K
a
l
i
t
t
a
 
A
d
v
a
n
c
e
s
 
T
o
 
F
i
n
a
l
 
r
o
u
n
d
 
a
t
 
C
h
a
r
l
o
t
t
e

NHRA

Oct 15 - 2019

Toyota’s Kalitta Advances To 100th Career Top Fuel Final round at NHRA Charlotte

October 14, 2019, Doug Kalitta drove his Mac Tools Toyota dragster to the Top Fuel final round before falling to Steve Torrence in the rain-delayed NTK NHRA Carolina Nationals at zMAX Dragway, Monday.Toyota’s Kalitta Advances To 100th Career Top Fuel Final round at NHRA Charlotte
Doug Kalitta drove his Mac Tools Toyota dragster to the Top Fuel final round before falling to Steve Torrence in the rain-delayed NTK NHRA Carolina Nationals at zMAX Dragway, Monday. It marked Kalitta’s 100th career Top Fuel final round appearance.

His drive to the finals began against Antron Brown in an all-Toyota first-round match-up. Brown had a .007 advantage on the tree, but was up in smoke early with Kalitta pedaling on the way to the victory. In round two, Kalitta had a slight advantage on the tree over Leah Pritchett and never trailed in running his quickest pass of the weekend for the win with a 3.745-second pass.
 
October 14, 2019, It marked Kalitta’s 100th career Top Fuel final round appearance.
In the semifinals versus Brittany Force, Kalitta moved first, but Force had moved in front at 330 feet before dropping a cylinder with Kalitta gaining a sizable lead by 660 feet to advance. That would set up a final round showdown between the top two drivers in the Top Fuel point standings with Kalitta having lane choice. Torrence registered the best overall reaction time of the day to take an early lead, but Kalitta began to close in the first 60 feet. It wasn’t to be, though, as he was up in smoke before the 400-foot mark as Torrence drove off to the victory. 

“That was a big final round,” relayed Kalitta. “We knew we had to be aggressive and we just overshot it a little. I’m very happy with how this Mac Tools Toyota dragster ran today and has been running the last four races. Three final rounds and a semifinal over four races is pretty good. There are three races left and we are only 30 points back. That would be one round in Pomona with points and a half. We have to be back on the track in four days, but we will be ready to go for Dallas.”

Doug Kalitta

Kalitta’s teammate, Richie Crampton, registered one of the top passes of the opening round and the third-overall quickest of the day with a 3.735-second run. Unfortunately, it was a case of wrong place, wrong time as he would fall to Austin Prock’s 3.725. Crampton’s pass would have won six of the other seven first-round match-ups.

In Funny Car, all three Toyota drivers fell in the first round.

Shawn Langdon, who won the most recent event in St. Louis, faced off with Tim Wilkerson in round one. Langdon had a big lead at the tree and led through the 330-foot mark before going up in smoke, giving Wilkerson the victory.

J.R. Todd had an early lead against John Force, but would smoke the tires and was forced to click it off early. It would snap a streak of eight consecutive playoff races that Todd had advanced to the semifinals or beyond.

Mike McIntire would make the strongest run of the first round by a Camry driver with a 3.977-second pass, but it wasn’t enough to overcome eventual race winner Robert Hight’s 3.908.

Next up for the Mello Yello Drag Racing Series is a trip to Dallas, Texas, for the AAA Texas NHRA FallNationals at the Texas Motorplex, Oct. 18-20