The ladders begin for the 2022 Arizona Nationals on Sunday as veterans of the sport filled in some of the top spots after two days of qualifying.
57-year-old Doug Kalitta soared his Top Fuel Dragster to the top position and earned his all-time best pass time in his illustrious career. Kalitta ripped down the 1,000 ft strip in 3.657 seconds at 329.58 mph. It’s Kalitta’s first No. 1 qualifying spot since 2019 as he looks for his 50th career victory.
“It’s really all about the conditions,” Kalitta said. “During that last session, the conditions were perfect and I knew everybody was going for it, including us. The guys are working their tails off on my car and we’re seeing some major strides in the performance on that thing. I was really kind of concerned coming into Phoenix, I wasn’t sure we were going to be able to pull it off, but it’s going to be fun. This place is a cool place to come.”
A brand new team with a well-known name topped the charts in Funny Car. Three-time NHRA champion, Matt Hagan, took home the top spot with new team, Tony Stewart Racing. Hagan’s three NHRA titles teams up with Stewart’s three NASCAR Cup Series titles and claimed TSR’s first No. 1 seed in team history. The 39-year-old set a new track record at Wild Horse Pass Motorsports Park with a 3.823-second run at 333.41 mph.
“It’s just super fun to drive,” Hagan said of his Funny Car on the Arizona Nationals strip. “I knew if it stuck, it was going to run well but these cars are a handful to drive. Tony Stewart did a heck of a job putting this organization together over the winter. It was incredible seeing all the fans packed shoulder-to-shoulder. It was an awesome experience and an awesome thing to see.”
— Devon Henry (@devonhenry77) February 27, 2022
Kyle Koretsky claimed the top spot in Pro Stock qualifying, passing with a 6.520-second lap at 210.21 mph for his second career No. 1 spot.
Scottsdale’s Matt Hartford qualified in the 13th position in the Pro Stock division and will battle No. 4 seed, Troy Coughlin Jr., in the first round of the ladders.
Coverage of NHRA’s second race of the season, the Arizona Nationals, will be on FS1 beginning at 5 p.m. MST.