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NHRA

Jul 13 - 2020
Read Time 3 Min

Kalitta Advances To Finals, Extends Point Lead In Reaching Milestone At E3 Spark Plugs NHRA Nationals

Sunday, July 12, 2020, Doug Kalitta extended his points lead with his third consecutive final round appearance in Indianapolis.Kalitta Advances To Finals, Extends Point Lead In Reaching Milestone At E3 Spark Plugs NHRA Nationals

Doug Kalitta became just the second Top Fuel driver in NHRA history to record 700 round wins on his way to advancing to the finals in the NHRA Mello Drag Racing Series return to the race track at the E3 Spark Plugs NHRA Nationals at Lucas Oil Raceway, Sunday.

“I was happy to get to another final, obviously,” said Kalitta after the race “My Mac Tools Toyota dragster was running really good on that run. Smoked the tired right at the very end. I looked over and there he was. It was just one of those deals. That is drag racing for sure. Super happy to get to the final at this first Indy race and, hopefully, it is a success for everything that is going on to keep us coming back out. That is all I am hoping for too. Hats off to (team owner) Connie (Kalitta) for keeping everything together and getting us through these four months. I think we are all just happy to be back out here. I am super proud of my Mac Tools guys.”

Doug Kalitta
In reaching his third consecutive final round this season, Kalitta stretched out his Top Fuel point lead to 111 points over second-place Steve Torrence. 
The Mac Tools Toyota driver defeated Lex Joon and Leah Pruett in the opening two rounds to set up a semifinal match-up with fellow Toyota driver Antron Brown. Brown had the advantage on the tree and led through the 60-foot mark before losing traction as Kalitta pulled away to earn that historic 700th Top Fuel round win, joining Tony Schumacher as the only drivers in NHRA history to record that feat.  
 
Sunday, July 12, 2020, Doug Kalitta drove to his 700th round win at Indianapolis

In the finals against Billy Torrence, Kalitta laid down an outstanding .018-second reaction time and held the lead almost the entire way down the race track before Billy Torrence chased him down past the 660’ mark, eventually winning by just .012 seconds.

In Funny Car, J.R. Todd advanced to the semifinals today in defeating Alex Miladinovich and Alexis DeJoria. In the semis against Tommy Johnson, he had the advantage on the tree, only to go up in smoke quickly to end his day.
Sunday, July 12, 2020, J.R. Todd led the charge for the Toyota Camry Funny Cars, earning a semi-final finish at Indianapolis.

“We definitely didn’t out-perform everybody today, but we’ll take them anyway we can get them,” said Todd. “We reached the semis and gained some points on guys in front of us to get back in the swing of things. We definitely have a lot of potential with the new chassis. We’re still learning with that and we had to change some things inside the car as the weekend went on. I think once we get going in the swing of things we’ll be in good shape. It’s nice to get back into a rhythm, with however runs we made from Thursday to now, I still wasn’t into my routine. I’ve missed being around these guys. They are a lot of fun to be around. It’s like old times. February was a long time ago. This made up for all that down time sitting at home. I’m glad to be back out here with these guys and, hopefully, we can keep that going for weeks and months to come.”

J.R. Todd

The Mello Yello Drag Racing Series will be back in Indianapolis next weekend for the Lucas Oil Nationals, July 18-19.