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NHRA

Feb 24 - 2020
Read Time 4 Min

Kalitta Takes Toyota to Finals at NHRA Arizona Nationals

Fevruary 24, 2020, Toyota Top Fuel driver Doug Kalitta advanced to the final round before falling to Steve Torrence in front of a sell-out crowd at the NHRA Arizona Nationals at Wild Horse Pass Motorsports Park in suburban Phoenix, Sunday.Kalitta Takes Toyota to Finals at NHRA Arizona Nationals
Extends Top Fuel Point Lead
 
Toyota Top Fuel driver Doug Kalitta advanced to the final round before falling to Steve Torrence in front of a sell-out crowd at the NHRA Arizona Nationals at Wild Horse Pass Motorsports Park in suburban Phoenix, Sunday. With one victory and a runner-up showing in the season’s first two events, Kalitta has extended his Top Fuel point lead to 59 points.
 
February 24, 2020, After rain shortened Saturday’s qualifying, Kalitta opened the day in the eighth position with a first-round match-up against Shawn Reed.

“That’s not how we hoped the day would end, but we had a great day and I am so proud of my Mac Tools Toyota team,” said Kalitta, who opened the season by winning the Winternationals in Pomona. “We ran our three best passes of the weekend on race day, including our quickest pass ever. One of our goals heading into every season is to come out strong and work towards setting ourselves up for the playoffs. To open the 2020 season off with seven straight round wins tells you a lot about this team and the great job they do, as well as the support the TRD guys provide.”

Doug Kalitta

After rain shortened Saturday’s qualifying, Kalitta opened the day in the eighth position with a first-round match-up against Shawn Reed. Reed left before the tree was activated, giving the win to Kalitta, who launched hard and kept it hooked up to make his quickest pass of the weekend with a 3.711. In round two, Kalitta squared off with pole-sitter Brittany Force. Kalitta had a .036 advantage on the starting line and the power to hold on for the hole shot win, edging Force by .022 seconds, 3.695-3.686. It marked the second consecutive round where he ran his best pass of the weekend.

In the semifinals against fellow Toyota driver Antron Brown, Kalitta would not only run his best pass of the weekend, but also the quickest pass of his career with a 3.672-second pass. Brown became the first driver this season to better Kalitta at the starting line, but was dropping cylinders early, while Kalitta powered off for the victory. In the finals against Torrence, the two cars left with identical reaction times, but Torrence took the lead early as Kalitta began to haze the tires and clicked it off, giving Torrence the victory.

February 24, 2020, In the semifinals against fellow Toyota driver Antron Brown, Kalitta would not only run his best pass of the weekend, but also the quickest pass of his career with a 3.672-second pass.
Despite losing in the semifinals to Kalitta, Brown also had strong day. He opened the day with a first-round win over Terry McMillen, improving his career opening round record at Phoenix to 11-1. The three-time world champ went straight down the groove with his best run of the weekend. In round two against Justin Ashley, Brown once again went straight down the track, running even quicker than he did in his first run as Ashley was up in smoke right at the hit.

"We had a good outing today making it to the semifinals,” said Brown. “The good news was simply seeing our Matco Tools/Global Electronic Technology/Toyota/Hangsterfers dragster get back on track. We know we still have our work cut out for us, but it feels good to have some success with the changes we’ve made, which helped us be more consistent. Our team is definitely headed in the right direction. Now, we’re just going to get ready for Gainesville next and keep our heads down and keep moving in maximum overdrive. It’s good to have Brian Corradi back and all of our Matco boys back together. I’m really looking forward to the Gatornationals."

Antron Brown
Fellow Toyota Top Fuel driver Shawn Langdon also earned a round win on the day. The 2013 Top Fuel world champ had the starting line advantage over Clay Millican and never trailed as he registered his quickest pass of the weekend on the way to a first-round victory. The win set up a second-round match-up with Torrence. Langdon had a huge advantage at the light, but unfortunately went right up in smoke. He was able to recover and make a run at Torrence, who had hazed his tires, but he was unable to run him down.
February 24,2020, Langdon had a huge advantage at the light, but unfortunately went right up in smoke.

In Funny Car, both J.R. Todd and Alexis DeJoria fell in the opening round after neither was able to make a clean run down the track in the cooler morning conditions.  Todd fell to Capps, while DeJoria lost to Tim Wilkerson.

The Mello Yello Drag Racing Series will be back in action for the 51st annual NHRA Gatornationals in Gainesville, Fla., March 13-15