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