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Doug Kalitta Takes No. 1 Qualifier and Turns Focus to Gatornationals

2022 NHRA Arizona Nationals

Doug Kalitta and the Mac Tools Toyota Top Fuel dragster made big strides through two days of qualifying at the NHRA Arizona Nationals. On Friday night in the opening session of qualifying Kalitta and his Mac Tools team set the tone for the weekend running to the provisional No. 1 spot with a career best pass of 3.657 second at 330.39 mph. For the veteran Top Fuel driver, it was the 51stNo. 1 qualifier of his illustrious career. He earned three valuable qualifying bonus points and more importantly it put pressure on the rest of the class to step up to the Mac Tools’ level of performance.

On Saturday Kalitta continued to impress with the third quickest pass of the second qualifying session. He added an additional qualifying bonus point and set his Mac Tools dragster up for a successful race day. By holding onto the No. 1 qualifier Kalitta drew a first round pairing with Rob Passey.

Kalitta has enjoyed years of success at the Arizona Nationals including posting the fourth most round wins at this event in Top Fuel. This is the fifth time Kalitta has qualified No. 1 at this event. His career best elapsed time this weekend eclipsed his previous career best which ironically was from this event in 2020.

Passey also posted his career best elapsed time and speed coming into the first round. Kalitta with the starting line advantage but is up smoke right at the hit. He pedals it a few times trying to get it to hook up, but he is unsuccessful as Passey was on a smooth run to grab his first career round win.

“Everyone out here is a tough customer,” said Kalitta. “We are going to put this race behind us and focus on the positives. We made it into the Pep Boys race and got the No. 1 qualifier. We want a lot more and we will keep working towards that goal.”

Kalitta and the Mac Tools team will leave Arizona and turn their focus to the NHRA Gatornationals and both the national event and the Pep Boys Allstar Callout specialty race. Kalitta’s No. 1 qualifying effort catapulted him into the event as the No. 7 qualifier and chance to win the $80,000 first prize check.

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