Racing for his first four-wide nationals event title Doug Kalitta and the Autodesk Toyota Top Fuel dragster were confident heading into race day. Over two days of qualifying at the Circle K Four-Wide Nationals Kalitta made consistent and quick runs in all four lanes at zMax Dragway. During the third qualifying session on Saturday Kalitta, a 49-time winner, posted the second quickest time of qualifying and earned two additional bonus points. The run was critical for the team considering it was closest to the race day conditions the team would see on Sunday.
In the opening session racing from lane four in the first quad Kalitta and his Autodesk 11,000-horsepower land rocket launched hard and never trailed once he moved beyond the Christmas Tree. Kalitta posted the quickest elapsed time of the first round for Top Fuel with his winning time of 3.725 seconds at 327.19 mph. Kalitta was followed across the finish line by Mike Salinas, Alex Laughlin and Doug Foley.
In the second round quad the No. 4 qualifier Kalitta was once again in lane four. His Autodesk race car was charging down the track but as it approached half-track it overpowered the track surface losing momentum. The veteran driver was forced to watch as two of his opponents reached the finish line first.
“We got a big round win in that first round and we just missed it a little in the season round,” said Kalitta. “This Autodesk Top Fuel dragster had me confident and we definitely showed we can run with anyone. We will get ready for Richmond in a couple weeks. I love racing in Charlotte and we had a great weekend with a ton of our guests in our hospitality. It was great to talk with so many people from Autodesk, Mac Tools, DHL and all of our sponsors.”
Kalitta will head to the Virginia Nationals solidly in the NHRA Camping World Drag Racing Series Top Ten.
Qualified: No. 4 (3.700 sec., 327.43 mph)
Bonus points: +2 (2nd quickest of Q3)
Qual Driver RT ET MPH
4 Doug Kalitta .056 3.725 327.19 (W)
5 Mike Salinas .087 3.765 329.34 (W)
12 Doug Foley .042 4.082 245.32
13 Alex Laughlin .105 3.806 317.27
Qual Driver RT ET MPH
4 Doug Kalitta .072 4.344 200.62
1 Justin Ashley .054 5.547 125.88
5 Mike Salinas .089 3.708 331.77 (W)
16 Cameron Ferre .072 3.924 307.44 (W)
Kalitta Motorsports PR