The final day of qualifying for the 15th annual Betway NHRA Carolina Nationals was a rain-drenched affair that concluded under the lights at zMAX Dragway, and KB Titan Racing (KBT) stood tall amongst their competitors. Greg Anderson, driving the HendrickCars.com Chevrolet Camaro, is the most winning active Pro Stock driver at the famed facility, and he is aiming to bring in yet another Charlotte title with his charging hot rod.
Camrie Caruso, wheeling the Tequila Comisario Chevrolet Camaro, landed the No. 2 spot in Charlotte to build upon the low qualifier award she earned at the Winternationals earlier this year. Her KBT teammates rallied to utilize the abundance of horsepower at their fingertips and claim a slew of coveted bonus points.
Back-to-back Indy and Reading winner Matt Hartford, the incoming points leader, scored three valuable marks in his KBT-powered Total Seal/Bass Pro Shops Chevrolet, while five-time world champion Anderson claimed two bonus points. RAD Torque Systems Camaro pilot Dallas Glenn also claimed two bonus marks in his quest to get the points lead that he held most of the season back in hand.
Anderson remained steady in Charlotte qualifying following a start from the No. 4 position at Maple Grove Raceway last weekend. Here in Charlotte, he locked down the No. 5 spot to set up a first-round meeting with rookie Jerry Tucker, a driver he has raced twice before in 2023 and come out successful in both previous meetings. Three-time Charlotte winner Anderson is gunning for a fourth trophy at a racetrack that he has called home since it opened. The KB Titan Racing engine shop is just a short drive from zMAX Dragway in Mooresville.
“It always means a lot to me to race here,” said Anderson. “It means even more now with HendrickCars.com on the door of my Chevrolet Camaro – you want to do well at every race, especially during the Countdown to the Championship, but you want to put a smile on Rick Hendrick’s face and make all of these great people who come here to support us happy. This is home for them, too, and there would be nothing better than celebrating with them on Sunday. We’ve got a car that can do it. We need this win.”
With a start from the No. 2 position, Caruso and her Tequila Comisario Chevrolet will square off with Chris McGaha for the first time this season. The two most recently met in the first round at Bristol in 2022. There, Caruso also qualified No. 2 with her KB Titan-powered Chevrolet and defeated McGaha in round one. The third-generation racer entered the event at zMAX Dragway situated in the No. 9 position and picked up a pair of bonus points to aid her effort to climb in the standings.
The Charlotte facility is a favorite for Koretsky, who earned the first win of his career at zMAX Dragway at this very event two years ago. Koretsky has not won since then, but he’s been very, very close – and he’s primed for it. One week ago, he was runner-up to KB Titan Racing teammate Matt Harford at Maple Grove Raceway. Koretsky, driving the Lucas Oil/Talladega Light Chevy, will race KBT teammate Deric Kramer in the opening act, marking the second time this season that the two have come up against one another during eliminations. Koretsky ousted Kramer in a very close race in Brainerd.
Taking over the Pro Stock points lead at the Pep Boys NHRA Nationals in Reading last weekend was a milestone for Hartford, who ended the regular season with a spectacular showing at the U.S. Nationals. He ran the table there, but at Maple Grove, he and his team struggled in qualifying. They recovered remarkably after a strenuous Saturday evening rally, and won the race in dramatic fashion. Hartford’s three bonus points during qualifying allowed him to keep a bit of a gap between the No. 2 driver in the points, and he’ll be looking to lengthen the lead with a strong Sunday in Charlotte. He and the Total Seal/Bass Pro Shops Chevrolet Camaro will race Fernando Cuadra Jr. in the first round – the driver Hartford defeated for the Indy trophy just a few weeks ago.
Deric Kramer won the fall race in Charlotte in 2019, and he is eager to get back to victory lane in the Michael Hiner-tuned GetBioFuel.com Chevrolet Camaro. The last two races have been unkind to Kramer, but the five-time Pro Stock winner has been known to fly under the radar, then strike hard and fast. Kramer has one win on the season – claimed at this racetrack at the Four-Wide Nationals this past spring, and he has reached the final round on two additional occasions.
After leading the points through much of the regular season, Dallas Glenn and the RAD Torque Systems Chevrolet have not had the performance desired to start the Countdown to the Championship. Glenn has had a strong racecar and been fierce behind the wheel in 2023, and he is chomping at the bit to race Troy Coughlin Jr. in the first round. The two have gone head-to-head in eliminations four times so far this year, most recently in the Denver final. Glenn leads KB Titan Racing with four wins in seven final rounds on the year. His first win took place at zMAX Dragway at the spring race in 2021.
He’s new to Pro Stock, but Eric Latino has shown that his many years behind the wheel – most recently and lengthily in Pro Mod – have given him the confidence and stature to do great things. The driver of the GESI-branded Chevrolet has had bursts of brilliance on the starting line in the (now) four events in which he has competed, and he’ll be looking for win lights on Sunday alongside his KBT compadres. Latino earned a start from the No. 14 position in a field that left four good drivers on the outside. In a repeat of round one at the U.S. Nationals, he’ll race young Aaron Stanfield in the raceday opener.
Eliminations for the Betway NHRA Carolina Nationals, the second of six NHRA Countdown to the Championship playoff events, will begin at 11:00 a.m. ET on Sunday at zMAX Dragway.