Kalitta turns stellar qualifying effort into a round win
The Mac Tools driver claimed the second starting spot with a 3.730 second pass in Friday evening’s session. He was second after that run and would not be bumped on Saturday. Kalitta would earn lane choice over Bill Litton in the first round.
Kalitta was able to get a consisderable advantage on Litton on the tree. The Mac Tools ride steadily pulled ahead and easily reached the stripe first.
In the quarterfinals, Kalitta came up against Mike Salinas. The Mac Tools ride encountered tire smoke, and Salinas run the best run of the round to score the win.
Qualified: No. 2 (3.730 sec., 326.00 mph)
E1: Kalitta defeated Litton – 3.790 sec., 328.78 mph to 3.994 sec., 285.29 mph
E2: Kalitta defeated by Salinas – 4.565 sec., 170.60 mph to 3.792 sec., 326.08 mph
Quotable: “The Mac Tools team had a solid performance in qualifying. We had a solid Western Swing and locked in our place in the Countdown. My guys have worked hard and I am excited to get to Brainerd.”
Point Standings: Fifth; leads Antron Brown by 68 points for sixth; trails Leah Pritchett by 88 points for fourth
Crampton earns redemption
Race Recap: Richie Crampton and the DHL/Kalitta Air dragster earned a round win in Seattle today.
The team started the weekend with a solid 3.792 second pass in the first round in qualifying, which was good enough for top five in the session. Crampton would eventually be bumped down just outside of the top half of the field and would start in the ninth position.
For the second straight race, Crampton drew Brittany Force in the first round. Both drivers encountered trouble, but Crampton gathered the Kalitta Air machine up quicker and was able to drive around the reigning Top Fuel champion for the round win.
In the second round, Crampton faced the points leader Steve Torrence. The Kalitta Air driver moved first, but Torrence made a better run and scored the round win.
Qualified: No. 9 (3.792 sec., 323.50 mph)
E1: Crampton defeated B. Force – 4.308 sec., 274.94 mph to 4.429 sec., 238.72 mph
E2: Crampton defeated by Torrence – 3.863 sec., 318.69 mph to 3.813 sec., 325.30 mph
Quotable: “It was another constructive racing weekend for us. We’re trying to put some ground between us and the other drivers we’re duking it out with for a spot in the top 10. We didn’t seal the deal, but we’re trending in the right direction and we’re going to be good. I’m looking forward to Brainerd. Connie and Rob are definitely making strides to put us back where we need to be at the top end of the field and Brainerd’s a good place to forge ahead.”
Point Standings: Ninth; leads Scott Palmer by 11 points for 11th; trails Brittany Force by 82 points for eighth
Langdon has solid weekend in Seattle
Race Recap: Shawn Langdon had a solid weekend in Seattle with six good runs and a round win.
In qualifying, Langdon and the Global Electronic Technology team had four great passes. Each of their runs were amongst the top five of the session, and two of which earned bonus points. Langdon earned the sixth starting spot and the Global Electronic Technology Toyota team drew Jack Beckman in the first round.
In the first round, Langdon got the jump on Beckman. It was the closest race in the first round, but the Global Electronic Technology Camry got to the stripe first and earned lane choice over points leader Courtney Force in the quarterfinals.
In that race, Langdon left on Force. The Global Electronic Technology machine led at every increment down the track except for the final stripe, where Force was able to drive around Langdon by two ten-thousandths of a second.
Qualified: No. 6 (3.977 sec., 325.37 mph)
E1: Langdon defeated Beckman – 4.017 sec., 318.69 mph to 4.026 sec., 315.56 mph
E2: Langdon defeated by C. Force – 4.036 sec., 318.02 mph to 4.023 sec., 322.11 mph
Quotable: “I can not complain about this weekend. After qualifying, we really thought we’d have a shot at the race win today. We just lost a great drag race to the points leader by two ten-thousandths of a second. There’s nothing to hang your head about. We’ve been making great runs all weekend. The guys have done a great job of turning this car around right before a crucial time for the Countdown. I feel good on the tree and I feel good driving the car. The crew’s done a great job of giving me a great Global Electronic Technology Camry. This is the best I’ve felt all year and I’m really looking forward to getting to Brainerd and then to Indy and then the start of the Countdown. This is the best car we’ve had and I feel I’m driving my best. This is our time to shine.”
Point Standings: Ninth; leads Bob Tasca III by 45 points for 10th; trails John Force by 88 points for eighth
Todd turns the corner on raceday
Race Recap: J.R. Todd and the DHL/WIX Filters team closed the Western Swing with a solid round win at Pacific Raceways today.
Qualifying did not yield the desired results for the DHL/WIX Filters team for the second straight weekend. The best run, a 4.056, earned Todd the 13th spot in the competitive Funny Car field.
In the first round, Todd drew Bob Tasca III. The DHL/WIX Filters driver left right beside Tasca, but the Jon Oberhofer and Todd Smith tuneup helped Todd extend the lead all the way down the track and gave the DHL/WIX Filters driver the round win with Todd’s best run of the weekend.
In the second round, Todd faced Tim Wilkerson. Todd made another clean pass, a 4.049, but Wilkerson ran a 4.037 to move to the semifinals ending Todd’s day.
Qualified: No. 13 (4.056 sec., 308.43 mph)
E1: Todd defeated Tasca III – 4.037 sec., 319.75 mph to 4.057 sec., 314.46 mph
E2: Todd defeated by Wilkerson – 4.049 sec., 316.23 mph to 4.037 sec., 316.52 mph
Quotable: “I am really proud of the resolve of this DHL/WIX Filters Toyota team. We have had a couple rough races, but I think we found what our issues were this weekend in Seattle. I wish we had a better Western Swing, but I am excited to get to Brainerd and continue to learn and prepare for the Countdown.”
Point Standings: Sixth; leads Tommy Johnson Jr. by 22 points by seventh; trails Jack Beckman by 85 points for fifth