MADISON, Ill – – Doug Kalitta is the No. 1 qualifier for tomorrow’s NHRA Midwest Nationals; it’s the third of six races that comprise the Countdown to the Championship NHRA Playoffs.
This weekend’s No 1 qualifier is Kalitta’s second of the season and the 53rd of his career. It was his 12th top-four qualifying effort of the season and the sixth-consecutive race at which he qualified in the top-four positions. His best qualifying attempt came during the opening qualifying round Friday night when he needed just 3.709 seconds to reach the finish line at 331.85 mph.
In the final round of qualifying late Saturday afternoon, with conditions much closer to those teams will face tomorrow, Kalitta added a 3.728-second pass at 330.15 mph – it was the quickest Top Fuel run of the session in front of a sold-out crowd at World Wide Technology Raceway just outside St. Louis.
“I was real happy with that (3).72 in the last session,” Kalitta said. “My Mac Tools car has been real consistent – I can’t say enough about (co-crew chiefs Alan Johnson and Brian Husen) Alan and Brian and how hard everybody’s working on this Mac Tools car. My guys are just incredible, and I’m super fortunate to have this opportunity – we’ll have to figure out this hot track tomorrow.
“I have to give the crew chiefs a lot of credit – it’s amazing what these guys can do with these cars. I’m just super happy that Alan and those guys have a handle on our car; it’s a fun ride. This track has plenty of grip and the (NHRA) Safety Safari is doing an awesome job out there. I’m pretty impressed with how the track is this weekend. We’re definitely looking forward to tomorrow – whatever it gives us – and we hope we can have it dialed in real nice.”
Kalitta will race No. 16 qualifier Lex Joon in Sunday’s opening round. Shawn Langdon is the No. 9 qualifier and will race Leah Pruett in the first round in his Kalitta Air Careers dragster. Should Langdon and Kalitta win their first-round matchups, they would meet in the second round. In Funny Car, DHL GR Supra driver J.R. Todd is the No. 11 qualifier and will race Bob Bode in the first round of eliminations. Tomorrow’s race broadcast is set for 3-6 p.m. eastern time on FS1.