Tim Wilkerson and Brittany Force earned the eighth spots in the Traxxas Nitro Shootouts in a lottery drawing Wednesday in Indianapolis.
Top fan-vote getters Brittany Force and Tim Wilkerson secured the No. 8 positions in the Traxxas Nitro Shootout following special lottery drawings held today during a press conference in downtown Indianapolis to preview the Chevrolet Performance U.S. Nationals, the world’s most prestigious drag race.
Force, who has reached three final rounds this season, earned the most fan votes in her category with 65 percent and will face the top seed in Top Fuel, Doug Kalitta, in the first-round pairing of the Traxxas Nitro Shootout for Top Fuel.
“I’m definitely excited to have this opportunity again,” said Force who will be appearing in her second consecutive Traxxas Nitro Shootout following her lottery victory last season. “Thanks to all the fans and especially thanks to my team. They’re an awesome group. I’m hoping to go out and take it home this weekend.”
Veteran driver Wilkerson, who took the most fan votes in Funny Car with 38 percent, will meet top seed John Force in the first round of the Traxxas Nitro Shootout for Funny Car.
“If the [warm] weather stays like this I really like our chances to win this thing,” said Wilkerson, who also took home the Funny Car fan vote last year. “I sure could use the $100,000 that’s for sure. I just want to thank the fans again for helping make this happen.”
The two drivers selected today was the culmination of a process that started on Aug. 17. All drivers in both categories who had competed in each race this season but were not a part of the seven qualified drivers for each Traxxas Nitro Shootout were eligible for the fan vote/lottery. Fan voting took place on NHRA's Facebook page and lasted until Aug. 26. The fan voting determined how many lottery balls would be assigned to each driver for the drawing. Wilkerson was followed in the fan vote by Jack Beckman (29%), Del Worsham (13%), Matt Hagan (10%), Tony Pedregon (5%) and Bob Tasca III (5%). Top Fuel’s Force was followed in the fan vote by Clay Millican (13%), J.R. Todd (9%), Bob Vandergriff (5%), Terry McMillen (4%) and Steve Torrence (4%).
The Traxxas Nitro Shootout will be contested during the Chevrolet Performance U.S. Nationals, Aug. 27-Sept. 1, at Lucas Oil Raceway at Indianapolis. The Traxxas Nitro Shootout for Top Fuel will be held Saturday Aug. 30, with rounds at 4, 5:25 and 7:45 p.m. The Traxxas Nitro Shootout for Funny Car will be contested Sunday, Aug. 31, with rounds at 12:30, 1:55 and 4:15 p.m. The Traxxas Nitro Shootout will be covered by ESPN2.
In the other first round pairings in Top Fuel, Phoenix winner Antron Brown will face Englishtown winner Richie Crampton, Bristol winner Shawn Langdon will meet Winternationals winner Khalid al-Balooshi and Las Vegas winner Tony Schumacher will face Atlanta winner Spencer Massey.
In the three other Funny Car first round pairings, Gainesville winner Robert Hight will meet Englishtown winner Cruz Pedregon, Epping winner Ron Capps will face Topeka winner Courtney Force and Bristol winner Tommy Johnson Jr. will race Las Vegas winner Alexis DeJoria.
Shawn Langdon is the defending Traxxas Nitro Shootout winner in Top Fuel and Jack Beckman is the defending Traxxas Nitro Shootout winner in Funny Car. Below are the drivers who have qualified for the Traxxas Nitro Shootouts and their first-round pairings for the lucrative bonus races which will award the winning drivers $100,000 each.
TRAXXAS NITRO SHOOTOUT (TOP FUEL)
FIRST-ROUND PAIRINGS (4 p.m.):
1. Doug Kalitta vs. No. 8 Brittany Force
2. Antron Brown vs. No. 7 Richie Crampton
3. Shawn Langdon vs. No. 6 Khalid alBalooshi
4. Tony Schumacher vs. No. 5 Spencer Massey
SEMIFINAL PAIRINGS (5:25 p.m.):
Kalitta-B. Force winner vs. Schumacher-Massey winner
Brown-Crampton winner vs. Langdon-alBalooshi winner
FINAL (7:45 p.m.)
TRAXXAS NITRO SHOOTOUT (FUNNY CAR)
FIRST-ROUND PAIRINGS (12:30 p.m.):
1. John Force vs. No. 8 Tim Wilkerson
2. Robert Hight vs. No. 7 Cruz Pedregon
3. Ron Capps vs. No. 6 Courtney Force
4. Tommy Johnson Jr. vs. No. 5 Alexis DeJoria
SEMIFINAL PAIRINGS (1:55 p.m.):
J. Force-Wilkerson winner vs. Johnson Jr.-DeJoria winner
Hight-C. Pedregon winner vs. Capps-C.Force winner
FINAL (4:15 p.m.)