Butner, Salinas, Wilkerson and M. Smith Top Qualifiers Saturday At NHRA Four-Wide Nationals

Story By: NHRA – LAS VEGAS, NV – Bo Butner secured his second No. 1 qualifier of the season on Saturday at the 20th annual DENSO Spark Plugs NHRA Four-Wide Nationals at the Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

Mike Salinas (Top Fuel), Tim Wilkerson (Funny Car) and Matt Smith (Pro Stock Motorcycle) were No. 1 qualifiers in each of their respective professional categories of the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series.

Butner’s pass of 6.648-seconds at 207.46 mph in his Jim Butner’s Auto Chevy Camaro from Friday held strong to keep him atop of the Pro Stock category. He already has two wins in the 2019 season and is in the hunt for his second career win at the facility.

Butner will face a quad of Jeff Isbell, Deric Kramer and Fernando Cuadra.
“We have a good car. We’ve had a good car since I sat in it. We’re just out here having fun. That’s probably one reason we’ve had a little bit of success. This isn’t our life but we do have fun and enjoy it,” said Butner.
“Now we kind of know how to win and I’ve learned a lot. It’s still a good race car. It went down there four times and we only have to go down three tomorrow so I’m very happy and can’t wait.”

Salinas clinched his second career No. 1 qualifier position with his lap of 3.705 at 328.46 in his Scrappers Racing dragster on Saturday and hopes to earn his first career victory on Sunday.

“We’re serious about what we’re doing,” Salinas said. “What I don’t know, I’ll find. We know what won’t work tomorrow.”

In Funny Car, Wilkerson picked up his first No. 1 since Bristol 2017 in his Levi, Ray & Shoup Ford Shelby Mustang. His pass of 3.895 at 323.50 led the category. He was the runner-up at the Gainesville event and is looking for his first win since 2016. Wilkerson will line up for round one against a quadrant of Robert Hight, Shawn Langdon and Jeff Diehl.

“I’m really proud of how good our car runs,” the veteran driver said. “It’s been a long time since we’ve been No. 1 qualifier but I kind of pull that out of my hat every once in a while, if you’ll notice. It might take me a year or two sometimes but I’m there getting it done.”

Defending Pro Stock Motorcycle world champion M. Smith snagged the top spot with his lap of 6.879 at 196.76 on his Elite Performance/DENSO Auto Parts/Stockseth EBR during the third qualifying session. M. Smith will be in a quad of Angelle Sampey, Ryan Oehler and Angie Smith. This is M. Smith’s first No. 1 at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway and his first of the 2019 season.

“With all the people who help us, we call that thing the ‘Red Rocket,’” M. Smith said. “It truly is fast. It throws numbers out. Sometimes it’s not supposed to go that fast and it wasn’t supposed to go that fast Q3 but it did. We’ll take the green hat and hopefully we can turn three win lights on tomorrow and go three rounds and win this race.”

Eliminations will begin Sunday at 12:00 p.m. PT.

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LAS VEGAS — First-round pairings for professional eliminations Sunday for the 20th annual DENSO Spark Plug NHRA Four-Wide Nationals at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, the fourth of 24 events in the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series. Pairings based on results in qualifying, which ended Saturday. DNQs listed below pairings.

Top Fuel — 1. Mike Salinas, 3.705 seconds, 328.46 mph vs. Bye vs. 8. Billy Torrence, 3.769, 324.75 vs. 9. Antron Brown, 3.772, 324.83; 2. Steve Torrence, 3.721, 327.59 vs. 15. Steven Chrisman, 7.129, 68.24 vs. 7. Doug Kalitta, 3.766, 323.74 vs. 10. Terry McMillen, 3.785, 321.27; 3. Brittany Force, 3.733, 322.88 vs. 14. Cameron Ferre, 4.099, 265.27 vs. 6. Richie Crampton, 3.758, 319.52 vs. 11. Scott Palmer, 3.790, 323.27; 4. Leah Pritchett, 3.743, 328.06 vs. 13. Terry Totten, 3.951, 297.68 vs. 5. Clay Millican, 3.750, 325.06 vs. 12. Austin Prock, 3.829, 316.97.

Funny Car — 1. Tim Wilkerson, Ford Mustang, 3.895, 323.50 vs. 16. Jeff Diehl, Toyota Camry, 4.382, 228.85 vs. 8. Shawn Langdon, Camry, 3.931, 324.67 vs. 9. Robert Hight, Chevy Camaro, 3.940, 326.63; 2. Ron Capps, Dodge Charger, 3.897, 325.92 vs. 15. Terry Haddock, Mustang, 4.250, 289.88 vs. 7. Bob Tasca III, Mustang, 3.928, 318.77 vs. 10. Tommy Johnson Jr., Charger, 3.952, 319.45; 3. Cruz Pedregon, Charger, 3.915, 324.83 vs. 14. Phil Burkart, Charger, 4.084, 298.40 vs. 6. John Force, Camaro, 3.925, 325.92 vs. 11. Jack Beckman, Charger, 3.956, 321.27; 4. J.R. Todd, Camry, 3.919, 323.43 vs. 13. Gary Densham, Mustang, 4.057, 312.13 vs. 5. Matt Hagan, Charger, 3.924, 327.03 vs. 12. Jim Campbell, Charger, 4.044, 313.00.
Did Not Qualify: 17. Jonnie Lindberg, 4.414, 272.39.

Pro Stock — 1. Bo Butner, Chevy Camaro, 6.648, 207.46 vs. 16. Jeff Isbell, Ford Mustang, 6.965, 198.76 vs. 8. Deric Kramer, Camaro, 6.669, 206.48 vs. 9. Fernando Cuadra, Camaro, 6.671, 205.47; 2. Jeg Coughlin, Camaro, 6.652, 206.86 vs. 15. Alan Prusiensky, Dodge Dart, 6.770, 203.00 vs. 7. Erica Enders, Camaro, 6.668, 206.54 vs. 10. Jason Line, Camaro, 6.679, 206.13; 3. Greg Anderson, Camaro, 6.664, 206.92 vs. 14. Joey Grose, Camaro, 6.743, 204.82 vs. 6. Alex Laughlin, Camaro, 6.666, 206.29 vs. 11. Steve Graham, Camaro, 6.689, 206.29; 4. Matt Hartford, Camaro, 6.665, 206.51 vs. 13. Shane Tucker, Camaro, 6.724, 204.57 vs. 5. Rodger Brogdon, Camaro, 6.665, 206.39 vs. 12. Chris McGaha, Camaro, 6.707, 205.57.

Pro Stock Motorcycle — 1. Matt Smith, EBR, 6.879, 196.76 vs. 16. Angelle Sampey, Harley-Davidson, 7.043, 192.00 vs. 8. Ryan Oehler, Buell, 6.962, 195.25 vs. 9. Angie Smith, EBR, 6.967, 195.42; 2. Hector Arana Jr, EBR, 6.884, 195.17 vs. 15. Kelly Clontz, Suzuki, 7.035, 190.32 vs. 7. Hector Arana, EBR, 6.954, 192.93 vs. 10. Steve Johnson, Suzuki, 6.983, 192.25; 3. Eddie Krawiec, Harley-Davidson, 6.888, 196.27 vs. 14. Freddie Camarena, Suzuki, 7.014, 192.49 vs. 6. Cory Reed, EBR, 6.950, 192.88 vs. 11. Jerry Savoie, Suzuki, 6.994, 191.43; 4. Andrew Hines, Harley-Davidson, 6.903, 194.83 vs. 13. Joey Gladstone, EBR, 7.010, 190.65 vs. 5. Karen Stoffer, Suzuki, 6.947, 193.49 vs. 12. Jim Underdahl, Suzuki, 6.997, 190.43.
Did Not Qualify: 17. Scotty Pollacheck, 7.053, 190.75; 18. Jianna Salinas, 7.069, 188.28; 19. Katie Sullivan, 7.120, 188.81.

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