Kalitta, J. Drive, Enders quick on Friday at NHRA Carolina Nationals
Seeking to sweep each races at zMAX Dragway this season, legendary Humorous Automobile driver John Drive rolled to the provisional No. 1 place on Friday in Charlotte on the 14th annual Betway NHRA Carolina Nationals.
Doug Kalitta (High Gas) and Erica Enders (Professional Inventory) are additionally provisional No. 1 qualifiers on the second of six races within the Countdown to the Championship through the 2022 NHRA Tenting World Drag Racing Collection season.
Drive, who has received the four-wide race on the observe the previous two years, simply missed the observe file on the second race within the playoffs, going 3.854s at 330.47mph in his PEAK Chevrolet Camaro SS. If it holds it could be the 16-time world champion’s second No. 1 qualifier this yr and one hundred and sixty fifth in his profession. Drive has solid a powerful rhythm on the state-of-the-art facility in recent times and is making an attempt to make a transfer within the factors standings as properly. He’s at the moment fourth in factors and is seeking to make an enormous push this weekend.
“It’s an excellent observe to run numbers like this, however there’s a stack of them proper behind me that may do the identical, and we’re going to have circumstances like this tomorrow,” Drive mentioned. “We’ve obtained staff and it’s coming round, we’ve obtained plenty of work to do. They had been all there tomorrow, however a minimum of we obtained to shine for one night time. Our staff had an excellent weekend final weekend with Robert and Austin each profitable, and we’re again within the battle within the Countdown.”
Three different standouts carefully adopted proper behind Drive, as factors chief Hight, defending world champ Ron Capps and Matt Hagan all went 3.86s. Hagan is at the moment second along with his run of three.861s at 329.99mph, with Hight and Capps going 3.864s and three.866s, respectively. Bob Tasca III rounded out the highest 5 with a 3.876s.
Seeking to get into the High Gas championship hunt with a late-season run – and in addition decide up a milestone victory alongside the way in which – Kalitta was the one driver to dip into the three.60s on Friday, rocketing to the highest along with his run of three.694s at 326.56mph in his Mac Instruments dragster. Kalitta is looking for his second No. 1 qualifier this season, but additionally his fiftieth profession win – and first victory since 2020 – as he seems to ramp up his 2022 efficiency. The veteran hasn’t been to a last spherical but this yr, however timing is every thing within the Countdown to the Championship and Kalitta seemed robust on Friday underneath the lights at zMAX Dragway.
“I all the time love coming right here and the circumstances had been excellent,” Kalitta mentioned. “We had plenty of confidence in that run, and I used to be actually pleased it ran what it did. We’re getting all the way down to the wire and we’re making an attempt to go rounds. It was an excellent effort by the staff and the automotive stayed within the groove properly. It was fairly spectacular with all of the side-by-side runs and we’re trying ahead to getting after it tomorrow. All yr lengthy, we’ve tried to maintain bettering and I believe we’ve stumbled upon some issues. This could be an superior time to begin going rounds and have a constant automotive.”
Competing within the playoffs for the primary time, defending occasion winner and second-year driver Josh Hart is at the moment second due to his 3.702s at 328.38mph, whereas factors chief Justin Ashley is true behind with a 3.703s at 330.72mph.
Enders delivered a powerful increase to open Professional Inventory qualifying on Friday in Charlotte, rolling to No. 1 by a substantial margin along with her 6.513s at 210.93mph in her Melling Efficiency/Elite Motorsports Chevrolet Camaro. The following closest to her was defending world champ Greg Anderson, who went 6.535s at 209.82mph, however Enders remained a step forward as she closes in on her fourth No. 1 place this season and twenty seventh in her profession. After a dominant efficiency final weekend in Studying to open the Countdown to the Championship, Enders, the factors chief and four-time world champ, stored up her spectacular tempo to open up the race weekend at zMAX Dragway.
“This can be a dream come true for me,” Enders mentioned. “The drive for 5 continues to be alive and we’re going to attempt to proceed to execute the perfect we are able to. It undoubtedly felt good once I let the clutch out. All these factors matter within the Countdown and our objective is to build up as many as we are able to. We did that in Studying and we’re going to attempt to hold our foot on their throats. We’re off to begin , however now we have 5 races left and we wish to capitalize on each second. We’ve got to make these 5 races rely and see what occurs.”
Anderson, who received in Indy to shut the common season, sits second whereas his KB Racing teammate, Dallas Glenn, is third after his go of 6.537s at 210.50mph.
Qualifying continues at 1:30 p.m. ET on Saturday on the Betway NHRA Carolina Nationals at zMAX Dragway.