NHRA: Kalitta's record time leads Friday qualifiers at Norwalk

NHRA: Kalitta's record time leads Friday qualifiers at Norwalk


NHRA: Kalitta's record time leads Friday qualifiers at Norwalk


Top Fuel driver Doug Kalitta set a track elapsed time record and raced to the qualifying lead in the category on Friday at the Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Nationals at Summit Racing Equipment Motorsports Park in Norwalk, Ohio.

Del Worsham (Funny Car), Greg Anderson (Pro Stock), and Eddie Krawiec (Pro Stock Motorcycle) were also qualifying leaders in their respective categories at the 12th event of 24 on the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series season.

Kalitta piloted his Mac Tools dragster to the top position with a pass of 3.719 seconds at 327.51 mph during the last qualifying session of the day. Kalitta has two No. 1 qualifiers this year and is the Top Fuel points leader. His Kalitta Motorsports team is based in nearby Ypsilanti, Mich., and he is proud of the results at his home track.

“It is great to perform in front of our family and friends here and we have them all this weekend,” said Kalitta following the session. “That is the funnest thing, getting everyone here and rooting us on. We are pretty proud of that run. It is one of those Friday night runs you dream about having.”

Antron Brown, who is second in Top Fuel points behind Kalitta, also trails Kalitta in qualifying with his run of 3.733 at 320.51 and Brittany Force is third at 3.735 at 324.28.

Worsham, who has yet to earn a No. 1 qualifying position this year, posted a lap of 3.875 at 328.70 in his DHL Toyota Camry to set both a track record for elapsed time and speed. Worsham is the 2011 Top Fuel world champion, the 2015 Funny Car world champion and has one career win at the track.

“We have been spending a lot of races just getting ready and trying to make sure we have a setup that is good for Sunday,” said Worsham, who races for Kalitta Motorsports. “The first run today we kinda took a step back and made sure we made a good clean run. That allowed us to go out there tonight and the crew and the crew chief prepared the car to run what it ran. Fortunately it did.”

Funny Car points leader Ron Capps is currently qualified second with a run of 3.882 at 324.90 and recent event winner Tommy Johnson is eighth with his 3.969-second lap at 321.96.

Anderson was able to move to the top spot during the second Pro Stock qualifying session with a 6.565 pass at 211.26 in his Summit Racing Equipment Chevy Camaro. Anderson is the defending event winner and has three wins at the facility. He jumped from the 12th qualifying position to the lead after a disappointing first attempt.

“We set the bar low the first run and we looked like a hero tonight,” said Anderson. “Race track is killer right now and you do what you can. This was fun out here tonight. The fans love to see that and we made the most of it.”

Jason Line, teammate to Anderson and the Pro Stock points leader, is second at 6.569 at 211.00.

Krawiec, who has two wins this season and is the current Pro Stock Motorcycle points leader, took the qualifying lead with a pass of 6.822 at 195.31 on his Screamin’ Eagle Vance & Hines Harley-Davidson. The three-time Pro Stock Motorcycle champion has three No. 1 qualifying positions this season.

“Nice clean, straight run down the raceway here and that is what you have to do with the competition level in the Pro Stock Motorcycle category,” said Krawiec. “My teammate (Andrew Hines) came up and gave me a little fist bump and said ‘go to the top for the pole’. He helped me out and gave me a little confidence there.”

Qualifying continues Saturday at 12:30 p.m. at Summit Racing Equipment Motorsports Park.

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