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Drag Racing Story of the Day!

Kalitta, Bazemore And Anderson Earn
No. 1 Qualifying Positions at NHRA
Summitracing.Com Nationals In Las Vegas 

By NHRA Communications

LAS VEGAS -- Doug Kalitta became the second Top Fuel driver in NHRA history to open the season with four consecutive No. 1 qualifying efforts by heading the 16-car field Saturday at the NHRA SummitRacing.com Nationals at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

Whit Bazemore and Greg Anderson also were No. 1 qualifiers in their respective pro categories at the $1.8 million race, the fourth of 23 events in the $50 million NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series.

Kalitta earned his 11th career top qualifying effort with a track record performance of 4.499 seconds at 332.10 mph in his special Kid Rock-themed Mac Tools dragster. Two-time Top Fuel champion Gary Beck claimed five consecutive No. 1 qualifying awards to open the 1983 season, and owns the record for the longest consecutive No. 1 qualifying streak in Top Fuel at nine races (1982-'83).

"Qualifying on top is really great and getting points and money for the Budweiser Shootout (special bonus event for Top Fuel drivers at Pomona, Calif. during Auto Club NHRA Finals in November) is one of our primary goals," Kalitta said. "It's cool to be mentioned alongside Gary Beck and hopefully we can top that record this year. It's nice to get top qualifiers but we want to win some races too. That will help us achieve our other goal, which is to win the POWERade championship. My cousin Scott has won the championship a couple of times (1994-'95) and with the way our boys have this Mac Tools car running, we feel it's within our reach this year too."

Larry Dixon was second in the Miller Lite dragster, clocking a 4.527 with a national record speed of 332.75 mph. 

Bazemore claimed his first No. 1 qualifying effort of the season and 22nd of his career by covering the quarter-mile distance in 4.788 at 324.44 in his Matco Tools Dodge Stratus.

"We feel pretty strong, but tomorrow's a different day," Bazemore said. "Of course we need to have consistency to win, which I feel like we have." 
Gary Densham, the defending winner of the event and current points leader in the category, was second in his Auto Club Ford Mustang, recording a 4.796 with a track record speed of 326.56, also the second-fastest Funny Car speed in NHRA history.

Anderson, who is leading the Pro Stock points standings, earned his first top qualifying effort of the season and fourth of his career. He powered his Las Vegas General Construction Pontiac Grand Am to a track record performance of 6.880 at 201.28.

He will face defending series champion Jeg Coughlin, a two-time winner at LVMS, in an important first round meeting. 

"There are a lot of good cars out here that are qualified," Anderson said. "I ran well and I get to run the world champ in the first round. We plan on giving Jeg a run for his money, and hopefully we'll go all the way tomorrow."

Final eliminations begin at 11 a.m. (PT).

LAS VEGAS -- First-round pairings for Sunday's professional eliminations at the Fourth annual NHRA SummitRacing.com Nationals at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, the fourth of 23 events in the $50 million NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series. Pairings based on results in qualifying, which ended Saturday.

Top Fuel -- 1. Doug Kalitta, 4.499 seconds, 332.10 mph vs. 16. Steven Chrisman, 5.344, 239.57; 2. Larry Dixon, 4.527, 332.75 vs. 15. Mike Strasburg, 5.285, 235.93; 3. David Baca, 4.528, 320.36 vs. 14. Jim Head, 4.824, 229.70; 4. Brandon Bernstein, 4.557, 325.77 vs. 13. Cory McClenathan, 4.812, 292.39; 5. Tony Schumacher, 4.604, 304.53 vs. 12. Melanie Troxel, 4.703, 281.66; 6. Darrell Russell, 4.608, 319.29 vs. 11. Paul Romine, 4.686, 315.78; 7. Doug Herbert, 4.622, 290.82 vs. 10. David Grubnic, 4.678, 303.50; 8. Rhonda Hartman-Smith, 4.632, 323.66 vs. 9. John Smith, 4.643, 309.27. 

Funny Car -- 1. Whit Bazemore, Dodge Stratus, 4.788, 324.44 vs. 16. Jack Wyatt, Pontiac Firebird, 4.969, 271.30; 2. Gary Densham, Ford Mustang, 4.796, 326.56 vs. 15. Dale Creasy Jr., Firebird, 4.957, 311.27; 3. Tony Pedregon, Mustang, 4.807, 316.90 vs. 14. John Force, Mustang, 4.919, 312.93; 4. Del Worsham, Firebird, 4.811, 318.24 vs. 13. Bob Gilbertson, Firebird, 4.895, 311.41; 5. Tommy Johnson Jr., Chevy Camaro, 4.817, 316.82 vs. 12. Bob Bode, Firebird, 4.874, 303.91; 6. Johnny Gray, Firebird, 4.824, 321.12 vs. 11. Ron Capps, Camaro, 4.871, 319.29; 7. Frank Pedregon, Firebird, 4.852, 304.80 vs. 10. Cruz Pedregon, Firebird, 4.867, 316.90; 8. Scotty Cannon, Firebird, 4.859, 321.73 vs. 9. Dean Skuza, Firebird, 4.866, 289.94. 

Pro Stock -- 1. Greg Anderson, Pontiac Grand Am, 6.880, 201.28 vs. 16. Jeg Coughlin, Chevy Cavalier, 6.925, 199.46; 2. Kurt Johnson, Cavalier, 6.883, 200.74 vs. 15. Gene Wilson, Dodge Stratus, 6.925, 199.67; 3. Scott Geoffrion, Ford Escort, 6.898, 200.50 vs. 14. Terry Adams, Cavalier, 6.923, 199.73; 4. Warren Johnson, Grand Am, 6.900, 200.00 vs. 13. Darrell Alderman, Dodge Neon R/T, 6.920, 199.67; 5. Bruce Allen, Grand Am, 6.904, 199.26 vs. 12. Ron Krisher, Cavalier, 6.918, 199.23; 6. Mark Whisnant, Cavalier, 6.909, 198.38 vs. 11. Taylor Lastor, Cavalier, 6.918, 199.76; 7. V. Gaines, Cavalier, 6.911, 199.05 vs. 10. Mike Edwards, Grand Am, 6.916, 199.40; 8. Barry Grant, Cavalier, 6.915, 199.17 vs. 9. Allen Johnson, Neon R/T, 6.916, 200.86. 

NHRA Communications

 

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