Denver: Final qualifying summary

Kalitta, Cannon earn top qualifying honors at Mopar Parts Mile-High Nationals. MORRISON, Colo. -- Doug Kalitta raced to his sixth career No. 1 qualifying position to pace the Top Fuel order Saturday at the Mopar Parts Mile-High Nationals at ...

Kalitta, Cannon earn top qualifying honors at Mopar Parts Mile-High Nationals.

MORRISON, Colo. -- Doug Kalitta raced to his sixth career No. 1 qualifying position to pace the Top Fuel order Saturday at the Mopar Parts Mile-High Nationals at Bandimere Speedway.

Scotty Cannon, Ron Krisher and Angelle Savoie also will lead their respective categories into Sunday's 11 a.m. eliminations at the $1.8 million race, the 13th of 23 events in the $50 million NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series.

Kalitta drove his Mac Tools dragster to a category best run of 4.723 at 313.66 to lead the 16-car order. Kalitta established his quick time in Friday's second qualifying session, which featured cooler conditions than the sizzling upper-90 degree temperatures that were prevalent during the weekend's other three qualifying sessions.

"We've got something with this tune-up," said Kalitta, a two-time runner-up at this event. "We were quickest in the second session today (4.94 seconds) when it was really hot, so we feel good about our chances Sunday, where the conditions are expected to be pretty much the same as today. Our main goal today was getting the car down the track and trying to tune the car for race day. We just have to go out and prove that we can get down the track each run tomorrow."

Tony Schumacher was second with a 4.820 at 316.30 in the U.S. Army dragster, while defending winner and current points leader Larry Dixon rebounded after his disappointing St. Louis DNQ with a sixth place effort at 4.848 seconds in the Miller Lite dragster.

Cannon scored his second career No. 1 effort with a 5.075 at 301.20 in his Oakley Pontiac Firebird. He hopes his consistent car produces that elusive first victory tomorrow.

"Anytime you are doing well and the car setup is consistent and the conditions stay consistent, then you have to believe you'll be OK," Cannon said. "Bandimere Speedway is a tough animal. It's radically different from any place we race all year. You almost have to build another car to race here. It took our team five to six days to prepare the car for this track. We're confident for tomorrow and my crew chief (Mike Neff) is on his game right now, but this is nitro racing and unfortunately there are no guarantees on race day, anything can happen."

Defending event winner John Force qualified second with a 5.084 at 295.21 in his Castrol GTX Ford Mustang.

Krisher set a track record in Pro Stock to claim his fifth top qualifying effort of the year and 10th of his career. Krisher drove his Eagle One Chevy Cavalier to a track record time of 6.257 at 189.76 mph. Kurt Johnson was second with a track record speed of 189.87, also in a Cavalier.

Jim Yates provided the day's biggest surprise in Pro Stock by failing to make Sunday's starting lineup in his Splitfire/Peak Pontiac Firebird. It is the first time Yates failed to qualify in 47 consecutive events.

"You can't let your guard down in this category, the parity is incredible," said Yates. "If you miss a step, they're going to go around you and not even wave."

Savoie claimed her fifth No. 1 qualifying award of the year and 29th of her career in Pro Stock Motorcycle, clocking a track record run of 7.560 at 176.21 on her CVEC Racing Suzuki. Shawn Gann qualified fifth with a track record speed of 181.45, also on a Suzuki.

-nhra-

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Series NHRA
Drivers Kurt Johnson , John Force , Tony Schumacher , Doug Kalitta , Ron Krisher , Shawn Gann , Scotty Cannon , Mike Neff