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Drag Racing Story of the Day!

Kalitta, Pedregon, Anderson and Collis
Earn Top Spots at National Trail

By NHRA Communications

HEBRON, Ohio - Doug Kalitta raced to his seventh No. 1 qualifying position of the season Saturday at the Pontiac Excitement Nationals presented by Summit Racing at National Trail Raceway.

Tony Pedregon, Greg Anderson and Fred Collis also led their respective categories at the $2 million race, the 11th of 23 events in the $50 million NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series. 

Kalitta powered his Mac Tools dragster to a track E.T. record run of 4.508 seconds at 325.30 mph to pace the Top Fuel field. Kalitta's run broke the previous track E.T. record of 4.572 seconds set by five-time NHRA Top Fuel champion Joe Amato in 1998. It is Kalitta's 14th career top qualifying award. Kalitta also set the track speed record at 325.69 during Saturday's first qualifying session.

"It had the front end up a little more than normal on that final run," said Kalitta. "That was a strong run, especially here at Columbus. To run a 4.50 here is pretty amazing. Now we'll see if we can make it happen tomorrow."
*
Top Fuel points leader Larry Dixon, who looks to win for the third consecutive year at National Trail Raceway on Sunday, will start from the third qualifying position with a run of 4.565 at 321.35.

Pedregon drove his Castrol Syntec Ford Mustang to his sixth No. 1 qualifying spot of the season and 23rd of his career when the Funny Car points leader clocked a track record E.T. of 4.780 at 316.67 to lead the field.

"We look to do good at every race," said Pedregon. "It was a little disappointing at Chicago a few weeks ago losing in the second round, but one of our goals this season was to recover from a bad race. The key for us is to win races. That's our goal on Sunday."

Pedregon's teammate/team owner John Force, who has three career victories at National Trail Raceway, recorded the track speed record at 323.66 mph during the final qualifying session. Force will start from the No. 2 position with a weekend-best pass of 4.791 seconds. This marks the sixth consecutive event that Pedregon and Force have qualified in the first and second positions.

"I was really impressed when John (Force) ran that 4.79," said Pedregon. "So when (co-crew chiefs) (John) Medlen and Dickie (Venables) make some late changes to the car and it does what they want it to do, that's a great feeling." 

Anderson raced to his fifth consecutive and sixth No. 1 qualifying position of the season when he piloted his Vegas General Construction Pontiac Grand Am to a run of 6.875 at 200.53 to head the 36-car Pro Stock field.

"I was very lucky this weekend," said Anderson. "We had a lot of trouble with the left lane. For some reason it didn't have as much grip as the right and I shook the tires good in the left lane. We have a little more work to do. This Pontiac could run better. I don't have an advantage on anybody tomorrow."

Anderson's teammate Jason Line, who debuted the KB Racing Grand Am this weekend, qualified in the No. 14 position with a 6.911-second pass.

"That was a real surprise," said Anderson. "We tested this week, but it rained each day, so we only got one run in each day and neither run was pretty. We actually considered not running the car here this weekend, but thought we need to get started with the thing. It ran great here this weekend at Columbus and it helps me know what I need to do with my Pontiac. That's why I brought the second car out with Jason driving."

Fred Collis rode his Area 51 Motorsports Suzuki to his first career No. 1 qualifying award with a run of 7.193 at 184.07. Collis is the fourth different Pro Stock Bike rider to earn the top qualifying position this season.

"I just pretend that nobody else is here racing except me," said Collis. "That's what I did all weekend and the E.T. was the lowest of the race. We've had a lot of rain here this weekend and it can play tricks with you. We were expecting to do a lot better sooner, which was a bit frustrating. So, it's nice to finally get the top spot."

Final eliminations begin Sunday at 11 a.m.

HEBRON, Ohio -- First-round pairings for professional eliminations Sunday for the 39th annual Pontiac Excitement Nationals presented by Summit Racing at National Trail Raceway, the 11th 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, 4.508 seconds, 325.69 mph vs. 16. Chris Karamesines, 5.960, 153.42; 2. Tony Schumacher, 4.559, 325.22 vs. 15. Paul Romine, 4.916, 263.67; 3. Larry Dixon, 4.565, 321.35 vs. 14. Bruce Litton, 4.838, 260.41; 4. Jim Head, 4.579, 317.42 vs. 13. Josh Starcher, 4.768, 300.60; 5. Darrell Russell, 4.589, 319.29 vs. 12. Rhonda Hartman-Smith, 4.750, 302.21; 6. Cory McClenathan, 4.611, 321.88 vs. 11. David Baca, 4.688, 314.24; 7. Kenny Bernstein, 4.615, 322.73 vs. 10. Scott Weis, 4.688, 315.05; 8. John Smith, 4.628, 311.70 vs. 9. Doug Herbert, 4.668, 315.78. 

Funny Car -- 1. Tony Pedregon, Ford Mustang, 4.780, 318.02 vs. 16. Dale Creasy Jr., Pontiac Firebird, 5.021, 293.92; 2. John Force, Mustang, 4.791, 323.66 vs. 15. Bob Gilbertson, Chevy Camaro, 4.987, 309.13; 3. Ron Capps, Camaro, 4.853, 311.05 vs. 14. Arnie Karp, Firebird, 4.953, 293.98; 4. Tommy Johnson Jr., Camaro, 4.857, 312.57 vs. 13. Frank Pedregon, Firebird, 4.943, 309.77; 5. Del Worsham, Firebird, 4.862, 314.02 vs. 12. Tim Wilkerson, Firebird, 4.925, 298.60; 6. Gary Scelzi, Dodge Stratus, 4.863, 320.43 vs. 11. Cruz Pedregon, Firebird, 4.923, 315.12; 7. Whit Bazemore, Stratus, 4.877, 313.95 vs. 10. Dean Skuza, Firebird, 4.892, 307.30; 8. Gary Densham, Mustang, 4.891, 303.50 vs. 9. Scotty Cannon, Firebird, 4.892, 315.64. 

Pro Stock -- 1. Greg Anderson, Pontiac Grand Am, 6.875, 200.53 vs. 16. V. Gaines, Chevy Cavalier, 6.923, 199.17; 2. Scott Geoffrion, Ford Escort, 6.883, 200.29 vs. 15. Steve Schmidt, Cavalier, 6.919, 199.17; 3. Terry Adams, Cavalier, 6.886, 199.55 vs. 14. Jason Line, Grand Am, 6.911, 199.58; 4. Warren Johnson, Grand Am, 6.890, 199.85 vs. 13. Jeg Coughlin, Cavalier, 6.906, 199.35; 5. Allen Johnson, Dodge Stratus, 6.893, 199.20 vs. 12. Jim Yates, Grand Am, 6.905, 199.02; 6. Dave Connolly, Cavalier, 6.894, 199.91 vs. 11. Barry Grant, Cavalier, 6.902, 199.20; 7. Ron Krisher, Cavalier, 6.898, 199.32 vs. 10. Taylor Lastor, Cavalier, 6.901, 199.76; 8. Darrell Alderman, Dodge Neon, 6.899, 199.46 vs. 9. Kurt Johnson, Cavalier, 6.901, 200.14. 

Pro Stock Bike -- 1. Fred Collis, Suzuki, 7.193, 184.07 vs. 16. Joe DeSantis, Suzuki, 7.331, 186.02; 2. Angelle Savoie, Suzuki, 7.207, 187.81 vs. 15. Michael Phillips, Suzuki, 7.326, 181.98; 3. Shawn Gann, Suzuki, 7.220, 189.50 vs. 14. Steve Johnson, Suzuki, 7.310, 181.54; 4. Reggie Showers, Suzuki, 7.229, 183.77 vs. 13. Keith Dennis, Suzuki, 7.310, 182.65; 5. Geno Scali, Suzuki, 7.230, 184.40 vs. 12. Sean Conner, Suzuki, 7.307, 183.92; 6. Karen Stoffer, Suzuki, 7.259, 183.54 vs. 11. GT Tonglet, Harley-Davidson, 7.286, 183.10; 7. Andrew Hines, Harley-Davidson, 7.265, 182.77 vs. 10. Mike Berry, Suzuki, 7.282, 181.52; 8. Antron Brown, Suzuki, 7.278, 182.11 vs. 9. Craig Treble, Suzuki, 7.279, 182.92.

NHRA Communications

 

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