Kalitta, Hagan, EES and Arana Jr. No. 1 qualifiers in Ohio

July 5, 2015 12:32 AM | By Anthony Caruso III, Publisher

Annually, the National Hot Rod Association travels to Summit Motorsports Park in Norwalk, Ohio for the July 4th weekend. On Saturday evening, Doug Kalitta won the No. 1 qualifying position in Top Fuel at the Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Nationals.

Matt Hagan in Funny Car, Erica Enders-Stevens in Pro Stock, and Hector Arana Jr. in Pro Stock Motorcycle joined Kalitta, as No. 1 qualifiers. For Hagan, it is his 20th career No. 1 qualifier.

Matt Hagan Funny Car NHRA Rocky Boots Mopar Dodge Charger John Bojec Dickie Venables Erica Enders-Stevens Elite Motorsports Chevy Camaro Alan Prusiensky Toyota NHRA Summernationals Old Bridge Township Raceway Park Hector Arana Jr. Pro Stock Pro Stock Motorcycle Top Fuel Doug Kalitta Lucas Oil Buell Angie Smith NHRA Summit Motorsports Park Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Nationals Mac Tools dragster The Greek Chris Karamesines

Doug Kalitta (Photo by the NHRA)

The Mac Tools dragster set a track record with his 3.731 pass at 327.82 mph. This is his 43rd of his career; however, it is his first this season.

Kalitta will face “The Greek” Chris Karamesines in the first round when Top Fuel leads off at 11 am.

“I knew the guys had my car loaded for bear out there and I was just hoping it was going to stick,” Kalitta said. “It was great conditions and right now it doesn’t get much better. The track was good. We held on and I can’t say enough about my guys, they’ve been working their tails off with these night sessions. We’re definitely happy to be on top here today.”

Hagan, who is the reigning Funny Car Champion, had a career-best 3.973 run at 321.96 in his Rocky Boots/Mopar Dodge Charger R/T. The Virginia native won the previous race and will face John BoJec in the first round.

He also set his record in the final run of qualifying. He made his fireworks before the $50,000 firework display went off at the track.

“I really thought there would be more three second runs but I guess a lot of guys went over center because there was nothing to lose and they were pushing too hard,” Hagan said. “We thought we might be able to run a 3.94 but [crew chief] Dickie [Venables] pulled it back at the last minute. Still, I can’t be upset with a 3.97. Now, we have to throw that out the window and prepare for race mode tomorrow with the heat and sun on the track.”

Enders-Stevens had a 6.532 pass at 211.23 mph in her Elite Motorsports Chevy Camaro. Enders-Stevens picked up her fifth No. 1 qualifier of the season and her 17th overall.

She’ll face Alan Prusiensky in the first round. A month ago, Prusiensky defeated Enders-Stevens in the first round at the Toyota NHRA Summernationals at Old Bridge Township Raceway Park in Englishtown, N.J.

“I know what my guys are capable of, and I know I have a really great race car underneath me, and Norwalk has been really good to us in the past,” Enders said. “We always enjoy coming here.”

Arana Jr. went 6.868 at 196.50 in his Lucas Oil Buell for the top Pro Stock Motorcycle spot. This is his second No. 1 qualifier of the season and his 18th overall.

He’ll face Angie Smith in the first round.

“It’s awesome to be out here racing on this big holiday weekend and we had the perfect paint scheme for it with our red, white and blue Lucas Oil bike,” Arana Jr. said. “We have a lot of good history at this track. I had my first No. 1 here and my dad won this race. Hopefully we can carry that good mojo on to four win lights tomorrow.”

Like Anthony Caruso III and The Capital Sports Report on Facebook, while we can be found at @alcaruso3 and @CapSportsReport on Twitter.

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