Kalitta, who earned his third consecutive number one qualifier at the track on Saturday, defeated Troy Buff, Tony Schumacher and Leah Pritchett before losing in the finals by two one-thousandths of a second to Steve Torrence on a hole-shot.
“It’s definitely disappointing to come up that close and not get the win for Mac Tools, Toyota and all of our great supporters,” said Kalitta. “It felt great to run that strong all weekend. We were the number one qualifier and ran the overall quick time in three of the four passes today. We’re headed in the right direction and I am confident the win is coming soon.”
NORWALK, OH – Doug Kalitta ran a 3.709-second pass to set a new track E.T. record and earn number one qualifier honors in Top Fuel to lead Toyota in preparation for Sunday’s Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Nationals at the Summit Motorsports Park in Norwalk, Ohio.
It is Kalitta’s first pole of the season and his third consecutive at Summit Motorsports Park and fourth overall in Norwalk. It marks his 48th career Top Fuel number one qualifier.
“Fortunately, Jim (Oberhofer) and the Mac Tools Toyota guys had a great tune-up for the track,” said Kalitta, who won at the Ohio track in 2015. “We got to about half track and it was really pulling. I knew it was on a good run. This is our home track and we’ll be ready tomorrow.”
HOME SWEET HOME – Three-time Top Fuel World Champion Antron Brown will be returning to his home track this weekend for the NHRA Summernationals in Englishtown. Brown, a third-generation drag racer, was still in a stroller when he first went to Old Bridge Township Raceway Park as a toddler. He began racing motocross at the track just a few years later and learned the inside-outs of the sport growing up watching his father and uncle race. He learned well, winning three championships and currently has the fourth most Top Fuel wins of all time – including a mile-stone 50th Mello Yello Series win at Englishtown in 2015.
WORSHAM TEAM STARTING TO GEL – When Del Worsham moved from Kalitta Motorsports to his family run Worsham-Fink Racing Funny Car team in November, it was inevitable that the rebuilding team would go through some growing pains. Approximately one-third of the way through the season, Worsham and his Lucas Oil Toyota Camry are making progress. After introducing a new Camry at Topeka, he has earned round wins at each of the last two events and has now moved into tenth place, currently occupying the final spot in the Countdown to the Championship playoffs.
BROWN LOOKS TO REPEAT IN NEW HAMPSHIRE – Antron Brown will be looking for his second consecutive win at the New England Nationals this week and his third victory of the 2017 season. Fresh off a win at Topeka, Brown has now registered 32 wins over the last five-plus seasons – double the total of the next highest Top Fuel driver – to go along with three world championships.
LAST YEAR AT EPPING – Antron Brown took the lead at the light and led the entire way to beat Steve Torrence (3.769-3.778) in the Top Fuel final at the 2016 NHRA New England Nationals. The win capped a bizarre day for Brown as he received a bye in the first round after qualifying on the pole. He then saw his opponents in both the second-round, Shawn Langdon, and semi-finals, Tony Schumacher, red light on the Christmas tree before matching up with number two qualifier Torrence.
KALITTA MOTORSPORTS LOOKS TO MAKE IT AN EVEN DOZEN IN TOPEKA – Kalitta Motorsports Top Fuel drivers Doug Kalitta, Shawn Langdon and Troy Coughlin, Jr., are all competing this weekend to give the team its 12th Top Fuel victory at Heartland Park Topeka. No team has won more at Topeka and no driver had won more than the late Scott Kalitta, who earned six victories at the track. Both defending champ Doug Kalitta (2016 and 2006) and David Grubnic registered a pair of wins, while Hillary Will rounds out Kalitta’s Topeka winners. While not having won at Topeka for his new team, Langdon also has a win at Heartland Park on his resume, having taken home the Wally in 2013.
LAST YEAR AT TOPEKA – Doug Kalitta defeated Antron Brown in a pedal-fest to win an all-Toyota Top Fuel final at the 2016 NHRA Kansas Nationals at Heartland Park Topeka. It marked Kalitta’s third straight victory.
Kalitta defeated Chris Karamesines and Clay Millican before falling to Tony Schumacher in the semi-finals. In the semis, Kalitta had the advantage at the starting line before hazing the tires around the 400-foot mark. He reached the 600-win milestone with his second-round victory over Millican.
Team Kalitta announces immediate expansion with Global Electronic Technology-sponsored dragster for former Champion Langdon
YPSILANTI, MI – Kalitta is pleased to announce an expansion to a third full-time Top Fuel dragster team beginning with the NHRA Mello Yello Series’ next event in Houston. The machine will be backed by Global Electronic Technology with 2013 Top Fuel world champion Shawn Langdon as the driver.
“I’m really excited about the opportunity to drive the Global Electronic Technology dragster,” said the 34-year-old Langdon. “It is awesome to see new companies like Global Electronic Technology come in to drag racing and I am excited to be a part of it.”
“It’s been a tough year so far with me sitting on the sidelines. It has been the first time since my rookie year in 2009 that I haven’t been able to attend the NHRA races,” Langdon continued. “I cannot thank Connie and Jim O enough for the opportunity. Kalitta has top quality cars that contend for wins and championships, so I feel that this partnership will work well. I also want to thank Don (Schumacher) and everybody at Don Schumacher Racing for bringing me in when I didn’t have a ride and making me feel like part of the family. We did everything we could to find adequate funding, and I want to thank Don for keeping me on the payroll throughout the process of trying to find sponsorship.”