Alex Laughlin is not a procrastinator. With two races left in the pandemic-ravaged 2020 season, the Texas-based Pro Stock racer is getting his season-firsts out of the way and doing so on the grand stage of his home state.
After winning his first NHRA Pro Stock race of the season in St. Louis, Laughlin drove his TexPlex Park/Havoline Chevrolet Camaro to the top of the qualifying list with a 6.506-second elapsed time at 210.73 miles per hour.
Pro Stock is a cyclical eliminator, and for Laughlin, getting hot at the right time bodes well for him.
“First one since Sonoma last year,” Laughlin said. “We run good often; we just don’t really qualify on the pole very often. Got a whole lot of number 2s, I’m sure.
“It is a testament to our group and our performance as far as being number one qualifier, but when it comes race day, the driver has to be just as good as the car is. So everything has to align, and that’s what it’s going to take to be number one on Saturday and Sunday both.
In other words, Laughlin plans to roll with the momentum as long as it’s there.
“This stuff comes in waves and when you’re good, you ride the wave for a while and when you’re bad, it’s a long wave, too,” Laughlin said. “Fortunately right now, closing out the season, I’d certainly rather finish on the strong wave then the other side. I’ve been running really good ever since Gainesville, and things have been clicking, the car is smooth and honestly, I have no complaints. Everything is good as it could possibly be right now.”
Laughlin will race Fernando Cuadra to kick off eliminations.
Greg Anderson qualified second with a run of 6.517 at 212.23, and points leader and defending world champ Erica Enders took the third spot with a run of 6.517 at 211.36. Her closest competitor in the title race, Jason Line, will start eliminations from seventh after his pass of 6.532 at 211.79.
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