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Kalitta, Worsham, Anderson, Krawiec hold on to Norwalk qualifying leads

25 Jun 2016
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Kalitta Motorsports drivers Doug Kalitta (Top Fuel) and Del Worsham (Funny Car) swept the No. 1 qualifying positions in the nitro categories at their home track of Summit Racing Equipment Motorsports Park in Norwalk. This is the third time the team based in nearby Ypsilanti, Mich., has swept both categories.
 
Greg Anderson (Pro Stock) and Eddie Krawiec (Pro Stock Motorcycle) will also lead their respective categories into eliminations at the Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Nationals, the 12th race of the 2016 NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series season.
 
For Worsham, this is the first No. 1 qualifying position of the season and the 46th of his 540-race career. His elapsed time track record run of 3.875 seconds at 328.70 mph in his DHL Toyota Camry from Friday earned him the top position. Worsham’s Camry suffered minor damage when the parachutes failed to deploy in the final qualifying session, and he went through the sand trap at the end of the track.
 

Del Worsham

Doug Kalitta

Greg Anderson

Eddie Krawiec

“The car made a great run, but we came in with a new Toyota DHL Camry body on our car,” Worsham said. “We had a malfunction in the routing of the wiring of the cables from the levers to the parachutes, and they failed. I swatted for them twice, and when they didn’t deploy, it was all I could do to get it stopped. Luckily the damage was minimal for what it could have been.”
 
Funny Car points leader Ron Capps qualified second and will face Jeff Diehl, and Robert Hight, who qualified third, will race Brandon Welch when eliminations begin. 
 
In Top Fuel, Kalitta, racing his Mac Tools dragster, retained the No. 1 qualifying position with the 3.719 at 327.51. This is the third No. 1 qualifying position of the season for Kalitta; he has four wins and is the category points leader.
 
“It will be interesting for tomorrow as it will get a little warmer, so we will work that into our program,” Kalitta said. “Getting into the top half is real important, and that is our goal every time: to get lane choice. Just real proud of my guys on this thing.”
 
Also in Top Fuel, Antron Brown retained his No. 2 qualifying position and will face Luigi Novelli in the first round. Brittany Force will face Chris Karamesines as she aims for her third win of the season, and Richie Crampton looks to improve on his season when he will battle Leah Pritchett.
 
Anderson powered to the Pro Stock No. 1 qualifying position on Friday in his Summit Racing Equipment Chevy Camaro with a run of 6.565 at 211.26 and retained the top spot through the last two sessions. This is the fifth No. 1 qualifying position of the season for him and the 85th of his career. He will face Charlie Westcott Jr. in the first round of eliminations.
 
“We are having a ball right now, having fun racing,” Anderson said. “I love every individual race we come to. I love to have a chance to win each race we come to. It means more to me than anything to hoist that Wally on a Sunday at any racetrack we go to.”
 
During qualifying at the 12th race of the season, Anderson, who is second in the points, and teammate Jason Line, who is first, became the first racers to secure their berths into the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series Countdown to the Championship.
 
“I didn’t think it could be done this early, job No. 1 is done; we are in the big show,” said Anderson, a four-time Pro Stock world champion. “The good news is we can try a few things and experiment. We can test a few things some of the other teams can’t.”
 
Pro Stock Motorcycle points leader Krawiec, on his Vance & Hines Screamin’ Eagle Harley-Davidson, secured his fourth No. 1 qualifying position in the first five races of the season with his run of 6.822 at 195.31 that he posted during the second round of qualifying on Friday evening. This is his 31st No. 1 qualifying position of his career and third at the event that he won in 2011. He will face Chip Ellis on Sunday.
 
“I think I have a very good bike going into tomorrow,” said Krawiec. “The biggest thing I have been struggling with here is, myself and my teammate, just keeping up on the wind direction. It has been changing, and for our motorcycles, we really need to be on top of that, to make the proper chassis adjustments to go straight down the track. The knowledge and the data we have from today is going to help us tomorrow.”
 
His teammate, Andrew Hines, qualified second and will face Michael Phillips and Matt Smith, who qualified third, will face Michael Ray. 
 
Eliminations begin for the Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Nationals on Sunday at 11 a.m.

Bob Rahaim powered to the No. 1 qualifying position and a first-round victory Saturday during the NHRA J&A Service Pro Mod Drag Racing Series portion of the Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Nationals. This weekend’s Pro Mod racing, presented by the Real Pro Mod Association, at Summit Racing Equipment Motorsports Park, is the sixth of 10 Pro Mod events on the 2016 season.

Rahaim, who was the No. 1 qualifier in Bristol, raced his late-model TLC Waste Disposal Services Chevy Corvette to a 5.828-second pass at 247.16 mph in the second session on Friday for his third No. 1 qualifier of the season. He went on to defeat Jim Bell and his ’69 Camaro in the first round of eliminations. Rahaim, who has one victory and two runner-up finishes in his career, will go on to meet Steve Matusek in the quarterfinals on Sunday.

Von Smith, who is on the hunt for his first NHRA J&A Service Pro Mod Drag Racing Series win of his career, qualified No. 2 with his 5.832 pass at 246.35 in his Al-Anabi Performance late model Corvette and raced past Michael Biehle II. Smith will face Bill Glidden in the second round. Glidden defeated Eric Latino in the first round.

Mike Janis qualified third and outlasted Steven Whiteley in the first round of eliminations. Janis will face Doug Winters, who defeated Peter Farber in round one.

Reigning national champion Troy Coughlin Sr. and two-time national champ Rickie Smith will face off in the quarterfinals.

The quarterfinals of the NHRA J&A Pro Mod Drag Racing Series portion of the Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Nationals are scheduled to begin at approximately 1:30 p.m.