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Kalitta tops NHRA Arizona Nationals qualifying

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CHANDLER, Ariz. (AP) - Doug Kalitta raced to the No. 1 qualifying position in Top Fuel on Saturday in the NHRA Arizona Nationals at Firebird International Raceway.

Kalitta had a track-record run of 3.733 seconds at 329.02 mph for his 32nd No. 1 and second at the event.

Kalitta will face Spencer Massey on the Sunday in the first round of eliminations, bidding to give team owner Connie Kalitta a victory on his 75th birthday.

"It would be awesome to win tomorrow," Kalitta said. "He's 75 and doing great. He's been here for so many years and just loves it out here. It would be awesome to see if we could pull it off. There's a bunch of good running cars out here. All the rounds are tough, and anybody who makes the top 16 can win."

Johnny Gray topped the Funny Car field, and Mike Edwards led the Pro Stock division.

Gray earned his fourth No. 1 of his career and second in a row at the event when no one improved on his Friday run of 4.034 at 313.80. He will meet defending event winner Robert Hight in the first round.

In Pro Stock, Edwards claimed his second consecutive No. 1 qualifying position of the season and 43rd of his career with his Friday track-record performance of 6.498 seconds at 213.13 mph. He will face Steve Kent in the opening round.

Copyright 2014 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
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