Top Fuel’s Steve Torrence delivered the fifth-quickest run in NHRA history on Friday and the quickest run in four years, powering to the provisional No. 1 position at the 38th annual Texas NHRA FallNationals at the Texas Motorplex. Bob Tasca III (Funny Car), Deric Kramer (Pro Stock) and Gaige Herrera (Pro Stock Motorcycle) were also the provisional No. 1 qualifiers.

Torrence went 3.636s at 336.62 mph in his Capco Contractors/Toyota dragster at his home track, putting the Texan and four-time world champion in line for his third No. 1 qualifier of the season. It’s also a track E.T. record and career-best run for Torrence, who entered the weekend third in points. Setting the track record and making the best Top Fuel run since 2019 at a track where he grew up racing meant a great deal to Torrence, who hopes to turn his incredible start to the race – which includes the $15,000 “Friday Night Live” low qualifier bonus – into a great finish this weekend.

“I have so much history here at this racetrack, I grew up racing here,” Torrence said. “There are a a lot of expectations when you come here. You want to go out and do well in front of the hometown fans. I take pride of being from Texas and these fans are unbelievable. Richard Hogan, Bobby Lagana, every one of those guys put so much blood, sweat and tears into what they’re doing. It makes you be proud of the team and what’s going on.

“The track is unbelievable here, the whole Meyer family and everyone beh ind the scenes has done a great job. This is an event, this is more than just a race, and I’m really proud of everything that’s gone on here. To go out, to go low E.T., to run a career-best speed and E.T., it’s special. We need to carry that momentum into raceday, we need to keep the car running well, but this is definitely a great place to start.”

Points leader Doug Kalitta put up a 3.642s at 334.70 to sit in the second spot, while Torrence’s father, Billy, is third after going 3.660s at 334.57. Justin Ashley sent the track speed record with a blast of 338.40, which is also the third-fastest run in Top Fuel history. In all, 11 cars went in the 3.60s during an epic nitro qualifying session.

That included Funny Car, where points leader Bob Tasca III blasted to the quickest run in five years in the category, delivering a magnificent pass of 3.822s at 335.55 in his Motorcraft/Quick Lane Ford Mustang, also breaking the track E.T. record. He made the quickest run in both qualifying sessions on Friday in Dallas to continue his Countdown to the Championship momentum, and inched closer to his seventh No. 1 qualifier of the season.

Tasca jumped into the points lead in the playoffs for the first time in his career at the most recent event in St. Louis and he kept up his torrid pace in Dallas, making the quickest run in the class since the opening race of the 2018 season, which also netted Tasca the $15,000 “Friday Night Live” low qualifier bonus.

“It was unbelievable. The car was dead smooth,” Tasca said. “When we got back to the pit I said, ‘Fellas, when you look at that run you’re going to say there’s more in it.’ The hardest part of that run was it hiked the front end up around 700 or 800 feet. It got a little bit to the inside and I had half a steering wheel turning it to the outside. It put the nose down and I was able to bring it back in. That was an exciting run.

“You’re playing hardball against the best of the best in the world with Robert, Hagan, Capps running .80s left and right. That’s what it’s going to take if you’re going to win a championship. You’re going to go toe-to-toe with them, not one or two races but every race in the Countdown. To this point, we’ve done that. But you’re going to have to run hard out here to win this race. We’ve just got a lot of momentum going into this weekend.”

Matt Hagan, who entered the weekend 13 points behind Tasca, ran a 3.848s at 319.24, good enough for second, while defending world champion Ron Capps had a 3.851 at 333.95 that put him third.

Deric Kramer made the quickest run of the year in Pro Stock, delivering a stellar pass of 6.486s at 209.50 in his Get Biofuel Chevrolet Camaro. It puts the veteran on track for his first No. 1 spot of the season and the seventh in his career and handed Kramer the $7,500 “Friday Night Live” low qualifier bonus as well. Kramer enjoyed a strong run earlier this season, advancing to four straight final rounds and moving up to second in points. He’s dropped to seventh and hasn’t been to a final since May, but Kramer appears to be on track to turning that around after a strong run under the lights on Friday in Dallas.

“I just kept grabbing gears and it felt good the whole way,” Kramer said. “I knew we had more to pick up from our first run, and I thought other people would be able to pick up a little bit so I didn’t think it would hold, to be perfectly honest. But I’m super happy – everything turned out really well, and night runs are my favorite.

“If you’re not in the hunt this race, you don’t have a chance the rest of the year. This is to still stay in it, and I think we all knew that coming into this week. We knew we wanted to make some headway up this weekend. We want to try to finish the season strong and have a great year.”

Points leader, defending world champion and defending event winner Erica Enders went to second with a 6.498s at 211.79. She’s after her fourth straight No. 1 spot in the playoffs. Aaron Stanfield is currently third after going 6.498 at 210.62.

Pro Stock Motorcycle points leader Gaige Herrera closed in on another historic mark in his spectacular 2023 season, setting the track E.T. record at Texas Motorplex with a standout run of 6.689s at 203.41 on his Mission Foods/Vance & Hines Suzuki. It gave him the $5,000 “Friday Night Live” low qualifier bonus and puts him on track for his 12th No. 1 qualifier in 13 races. Should that hold up on Saturday, Herrera would set the single-season record for No. 1 qualifiers in the category, breaking his current tie with Matt Hines. The points leader made the quickest runs in both sessions on Friday as he also looks for his third straight victory in the Countdown to the Championship.

“Overall, the day went really good for us,” Herrera said. “To be up there on the saddle, have a little fun, and get a little extra cash, it’s very cool to get those bragging rights. We’ve kind of been getting bragging rights all season, but to get the cash on top of that is good for the whole team.

“It would mean a lot to pass up Matt Hines who had that record before. If I’m able to do that, it’s going to mean a lot to me and to everyone at the shop. We’re happy to keep it under the same roof. That alone is very cool, but I have to give up all the credit to Andrew (Hines, crew chief) and all the guys at the shop at Vance & Hines. They work their butt off day and night, and it shows on the racetrack.”

Herrera’s teammate, Eddie Krawiec, took the second spot with a 6.727s at 202.35 as he looks for his 50th career win this weekend. Hector Arana Jr. is third thanks to a 6.756s at 201.20.

Qualifying continues at 1:00 p.m. CT on Saturday at the Texas NHRA FallNationals at the Texas Motorplex.