Kalitta Leads Gatornationals Qualifying


Johnny Gray was second in his Pitch Energy Dodge Charger with a 4.071 at 313.22 and Matt Hagan was third with a 4.084 at 308.99 in his blue and yellow Magneti Marielli Charger.

In Pro Stock, Edwards claimed his third consecutive No. 1 position of the season and 44th of his career with his national record time of 6.473 at 214.31 in his Interstate Batteries/I Am Second Chevy Camaro. The 2009 world champ will try to earn his first win of the season when he opens against six-time champ Warren Johnson.

“We feel like we have a good shot at it and we’re going to do our best to pull it off tomorrow,” Edwards said. “We made a really good run this morning and we were trying to run a little better in the afternoon. All of my guys have done a tremendous job and we’ve done a lot of testing. I feel like we’re going in the right direction. I can’t say how happy I am with my new Camaro, it is just phenomenal. We weren’t consistent last year at all. This year we are making better decisions and making better runs. Confidence goes a long way in this class because it is so competitive. All things being equal, I feel really good about our chances.”

Defending world champ Allen Johnson qualified second with a 6.481 at 213.64 in his Team Mopar Dodge Avenger and four-time Gatornationals winner Jason Line will start third in his Summit Racing Chevy Camaro with a 6.483 at 213.10.

In Pro Stock Motorcycle, Smith earned his 18th No. 1 qualifying position with his Friday performance of 6.804 at 197.28 on his Viper Motorcycle Company Buell. Hector Arana Jr. and Hector Arana Sr. are second and third in their Lucas Oil Buells and are followed by Steve Johnson’s Suzuki and Andrew Hines’ Screamin’ Eagle Vance & Hines Harley-Davidson.

“You have all three makes in the top five,” said Smith, who will race veteran rider Chip Ellis in the opening round. “We’ll just have to see what happens tomorrow.”