Post-Race Report Event 07: NHRA Southern Nationals powered by Mello Yello Atlanta Dragway Commerce, Ga. May 4-6

Doug sunday

Doug sunday

Kalitta claims Atlanta round win

Race Recap: Doug Kalitta and the Mac Tools team advanced to the quarterfinals before losing a close race to Steve Torrence.Kalitta has a great start to the weekend as he was scored in the number one spot after the first session. The Mac Tools machine tuned by Jim Oberhofer made multiple solid passes. After some shuffling in the final session, Kalitta was bumped to the sixth starting spot and drew his teammate Richie Crampton once again.Kalitta got the jump on the Kalitta Air dragster at the starting line and led all the way to score another first round win with a solid 3.845 second pass. The run advanced the Mac Tools team to the quarterfinals and a draw of points leader Steve Torrence. Kalitta and Torrence left together, but after a great drag race, the Mac Tools team came up just short. 

Qualified: No. 6 (3.800 sec., 323.81 mph)

E1: Kalitta defeated Crampton – 3.845 sec., 323.58 mph to 4.470 sec., 186.56 mphE2: Kalitta defeated by Torrence – 3.862 sec., 318.17 mph to 3.841 sec., 322.34 mph

Quotable: “Great drag race there in the second round; we just didn’t have enough. It is tough when you watch so many other teams struggle and win, but that is drag racing. The Mac Tools team will go home and we will be ready for Topeka.”

Point Standings: Third; leads Clay Millican by 10 points for fourth; trails Tony Schumacher by three points for second

JR Todd Sunday

Mechanical woes ends Todd’s day in the first round

Race Recap: J.R. Todd and the DHL/WIX Filters team fell in the first round after mechanical problems ended Todd’s first round run shortly after it began.Todd’s team, led by Jon Oberhofer and Todd Smith, had the early answers at tricky Atlanta Dragway. Todd’s first pass down the track proved good enough for two bonus points. In qualifying, the DHL Toyota got down the track three of four possible passes and earned the seventh starting spot.The first round Todd drew points leader Jack Beckman. Todd’s team chose the preferred right lane, and left with his opponent. However, shortly after the DHL Toyota shoved towards the wall as a result of a mechanical problem. Todd saved the machine from contact to the wall, but the round was lost despite Beckman’s problems down track.

Qualified: No. 7 (4.019 sec., 315.56 mph) 

E1: Todd defeated by Beckman – 9.681 sec., 79.05 mph to 4.410 sec., 215.27 mph

Quotable: “Definitely not the way we wanted to end our day with this DHL team. We will regroup and be ready for Topeka.” 

Point Standings: Fifth; leads Robert Hight by seven points by fourth; trails Tommy Johnson Jr. by eight points for fourth

Richie Sunday

Crampton falls to his teammate early

Race Recap: Richie Crampton fell in the first round at the Southern Nationals in Atlanta earlier today.Crampton did not score the qualifying pass that he would have liked. His best was a sub-300 mph run in the Friday evening session. The 3.870 second pass was good enough for fifth at the time, but was eventually bumped back to 11th. That meant for the sixth time in seven races to start the year, Crampton drew his teammate in the first round.Crampton and Kalitta were the seventh pair to see the track. Kalitta got the slight advantage at the starting line, but Crampton was right alongside until his Kalitta Air machine suffered woes and Kalitta scored the round win.

Qualified: No. 11 (3.870 sec., 294.43 mph) 

E1: Crampton defeated by Kalitta – 4.470 sec., 186.56 mph to 3.845 sec., 323.58 mph

Quotable: “I am bummed for my Kalitta Air team. They are working hard and we keep coming up short. Excited for this week off to get back right with my driving; I am confident we will be ones to watch in Topeka.”

Point Standings: Ninth; leads Mike Salinas by five points for 10th; trails Terry McMillen by 56 points for ninth

 Shawn Sunday

Langdon’s Atlanta run ends in the first round

Race Recap: Shawn Langdon and the Global Electronic Technology team were defeated in the first round today in Atlanta. Langdon’s Global Electronic Technology crew, led by Nicky Boninfante and Tommy DeLago, finished qualifying with two solid and consistent runs. Their best came in the fourth and final session. The 4.032 second pass nearly gave Langdon lane choice and seeded the Toyota driver in the ninth spot. In the first round, Langdon drew Tim Wilkerson. Langdon got over four hundredths over his opponent at the starting line. But that wasn’t enough as once Langdon encountered the bump on the race track, his Global Electronic Technology Camry began to spin the tires allowing Wilkerson to score the easy win.

Qualified: No. 9 (4.032 sec., 317.42 mph)

 E1: Langdon defeated by Wilkerson – 4.939 sec., 167.38 mph to 4.185 sec., 259.01 mph

Quotable: “After looking over everything, we did what we wanted in the first round. We were right there. We had a game plan, because that left lane has a pretty big bump in it. I tried to stay to the inside of it to get the smallest part of it, but it hit it and started spinning the tires. Not really much we could have done. I felt like we slowed down enough to get over that bump and make a good run, but we didn’t. We will pack it up and go to Topeka.”

Point Standings: Ninth; leads Jonnie Lindberg by 11 points for 10th; trails Cruz Pedregon by 56 points for eighth