Doug Kalitta registered a 3.688-second pass on his final qualifying run of the weekend to jump up to third, while fellow Toyota Top Fuel drivers Richie Crampton and Antron Brown placed fourth and fifth, respectively, for Sunday’s NHRA Nationals at Maple Grove Raceway, the first round of the NHRA Countdown to the Championship playoffs.
The three Toyota drivers were separated by just .001 seconds as both Crampton and Brown registered 3.689-second passes, but Crampton won the tie-breaker on speed as he ran a 328.14 mph pass compared to Brown’s 323.81.
Kalitta, who entered the Countdown in second place, earned bonus points for finishing in the top three in three of the four qualifying sessions. He will face Smax Smith in round one of eliminations.
Crampton ran three consecutive passes of 3.725 or better to close out qualifying and is set to match up with Dan Mercier to open race day.
Brown earned three points for being quickest in Friday’s opening session. He races Terry McMillen to open the Countdown. Brown enters race day third in points.
In Funny Car, Shawn Langdon moved into the top half of the field on his final qualifying run with a 3.910-second pass at 328.86 mph to place eighth in his Camry. He will go head-to-head with Matt Hagan in round one.
Defending Funny Car champion J.R. Todd earned one bonus point in the first round on Friday with a 3.916-second run and eventually placed tenth. He’ll square off against Tommy Johnson in eliminations.
Mike McIntire rounded out the Toyota Funny Car contingent in 16th. He matches up against pole-sitter Ron Capps on Sunday.
Today’s qualifying can be seen tonight on FS1’s Saturday Nitro Live at 9:00 p.m., with a re-air at midnight. Sunday’s Mello Yello Drag Racing Series eliminations will be televised live on FS1 beginning at 2:00 p.m.
|Toyota Drivers||Maple Grove Qualifying|
|Funny Car||Starting Position (Opponent)|
|Shawn Langdon||8th (Hagan)|
|J.R. Todd||10th (Johnson)|
|Mike McIntire||16th (Capps)|
|Top Fuel||Starting Position (Opponent)|
|Doug Kalitta||3rd (Smith)|
|Richie Crampton||4th (Mercier)|
|Antron Brown||5th (McMillen)|
Toyota Session-by-Session Qualifying
|Funny Car||Q1 Time/Speed||Q2 Time/Speed||Q3 Time/Speed||Q4 Time/Speed|
|Kalitta||3.695/331.45 (2)||11.591/80.50||3.711/330.88 (1)||3.688/332.59 (1)|
(#) – Bonus Points Earned
Bold= Driver’s quickest pass during qualifying
Toyota Racing PR