BRISTOL, TENN. (June 16, 2017) – Doug Kalitta, driver of the Mac Tools Toyota Top Fuel dragster, claimed the provisional no.1 qualifier for the Thunder Valley Nationals at Bristol Dragway earlier today.

After just missing a qualifying bonus point in the first session of qualifying, Kalitta's Mac Tools team was rewarded with a later run in the evening session and he delivered. Kalitta's driving and the work of the Mac Tools team, led by crew chief Jim Oberhofer, got the Mac Tools ride to the stripe in 3.781 seconds at nearly 327 mph to give Kalitta the provisional pole leading into Saturday. 

"It felt great to put a good one down because this will be the best conditions we will see this weekend. It left good; we got past half track and the thing was still hooked up and running strong. It felt good the whole way," said Kalitta. "This is the only place I don't have a low qualifier at, so it would be cool to be able to achieve that."

"The way these cars run these days a 3.78 is definitely not safe yet. Great run for the Mac Tools Toyota team though."

This would be Kalitta's first no.1 qualifier of the season and first at Bristol Dragway. Bristol is the final track that Kalitta has yet to win a No.1 qualifier; if his run still leads after the end of Saturday qualifying, Kalitta will become the only Top Fuel driver currently on the circuit to hold no. 1 qualifiers at every track. 

All four of Kalitta Motorsports' other teams completed in Thunder Valley Nationals qualifying on Friday night as well. Rookie Top Fuel driver Troy Coughlin Jr. ranks ninth, while Shawn Langdon has his Global Electronic Technology Top Fuel dragster is 12th. In Funny Car, J.R. Todd is 10th with Alexis DeJoria 11th.

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Mello Yello Championship Points

Top Fuel (Unofficial)

1. Steve Torrence (664)
2. Clay Millican (569)
3. Tony Schumacher (539)
4. Doug Kalitta (497)
5. Leah Pritchett (489)
6. Terry McMillen (432)
7. Brittany Force (428)
8. Antron Brown (423)
9. Richie Crampton (312)
10. Mike Salinas (308)

Funny Car (Unofficial)

1. Courtney Force (670)
2. Jack Beckman (590)
3. Matt Hagan (540)
4. Robert Hight (512)
5. J.R. Todd (504)
6. Tommy Johnson Jr. (490)
7. Ron Capps (440)
8. Cruz Pedregon (399)
9. Shawn Langdon (373)
10. Jonnie Lindberg (351)