Kalitta Corrals Top Fuel Pole For NHRA Carolina Nationals

Doug Kalitta roared to the No. 1 qualifying spot in Top Fuel for the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series' NHRA Carolina Nationals at zMAX Dragway. [CMS/HHP photo]

Doug Kalitta roared to the No. 1 qualifying spot in Top Fuel for the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series’ NHRA Carolina Nationals at zMAX Dragway. [CMS/HHP photo]


  • The second day of NHRA Carolina Nationals qualifying at zMAX Dragway saw Doug Kalitta (Top Fuel), Tommy Johnson Jr. (Funny Car), Greg Anderson (Pro Stock) and Angelle Sampey (Pro Stock Motorcycle) post the top times for Sunday’s opening round of the Countdown to the Championship
  • Fans can buy tickets to Sunday’s eventful eliminations by shopping online or by calling 1-800-455-FANS (3267); Kids 13 and under get in FREE with purchase of an adult ticket; Every ticket is a pit pass that gives fans unmatched access to the drivers and cars


CONCORD, N.C. (Sept. 17, 2016) – The electrifying sound of nitro-fueled NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series action thrilled a rocking crowd on Saturday at zMAX Dragway, as the final day of NHRA Carolina Nationals time trials saw Doug Kalitta in Top Fuel, Tommy Johnson Jr., (Funny Car), Greg Anderson (Pro Stock) and Angelle Sampey (Pro Stock Motorcycle) emerge with No. 1 qualifying spots ahead of Sunday’s action-packed Countdown to the Championship opener.

With track temperatures exceeding 130 degrees on a sun-drenched afternoon, Kalitta’s 3.721-second, 325.77-mph run on Friday remained the best of the Top Fuel competitors.

“This morning there was quite a bit of cloud cover but by the first session it burned off and it slowed down the effort out there,” said Kalitta, whose fourth pole of the year was the 47th of his career. “It was pretty hot. We slid down it twice, but the car’s pretty good. It’s good that it was warm like this so we can go into tomorrow with pretty much the same setup. It’s going to be an intetesting day for sure.”

Johnson’s Funny Car track-record, 3.876-second pass on Friday held up on Saturday. Johnson bested points leader Ron Capps by .002 seconds for the top seed in Sunday’s elminations.

“Whenever you run a good run on Friday night, it allows you to play and experiment on Saturday,” Johnson said. “We had a mechanical issue on our third run but the car still ran really well. We were confident it would be fine for the fourth and it was. Tomorrow, lane choice might be a big deal. I don’t know that it’s really big but I think in the heat of the day it’s going to pay more dividends on the starting line.”

Anderson bumped KB Racing teammate Jason Line from the No. 1 spot in Pro Stock with a 6.578-second, 210.5-mph run for his sixth pole of the season and the 86th of his career.

“I feel pretty good about the work that we’ve put in but it’s going to be tough to win,” Anderson said. “The way the class is shaped up now you’re really going to have to get up on the wheel. We don’t want to have a magical year like we’ve had so far go up in smoke. You can’t win the Countdown in the first race but you can lose it. You’ve got to have a great day the first time out. You’ve got to peak at the right time of the year and I think we’re peaking.”

Sampey topped Jerry Savoie, Friday’s Pro Stock Motorcycle leader, for her third consecutive No. 1 qualifying spot.

“It’s perfect timing,” Sampey said. “We definitely want to be the best we can on every run … I want to be the best on Friday, the best on Saturday and the best on Sunday. I think we’re in the groove now.”

Pre-race ceremonies start at 11 a.m. on Sunday. Final eliminations begin at noon.

To purchase tickets and camping to Sunday’s NHRA Carolina Nationals, visit or call 1-800-455-FANS (3267). Kids 13 and under get in FREE with the purchase of an adult ticket. Every ticket is a pit pass, so fans can walk through the pits and see their favorite drivers and teams as they prepare to take to the track.

Top Fuel — 1. Doug Kalitta, 3.721 seconds, 327.11 mph vs. 16. Ike Maier, 3.988, 291.63; 2. Brittany Force, 3.729, 324.67 vs. 15. Chris Karamesines, 3.985, 297.29; 3. Tony Schumacher, 3.730, 325.14 vs. 14. Cameron Ferre, 3.932, 313.37; 4. Steve Torrence, 3.732, 323.27 vs. 13. Scott Palmer, 3.929, 315.78; 5. Shawn Langdon, 3.741, 328.14 vs. 12. Wayne Newby, 3.802, 322.04; 6. J.R. Todd, 3.741, 325.37 vs. 11. Pat Dakin, 3.791, 320.89; 7. Antron Brown, 3.742, 320.89 vs. 10. Clay Millican, 3.767, 319.82; 8. Richie Crampton, 3.744, 320.51 vs. 9. Leah Pritchett, 3.765, 323.74.

Did Not Qualify: 17. Terry McMillen, 3.994, 267.59; 18. Paul Noakes, 4.403, 210.57.

Funny Car — 1. Tommy Johnson Jr., Dodge Charger, 3.876, 323.43 vs. 16. Bob Gilbertson, Chevy Monte Carlo, 6.592, 104.19; 2. Ron Capps, Charger, 3.878, 324.20 vs. 15. John Hale, Charger, 6.010, 194.30; 3. John Force, Chevy Camaro, 3.881, 331.04 vs. 14. Dave Richards, Ford Mustang, 4.115, 309.56; 4. Alexis DeJoria, Toyota Camry, 3.887, 324.67 vs. 13. John Bojec, Toyota Solara, 4.016, 292.58; 5. Jack Beckman, Charger, 3.904, 327.82 vs. 12. Del Worsham, Camry, 3.963, 318.99; 6. Tim Wilkerson, Mustang, 3.911, 323.97 vs. 11. Chad Head, Camry, 3.956, 320.05; 7. Robert Hight, Camaro, 3.912, 323.66 vs. 10. Cruz Pedregon, Camry, 3.940, 318.54; 8. Courtney Force, Camaro, 3.934, 322.81 vs. 9. Matt Hagan, Charger, 3.940, 323.81.

Pro Stock — 1. Greg Anderson, Chevy Camaro, 6.578, 210.50 vs. 16. Alan Prusiensky, Dodge Dart, 6.751, 204.88; 2. Jason Line, Camaro, 6.581, 210.44 vs. 15. Shane Tucker, Camaro, 6.732, 207.30; 3. Vincent Nobile, Camaro, 6.593, 210.28 vs. 14. Curt Steinbach, Camaro, 6.723, 206.04; 4. Shane Gray, Camaro, 6.595, 210.37 vs. 13. John Gaydosh Jr, Chevrolet Camaro, 6.699, 206.83; 5. Alex Laughlin, Camaro, 6.597, 210.47 vs. 12. Kenny Delco, Camaro, 6.657, 208.42; 6. Allen Johnson, Dart, 6.603, 209.04 vs. 11. Jeg Coughlin, Dart, 6.651, 208.17; 7. Bo Butner, Camaro, 6.606, 210.11 vs. 10. Matt Hartford, Camaro, 6.641, 208.36; 8. Drew Skillman, Camaro, 6.614, 209.79 vs. 9. Chris McGaha, Camaro, 6.641, 209.10.

Did Not Qualify: 17. Erica Enders, 14.169, 207.56.

Pro Stock Motorcycle — 1. Angelle Sampey, Buell, 6.815, 196.02 vs. 16. Mark Paquette, Buell, 6.993, 191.13; 2. Eddie Krawiec, Harley-Davidson, 6.843, 194.60 vs. 15. Karen Stoffer, Suzuki, 6.973, 193.57; 3. Jerry Savoie, Suzuki, 6.850, 195.39 vs. 14. Steve Johnson, Suzuki, 6.968, 192.49; 4. Chip Ellis, Buell, 6.855, 195.03 vs. 13. Shawn Gann, Buell, 6.967, 192.08; 5. LE Tonglet, Suzuki, 6.867, 195.96 vs. 12. Cory Reed, Buell, 6.913, 192.66; 6. Andrew Hines, Harley-Davidson, 6.869, 194.02 vs. 11. Melissa Surber, Buell, 6.905, 192.58; 7. Jim Underdahl, Suzuki, 6.871, 195.65 vs. 10. Matt Smith, Victory, 6.878, 194.21; 8. Hector Arana Jr, Buell, 6.876, 194.86 vs. 9. Hector Arana, Buell, 6.877, 195.73.

Did Not Qualify: 17. Mike Berry, 7.014, 191.10; 18. Angie Smith, 7.022, 189.07; 19. Chaz Kennedy, 7.069, 187.31; 20. David Hope, 7.170, 186.02; 21. Lance Bonham, 7.246, 182.11; 22. Brian Bognuda, 7.255, 182.26.

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