Post-Race Report Event 06: NHRA Four-Wide Nationals zMax Dragway Charlotte

JR Todd

JR Todd

Todd finishes third overall

Race Recap: With a solid first round win in Houston, Todd and the DHL team were hoping to continue to learn and make progress on the tune up on his Toyota Camry Funny Car.

Todd was solid throughout qualifying, recording three sub-four second runs. Todd slotted the DHL Toyota Camry eighth overall and a first round quad with the no.1 qualifier Courtney Force, Bob Tasca III and Jonnie Lindberg. Todd suffered a tire smoke nearly immediately, but kept pedaling his Toyota. His effort was rewarded as Courtney Force hit the wall yielding the round victory to Todd.

He took advantage. Against Lindberg, Tim Wilkerson and Matt Hagan in the next quad, Todd was able to make it through again getting by both Lindberg and Wilkerson to earn his spot in his second final quad at zMax Dragway in four attempts.

The only non-DSR machine to make the final, Todd was running strong early, before encountering problems down track as he crossed the line in third overall. 

Qualified: No. 8 (3.956 sec., 313.22 mph) 

E1: Todd defeated Tasca & C. Force – 7.767 sec., 257.28 mph to 7.939 sec., 118.58 mph and Foul

E2: Todd defeated Lindberg & Wilkerson – 4.036 sec., 281.54 mph to 4.418 sec., 267.69 mph and 6.193 sec., 108.07 mph

Final: Todd defeated by Capps – 4.103 sec., 307.72 mph to 3.933 sec., 322.65 mph

Quotable: “Honestly, we had a lot of luck today. I didn’t do the best job of driving and we were fortunate to get past the first round due to some other people’s bad luck. In the second round, we were running pretty good and in the final we just dropped a cylinder when we hit the gas. The good thing is our DHL Toyota Camry is going down the track and giving us some data to go from to keep making this car better.  We’re on the right track and it’s been consistent, but not quite quick enough to run with the DSR and John Force Racing cars. They’re throwing down in qualifying and that’s where we’ve been struggling, which gets us buried in the middle of the field.  We’re going to keep chipping away at it and we’ll get it. We’ll start qualifying better and putting ourselves in a better position for race day.  We’re headed in the right direction, now we need to go to Atlanta and come out swinging on Friday night and, hopefully, qualify well and then work on our race set-up on Saturday.”

Point Standings: Eighth (-223); trails Courtney Force by 48 points for seventh; leads Jonnie Lindberg by nine points for ninth

Doug Kalitta 

Kalitta takes 4-Wide round win

Race Recap: Doug Kalitta and the Mac Tools team have been victorious at most of the tracks on the NHRA circuit, but Charlotte is one that the Mac Tools team wanted to cross off their list. Kalitta had come close countless times, but the newest facility on the NHRA circuit has so far not yielded any trophies.

The Mac Tools team was stout once again in qualifying. They just missed their first no.1 qualifier of the season, but earned two bonus points and the second starting spot. Their first quad would feature last season’s Four-Wide Nationals winner Brittany Force, Terry McMillen and Chris Karamesines.

The quad turned into a trio as Karamesines encountered issues, however, the Mac Tools team was prepared to defeat anyone. Their 3.751 second pass was the best in their group and easily gave Kalitta first lane choice in the second round quad.

The second round quad would include Antron Brown, Tony Schumacher and Terry McMillen. Kalitta’s Mac Tools ride moved first and was ahead at the 330 mark, before suffering issues leading to Kalitta’s day ending early. 

Qualified: No. 2 (3.718 sec., 322.73 mph) 

E1: Kalitta defeated B. Force & Karamesines – 3.751 sec., 324.44 mph to 4.346 sec., 262.64 mph and Broke

E2: Kalitta defeated by Schumacher & McMillen – 4.202 sec., 230.37 mph to 3.792 sec., 327.74 mph and 3.832 sec., 316.52

Quotable: “Rough way to go out for the Mac Tools team. We are definitely knocking on the door, and we are confident it is coming soon. The Mac Tools team will load up and head south to Atlanta and try to repeat.”

Point Standings: Fifth (-152); trails Steve Torrence by 53 points for fourth; leads Brittany Force by 87 points for sixth

Troy Coughlin Jr 

Coughlin Jr. loses a tough one in his 4-Wide debut

Race Recap: For rookie Troy Coughlin Jr., the Four-Wide Nationals was a new challenge to his debut season. However, with his new SealMaster team, they were ready to mount a serious move.

In the first session of qualifying, the SealMaster team was especially strong. Coughlin Jr. recorded a 3.729 second pass that was second-best of the session. The SealMaster Toyota would later fall to fifth, but that earned Coughlin Jr. his best career start.

With the second choice of lanes in the first quad to see the track, Coughlin’s SealMaster machine was positioned in the lane one with opponents Steve Torrence, Scott Palmer and Dom Lagana. Unfortunately, Coughlin Jr.’s day was quick, as the SealMaster Toyota fell to near immediate tire smoke. He tried to pedal, but his opponents all made clean passes ending his debut Four-Wide Nationals event.

Qualified: No. 5 (3.729 sec., 321.73 mph) 

E1: Coughlin Jr. defeated by Torrence & Lagana – 10.347 sec., 84.52 mph to 3.770 sec., 326.56 mph and 3.859 sec., 319.82 mph

Quotable: “We are bummed for SealMaster and Toyota. The team is starting to gel so well. We spun at the hit: I pedaled it once, but it still didn’t do me any justice. I am starting to feel it. Doug has been teaching me this week. I definitely learned something.” 

Point Standings: Ninth (-266); trails Terry McMillen by three points for eighth, leads Scott Palmer by 52 points for tenth

Team Global  

Langdon falls in the opening round in Charlotte

Race Recap: After debuting for the Kalitta Motorsports team in Houston, Shawn Langdon and the Global Electronic Technology team were looking to gain even more knowledge in their second race as a group.

Langdon was incredibly consistent and stellar on the starting line in qualifying tallying two .052 and two .053 lights. His car’s performance was also on par as Langdon scored his first bonus point of the season, before earning the eighth overall seed. 

Lined up in lane one for his first quad, Langdon had pole sitter Clay Millican, points leader Leah Pritchett and Terry Haddock to his right. Again, Langdon was away first and held the early advantage. However, soon after, Langdon would encounter issues. He attempted to pedal his Global Electronic Technology machine, but Millican and Pritchett made clean runs ending Langdon’s chances.

Qualified: No. 8 (3.760 sec., 318.84 mph) 

E1: Langdon defeated by Millican & Pritchett – 5.211 sec., 145.67 mph to 3.737 sec., 316.23 mph and 3.743 sec., 320.97 mph

Quotable: “We are just learning. We were able to make better runs in qualifying. But I really believe, coming up, as we learn more and progress more as a team, we will be able to qualify better and put ourselves in a better position for race day. We were able to qualify eighth here, but we made some good runs. On today’s run, we didn’t have as quite the handle on the track as we thought. Not the end of the world, we will head to Atlanta and try to get the Global Electronic Technology Top Fuel dragster in the winner’s circle.” 

Point Standings: 15th; trails Steve Faria by 27 points for 16th 

Chad Head in The Patron FC

Chad Head solid in fill-in duty in Charlotte

Race Recap: With DeJoria dealing with a family matter, Team Kalitta turned to director of safety Chad Head to fill-in for this weekend’s Four-Wide event. 

The veteran racer Head had not competed since last fall’s World Finals in Pomona, but he was solid early with a 4.030 second pass in his first pass of the season. That run secured him a spot in the stacked Funny Car field. On Sunday, Head left on all of his former championship winning competitors, John Force, Ron Capps and Del Worsham, but the Tequila Patrón Camry struggled before the finish line and crossed the line third, ending his race weekend.  

Qualified: No. 14 (4.030 sec., 292.90 mph)

E1: DeJoria defeated by J. Force & Capps – 4.451 sec., 280.54 mph to 3.937 sec., 309.20 mph and 3.926 sec., 322.65

Point Standings: (DeJoria) 12th (-192); trails Tim Wilkerson by 25 points for 11th, leads Del Worsham by three points for 13th