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Kalitta Runs To Norwalk Provisional Pole

| , RacinToday.com Saturday, June 24 2017

Doug Kalitta fires off the line during Top Fuel qualifying in Norwalk, Ohio on Friday night.

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Doug Kalitta powered into the Top Fuel qualifying lead Friday evening during the 11th annual Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Nationals at Summit Racing Equipment Motorsports Park.

Matt Hagan (Funny Car), Greg Anderson (Pro Stock) and Matt Smith (Pro Stock Motorcycle) also are provisional qualifying leaders in their respective categories at Norwalk, Ohio, for the 12th of 24 events on the 2017 NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series schedule.

Kalitta logged a track-record 1,000-foot elapsed time of 3.709-seconds at 327.43 mph in his Mac Tools dragster tuned by Jim Oberhofer during the final pass of the second session.

“My record was taking a beating! But I was just hopeful that we could go up there and run strong,” Kalitta said. “Fortunately, Jim and the guys had a great tune-up for the track tonight. The Mac Tools Toyota got to about half-track and was really pulling. I knew it was on a good run. Great night! It’s great to keep our record and see if we can keep it tomorrow.”

Kalitta is chasing his first pole of the year and 48th of his career. “We’re hoping to turn things around at our home track in front of our home fans; we always feel good about coming to Norwalk,” Kalitta said.

Brittany Force is second at 3.714-seconds and 327.66 mph in her Monster Energy dragster. Current point-leader Steve Torrence sits third at 3.715-seconds and 328.46 mph.

Hagan powered to the provisional Funny Car qualifying lead with a track-record 1,000-foot elapsed time of 3.865-seconds at 333.33 mph in his MOPAR Express Lane Dodge Charger R/T during the second session. Hagan, of Don Schumacher Racing, is aiming for his third pole of the season to go with three wins.

“We knew we didn’t have anything to lose with the second qualifying session, and these conditions tonight made us feel like we could have a great run,” said Hagan, a two-time world champion. “It’s been a lot of fun to win some races this year and we’re definitely looking to get that points lead back again.”

Earlier in the second round, 2009 world champion Robert Hight set the track speed record at 334.65 mph (at 3.870-seconds) in his Auto Club of Southern California Chevy Camaro SS to sit second. Teammate John Force, a 16-time world champion, is third after a pass in 3.911-seconds at 319.98 mph in his PEAK Coolant and Motor Oil Camaro SS.

In Pro Stock, Anderson holds the top spot after a quarter-mile pass in 6.808-seconds at 208.62 mph in his Summit Racing Equipment Chevy Camaro set during the second session. Anderson, of Ken Black Racing, is looking for his first pole of the season and 88th of his career.

“To be able to get two runs in and run in the night-time conditions is an absolute blast in Norwalk,” said Anderson, a four-time world champion. “Fortunately we came out on top after Day One; hopefully we can keep that up the rest of the weekend.”

Point-leader Bo Butner, also of Ken Black Racing, is second after a pass in 6.617-seconds at 208.55 mph in his Jim Butner’s Auto Camaro. Two-time world champ Erica Enders is third at 6.623-seconds and 208.36 mph in her Elite Motorsports Camaro.

Smith finished atop the Pro Stock Motorcycle qualifying order with a quarter-mile run in 6.885-seconds at 195.11 mph aboard his Victory Gunner on his second-round pass. Smith is aiming for his 25th career pole and first of the season.

“We struggled a few weeks ago in Englishtown but we found a few problems and figured it would run better this week,” said Smith, a two-time world champ. “I think we can still go even faster (Saturday), and I think we’ve turned a corner to be more competitive for the rest of the year.”

LE Tonglet, the 2010 world champ, is second after a pass in 6.903-seconds at 193.29 mph aboard his Nitro Fish Racing Suzuki, while Hector Arana Jr. is third at 6.906/193.16 aboard his Buell.

Qualifying is scheduled to continue at 12:45 and 3:15 p.m. (EDT) Saturday. FOX Sports 1 will televise one hour of qualifying Saturday at midnight. FS1 has scheduled three hours of finals coverage at 6 p.m. Sunday.

Friday’s qualifying results after the first two of four rounds of time trials for the 11th annual Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Nationals at Summit Racing Equipment Motorsports Park, 12th of 24 events in the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series.  Qualifying will continue Saturday:

Top Fuel _ 1. Doug Kalitta, 3.709-seconds, 327.43 mph; 2. Brittany Force, 3.714, 327.66; 3. Steve Torrence, 3.715, 328.46; 4. Leah Pritchett, 3.720, 322.27; 5. Antron Brown, 3.736, 332.26; 6. Clay Millican, 3.741, 322.19; 7. Terry McMillen, 3.750, 323.35; 8. Tony Schumacher, 3.766, 328.38; 9. Mike Salinas, 3.792, 315.71; 10. Scott Palmer, 3.828, 319.14; 11. Dom Lagana, 3.860, 320.51; 12. Pat Dakin, 3.912, 313.95; 13. Ike Maier, 3.952, 263.98; 14. Troy Buff, 3.972, 284.33; 15. Luigi Novelli, 4.429, 186.07; 16. Troy Coughlin Jr., 7.578, 92.35.

Not Qualified _ 17. Shawn Langdon, 7.844, 95.61.

Funny Car _ 1. Matt Hagan, Dodge Charger, 3.865, 333.33; 2. Robert Hight, Chevy Camaro, 3.870, 334.65; 3. John Force, Camaro, 3.911, 319.98; 4. Jonnie Lindberg, Toyota Camry, 3.922, 323.89; 5. Tommy Johnson Jr., Charger, 3.925, 329.34; 6. Bob Tasca III, Ford Mustang, 3.930, 324.67; 7. Alexis DeJoria, Camry, 3.943, 318.77; 8. Cruz Pedregon, Camry, 3.974, 321.35; 9. Del Worsham, Camry, 3.982, 317.05; 10. J.R. Todd, Camry, 4.119, 238.60; 11. Ron Capps, Charger, 4.144, 236.13; 12. Jim Campbell, Charger, 4.151, 310.91; 13. Jeff Diehl, Toyota Solara, 4.749, 183.19; 14. Tim Wilkerson, Mustang, 6.361, 115.36; 15. Jack Beckman, Charger, 6.723, 103.40; 16. Dale Creasy Jr., Charger, 6.746, 97.38.

Not Qualified _ 17. Courtney Force, 7.293, 82.58.

Pro Stock _ 1. Greg Anderson, Chevy Camaro, 6.608, 208.62; 2. Bo Butner, Camaro, 6.617, 208.55; 3. Erica Enders, Camaro, 6.623, 208.36; 4. Jason Line, Camaro, 6.625, 208.55; 5. Jeg Coughlin Jr., Camaro, 6.626, 207.43; 6. Alex Laughlin, Camaro, 6.632, 208.26; 7. Drew Skillman, Camaro, 6.633, 207.72; 8. Allen Johnson, Dodge Dart, 6.633, 207.56; 9. Tanner Gray, Camaro, 6.635, 208.17; 10. Chris McGaha, Camaro, 6.638, 207.85; 11. Alan Prusiensky, Dart, 6.668, 206.73; 12. Vincent Nobile, Camaro, 6.679, 208.55; 13. Kenny Delco, Camaro, 6.740, 205.04; 14. Val Smeland, Camaro, 6.869, 199.64; 15. John Gaydosh Jr., Camaro, 6.872, 202.91; 16. Mark Hogan, Pontiac GXP, 6.924, 200.11.

Pro Stock Motorcycle _ 1. Matt Smith, Victory, 6.885, 195.39; 2. LE Tonglet, Suzuki, 6.903, 193.29; 3. Hector Arana Jr., Buell, 6.906, 193.16; 4. Scotty Pollacheck, Suzuki, 6.908, 193.54; 5. Cory Reed, Victory, 6.932, 191.13; 6. Chip Ellis, Buell, 6.935, 193.46; 7. Andrew Hines, Harley-Davidson, 6.943, 193.79; 8. Angelle Sampey, Victory, 6.943, 192.49; 9. Eddie Krawiec, Harley-Davidson, 6.952, 192.28; 10. Steve Johnson, Suzuki, 6.981, 192.36; 11. Joey Gladstone, Suzuki, 6.998, 190.51; 12. Karen Stoffer, Suzuki, 7.031, 189.90; 13. Mike Berry, Buell, 7.050, 190.00; 14. Angie Smith, Buell, 7.111, 190.97; 15. Joe DeSantis, Suzuki, 7.142, 186.25; 16. Odolph Daniels, Suzuki, 7.624, 171.34.

Not Qualified _ 17. Michael Ray, 11.035, 73.72; 18. Melissa Surber, 13.817, 54.03.

Rickie Smith continued his successful return to the cockpit by racing to the provisional pole during the NHRA J&A Service Pro Mod Drag Racing Series portion of the Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Nationals. This weekend’s Pro Mod racing, presented by Real Pro Mod Association, is the eighth of 12 events on the 2017 schedule.

Smith, who sat out four races due to back surgery, won the event in Englishtown, N.J. The veteran posted a 5.821-second pass at 248.80 mph in his 2015 IDG Chevy Camaro. Due to persistent showers in the area, the category conducted only one qualifying session. 

“I feel like my knowledge over the years just pays off when you have to make a one-run call on average,” Smith said. “I’m not perfect every time. But I think that’s the reason I’m No. 1 qualifier right now _ I made a better call on the racetrack.”

Shane Molinari qualified second at 5.831-seconds and 257.28 mph in his ’68 Pontiac Firebird while point-leader Mike Castellana is third at 5.841/246.98 in his ’17 Camaro. 

NHRA J&A Service Pro Mod Series qualifying continues Saturday at approximately noon (EDT), with the first round of eliminations slated for 4:30 p.m.

Friday’s qualifying results after the first of two rounds of time trials at Summit Racing Equipment Motorsports Park, the eighth of 12 events in the NHRA Pro Mod Drag Racing Series:

Pro Modified _ 1. Rickie Smith, Chevy Camaro, 5.821, 248.80; 2. Shane Molinari, Pontiac Firebird, 5.831, 257.28; 3. Mike Castellana, Camaro, 5.841, 246.98; 4. Shannon Jenkins, Ford Mustang, 5.843, 246.93; 5. Steve Jackson, Camaro, 5.846, 244.03; 6. Jonathan Gray, Camaro, 5.860, 240.42; 7. Troy Coughlin, Chevy Corvette, 5.867, 253.85; 8. Sidnei Frigo, Corvette, 5.873, 252.61; 9. Michael Biehle, Mustang, 5.884, 250.32; 10. Pete Farber, Dodge Daytona, 5.895, 247.61; 11. Khalid alBalooshi, Camaro, 5.895, 247.16; 12. Doug Winters, Chevy Chevelle, 6.015, 239.31; 13. Danny Rowe, Corvette, 6.016, 241.54; 14. Mike Knowles, Mustang, 6.041, 240.12; 15. Chuck Little, Corvette, 6.058, 241.50; 16. Mike Janis, Camaro, 6.066, 240.59.

Not Qualified _ 17. Eric Latino, 6.115, 243.63; 18. Clint Satterfield, 6.145, 245.32; 19. Jim Whiteley, 6.162, 193.29; 20. Dan Stevenson, 6.818, 159.95; 21. Harry Hruska, 7.035, 175.75; 22. Steve Matusek, 8.825, 124.16; 23. Steven Whiteley, 9.136, 99.73; 24. Bob Rahaim, 10.916, 95.15; 25. Chip King, 11.878, 83.35; 26. Ruben Tetsoshvili, 20.973, 28.42. 

 

| , RacinToday.com Saturday, June 24 2017
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