Kalitta Tops Teammate To Win Top Fuel At Atlanta

| , RacinToday.com Monday, May 16 2016
Doug Kalitta, far lane, took on – and beat – teammate J.R. Todd in the Top Fuel finals Sunday in Georgia.

Doug Kalitta, far lane, took on – and barely beat – teammate J.R. Todd in the Top Fuel finals Sunday in Georgia.

Doug Kalitta raced to his second consecutive Top Fuel victory of the season Sunday as he won the Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Southern Nationals at Atlanta Dragway. Barely.

Kalitta powered his Mac Tools dragster to a 3.801-second pass at 323.19 mph to defeat Kalitta Motorsports teammate J.R. Todd’s 3.780 at 320.66 in his SealMaster dragster on a holeshot in the final round. Kalitta tallied his 40th career victory and third at Atlanta Dragway.

The margin of victory between Kalitta and Todd was .0000, making it the closest Top Fuel race in NHRA history.

“I really didn’t think I had won,” said Kalitta, the Top Fuel points leader. “The last couple of rounds I didn’t see the win light on the wall. J.R. went blowing by me at the end there and I got around the corner and I was very relieved, to say the least.  Jim (Oberhofer, crew chief) and my Mac Tools guys have been busting their butts all day long and we were hungry to do well in front of the sellout crowd here in Atlanta.”

Kalitta defeated Terry Haddock, Tony Schumacher and fellow Toyota driver Antron Brown in the semi-finals on the way to the match-up with Todd.  In the final, Kalitta got the edge at the tree and won what was a virtual dead-heat with the margin of victory clocked at 0.0000 – the closest Top Fuel final in NHRA history.

J.R. Todd beat Kyle Wurtzel, two-time 2016 winner Brittany Force and 2013 Top Fuel world champ Shawn Langdon before racing Kalitta in the final. Todd is sixth in the Top Fuel points standings.

Force and her Monster Energy dragster are second in the points. She is trailed by Brown and Steve Torrence in third and fourth, respectively.

Matt Hagan (Funny Car), Jason Line (Pro Stock) and Eddie Krawiec (Pro Stock Motorcycle) were also victorious at the seventh event of 24 on the 2016 NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series schedule.

In Funny Car, Hagan sprinted to his first victory of 2016 with a 3.965 at 314.90 in his Mopar Express Lane/Rocky Boots Dodge Charger R/T, beating Don Schumacher Racing teammate Jack Beckman in the final. Hagan ended a 19-race winless streak and notched his 19th career victory. Hagan outlasted Chad Head, reigning world champ Del Worsham and points leader Courtney Force in the earlier rounds to win his first NHRA Southern Nationals title.

“We’ve been trying to dig our way out of a hole we dug for ourselves in the beginning of the season with a new chassis and some new parts and different things like that,” said Hagan, who currently sits ninth in the points standings. “We went back to what we know and pulled our old car back out. We won a championship with it. We all knew it was just a matter of time before we figured it out. We’re really happy to get that monkey off our back.”

Beckman, the No. 1 qualifier, made his first final round appearance of 2016 at Atlanta. He raced past Jim Campbell and Don Schumacher Racing teammates Ron Capps and Tommy Johnson Jr. in the earlier rounds. Beckman moved to second in the points standings.

Tim Wilkerson, who entered Atlanta tied with Force for first in the Funny Car points standings, is now third, while Capps is fourth and Robert Hight is fifth.

In Pro Stock, Jason Line drove his Summit Racing Equipment Chevy Camaro to a 6.611 at 209.75 in the final round to better teammate Greg Anderson on a holeshot. This is Line’s fourth victory of 2016 and 41st in his career. Line has advanced to the final round in all seven races this season. This is Line’s second consecutive win at this event and third overall. The victory extends his series points lead. As the No. 2 qualifier, Line beat John Gaydosh Jr., five-time world champ Jeg Coughlin and Allen Johnson in the earlier rounds.

“We kind of whined and complained about the rules change, but I never would’ve thought that this would be the result of that,” said Line, who has only lost to Anderson this year. “It’s a great day anytime you can win in front of your sponsor. This is a very tricky racetrack. I haven’t been on an Atlanta track like this ever. We struggled hard with it, but again, I’m a little bit in awe that I’ve been able to race in all the final rounds this year.”

Anderson raced past V. Gaines in the first round, then had a second round bye before beating Kenny Delco in the third round to meet Line in the final. Anderson is second in the points standings.

Bo Butner, teammate to Anderson and Line, is third in the points standings and is followed by Drew Skillman in fourth and Chris McGaha in fifth.

Krawiec rode his Screamin’ Eagle Vance & Hines Harley-Davidson to a 6.824 at 196.66 to outlast Jerry Savoie’s 6.851 at 195.79 on his White Alligator Racing Suzuki in the Pro Stock Motorcycle final. This is Krawiec’s second victory of 2016, 33rd of his career and fourth at Atlanta Dragway. He has raced in all three Pro Stock Motorcycle event finals this season and has control of the Pro Stock Motorcycle points lead. Krawiec raced to his first career victory at the NHRA Southern Nationals in 2009.

“Atlanta has treated me well,” said Krawiec, a three-time world champ. “I got my first win here and it’s one of those things where if you just feel comfortable and you’re in a groove, you’ll have confidence. For me, I think all of that has fallen into place. The track was a little tricky for us but we were able to figure out our chassis set up and as we made more laps throughout the weekend it got better and better. It was definitely a good, exciting, fun weekend for me.”

Savoie, a Louisiana alligator farmer, beat Michael Phillips, Scotty Pollacheck and No. 1 qualifier Angelle Sampey in the earlier rounds. Savoie is fourth in the Pro Stock Motorcycle points standings.

Krawiec’s teammate and reigning world champ Andrew Hines is second in points and Hector Arana is third.

The NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series continues in Topeka, Kan., May 20-22, with the NHRA Kansas Nationals at Heartland Park Topeka.


COMMERCE, Ga. — Final finish order (1-16) at the 36th annual Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Southern Nationals at Atlanta Dragway.  The race is the seventh of 24 events in the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series.


  1. Doug Kalitta; 2.  J.R. Todd; 3.  Shawn Langdon; 4.  Antron Brown; 5.  Steve Torrence; 6. Brittany Force; 7.  Tony Schumacher; 8.  Richie Crampton; 9.  Clay Millican; 10.  Pat Dakin; 11. Kyle Wurtzel; 12.  Leah Pritchett; 13.  Scott Palmer; 14.  Terry McMillen; 15.  Chris Karamesines; 16.  Terry Haddock.


  1.  Matt Hagan; 2.  Jack Beckman; 3.  Tommy Johnson Jr.; 4.  Courtney Force; 5.  Alexis DeJoria; 6. Del Worsham; 7.  Ron Capps; 8.  Robert Hight; 9.  Tim Wilkerson; 10.  Chad Head; 11.  Dave Richards; 12.  John Hale; 13.  Cruz Pedregon; 14.  John Force; 15.  Jeff Diehl; 16.  Jim Campbell.


  1. Jason Line; 2.  Greg Anderson; 3.  Allen Johnson; 4.  Kenny Delco; 5.  Jeg Coughlin; 6.  Alex Laughlin; 7.  Chris McGaha; 8.  Vincent Nobile; 9.  Erica Enders; 10.  V. Gaines; 11.  Bo Butner; 12.  Drew Skillman; 13.  John Gaydosh Jr; 14.  Shane Gray.


  1. Eddie Krawiec; 2.  Jerry Savoie; 3.  Angelle Sampey; 4.  Karen Stoffer; 5.  Chip Ellis; 6. Hector Arana; 7.  Melissa Surber; 8.  Scotty Pollacheck; 9.  LE Tonglet; 10.  Matt Smith; 11. Michael Phillips; 12.  Andrew Hines; 13.  Steve Johnson; 14.  Hector Arana Jr; 15.  Cory Reed; 16. Shawn Gann.


Sunday’s final results from the 36th annual Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Southern Nationals at Atlanta Dragway. The race is the seventh of 24 in the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series:

Top Fuel — Doug Kalitta, 3.801 seconds, 323.19 mph  def. J.R. Todd, 3.780 seconds, 320.66 mph.

Funny Car — Matt Hagan, Dodge Charger, 3.965, 314.90  def. Jack Beckman, Charger, 8.073, 79.59.

Pro Stock — Jason Line, Chevy Camaro, 6.611, 209.75  def. Greg Anderson, Camaro, 6.593, 210.50.

Pro Stock Motorcycle — Eddie Krawiec, Harley-Davidson, 6.824, 196.56  def. Jerry Savoie, Suzuki, 6.851, 195.79.

Pro Modified — Rickie Smith, Chevy Camaro, 5.873, 248.48  def. Kevin Fiscus, Ford Mustang, 6.072, 243.50.

Super Stock — Jimmy Hidalgo Jr., Pontiac Firebird, 9.852, 127.62  def. Michael Volkman, Plymouth Sebring, 10.286, 129.05.

Stock Eliminator — Wes Neely, Pontiac Trans Am, 11.732, 104.36  def. Jimmy Hidalgo Jr., Pontiac GTO, Foul – Red Light.

Super Comp — Billy Torrence, Dragster, 8.923, 189.10  def. Joe Tankersley, Pontiac GTO, 8.887, 159.68.

Super Gas — Ray Miller, Chevy Camaro, 10.570, 120.21  def. Rusty Cook, Chevy Corvette, Foul – Red Light.

Super Street — Dan Fletcher, Chevy Camaro, 11.505, 95.25  def. Ed Pauley, Camaro, Foul – Red Light.

Top Dragster presented by RacingRVs.com — Richard Prince, Dragster, 6.153, 229.86  def. Jeff Strickland, Dragster, Foul – Red Light.

Top Sportsman presented by RacingRVs.com — Bobby Irby, Chevy Corvette, 7.113, 189.02  def. Todd Ewing, Chevy Camaro, 6.759, 192.91.


Final round-by-round results from the 36th annual Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Southern Nationals at Atlanta Dragway, the seventh of 24 events in the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series:


ROUND ONE — Tony Schumacher, 3.743, 320.28 def. Leah Pritchett, 3.950, 303.23; Brittany Force, 3.765, 319.29 def. Clay Millican, 3.785, 320.74; Richie Crampton, 3.749, 325.92 def. Chris Karamesines, 6.383, 98.26; Doug Kalitta, 3.737, 328.22 def. Terry Haddock, Broke; J.R. Todd, 3.759, 326.00 def. Kyle Wurtzel, 3.853, 309.84; Steve Torrence, 3.766, 325.69 def. Scott Palmer, 4.029, 288.33; Antron Brown, 3.749, 317.57 def. Pat Dakin, 3.820, 303.50; Shawn Langdon, 3.749, 326.48 def. Terry McMillen, Foul – Red Light; QUARTERFINALS — Todd, 3.757, 324.36 def. Force, 3.784, 320.97; Brown, 3.772, 318.02 def. Torrence, 3.772, 324.90; Langdon, 3.781, 324.44 def. Crampton, 3.822, 287.90; Kalitta, 3.782, 326.24 def. Schumacher, 3.789, 325.06; SEMIFINALS — Kalitta, 3.779, 324.20 def. Brown, 9.833, 72.21; Todd, 3.782, 322.96 def. Langdon, 3.817, 318.77; FINAL — Kalitta, 3.801, 323.19 def. Todd, 3.780, 320.66.


ROUND ONE — Robert Hight, Chevy Camaro, 3.953, 327.43 def. Cruz Pedregon, Toyota Camry, 4.833, 167.49; Jack Beckman, Dodge Charger, 3.911, 328.86 def. Jim Campbell, Camry, 8.382, 80.36; Matt Hagan, Charger, 3.906, 329.02 def. Chad Head, Camry, 4.349, 271.30; Courtney Force, Camaro, 3.915, 327.74 def. Jeff Diehl, Toyota Solara, 5.617, 106.68; Alexis DeJoria, Camry, 3.950, 324.05 def. Dave Richards, Ford Mustang, 4.355, 213.57; Tommy Johnson Jr., Charger, 3.960, 319.45 def. John Hale, Charger, 4.736, 150.61; Del Worsham, Camry, 3.975, 287.11 def. Tim Wilkerson, Mustang, 4.064, 310.48; Ron Capps, Charger, 3.938, 324.83 def. John Force, Camaro, 5.564, 130.22; QUARTERFINALS — Johnson Jr., 7.146, 97.74 def. DeJoria, Foul – Red Light; C. Force, 3.950, 327.35 def. Hight, 8.205, 88.55; Hagan, 3.926, 327.19 def. Worsham, 3.972, 325.45; Beckman, 3.989, 323.81 def. Capps, 3.992, 320.81; SEMIFINALS — Beckman, 3.967, 323.58 def. Johnson Jr., 3.992, 317.79; Hagan, 3.939, 325.06 def. C. Force, 5.845, 115.75; FINAL — Hagan, 3.965, 314.90 def. Beckman, 8.073, 79.59.


ROUND ONE — Jeg Coughlin, Dodge Dart, 6.648, 208.17 def. Drew Skillman, Chevy Camaro, 8.920, 105.96; Allen Johnson, Dart, 6.600, 209.79 def. Vincent Nobile, Camaro, 6.602, 208.78; Chris McGaha, Camaro, 6.624, 208.33 def. Erica Enders, Dart, 6.644, 207.91; Kenny Delco, Camaro, 7.299, 148.38 def. Shane Gray, Camaro, 11.690, 76.83; Alex Laughlin, Camaro, 6.664, 205.57 def. Bo Butner, Camaro, 7.227, 135.95; Jason Line, Camaro, 6.559, 211.06 def. John Gaydosh Jr, Chevrolet Camaro, 9.016, 104.59; Greg Anderson, Camaro, 6.584, 211.06 def. V. Gaines, Dart, 6.685, 207.82; QUARTERFINALS — Delco, 7.856, 171.34 def. McGaha, 9.635, 155.72; Johnson, 6.680, 209.33 def. Laughlin, 6.838, 207.34; Anderson, 6.574, 210.80 was unopposed; Line, 6.585, 211.03 def. Coughlin, 6.669, 208.36; SEMIFINALS — Line, 6.603, 210.24 def. Johnson, 6.656, 208.20; Anderson, 6.582, 210.83 def. Delco, Foul – Red Light; FINAL — Line, 6.611, 209.75 def. Anderson, 6.593, 210.50.


ROUND ONE — Jerry Savoie, Suzuki, 6.853, 192.77 def. Michael Phillips, Suzuki, Foul – Red Light; Karen Stoffer, Suzuki, 6.860, 193.77 def. Shawn Gann, Buell, Foul – Red Light; Chip Ellis, Buell, 6.889, 190.81 def. Cory Reed, Buell, 8.262, 105.09; Scotty Pollacheck, Buell, 6.865, 193.79 def. Andrew Hines, Harley-Davidson, 6.932, 193.79; Angelle Sampey, Buell, 6.799, 195.59 def. Steve Johnson, Suzuki, 6.952, 192.11; Eddie Krawiec, Harley-Davidson, 6.850, 194.13 def. Matt Smith, 6.877, 193.05; Melissa Surber, Buell, 6.863, 193.27 def. LE Tonglet, Suzuki, 6.843, 194.88; Hector Arana, Buell, 6.934, 174.75 def. Hector Arana Jr, Buell, 7.227, 148.54; QUARTERFINALS — Savoie, 6.843, 196.73 def. Pollacheck, 10.299, 80.08; Stoffer, 6.904, 195.39 def. Ellis, 6.935, 192.17; Krawiec, 6.874, 196.47 def. Surber, 7.134, 189.42; Sampey, 6.870, 195.39 def. Arana, 6.941, 191.76; SEMIFINALS — Savoie, 6.871, 195.00 def. Sampey, 6.901, 193.74; Krawiec, 6.847, 196.42 def. Stoffer, 6.904, 195.17; FINAL — Krawiec, 6.824, 196.56 def. Savoie, 6.851, 195.79.


| , RacinToday.com Monday, May 16 2016
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