NASCAR & Auto Racing

Arend leads Funny Car qualifying, Naylor tops in Pro Stock at U.S. Nationals

CLERMONT, Ind. – 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.

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.

Naylor’s first attempt of 6.655 at 206.39 mph was his best of the weekend, edging Jim Yates’ 6.658 at 206.42.

With five wins at this event in the last seven years, Schumacher got his eighth low qualifying effort of the season, reaching 4.477 seconds at 333.66 mph.

Ellis had to fight to keep the top spot after surging veteran Hector Arana had a 6.954 at 190.83 mph to take the top spot after the first session of the day. However, in the final session, Ellis had a 6.948 at 192.00 to edge Arana.