Post-Race Report Event 09: JEGS Route 66 Nationals Route 66 Raceway Joliet, Ill.

Doug Kalitta sun

Doug Kalitta sun

Kalitta scores semi-final finish at Route 66

Race Recap: Doug Kalitta and the Mac Tools team earned a semi-final finish today in Chicago.

The qualifying portion did not go as the Mac Tools group would have liked as Kalitta made just one clean pass, a 3.786 second run on Friday evening. However, that run was good enough for another top half starting spot and a first round draw of Terry McMillen.

Kalitta got the slight advantage on McMIllen on the starting line. The Mac Tools ride continued to struggle down track, but McMillen had bigger issues to deliver a first round win to Kalitta. In the second round, Kalitta again had problems, but his opponent, Luigi Novelli, again suffered bigger woes to move the Mac Tools machine to the semifinals.

In the semifinals, Kalitta faced last race’s winner, Clay Millican. Kalitta moved first, but Millican was able to get around the Mac Tools driver. However, Millican’s chutes deployed before the finish line. Kalitta closed considerably but came up five thousandths short at the stripe.

Qualified: No. 8 (3.786 sec., 321.96 mph)E1: Kalitta defeated McMillen – 3.978 sec., 281.48 mph to 5.161 sec., 135.73 mphE2: Kalitta defeated Novelli – 3.934 sec., 305.77 mph to 4.081 sec., 253.85 mphE3: Kalitta defeated by Millican – 3.819 sec., 325.53 mph to 3.785 sec., 316.75 mph

Quotable:“Solid day for the Mac Tools team here at Route 66 Raceway. Always looking for wins, but this was a good points day on a tricky track. We will head to Richmond next weekend and try to get the win there.”

Point Standings: Fifth; leads Brittany Force by 99 points for sixth; trails Tony Schumacher by eight points for fourth

Shawn Langdon Sun

Langdon claims Chicago round win

Race Recap: Shawn Langdon and the Global Electronic Technology team earned a round win in Chicago today. 

Langdon and the Global Electronic Technology team led by Nicky Boninfante and Kurt Elliott had a great qualifying portion of the weekend. After a sub four second pass on Friday evening, Langdon earned bonus points in both Saturday sessions, closing the qualifying portion of the Route 66 Nationals with another 3.98 second run. 

Langdon earned the seventh starting spot and lane choice over Tommy Johnson Jr. in the first round. Langdon and Johnson Jr. were neck-and-neck early, but by the 330 foot mark, Langdon’s Global Electronic Technology Camry had nosed ahead. Despite problems down track, Langdon would keep that advantage all the way to the stripe to score the round win.

In the second round, Langdon faced his second Don Schumacher Racing opponent of the day, Ron Capps. Again, Capps and Langdon were close early before Langdon dropped a cylinder. Langdon was able leg it to the finish line, but Capps was able to get the advantage and the round win.

Qualified: No. 7 (3.980 sec., 326.08 mph) E1: Langdon defeated Johnson Jr. – 4.475 sec., 250.00 mph to 5.874 sec., 97.84 mphE2: Langdon defeated by Capps – 4.154 sec., 307.16 mph to 4.104 sec., 311.77 mph

Quotable: “We did okay today. We dropped a cylinder and still was almost able to outrun Ron Capps. Looking at it, we should have been right at low elapsed time of the round had it not dropped the cylinder. We were able to go a round and maintain our top ten spot, so that is good. We are going to just keep making good runs with this Global Electronic Technology Camry and head to Richmond.”

Point Standings: Ninth; leads John Force by 46 points for 10th; trails Cruz Pedregon by four points for eighth

JR Todd Sun

Todd defeated early in the Windy City

Race Recap: J.R. Todd and the DHL/WIX Filters team suffered a rare holeshot loss in the first round of eliminations today at the JEGS Route 66 Nationals. 

The DHL/WIX Filters Camry had a strong qualifying effort with three clean passes out of four attempts. Saturday was particularly solid for the YellaFellas, as Todd recorded low elapsed time of the third qualifying session and then the team hit their best pass of the weekend in the final effort. Todd ended up ninth overall and a first round draw of Bob Tasca III.

Todd and Tasca were the final pair of the first round and both ran stellar passes down the track. However, Tasca left first and that proved to be the difference at the finish line. 

Qualified: No. 9 (4.007 sec., 322.88 mph) E1: Todd defeated by Tasca  – 4.011 sec., 322.50 mph to 4.024 sec., 317.42 mph

Quotable:“Disappointed in myself. There is no excuse for that. Great run for the DHL/WIX Filters guys; I feel bad for letting them down.”

Point Standings: Fifth; leads Ron Capps by four points by sixth; trails Matt Hagan by 62 points for fourth

Richie Crampton sun

Crampton suffers first round loss

Race Recap: Richie Crampton fell in the first round today at the JEGS Route 66 Nationals.

Crampton and the Kalitta Air team had two solid qualifying passes with one on each day. Crampton’s best came on the final lap on Saturday, which moved the Kalitta Air driver to the 11th position on the grid. That meant a draw of Blake Alexander, who was making his third start of the season.

Alexander and Crampton were the first pair to see the track on Sunday morning. Crampton got the slight advantage at the tree, and despite smoke pouring from the Kalitta Air ride, held that advantage at the 330 mark. However, Crampton’s ride was shut off shortly after due to the smoke and Alexander was able to get around him and scored the round win.

Qualified: No. 11 (3.817 sec., 319.52 mph) E1: Crampton defeated by Alexander – 4.272 sec., 194.58 mph to 3.775 sec., 331.69 mph

Quotable:“Tough first round loss for the Kalitta Air team. We had strong early numbers, but it was not our day. I feel like we have our car trending in the right direction, so I am excited to get to Richmond.”

Point Standings:10th; leads Mike Salinas by 21 points for 11th; trails Scott Palmer by 21 points for ninth