Rain stops, records fall at fifth annual

NHRA SummitRacing.com Nationals;


Doug Kalitta turns fastest speed in NHRA history

at The Strip at LVMS



Doug Kalitta of Ann Arbor, Mich., ran the fastest speed in NHRA history ¿ 335.57 mph (4.483 sec.) ¿ during second-round qualifying for the fifth annual NHRA SummitRacing.com Nationals at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.  Amazingly, Kalitta¿s record run did not secure the No. 1 Qualifier position.  Shortly after Doug¿s pass, cousin Scott Kalitta and Brandon Bernstein ran the quickest side-by-side pairing in NHRA history ¿ 4.472 sec./333.74 mph to 4.479 sec./333.66 mph ¿ to capture the first and second qualifying berths.  Scott¿s pass of 4.472 sec. also set a new track record.


Rain completely washed out Friday¿s program and Saturday dawned to another downpour.  The rain subsided late in the morning and track crews went to work on the quarter mile.  By 12:30 p.m., the track was dry and the first round of Pro Stock qualifying was in the staging lanes.  With two of their four qualifying sessions washed away, crews tuned in earnest to make the 16-car fields.  The desperation and extra tweaking paid off in spades as records fell in all three NHRA professional categories.


In the Pro Stock category, Greg Anderson¿s first of two qualifying runs never was recorded as debris lodged in a timing beam in his lane and negated his attempt.  Anderson, who is considered the hometown team because his car owner and sponsor (Ken Black and Vegas General Construction) are from Las Vegas, pulled to the starting line for his second and final qualifying attempt and drove straight to the head of the class.  Anderson¿s 2004 Pontiac set new track E.T. and top speed records: 6.812 sec./202.03 mph.  To ice the cake, teammate Jason Line drove the second Vegas General Construction Pontiac to the No. 2 qualifying position with a pass of 6.835 sec./201.49 mph.  V Gaines qualified for his first NHRA national event this year, just making the cut in the 16th position.  Those who failed to qualify for the 16-car Pro Stock field included: Mark Whisnant, Ron Krisher, Jerry Haas, Darrell Alderman, Mike Edwards, Ben Watson, Jim Yates, Barry Grant, Troy Coughlin, Fernando Cuadra, Tony Rizzo, Jim Cunningham and Gordie Rivera Jr.


In the Funny Car ranks, Tony Pedregon set new track records (4.747 sec./321.88 mph) in his Quaker State Monte Carlo.  Only one car, Tommy Johnson Jr., failed to qualify.


Three cars failed to qualify in the Top Fuel dragster category.  Rhonda Hartman-Smith was plagued by wheelstands in both runs and Don Sosenka and Rob Passey failed to generate the necessary speed.


Sunday¿s pre-race ceremonies begin at 10:30 a.m., with the first round of eliminations at 11 a.m.