago is convalescent his condoning position. He’s been the No. 10 berry in three of the aftermost four contest and that has been the basis of best of his problems.

“That’s actually the problem; we charge to accomplish bigger runs in condoning which usually agency authoritative a acceptable run in the best [qualifying] session,” said Butner. “Obviously, we haven’t done that afresh and we charge to alpha acclimation that this weekend.”

As a die-hard amateur racer, Butner is additionally attractive advanced to this weekend’s anniversary JEGS Allstars event, a appropriate chase that actualization 80 of the top Lucas Oil Series drivers from above the country. Butner has able for the JEGS Allstars on several occasions and has been a runner-up twice.

“This weekend is the Amateur racer’s mecca,” said Butner. “It’s the Allstars race, and everybody wants to be allotment of it. I’ve never won it but it’s the coolest deal. Amateur racers are the courage of annoyance racing, and this is a abundant way to spotlight them. “We appetite to do actually able-bodied in our Pro Stock car, and we get captivated up in our antagonism any weekend, but in Chicago we consistently try to blitz up there and watch what’s accident with the Amateur racers, too,” Butner said. “I bethink actuality allotment of the Allstars and dispatch aback up there to watch Pro Stock thinking, that would be a dream appear true. We’re actually active our dream, but we never balloon breadth we came from. We’ll be advantageous for Analysis 3 to win, our home division, and we apperceive they’ll be advantageous for us to win, too. It’s a actually appropriate weekend.”

Competing at an accident that banners the ancestors name as a appellation appropriate sponsor, and actualization the accepted JEGS Allstars competition, it goes afterwards adage that Jeg Coughlin Jr. would adulation to end his three-year winless aridity in Pro Stock this weekend. The five-time best has been abutting several times this season, and feels it’s aloof a amount of time afore his luck improves.

Coughlin’s JEGS.com Pro Stock Camaro is one of bristles JEGS-backed cartage in activity this weekend. The aggregation additionally includes brother, Mike, in Top Dragster, nephew Troy Jr., in Top Alcohol Dragster, and niece, Paige, In Air-conditioned Comp. Coughlin’s wife, Samantha, is additionally antagonism the team’s JEGS.com dragster in the Air-conditioned Comp class.

“We’ve got a active weekend ahead, for sure,” Coughlin said. “I’m consistently aflame to get abaft the caster of my JEGS.com/Elite Ability Chevrolet Camaro and this chase will be added appropriate as we’ve taken on appellation advocacy of the accident itself and of advance the JEGS Allstars chase as well. It’s a huge breach for all of us at JEGS. We’ve got lots of ancestors racing, additional we apprehend to accept a acceptable cardinal of our 400-plus JEGS assembly authoritative the cruise up from Delaware, Ohio, to abutment the races.” “It would be absurd to breach through and get our aboriginal win in actually a while. We’ve been animadversion on the aperture of a chase win for our JEGS car afresh and we’ve apparent lots of our Elite Motorsports teammates acceptable races. I durably accept we’ll claiming for the No. 1 qualifier atom and be in altercation for the Pro Stock bays appear Sunday.”

Top Ammunition racers Tony Schumacher and Chris Karamesines aren’t the alone Illinois citizenry who are attractive for success at this weekend’s JEGS Avenue 66 Nationals. Pro Stock Motorcycle amateur Ryan Oehler grew up in Barrington, Ill., and fabricated his aboriginal canyon at Avenue 66 Raceway as a 16-year old active his artery acknowledged Camaro SS. “My aboriginal time up there was with a buddy,” Oehler recalled. “I did a big addict all the way up to the starting line. The amateur comes up and curtains on my window. I cycle it down, and he looks at me and says ‘Son, you are not John Force. If you do this again, you’re out of here.’” Since that advantageous debut, Oehler, now 34, won two American Motorcycle Antagonism Association [AMRA] Pro Modified championships, and he’s accustomed himself as one of the ascent stars of the Pro Stock Motorcycle chic with his six-second Buell V-twin. He’s committed to antagonism in all 16 contest this analysis and he’s already one of the arch contenders for the Automobile Club of Southern California Road to the Approaching award.

“We apperceive we’re competitive, and we apperceive we can put bigger numbers up than we accept been,” said Oehler, whose bike is acquainted by his father, Brad, with the advice of crewman Alexander Tutt. “We’ve had some actual bad 60-foot times, so if we put our quickest abbreviate numbers calm with our quickest back-half, we’ve got a actual fast bike. “As far as my riding, I’m activity added assured every time I go out. For us it’s consistently aloof assuming up and accomplishing a little bit better, and I anticipate that we’re accomplishing that. I got my aboriginal anytime top 10 benefit analysis afterwards Charlotte, so that was cool.” 

After a aggravating 2017 season, Cory Reed’s ambition of putting both of his Aggregation Liberty Buell entries into the top ten in the Pro Stock Motorcycle standings is bound acceptable a reality. Entering the JEGS Avenue 66 NHRA Nationals, Reed is ninth while abettor Angelle Sampey is fifth.

The key to the team’s improvement has been the accession of adept Pro Stock racer Larry Morgan, who was assassin to anatomy the team’s 160-cid V-twin engines. Backstab Pro Stock best Jim Yates has additionally been added as a consultant. Recently, Reed and Sampey additionally switched from Ability to Buell bodies, a change that yielded actual dividends. “We’re starting to feel added like a team,” Reed said. “I anticipate everybody is happier aback we switched over to the Buell anatomy and our ability has actually best up; it was a acceptable move for our aggregation overall. We fabricated a lot of new changes and it seems like anybody on the aggregation is blessed with those changes and it’s already starting to pay off for us; our operation feels added like a amalgamation than anytime now.” “Since the aftermost chase in Atlanta, I’ve been in Ohio at Larry Morgan’s boutique and we’ve gone through the accomplished bike and Ken [Johnson, co-crew chief] has been able to do the aforementioned with Angelle’s bike aback at our boutique in Cordele [Ga.]. Our Aggregation Liberty Antagonism accumulation is alone accepting started and I anticipate the approaching is bright.”

Steve Johnson is annihilation if not resilient. Aback his affiliation with Jerry Savoie’s White Alligator aggregation attenuated afterwards aloof one race, Johnson went aback to his roots. Antagonism afterwards a above sponsor, he anchored his massive 18-wheeler and accustomed in Charlotte with a baby adopted bivouac and a analeptic truck. Johnson is still application his undersized rig but there appears to be ablaze at the end of the adit apropos his advocacy issues. For this weekend’s JEGS Avenue 66 NHRA Nationals, Johnson has active a accord with MacRak, a Joliet-based aggregation that aliment bartering cutting systems. MacRak owners Shawn and Pam MacDonald are longtime annoyance antagonism admirers who alive aloof three afar from Avenue 66 Raceway.

“I was accomplishing a academy affairs with kids at the Phoenix chase and I was alive out of Chris McGaha’s trailer,” said Johnson. “After we were done, I absolved out of the pit breadth and met Shawn MacDonald. He asked me if my bike was still white [and unsponsored] and I told him it was. Aback afresh we’ve formed to put a accord together. They’re activity to accept over 100 of their advisers out actuality on Saturday.”

Johnson is one of the few individuals in any chic who has raced in all of the antecedent NHRA contest at Avenue 66 Raceway, at atomic the ones that affection the Pro Stock Motorcycle class. He ante the stadium-sized ability as one of the best on the NHRA Mello Yello Annoyance Antagonism tour.

“I actually adulation the absorption and air-conditioned bland antagonism apparent here,” said Johnson. “We accept had some abundant runs there.  I bethink actuality in the finals a few years aback and cerebration how air-conditioned it would be to win abreast such a celebrated sports city. It ability be a little corny, but I’m appreciative to bless 20 years of NHRA actuality in Joliet. As a aggregation buyer I accept an abstraction of the challenges business owners go through to break afloat. This weekend our role increases because above aggravating to win the event, we additionally appetite to abutment our sponsor, MacRak.

Clay Millican and his abettor disciplinarian affectation for a photo afore antagonism on Friday. 

Rahn Tobler does some pre-race tuning. 

Courtney Force (left) and Brittany Force (right) affectation in their analogous Advance Auto Genitalia blaze apparel with their analogous Advance Auto Genitalia chase cars in the background. There’s a lot of AAP activity on in this photo. 

An old academy JEGS car was on duke to bless the JEGS Avenue 66 NHRA Nationals in Chicago. 

Richie Crampton abounding to his DHL / Kalitta Air Top Fueler advanced of antagonism on Friday. Pat Dakin and Chris “The Greek” Karamesines affectation for a photo afore The Greek’s aboriginal actualization of the season.

Fans arranged the amid at the JEGS Avenue 66 NHRA Nationals advanced of Friday qualifying. 

Chicago admired TJ Zizzo took a moment to relax during active pre-race action. 

The Mello Yello NHRA Annoyance Antagonism analysis is a third of the way through as the bout moves to the JEGS Avenue 66 NHRA Nationals aloof alfresco of Chicago. Admirers and drivers akin can alpha attractive at the standings in ardent to see who’s cautiously central the Countdown to the Championship balloon and who has some assignment to do to accomplish the playoffs afore the final six contest of the analysis are aloft us. These four drivers are acceptable cerebration about block bottomward pole position.

Clay Millican acceptable his additional career win at the Menards NHRA Heartland Nationals, solidifying the Abundant Clips / Genitalia Additional aggregation as a championship contender. Millican is now aloof 95 credibility abaft Top Ammunition baton Steve Torrence, who has back-to-back semifinal appearances, entering the Chicago event. That gives the Tennessee built-in a chance, admitting a abbreviate one, to booty over the credibility advance for the aboriginal time in a continued time. Appropriate now, he and aggregation arch Dave Grubnic are acceptable cerebration about befitting their chase car as constant as it was in Topeka.

Meanwhile, Courtney Force and the dueling banjos of Brian Corradi and Dan Hood attending like complete bedrock stars. The Advance Auto Genitalia Chevy Camaro owns back-to-back wins, three on the season, and ashamed Matt Hagan and Robert Hight en avenue to the Topeka Wally. Those base comments about blooming hats are so 2017. Force has never won in Chicago (not that those stats anytime beggarly anything), and she’s never won three contest in a row. At this rate, it affectionate of feels like she’ll blend about and aces up some added little gold men aloof because.

Pro Stock is abundant added advanced open, but if you’re not talking about Erica Enders, there’s article amiss with you. She’s one of, if not the best disciplinarian in the chic and her car is mercifully on point for the aboriginal time in years. That’s a aggregate that makes the backstab champ attending a lot like a awaiting three-time champ. That’s a abuse acceptable affair for the class, unless you’re one of the suckers who has to band up adjoin her this weekend. Her acknowledgment times are great, her alive is abundant and she’s as athirst as she’s anytime been. Godspeed.

Pro Stock Motorcycle is aback on clue for the aboriginal time in two events, and Eddie Krawiec is already attractive for his third Wally of the season. It’s not absolutely aforementioned as it anytime was for the Harley-Davidson team, but it’s close. The activating duo of Andrew Hines and Krawiec is alarming for all comers, decidedly because the two haven’t been up to their own standards this year and accept still won two out of three races. It’s still early, but if addition has any air-conditioned amazing, abstruse powers, now wouldn’t be a abhorrent time to use them.

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