Kalitta, Alexander & C. Cuadra Take Provisional No. 1 Spots at NHRA Arizona Nationals – Drag Illustrated

Prime Gas veteran Doug Kalitta is in line for his second straight No. 1 qualifier place in Phoenix, powering to the provisional high spot on Friday on the NHRA Arizona Nationals at Wild Horse Go Motorsports Park.

Blake Alexander (Humorous Automotive) and Cristian Cuadra (Professional Inventory) are additionally the provisional No. 1 qualifiers on the second of 21 races throughout the 2023 NHRA Tenting World Drag Racing Sequence season.

Kalitta, who has 49 profession Prime Gas victories, went 3.679-seconds at 330.23 mph in his 11,000-horsepower Mac Instruments dragster to go to No. 1. Ought to it maintain, Kalitta would choose up his first No. 1 qualifier since final 12 months in Phoenix and the 52nd in his profession. It marks one other robust second within the early a part of the season for the veteran. He struggled a 12 months in the past, together with a first-round upset in Phoenix final 12 months, however is motivated for an enormous turnaround in 2023.

“The automobile was robust and to exit and run a 3.67 was fairly cool,” Kalitta stated. “My guys have been working their tails off on this factor and we’re tremendous hungry to make it occur. There’s no higher place to do it than right here as a result of we love coming to Phoenix.

“Final 12 months was simply a type of years. For no matter purpose, the automobile simply wasn’t completely happy, and it wasn’t responding to what we have been doing. It was a protracted 12 months, however I believe all of the modifications and the whole lot we’ve made have been paying off. Hopefully we’ll simply keep on a pleasant roll.”

Kalitta will even be a part of Saturday’s first Mission #2Fast2Tasty NHRA Problem, which affords a bonus purse and bonus playoff factors, plus aggressive racing throughout qualifying. It consists of semifinal rematches from the earlier race, together with Kalitta taking over Steve Torrence and Gainesville winner Mike Salinas racing Leah Pruett. Salinas is at the moment certified second with a 3.689 at 335.73, with Austin Prock’s 3.696 at 330.31 placing him third.

Alexander made probably the most of his one go on Friday in Humorous Automotive, going to the highest in his 11,000-horsepower Pronto/Head Inc. Ford Mustang with a run of three.927 at 322.50. If that holds, Alexander would earn his first No. 1 qualifier in a loaded Humorous Automotive class, because the proficient driver made one in every of solely two three-second runs throughout the session. After a first-round loss to open the 12 months, it was additionally a optimistic transfer in the fitting path.

Blake Alexander, NHRA Humorous Automotive

“We got here out at this time with the mindset of we didn’t do this nicely on Friday in Gainesville. In actual fact, we lit the automobile on hearth, and we simply needed to get down the observe at this time,” Alexander stated. “It turned out to be a pleasant ending for us. We work actually, actually laborious and even when you will have a nasty weekend you’re employed further laborious. So we’re completely happy. We all know what this automobile wants and we simply have to hold shifting ahead.”

Chad Inexperienced, who’s competing in Saturday’s Mission #2Fast2Tasty NHRA Problem, is at the moment second after going 3.952 at 319.29 and Terry Haddock is third with a 4.044 at 308.14. Inexperienced will face off with J.R. Todd within the Problem, whereas Matt Hagan takes on Alexis DeJoria in a semifinal rematch from Gainesville.

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In a powerful Professional Inventory qualifying session, Cristian Cuadra went to the highest place, closing in on his first profession No.1 qualifier with a run of 6.552 at 210.24 in his Corral Boots Ford Mustang. Cuadra has superior to 1 remaining spherical in his profession however hasn’t completed on high in qualifying. That would change this weekend in Phoenix after a robust begin on Friday.

“Once I noticed my time slip, I used to be excited however I believed it wasn’t going to be No. 1 as a result of the quick vehicles, Erica [Enders], Greg [Anderson], and T.J. [Troy Coughlin Jr.] all these vehicles are at all times actually quick,” Cuadra stated. “I used to be actually, actually amazed. Hopefully, I can hold it for tomorrow. I’m actually excited. I actually need to be the primary Mexican to be No. 1. That’s one thing vital for me. We need to make historical past in Mexico, and we’re already making it.”

Christian Cuadra, NHRA Professional Inventory

Kyle Koretsky, who certified No. 1 in Phoenix final season, is at the moment second after a run of 6.554 at 210.37 and KB Titan Racing teammate Dallas Glenn is correct behind due to a run of 6.556 at 210.11. The Mission #2Fast2Tasty NHRA Problem matchups embody Troy Coughlin Jr. racing Glenn, and Mason McGaha taking over Greg Anderson.

Qualifying continues at 12 p.m. MT on Saturday on the NHRA Arizona Nationals at Wild Horse Go Motorsports Park.

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