Post-Race Report Event 06: NHRA 4-Wide Nationals zMax Dragway Concord, NC

Doug Kalitta

Doug Kalitta

Kalitta finishes second at the 4-Wide Nationals

Race Recap: Doug Kalitta went to his second four-wide event final round of the season and finished in the second position in his Mac Tools Toyota at the zMax Dragway.

Kalitta had a very good qualifying run. His best was a 3.758 seconds, but the most impressive was his low elapsed time in the fourth and final session. He led the field by four hundredths with Jim Oberhofer’s tuneup and grabbed three bonus points. 

Kalitta’s Mac Tools machine was seeded in the sixth starting spot with Antron Brown, Mike Salinas and teammate Richie Crampton the first foes. Kalitta was strong off the line and led stripe to stripe with a clean 3.762 second pass that gave him first lane choice in the second round. 

In the second round, Kalitta came to the start with Salinas, Clay Millican and Dom Lagana flanking him. Kalitta again moved first and recorded the best run of the round to move the Mac Tools driver to the final with first lane choice.

The final featured Kalitta, Millican, Steve Torrence and Terry McMillen. Kalitta had a stellar .043 second reaction time and was on a great pass, but suffered woes downtrack and crossed the line second behind Steve Torrence.

Qualified: No. 6 (3.758 sec., 327.98 mph)E1: Kalitta defeated Brown and Crampton – 3.762 sec., 328.70 mph to 4.872 sec., 130.04 mph and 10.437 sec., 38.24 mphE2: Kalitta defeated Lagana and Salinas – 3.809 sec., 317.64 mph to 3.903 sec., 309.13 mph and 4.934 sec., 155.24 mphFinal: Kalitta defeated by Torrence – 4.010 sec., 278.12 mph to 3.813 sec., 326.56 mph 

Quotable:“Great weekend for the Mac Tools team; we were so close to our first 4-Wide win, but came up short. But still a solid race for our team. We picked up some valuable points, and I feel confident about our chances going into Atlanta.”

Point Standings: Third; leads Clay Millican by 17 points for fourth; trails Tony Schumacher by 25 points for second

 JR Todd Sun

Todd takes Charlotte round win

Race Recap: J.R. Todd and the DHL/WIX Filters Toyota team led his first round quad to score the round win earlier today at zMax Dragway. 

The DHL team, led by Jon Oberhofer and Todd Smith, had a strong effort in the second session of qualifying on Friday evening. Todd recorded his best run of the season, a 3.888, at nearly 331 mph to score a bonus point and move inside the top five in qualifying. Todd’s DHL/WIX Filters Toyota eventually were seeded fourth overall.

That allowed Todd to pick his lane first in his quad, which also featured teammate Shawn Langdon, Jack Beckman and Bob Tasca III. In a session that featured many issues, Smith and Oberhofer had the answer, as the DHL Toyota sped down the track in 4.031 seconds, which was the second best of the entire session to give Todd the easy round win. 

That moved Todd on to face Beckman and John and Courtney Force. Todd used a huge holeshot advantage to get ahead of his competitors and looked he was headed to the final quad, but the DHL Toyota suffered woes down track and crossed the line in third.  

Qualified: No. 4 (3.888 sec., 330.96 mph) E1: Todd defeated Tasca III and Langdon – 4.031 sec., 305.42 mph to 4.667 sec., 167.63 mph and 14.795 sec., 79.49 mphE2: Todd defeated C. Force and J. Force – 4.435 sec., 245.94 mph to 4.115 sec., 255.68 mph and 4.108 sec., 299.66 mph

Quotable:“We had a DHL Camry capable of winning the whole race. We just didn’t do the best job of negotiating the track conditions. We ran well in the first round, but still had to back it way down from what we were set up to run. We were dealing with marginal track conditions in the second round and we clearly didn’t back it down enough like the two winners in our quad. We went out there and spun the tires. It’s frustrating because we know this facility is good. Looking back on it, we probably would have done some things different. It’s just a product of what we’re dealing with in track prep now. We’ve got to figure out how to race on it.”

Point Standings: Third; leads Matt Hagan by eight points by fourth; trails Courtney Force by 22 points for second

 Richie Crampton Sun

Crampton day ends in the first round 

Race Recap: Richie Crampton had a quick end to a tough weekend today at zMax Dragway. The first three runs of qualifying were a struggle for the DHL/Kalitta Air Top Fuel Dragster with none of the passes producing a solid number. As a result, Crampton was on the outside looking into the field with one lap remaining. However, the team, led by Rob Flynn and Connie Kalitta, dug deep and gave Crampton a tuneup to ensure his safety in the field.The run moved Crampton inside the qualified field in 14th. For the fifth time in the first six races to start the season, Crampton faced his teammate Doug Kalitta in the first round along with Antron Brown and Mike Salinas. Crampton was solid on the starting line, but the DHL/Kalitta Air machine had issues shortly after and was unable to advance to the second round.

Qualified: No. 14 (3.938 sec., 307.86 mph) E1: Crampton defeated by Kalitta and Salinas – 10.437 sec., 38.24 mph to 3.762 sec., 328.70 mph and 4.087 sec., 222.84 mph

Quotable:“We wanted to do better this weekend with a lot of our partners here such as DHL, Global Electronic Technology, WIX Filters and Mac Tools. We will regroup, test on Monday and get ready for Atlanta.”

Point Standings:Ninth; leads Scott Palmer by 14 points for 10th; trails Terry McMillen by 42 points for ninth

 Shawn Langdon Sun

Langdon’s mechanical woes end his day early

Race Recap: Shawn Langdon and the Global Electronic Technology team suffered a first round loss after a mechanical problem today at the 4-Wide Nationals. Langdon began the qualifying weekend with a solid 3.973 second pass in his first pass on the track. Unfortunately, that became his best run, and his original seventh place qualifying effort got bumped to 12th.In the final nitro quad, Langdon got the third choice of lanes with his teammate J.R. Todd, Bob Tasca III and Jack Beckman in the other lanes. After the tree fell, the Global Electronic Technology Toyota Camry failed to move and was defeated. Once the team got back to the pit; they discovered that the throttle cable broke, which ended the run before it even began. 

Qualified: No. 12 (3.973 sec., 325.45 mph) E1: Langdon defeated by Todd and Beckman – 14.795 sec., 79.49 mph to 4.031 sec., 305.42 mph and 4.667 sec., 167.63 mph

Quotable: “We have bad luck right now. Unfortunately, first round we broke a throttle cable. We felt good about today. We had some changes in the car that we felt was going to turn it around, so we could be able to compete for the win today. It is part of drag racing. You have to take the good with the bad. We know we have a great team. We just have to get out of this funk. We will go to Atlanta next week and do the best we can to get the gremlins out of the race car and turn this around.”

Point Standings: Ninth; leads Jonnie Lindberg by 13 points for 10th; trails Cruz Pedregon by five points for eighth