Kyle Koretsky came to Orlando just looking to get his Pro Stock license.
It has quickly turned into much more than that, as “Kid Chaos” has impressed right off the bat at this weekend’s Drag Illustrated World Doorslammer Nationals presented by CTech Manufacturing.
Koretsky made the required runs in testing to earn his NHRA Pro Stock license, but things have improved at a stratospheric rate.
He was the first car to run during the opening round of qualifying on Friday, going 6.513-seconds at 209.92 mph to set a killer tone for the weekend. With his dad, Kenny, on the starting line, Koretsky turned it up again on Saturday, going 6.494 at 212.39 in his KB Racing-powered Nitro Fish Camaro. It’s all happened quickly, but the newcomer is enjoying every minute of it.
“We came here, pretty much, just looking to make the six runs required by NHRA and get my license, and Jason Line, Greg Anderson, Dave Connolly, and everybody here at KB Racing put me in the right direction right off the bat,” Koretsky said. “They’re helping me kick the bad habits and learn to drive like they drive. I feel like this is a real good start, not just to the weekend, but to my career.”
Dipping into the 6.40s was impressive, but it also made Koretsky an instant contender for the $75,000 prize that will be awarded on Sunday. It put Koretsky in the top half of the field, as nine cars have reached the 6.40s through two qualifying sessions in Orlando.
But Koretsky pointed to the first qualifying session as the pivotal point of the weekend thus far. It was a solo session to kick off official racing, but the second-generation racer looked cool, calm and collected as he zipped down the track with a head-turning run.
“I definitely felt a little bit of pressure [for Q1] being the first car down the track in my first official race,” Koretsky said. “But I had all the confidence in the car and the team behind me. They’ve been wrenching on this thing all week. After we made that run [6.513, 209.92], the guys came down to the top end smiling. We sat No. 1 for a little bit, and that was a cool, cool feeling.”
Greg Anderson, his KB Racing teammate, shot past him with a massive blast of 6.474 at 213.03 later in the session, but Koretsky is firmly in the top half of what is shaping up to be a spectacular weekend.
He’ll get two more chances on Saturday to keep lowering his career-best, but Koretsky has also thinking big for Sunday. The weekend has been nothing but a huge shot of confidence, and the 30-year-old rookie is ready to throw down against all the top stars when eliminations begin at 11 a.m. on Sunday, especially with a $75,000 payday on the line.
“I achieved my goal of getting my license, but I’m not ready to go home,” Koretsky said. “We’re having a great time. I’m really enjoying it, and every run, I’m learning something different. I experienced my first tire-shake – that was cool but not cool – and I had another little error the next run, but we’re getting there. Every run, I get more confident in myself. They keep telling me to keep it up, keep doing what I’m doing, and I’ll be fine.”