Pre-Race Report Event 17: NHRA Brainerd Nationals Brainerd International Raceway Brainerd, Minn

Doug Kalitta Brainerd

Doug Kalitta Brainerd

Kalitta plans to earn first victory of the season

Brainerd Highlights: Two wins (2005, 2003); Two finals (2014, 2000); Three No.1 qualifiers (2010, 2004, 2002)

Last Event Recap (Seattle): Qualified second; Quarterfinalist (Defeated Terry Haddock in the first round, lost to Terry McMillen in the quarterfinals)

2016 Brainerd Recap: Qualified sixth; Quarterfinalist (Defeated Morgan Lucas in the first round, lost to Brittany Force in the quarterfinals)

Quotable: “My Mac Tools team has been working very hard in this off week to get us ready for Brainerd. The place is always fast, so I know we will be strong. The goal is to score our first win of the season and I know that is within our grasp.”

Career Stats: 450 starts, 609 round wins (ninth all-time), 42 wins (Fifth all-time in Top Fuel), 89 finals, 48 no.1 qualifiers (13th all-time)

2017 Season Stats: Two finals (Pomona-I, Norwalk); One no.1 qualifier (Norwalk); 20 round wins; sixth in the standings

Noteworthy: Kalitta continues to rank as the top driver in the point standings without a win; currently he is just 15 points from the top five in the standings; Kalitta officially locked his spot in the NHRA Countdown for the Championship in Seattle, his 20th straight top ten points finish; Kalitta turns 53 on Sunday; Kalitta can claim the final Traxxas Shootout spot with a win or if a previous 2017 winner claims victory in Brainerd, Kalitta would earn the final spot based on his point standing. If there is another first time winner, Kalitta would be eligible for the fan vote.

 Shawn Langdon Brainerd

Brainerd record holder Langdon looks to have another fast weekend

Brainerd Highlights: Track ET record holder (3.662 sec. – 2015)

Last Event Recap (Seattle): Qualified eighth; First round loss (Lost to Mike Salinas in the first round)

2016 Brainerd Recap (w/ DSR): Qualified second; Semifinalist (Defeated Luigi Novelli in the first round and J.R. Todd in the quarterfinals, lost to Brittany Force in the semifinals)

Quotable: “Brainerd kicks off a really neat part of the year. We are getting really close to the Countdown. It is a pivotal time for my Global Electronic Technology team to make up the points to get a spot inside the top ten. Brainerd is a great track and a great overall facility. If weather allows, it can be quick, which is the most fun for us as drivers. The Brainerd fans are awesome as well. They have a great time camping in the zoo and show us a ton of support. It is truly one of the most exciting races on tour.”

Career Stats: 197 starts, 238 round wins, 14 wins, 28 finals, 18 no.1 qualifiers

2017 Season Stats: 12 starts; Eight round wins; 11th in the point standings

Noteworthy: Joined Kalitta Motorsports from Don Schumacher Racing after Las Vegas in a full-time third Top Fuel entry; Langdon’s track record elapsed time (3.662 seconds – 2015) still holds as the third quickest pass in NHRA history; Langdon is looking to claim the last Traxxas Shootout spot, which he would earn with a win; he is not eligible for the fan vote due to missing the first four races of the season

 Troy Coughlin Jr Brainderd

Coughlin Jr. excited for Brainerd debut

Noteworthy: 17th career pro event; a candidate for Auto Club Road to Future trophy (best rookie driver); father is former two-time Pro Mod champion (Troy Coughlin Sr.); uncle is former six-time NHRA champion (Jeg Coughlin Jr.); part of Coughlin family with 114 career wins

Last Event Recap (Seattle): Qualified 11th; First round loss (Lost to Tony Schumacher in the first round)

Quotable: “We have a new SealMaster Toyota Bounty Hunter chassis ready to go for the weekend. I am really optimistic about what we’re jumping into. The guys have been working long hours on this car. I cannot wait to go up for Q1!”

2017 Season Stats: 16 starts; Four round wins; 10th in the point standings

Career Info: Five national event wins (Three in Super Gas, Two in Super Comp); 2013 Division III Super Gas Champion; 2015 NHRA Pro Mod Rookie of the Year; Coughlin Jr. can claim the final Traxxas Shootout spot with a win this weekend, is eligible for the fan vote

 JR Todd Brainerd

Todd desires to duplicate team’s 2016 victory

Brainerd Highlights: the DHL team are the reigning Brainerd Funny Car winners

Last Event Recap (Seattle): Qualified ninth; First round loss (Lost to John Force in the first round)

2016 Brainerd Recap (Top Fuel): Qualified 10th; Quarterfinalist (Defeated Richie Crampton tin the first round, lost to Shawn Langdon in the quarterfinals)

Quotable: “Brainerd is a race a lot of us look forward to. The fans are great and extremely passionate about us being there. The track itself can be really good when the conditions are right. The ‘Yella Fellas’ won there last year so I am looking forward to trying to repeat.” 

Career Stats: 164 starts, 161 round wins, 10 wins, 20 finals, 9 no.1 qualifiers (Funny Car stats: 16 starts; One win (Sonoma); Two finals (Charlotte-I, Sonoma); 12 round wins)

2017 Season Stats: 16 starts; One win (Sonoma); Two finals (Charlotte-I, Sonoma); 12 round wins; ninth in the point standings

Noteworthy: With Sonoma win, became the 16th driver in NHRA history to have a Top Fuel and Funny Car win; locked into the Traxxas Shootout; first driver in Traxxas Shootout history to have competed in the Top Fuel and Funny Car shootouts

 Alexis Dejoria Brainerd

DeJoria Brainerd pre-race notes

Last Event Recap (Seattle): Qualified seventh; Quarterfinalist (Defeated Jonnie Lindberg in the first round, lost to Matt Hagan in the quarterfinals)

2016 Brainerd Recap: Did not compete due to injury

Career Stats: 128 starts; 88 round wins; Four wins; Seven finals, Four no.1 qualifiers

2017 Season Stats: 13 starts; Six round wins; 14th in the point standings