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Saturday News & Notes from the NHRA 4-Wide Nationals

News, notes, quotes, photos, and video from the second day of the NHRA 4-Wide Nationals at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Updated throughout the day.
13 Apr 2024
NHRA National Dragster staff
Race coverage



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There was a bit of unfinished business completed last night as the final rounds of Comp Eliminator from the hail-delayed Lucas Oil NHRA Winternationals was completed. Former world champ Ryan Priddy emerged victorious following a tough battle against Cody Lane. Both drivers were solid off the starting line with Priddy driving the Mitsos’ family’s A/AA entry to a (-.551) 6.599 for the win over Lane’s (-.535) 8.455. The final margin of victory at the finish line was less than a hundredth of a second.

Today, the final rounds of the FlexJet Factory Stock Showdown and Top Alcohol Funny Car will be contested.


“Mr. Four-Wide," Steve Torrence, will be trying to win his seventh four-wide race in six seasons. No other driver has hoisted the winner’s trophy more than three times in the four-wide era that began in 2010. 

Torrence hated the format at first, but winning that many times certainly can change one’s mind.

“I didn’t like it at all,” he admitted, “mainly because it took us out of our usual routine and out of our comfort zone.  But we did what we had to do to master it, we started having success and, well, that’ll change how you think pretty quickly.  I became a really big fan.” 

Torrence and “them Capco boys” have advanced to the final quad four times in five appearances in Las Vegas with wins in 2018 and 2021 and runner-up finishes the last two years. 


Conversely, Tony Schumacher, the most successful driver in NHRA Top Fuel history, leads the Top Fuel class in number of victories (eight) and in No. 1 qualifiers (11) at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, but has yet to hoist a four-wide Wally trophy in either Las Vegas or Charlotte. He’s come close, finishing as the runner-up in 2012 and 2017 in Charlotte, as well as recording a runner-up finish at the 2018 Las Vegas event


Brittany Force is one of three active Top Fuel drivers (along with Steve Torrence and Antron Brown) to have won four-wide races in both Charlotte (2016) and Las Vegas (2022). As she is at many tracks on the schedule, she’s the track record holder at The Strip with [performances of 3.652 and 338.17, both recorded at the fall race in 2019.

Force has been in the final quad three of the last four times the race has been run (there was no four-wide race in 2020) and overall, in the five previous four-wide races at LVNS, she has qualified no worse than No. 3. Brittany is 1-2 in the final of the 4-Wide Nationals at LVMS, having won in 2022.

In addition to her four-wide win in 2022, Brittany has two wins (2019 and 2022), one runner-up and three No. 1 qualifiers in the traditional two-lane fall race at Las Vegas.


Bob Tasca III led Funny Car qualifying yesterday despite his admonition to crew chiefs Aaron Brooks and Todd Okuhara to slow it down and prove to him that they know how to race in the day's hot conditions that we’ll see in the summer

“We have to play the long game,” he said. “I’d rather be number one in the points in Pomona in the fall than in Las Vegas in the spring. We made wholesale changes to this car this winter. We're making so much more power that all of the data that we had from yet last year, we haven't been able to use any of it. 

“The good news is these guys constantly evolve. The bad news is that you can set yourself back a little bit as you recalibrate the clutch settings and the stops and the primary. I think that's what you're seeing a little bit with our team, just kind of resetting ourselves and it won't be long before you see this car going up and down hot, cold, and anything in between."

While Saturday is supposed to be another day with temperatures in the low 80s, the forecast for Sunday is a 10-degree drop in temperature.

“Sunday is going to be throw-down, Candyland conditions,” he said. We’ve got one of the greatest racetracks in the world, it’s a little downhill, and it’s smooth, so we’ll all have to pick up the pace. It could literally 



Performances across the board improved during the second qualifying session for the new Holley EFI Factory X class although Aaron Stanfield’s 7.14 from yesterday remained untouched. Stanfield backed up yesterday’s run with a 7.184 in his Janac Bros. Camaro.

Stanfield’s father, Greg, moved to the No. 2 spot with a 7.170 while Stephen Bell (7.334), Lenny Lottig (7.355), Jesse Alexandra (7.537) and Rick Hord (7.562) also found the sevens. Jim Cowan and Alex Laughlin both shut off early.



As expected, elapsed times dropped significantly in the third round of Pro Stock qualifying as conditions improved compared to Friday’s two runs.

Jerry Don Tucker took over the top spot following a strong 6.612 in his Mile-Hi Outlaw Beer Camaro. Tucker bumped Jeg Coughlin Jr. from the top spot even though Coughlin was able to duplicate yesterday’s 6.625 run in his SCAG Camaro. Fernando Cuadra Jr. also made an impressive run with a 6.627 to move into the No. 3 spot in the tight field.

The third session also included the first rounds of the Mission Foods #2Fast2Tasty Challenge, which was contested using the four-wide format for the first time. The revised format featured the eight quarterfinalists from last week’s Lucas Oil NHRA Arizona Nationals.

Dallas Glenn and Aaron Stanfield advanced to the final quad over Cristian Cuadra and Erica Enders. They will be joined by Jeg Coughlin Jr., and his nephew, Troy Coughlin Jr., who advanced through the second quad over Greg Anderson and low qualifier Tucker.



Antron Brown and Shawn Langdon advanced to the four-wide final of the Mission #2Fast2Tasty NHRA Challenge with runs of 3.816 and 3.834 to finish ahead of Shawn Reed (3.844) and tire-smoking Steve Torrence.

Low qualifier Doug Kalitta improved on his Friday-leading pass of 3.77 with a 3.738 to win his quad and will be joined in the final by Tony Stewart, who got there on a holeshot 3.807 that finished just ahead of Billy Torrence’s quicker-but-later 3.803. Justin Ashley finished fourth.

Tony Schumacher, not part of the Mission Challenge, had the round’s second-best run behind Kalitta with a 3.768 after spinning the tires on both of his Friday attempts in the Okuma-branded JCM Racing dragster. Brittany Force’s 3.799 was third best of the frame and improved on her Friday best of 3.820 to take the No. 3 qualifying spot with one session to go.



In a fabulous opening round to the Mission Challenge, all eight cars ran in the threes. Blake Alexander advanced to the final with a 3.975 in Jim Head’s car on a double holeshot ahead of second-place Paul Lee’s 3.947 and Alexis DeJoria’s 3.967. Cruz Pedregon finished fourth with a 3.994.

Austin Prock (3.904) and Daniel Wilkerson (3.943) also advanced to the four-wide final. Wilkerson got there ahead of third-place John Force’s better 3.938 on a holeshot while J.R. Todd was fourth at 3.986.

Prock’s run moved him past Friday leader Bob Tasca III onto the No. 1 spot though Tasca did uncork another 3.93 pass and is the only Funny Car driver with a three-second run on all three passes. Force’s 3.93 moved him into the No. 3 spot.

Jason Rupert’s privateer team looks solid with three great runs of 4.12, 4.08, and 4.05 after a wholesale clutch-system change introduced by former Top Fuel world champ crew chief Rahn Tobler. He’s currently qualified No. 14.

With one session remaining, Jeff Diehl sits on the bump spot at 4.117 with Terry Haddock, Jim Campbell, Alex Miladinovich, and Buddy Hull on the outside looking.



Qualifying for the first-ever Holley EFI Factory X race is complete and the father-son duo of Greg and Aaron Stanfield appear to have the upper hand.

Aaron, a three-time and reigning champion in the FlexJet Factory Stock Showdown, captured the top spot with a 7.141 in his Janac Bros. Camaro while Greg is close behind at 7.170 in his Rod Shop Camaro.

The Stanfield’s are followed by Rick Hord with a 7.298 and Stephen Bell, who drove the field’s only Ford to a 7.334. The rest of the field includes Lenny Lottig,  Jesse Alexandra, Jim Cowan, and Alex Laughlin



There was plenty of shuffling and bumping during the fourth and final qualifying session for Pro Stock drivers including a few surprises.

Competing in his 22nd race, Jerry Don Tucker held on to the top spot following a brilliant 6.612 in his Outlaw Mile-Hi Beer Camaro. Tucker will compete in a quad against Chris McGaha, Troy Coughlin Jr., and Dallas Glenn.

Jeg Coughlin Jr., won the Mission Foods #2Fast2Tasty Challenge when he outran a final quad that included his nephew, Troy, as well as Aaron Stanfield, and Glenn. All four drivers recorded very competitive reaction times, but Jeg's 6.628 was first across the finish line by .008-second over Troy Jr's 6.647.

The biggest shock came when Matt Hartford, the reigning U.S. Nationals champion, did not qualify for the tough 16 car field. Hartford shook the tires in Q4 and missed the show for the first time since the 2015 U.S. Nationals.

Chris McGaha made the show in Q4 with a 6.683, but in the process he bumped out his son, Mason. Erica Enders also struggled during the first three runs, but rallied late in the day with a 6.635 for the No. 6 spot.



Antron Brown won his second career Mission Challenge Top Fuel title and the first in the four-wide format, taking his Matco Tools dragster to a 3.792 victory to finish ahead of Shawn Langdon’s 3.798 and Tony Stewart’s 3.826. Low qualifier Doug Kalitta lost traction and finished fourth.

While Kalitta stayed atop the qualifying sheets Clay Millican had the session’s best run, a get-well 3.773, followed by Billy Torrence’s 3.784 and Brittany Force’s 3.787.

As low qualifier in the 15-car field, Kalitta’s quad will actually have just three cars as either he, No. 8 qualifier Shawn Langdon, or No. 9 qualifier Justin Ashley will only have to beat one driver to advance to the semifinals.



Austin Prock continued to add to his incredible rookie season in Funny car by winning the Mission #2Fast2Tasty title in his Cornwell Toos Chevy, racing to the stripe with a 3.915 to defeat Paul Lee’s 3.939, Blake Alexander’s 3.963, and Daniel Wilkerson’s early shutoff.

Prock’s teammate, Phoenix will John Force, had the best run of the session with a 3.908 while J.R. Todd popped off a 3.930 that carried them both past Friday leader Bob Tasca III’s 3.931.

Jeff Diehl survived Q4 on the bump spot with his 4.117. Jim Campbell had the last shot at unseating him but his car went silent after backing up from his burnout.