Kalitta Advances to Semis In Las Vegas
Kalitta Advances to Semis In Las Vegas NHRA
The Michigan native opened the day with a wire-to-wire triumph over Shawn Reed in round one, recording the win by .022 seconds. That set up a second-round match-up with pole-sitter Leah Pritchett in round two. Once again, Kalitta had the advantage at the light and never trailed on the way to the victory.
Advancing to the semifinals against Steve Torrence, Kalitta was in a position to take over the point lead with a victory. Unfortunately, he would never get that chance as something appeared to break in the safety box, releasing the parachute on the burnout and giving Torrence the victory on a solo run.
“I don’t know what happened,” said Kalitta. “I was going forward and the thing just shut off. It’s a very sinking moment when you see your parachute release like that. It is just real unfortunate. We were definitely going to give it our best out there to see if we could get by Steve. We are just going to drag it out to Pomona and go after the championship there.”Doug Kalitta
It was a tough day for the remaining Toyota Top Fuel drivers. After qualifying seventh, Richie Crampton was up in smoke by 330 feet in a first-round loss to Austin Prock.
Antron Brown also lost in the first round in his match-up with Terry McMillen. The two dragsters left the line together, but Brown started to smoke the tires early. After being forced to pedal the car, Brown quickly got it to hook up, but couldn’t quite chase McMillen down.
In Funny Car, both J.R. Todd and Shawn Langdon were eliminated in the opening round. Shooting for his fourth consecutive Las Vegas win, Todd had the advantage at the tree against Jonnie Lindberg and then held the lead to the 60’ mark before Lindberg pushed ahead. Todd ran an impressive 3.913-second pass, but came up short, with a margin of victory of just .011 seconds or approximately five feet.
Langdon ran four consecutive passes of 3.928 or better in qualifying, but things went south in the first round when he smoked the tires when he hit the throttle. He was able to get back on it early, but went up in smoke again, giving the win to Cruz Pedregon.The Mello Yello Drag Racing Series will close out its 2019 campaign with the Auto Club NHRA Finals at the Auto Club Raceway at Pomona, Nov. 15-17.