KALITTA EARNS 50th CAREER WIN AT MAPLE GROVE
Toyota continues Top Fuel dominance with sixth consecutive category victory
MOHNTON, Pa. (September 18, 2023) – Doug Kalitta earned his long-awaited 50th career win in an extended Pep Boys NHRA Nationals at Maple Grove Raceway by taking home the Wally Trophy in Top Fuel. The milestone victory also came in Kalitta’s 110th career final round appearance.
Now third in the Top Fuel points standings, Kalitta defeated fellow Toyota competitor Steve Torrence in a hotly contested final Monday afternoon after final runs of the event were postponed due to inclement weather. Kalitta‘s Top Fuel victory earns Toyota its sixth consecutive win in the category, which began at Pacific Raceways in Seattle earlier this season. Toyota drivers have now won 15 Wally Trophies across Top Fuel and Funny Car in 2023.
In Funny Car, Ron Capps advanced to the weekend’s semifinals where he came up short against eventual event winner, Robert Hight. Capps heads to zMAX Dragway in Charlotte this week second in the Funny Car points standings, looking for a repeat victory in the Carolina Nationals as his push continues for a second consecutive Funny Car title.
Toyota Post-Race Recap
NHRA Camping World Drag Racing Series
Maple Grove Raceway
Race 16 of 21
TOYOTA TOP FUEL FINISHING POSITIONS
|Doug Kalitta||Mac Tools Toyota Top Fuel Dragster||Winner||W 3.658 v. 3.783 (J. Hart) W 3.692 v. 3.733 (S. Langdon) Holeshot Win 3.684 v. 3.677 (L. Pruett) W 3.662 v. 3.695(S. Torrence)|
|Steve Torrence||Capco Contractors Toyota Top Fuel Dragster||Finalist||W 3.701 v. 3.789 (M. Salinas) W 3.690 v. 3.728 (A. Brown) W 3.685 v. 4.420 (T. Schumacher) L 3.695 v. 3.662(D. Kalitta)|
|Justin Ashley||Phillips Connect Toyota Top Fuel Dragster||Second Round||W 6.496 v. No Run (S. Farley) L 3.707 v. 3.716 (Holeshot Win – T. Schumacher)|
|Antron Brown||Matco Tools Toyota Top Fuel Dragster||Second Round||W 3.758 v. 3.771 (D. Foley) L 3.728 v. 3.690(S. Torrence)|
|Shawn Langdon||Kalitta Air Careers Toyota Top Fuel Dragster||Second Round||W 3.723 v. 6.159 (D. Mercier) L 3.733 v. 3.692 (D. Kalitta)|
TOYOTA FUNNY CAR FINISHING POSITIONS
|Ron Capps||NAPA Auto Parts Toyota GR Supra Funny Car||Semi-Finals||W 3.903 v. 6.589 (D. Richards) W 3.899 v. 3.953 (J. Force) L 11.331 v. 3.861 (R. Hight)|
|Alexis DeJoria||Bandero Tequila Toyota GR Supra Funny Car||Second Round||W 3.879 v. 4.864 (B. Alexander) L 3.904 v. 3.867 (B. Tasca III)|
|J.R. Todd||DHL Toyota GR Supra Funny Car||First Round||L 3.930 v. 3.871 (M. Hagan)|
DOUG KALITTA, Mac Tools Toyota Top Fuel Dragster, Kalitta Motorsports
TF Final Result: Winner
It’s been 1,079 days since your last win. How much did you miss the elation of winning?
“Yeah, this is huge. Connie (Kalitta, team owner) has always had my back. I love and appreciate that guy and how much he does for the three cars we have out here. Getting a win with Alan Johnson (crew chief) has been huge on my list. Can’t thank Brian Husen (co-crew chief), Mac Tools, Toyota and all of the distributors with Mac Tools enough for continuing to support this effort. It’s a great way to start the Countdown to the Championship. Apparently, this car wanted to get off the trailer and prove what it could do. I’m really fortunate to have the guys build a car like this.”
RON CAPPS, NAPA Auto Parts Toyota GR Supra Funny Car, Ron Capps Motorsports
FC Final Result: Semi-finals
How would you describe the day and weekend overall?
“Well, if the event in Maple Grove Raceway is any indication on how the Countdown to the Championship is, it’s going to be one heck of a ride. Obviously, we had a great weekend qualifying second. Guido (Dean Antonelli, crew chief) and our NAPA Auto Parts team did a great job going down the track all four runs. We put great times on the board and great speeds. Unfortunately, we didn’t get to the final round, and we had to wait until Monday, which is tough on teams, especially on back-to-back weekends like we have here and then in Charlotte. But, that’s why I brag about the get-up-and-go of our team. We never quit. We got through some tough rounds to get to the semifinals, and it’s a great start to the Countdown. If we can’t win, we can get solid points from a weekend like this. I’m looking forward to getting back on track here in a few days back at the zMAX Carolina Nationals. It’s going to be a busy weekend for us, obviously with a lot of our Toyota folks being there, so I’m looking forward to showing off for them. Being the returning champion of the race, it’s nice to roll back into the event with that and the staff over there know how to treat the racers, so looking forward to that.”
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