Kyle Koretsky Denies Greg Anderson a Historic Victory at DeWalt NHRA Carolina Nationals

Photos Courtesy of NHRA Media

After tying Warren Johnson for the most wins in Pro Stock history at last weekend’s Mopar Express Lane NHRA Nationals, Greg Anderson was denied the chance to hold the illustrious record after KB Racing rookie racing teammate Kyle Koretsky took down the veteran at this weekend’s DeWalt NHRA Carolina Nationals at zMAX Dragway. Although Anderson had the best run of both qualifying sessions on Saturday, making it clear that he had the upper hand at his home track, it was his rookie teammate whose emotional win was earned by only .005-seconds, who stopped Anderson in his tire tracks. Koretsky was not the only rookie to earn a life-changing victory at zMAX. Top Fuel rookie Josh Hart was given an opportunity to repeat his win at the Amalie Motor Oil NHRA Gatornationals after a stunning final-round victory over points leader Brittany Force at the DeWalt NHRA Carolina Nationals. While rookies would be all the rage in both the Pro Stock and Top Fuel divisions, Sunday’s final Funny Car elimination round gave a legend of the sport the chance to repeat his recent performance at the Dodge//SRT NHRA U.S. Nationals two weeks ago after turning back Cruz Pedregon with a final pass of 3.92-seconds to his competitor’s 3.94.

Pro Stock

NHRA, Pro Stock

After qualifying his Lucas Oil Camaro in the No. 4 spot just behind Anderson, Kyle Koretsky began his elimination rounds by defeating Cristian Cuadra in the first round before moving on to the driver who denied him a win in Topeka. While Dallas Glenn looked like he would once again take down his nemesis after putting up a perfect reaction time, Koretsky was able to fight back for the win with a 6.64-second finish after Glenn’s RAD Torque Systems Chevy shook the tires. Koretsky then ended the Cinderella effort of local favorite Wally Stroupe, who had benefitted from low qualifier Stanfield’s first-round red-light and then defeated Deric Kramer, 6.65 to 6.68 in the second round. Stroupe’s fortune ran out against Koretsky as he, too, shook the tires and watched Koretsky streak into the final round with a 6.66.

Although lining up alongside the elder of his KB Racing team in Sunday’s final round was intimidating, Koretsky did not let that stop him from going for the brass ring in Charlotte. Despite Anderson’s stunning .006 reaction time, Anderson’s HendrickCars.com Camaro, which had run 6.57 just the round before, slowed to a 6.63 while Koretsky’s Lucas Oil Chevy improved from a 6.66 to 6.62 to provide the winning margin.

“This is a huge win that I have wanted all of my life,” said an emotional Koretskey. “My dad worked his whole life and gave me the opportunity to do this. Before the final, he just said, ‘Just do what you do every round and dig deep. You’re gonna have to really dig deep’. I felt really confident the car was running great and although I stopped my boss from racing to a repeated Pro Stock record, I needed to get this win no matter who I had to defeat.”

While Koretsky would put himself in the history books at zMAX Dragway, Anderson’s runner-up finish on Sunday keeps the legend in the Pro Stock points lead going into the NHRA Midwest Nationals.

Top Fuel

top fuel, NHRA

Koretsky wouldn’t be the only rookie driver to drive to an upset at this weekend’s DeWalt NHRA Carolina Nationals at zMAX Dragway. Josh Hart, who celebrated his 38th birthday the day before the event started, reached the final round against the driver who had the lowest E.T. at all three qualifying sessions to record her eighth straight pole, by beating tire-smoking Justin Ashley in the semifinals. Although Brittany Force would also take down the King of Top Fuel, Steve Torrence, before lining up alongside Hart in Sunday’s final round, it was the rookie who left the biggest impression at the finish line thanks to his holeshot victory over Force.

“This was a perfect birthday gift,” said Hart. “I wanted this win so bad because I have lost twice at zMAX Dragway, once in the alcohol car and once in Top Fuel so I am super excited to finally overcome this and finally have a win here.”

Funny Car

NHRA, Funny Car

The only non-rookie victory that would occur at this weekend’s DeWalt NHRA Carolina Nationals came in the Funny Car Series. Tim Wilkerson, who broke a five-year win drought with a huge win at the Dodge//SRT NHRA U.S. Nationals two weeks ago, put some icing on that cake after taking down Bob Tasca III with a 3.93-second finish in Sunday’s first elimination round and moving on to end the weekend short for low qualifier John Force thanks by a mere .002-seconds in round two. This would move Wilkerson to a semifinal run against former World Champion Ron Capps, who would be taken down by 3.909-second pass. This would give Wilkerson the chance to continue his hot streak after lining up beside Cruz Pedregon in Sunday’s final round. While Pedregon celebrated his 58th birthday on race day, Wilkerson didn’t let the chance to give his fellow driver a birthday present stop him from earning his 23rd career win with a final pass of 3.92-seconds to Pedregon’s 3.94-seconds.

“This was a crazy win,” said Wilkerson. “You know, this day started out pretty good run and from there kind of went bizarre. We barely made it to the rounds in the semis and in the finals, but I am very proud of my guys who made each win possible, and I can’t wait to see what the future holds for all of us.”

The NHRA Camping World Drag Racing Series Countdown to the Championship will continue at the NHRA Midwest Nationals at World Wide Technology Raceway, in Madison, IL. Stay tuned to RacingJunk.com for the latest news from the drag strip!

About Ellen Richardson 491 Articles
Ellen Richardson is the author of Behind The Wheel for RacingJunk.com. This automotive sports junkie has a passion for telling an athlete's story while also covering various racing activities. Find out more about her at ellennrichardson.wordpress.com or follow Ellen on Twitter at @ellennrich or Instagram at elnrich33.

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.


*


I agree to receive emails from RacingJunk.com. I understand that I can unsubscribe at any time. Privacy Policy