GAINESVILLE, Fla. – Doug Kalitta qualified first in the NHRA Gatornationals on Saturday with a run of 3.779 seconds at a top speed of 326.32 mph.
Kalitta moved around defending series champion Antron Brown on his final qualifying attempt at Auto-Plus Raceway. Kalitta will face rookie Leah Pruett in the first round of the eliminations Sunday.
Brown, who briefly held the top spot at 3.787 at 324.20, will open against three-time series champion Larry Dixon in the opening round.
Cruz Pedregon topped the Funny Car field, Mike Edwards led the Pro Stock competition, and Matt Smith was the fastest in the Pro Stock Motorcycle season opener.
In Funny Car, Pedregon raced to his 51st No. 1 with his Friday run of 4.047 at 296.05. Edwards claimed his third consecutive No. 1 position of the season and 44th of his career with his record time of 6.473 at 214.31. In Pro Stock Motorcycle, Smith earned his 18th No. 1 with his Friday run of 6.804 at 197.28.