TODD QUALIFIES FOURTH; PEDREGON, KALITTA FIFTH AT CHARLOTTE NHRA
CHARLOTTE, NC – J.R. Todd continued his impressive qualifying run with a fourth, while Cruz Pedregon and Doug Kalitta each placed fifth to lead Toyota in qualifying for Sunday’s NHRA Carolina Nationals at the zMAX Dragway in Charlotte.
Todd registered two runs in the 3.8s in earning two bonus points on the weekend. The DHL Toyota Camry driver has now run in the top-five in 10 consecutive Funny Car qualifying sessions. Todd opens Sunday’s eliminations with Jonnie Lindberg.
“All the guys that are working on the car have done a really good job putting this DHL/Wix Filters Toyota together,” said Todd, who enters eliminations in second-place in the Countdown to the Championship playoffs. “The crew chiefs are doing a good job making the right tune-up decisions. We’re going up there and making smart runs, allowing what the track and the air conditions give you. It’s a lot of fun to drive that’s for sure.”
Right behind Todd in the Funny Car ranks is Cruz Pedregon, who registered a pair of 3.90 qualifying runs. Pedregon won the Charlotte Four-Wide Nationals earlier this season. He will face Courtney Force in the opening round.
Shawn Langdon qualified 11th and will match-up with Matt Hagan on Sunday.
Kalitta ran three passes of 3.735 or better, saving his best for last with a 3.727 in Saturday’s final session to earn his top qualifying position since Seattle with a fifth. He is set to race Scott Palmer in the first-round.
“This Mac Tools Toyota has been really consistent all weekend long,” relayed Kalitta, who won the fall race at zMAX Dragway last year. “We enjoy racing here in Charlotte and feel like we have a good chance to bring home another win this weekend.”
Richie Crampton placed 10th and squares off with Leah Pritchett in round one, while Antron Brown was one spot behind him in 11th. Brown will race Tony Schumacher on Sunday.
Sunday’s Mello Yello Drag Racing Series eliminations show will be shown live on FS1, beginning at 2:00 p.m. (EDT).