Kalitta claims 50th No. 1 qualifier in 500th start
By Anthony Caruso III | Publisher
Mac Tools Top Fuel Dragster pilot Doug Kalitta is the No. 1 qualifier on Saturday at Bristol Dragway. He went 3.755 at 324.67 mph on Friday to claim the top spot at the 19th annual NHRA Thunder Valley Nationals in Bristol, Tennessee.
This is Kalitta’s 50th No. 1 qualifier of his career in his 500th career start. In addition, this is Kalitta’s first No. 1 qualifier since 2017.
This is his first career No. 1 qualifier at Bristol Dragway.
“It would be perfect timing to get a win, that’s for sure,” Kalitta said. “With it being Father’s Day weekend, I’ve got my son here with me this weekend, so it would be a great thing. We’re going to work our tail off to try to make it happen, that’s for sure. My car has been pretty consistent, so we’ll see how it goes. It’s been a lot of fun and we want to keep it going.”
Kalitta will face Cameron Ferré in the first-round of eliminations. The Huntington Beach, California native went 11.244 at 69.28 mph.
Mopar/Pennzoil sponsored pilot Leah Pritchett is the No. 2 qualifier. The Avon, Indiana native went 3.757 at 323.04 mph.
She’ll face Lex Joon in the first-round of eliminations. The Indianapolis, Indiana native went 5.050 at 142.75 mph.
Reigning Top Fuel champion Steve Torrence is the No. 3 qualifier. The Kilgore, Texas native went 3.768 at 326.00 mph.
He’ll face Pat Dakin in the first-round of eliminations. The Dayton, Ohio native went 4.080 at 219.72 mph.
Matco Tools pilot Antron Brown is the No. 4 qualifier. The Pittsboro, Indiana native went 3.768 at 325.14 mph.
Brown will face Audrey Worm in the first-round of eliminations. The Grantville, Pennsylvania native went 4.010 at 280.25 mph.
Scrappers Racing pilot Mike Salinas is the No. 5 qualifier. The San Jose, California native — who missed the last race in Topeka, Kansas and missed two races since May — went 3.774 at 325.69 mph.
Salinas will face Scott Palmer in the first-round of eliminations. The Cassville, Missouri native went 3.834 at 311.77 mph.
The rest of the ladder looks like this:
6. Austin Prock, 3.783, 325.92 mph vs. 11. Clay Millican, 3.825, 320.51 mph
7. Brittany Force, 3.790, 325.45 mph vs. 10. Dom Lagana, 3.811, 323.58 mph
8. Terry McMillen, 3.795, 312.78 mph vs. 9. Richie Crampton, 3.807, 320.13 mph