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NHRA: Kansas – Kalitta takes third straight Top Fuel win

Doug Kalitta came into the weekend on a two-event winning streak in Top Fuel. But Brittany Force set a new national record in qualifying at 3.676 sec. Kalitta carried a 70-point lead on Force, with Antron Brown another 5 points back. Matt Hagan put down a 3.862-sec qualifying run in Kansas to set a new Funny Car record. Courtney Force led Jack Beckman by 32 points and Tim Wilkerson by 47 coming into the event. Jason Line came into the weekend with 7 straight Pro Stock finals appearances (and four wins) in the first 7 events of the year.

Clay Millican took out Terry McMillan in Round 1 with a .067-sec reaction time and an ET of 3.783. Force ran an uncontested 3.707 sec in a first-round bye. Kalitta beat Rob Passey with a .023 reaction time. Brown beat J.R. Todd.

Wilkerson topped John Hale in Round 1 behind a .081, 3.935. Hagan beat Brian Stewart with a .066 RT. Beckman took out Dale Creasy Jr. with a 3.933 ET. Force beat Bob Tasca III. Defending champ Del Worsham took out John Force with a .047 hole shot. Robert Hight beat Ron Capps with a 3.922.

Erica Enders-Stevens’ .021 RT took out Drew Skillman. Vincent Nobile took out Chris McGaha with a hole-shot win. Shane Gray’s 6.653 ET topped Jeg Coughlin Jr. Greg Anderson beat V. Gaines with a 6.645. Line took out Mark Hogan.

Kalitta beat Millican in Top Fuel Round 2. Brown beat Force on a red-light disqualification.

Wilkerson took out Worsham in Funny Car. Hagan topped Hight. Force beat Alexis DeJoria.

Allen Johnson topped Bo Butner with .013 RT in Pro Stock. Line bested Enders-Stevens.

Semi-final action saw Kalitta beat Steve Torrence. Brown topped Richie Crampton.

Beckman bested Wilkerson, who veered sharply right just down track from the starting line, colliding with the wall before spinning and crossing to the opposite wall. The run was Beckman’s seventh-straight sub-4 sec pass, a first in a single race weekend.

Kalitta raced to his third consecutive Top Fuel victory in the end, navigating an ill-handling race car to turn on the win light in the final round at the NHRA Kansas Nationals.Hagan and Line (Pro Stock) joined Kalitta in the winner’s circle. Kalitta’s Mac Tools dragster lost traction at the hit of the throttle and got sideways two times as he worked the steering wheel to cross the finish line in front of fAntron Brown.

“It’s one of those deals you take what you can get as quick as you can do it,” said Kalitta, who extended his series points lead to 95 over second-place Brown with the victory. “I don’t think my car ever hooked up. It was exciting. These wins don’t come easy, that’s for sure. I am just real happy to do it here at Topeka.”

Hagan’s Funny Car also lost traction early in the final round, but he managed to get on and off the throttle just enough to finish in front of Jack Beckman in a rematch of the Atlanta final from the previous weekend. “It was wild,” Hagan said of the final round. “It’s important to put everything in perspective. We set world records for e.t and speed, and then to come back out here to win this race is a tribute to my guys and their hard work. My butt was puckered pretty good on that last run.”

Line captured his fifth win of the season in his eighth consecutive final-round appearance, outrunning teammate Greg Anderson in the final round. “It was the perfect weekend,” said Line, who outran Shane Gray to advance to the final from the No. 1 qualifying spot. “It was an exciting weekend for me, and we didn’t mess it up. It’s a big deal to me. It’s nice to win at some place you’ve never done well. I really can’t stop smiling right now. There were times I had good cars here but didn’t drive well. This weekend everything came together.”

The NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series continues June 3-5 with the NHRA New England Nationals at New England Dragway in Epping.

Related stories
Friday: Force, Hagan, Line lead quick first day in Topeka
Saturday: Force, Hagan, Line take No. 1 spots in Topeka

 

2016 NHRA MELLO YELLO DRAG RACING SERIES STANDINGS

Updated 5/22/2016 (Following the eighth of 24 events; season victories in parentheses)

 

TOP FUEL

Place

Driver

Points

1.

Doug Kalitta, Ypsilanti, Mich., Mac Tools dragster (3)

710

2.

Antron Brown, Indianapolis, Matco Tools dragster (1)

615

3.

Brittany Force, Yorba Linda, Calif., Monster Energy dragster (2)

580

4.

Steve Torrence, Kilgore, Texas, Capco Contactors dragster (1)

557

5t.

Clay Millican, Drummonds, Tenn., Denso/Great Clips dragster

440

5t.

J.R. Todd, Indianapolis, SealMaster dragster

440

7.

Richie Crampton, Indianapolis, Lucas Oil dragster

418

8.

Tony Schumacher, Austin, Texas, U.S. Army dragster

403

9.

Shawn Langdon, Indianapolis, Red Fuel/Sandvik dragster

346

10.

Terry McMillen, Elkhart, Ind., Amalie Motor Oil dragster

310

 

FUNNY CAR

1.

Courtney Force, Yorba Linda, Calif., Traxxas Chevy Camaro (1)

601

2.

Jack Beckman, Norco, Calif., Infinite Hero Dodge Charger

589

3.

Tim Wilkerson, Springfield, Ill., Levi, Ray & Shoup Ford Mustang (2)

554

4.

Matt Hagan, Christiansburg, Va., Mopar Express Lane/Rocky Boots Dodge Charger (2)

511

5.

Robert Hight, Yorba Linda, Calif., Auto Club Chevy Camaro (1)

510

6.

Ron Capps, Carlsbad, Calif., NAPA Auto Parts Dodge Charger (1)

504

7.

Del Worsham, Villa Park, Calif., DHL Toyota Camry

485

8.

Alexis DeJoria, Austin, Texas, Tequila Patron Toyota Camry (1)

451

9.

John Force, Yorba Linda, Calif., Peak Chevy Camaro

448

10.

Tommy Johnson Jr., Avon, Ind., Make-A-Wish Dodge Charger

404

 

PRO STOCK

1.

Jason Line, Mooresville, N.C., Summit Racing Equipment Chevy Camaro (5)

942

2.

Greg Anderson, Mooresville, N.C., Summit Racing Equipment Chevy Camaro (3)

816

3.

Bo Butner, Floyd Knobs, Ind., Jim Butner Auto Chevy Camaro

614

4t.

Allen Johnson, Greeneville, Tenn., Marathon Petroleum Dodge Dart

465

4t.

Drew Skillman, Bargersville, Ind., Ray Skillman Chevy Chevy Camaro

465

6.

Chris McGaha, Odessa, Texas, Harlow Sammons of Odessa Chevy Camaro

427

7.

Vincent Nobile, Dix Hills, N.Y., Mountain View Tire Chevy Camaro

346

8.

Erica Enders, New Orleans, Elite Motorsports Dodge Dart

341

9.

Jeg Coughlin Jr., Delaware, Ohio, Magneti Marelli/JEGS Dodge Dart

339

10.

Alex Laughlin, Granbury, Texas, Gas Monkey Garage/360 Wraps Chevy Camaro

327

 

 

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