Del Worsham is the provisional No. 1 qualifier after Friday's first of two days of qualifying at Norwalk, Ohio. (Photo courtesy NHRA)

Kalitta (TF), Worsham (FC), Enders-Stevens (PS), Krawiec (PSM) provisional No. 1 NHRA qualifiers in Norwalk

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Doug Kalitta (Top Fuel), Del Worsham (Funny Car), Erica Enders-Stevens (Pro Stock) and Eddie Krawiec (Pro Stock Motorcycle) are the provisional No. 1 qualifiers after Friday’s first of two days of qualifying at the Summit Racing Equipment Nationals in Norwalk, Ohio.

Kalitta covered the 1,000-foot drag strip with a top elapsed time of 3.771 seconds at 326.16 mph. If that time holds up during Saturday’s second round of qualifying in preparation for Sunday’s final eliminations, it would be the 42nd No. 1 qualifying spot of Kalitta’s career.

He’s also seeking his first career win at Norwalk, between Toledo and Cleveland, and to reach his seventh final round in the first 13 races of the 2014 season.

“Tomorrow (Saturday) will be a lot like today so it’ll be interesting to see if we can hold the lead,” Kalitta said in a NHRA media release. “I’m incredibly lucky to have this opportunity with what we have going on right now. I’m just trying to make the best of it. I’m looking forward to tomorrow and seeing what we can do.”

Steve Torrence was second-quickest in Top Fuel (3.799 seconds at 324.67 mph), while Kalitta’s teammate, J.R. Todd, was third-quickest (3.807 seconds at 319.22 mph).

In Funny Car, Worsham set a Summit Racing Equipment Motorsports Park track record of an even 4.000 seconds (at 317.34 mph). Worsham just barely missed becoming the 11th driver in NHRA Funny Car history to slip below the four-second mark.

“We were definitely trying to make a three-second run,” Worsham said. “We changed cars for the third time in three races so we’re pretty excited to make a good run. We’ll just have to play a little harder tomorrow.”

Tommy Johnson Jr. continued his recent hot streak, qualifying No. 2 (4.030 seconds at 319.67 mph), followed by 16-time national champion John Force (4.034 at 319.45 mph).

In Pro Stock, Enders-Stevens looks to extend her already huge lead in the points standings. She had a field-best of 6.523 seconds at 212.63 mph, both new track records.

Enders is looking for her 12th top-three qualifying position (and second No. 1) in the first 13 races of the season.

“I’m really proud of my team,” Enders-Stevens said. “We’ve worked really hard. I couldn’t be more proud to throw up the numbers that we did today. We were hoping for better numbers this evening but that starting line is a little challenging. I feel confident this weekend.”

Shane Gray was second-quickest in Pro Stock (6.527 seconds at 211.69 mph), followed by Allen Johnson (6.532 at 211.89).

In Pro Stock Motorcycle, Krawiec also set a track record for elapsed time (6.844 seconds) at 195.05 mph.

“To come here and have low e.t. and a great motorcycle under me, I couldn’t ask for any more,” Krawiec said. “You never really know what’s going to happen. I’m definitely looking forward to it.”

Second-fastest was Jerry Savoie (6.865 seconds at 195.48), followed by John Hall (6.882 at 194.38). Series points leader Andrew Hines was No. 4 qualifier (6.913 seconds at 192.33 mph).

The final two qualifying sessions will take place Saturday afternoon (4:45 pm ET) and evening (7:15 pm ET). Sunday’s final eliminations begin at 11 am ET.

 

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Here’s Friday’s first two of four rounds of qualifying for the Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Nationals in Norwalk, Ohio:

Top Fuel — 1. Doug Kalitta, 3.771 seconds, 326.48 mph; 2. Steve Torrence, 3.799, 324.67; 3. J.R. Todd, 3.807, 319.22; 4. Shawn Langdon, 3.809, 322.88; 5. Spencer Massey, 3.813, 321.81; 6. Tony Schumacher, 3.839, 322.65; 7. Antron Brown, 3.840, 311.56; 8. Larry Dixon, 3.844, 321.88; 9. Khalid alBalooshi, 3.845, 316.82; 10. Bob Vandergriff, 3.849, 320.43; 11. Brittany Force, 3.860, 322.04; 12. Troy Buff, 3.873, 307.72.  Not Qualified: 13. Leah Pritchett, 3.888, 309.42; 14. Pat Dakin, 3.924, 308.00; 15. Richie Crampton, 3.929, 269.73; 16. Clay Millican, 3.953, 315.42; 17. Cory McClenathan, 4.164, 213.81; 18. Chris Karamesines, 4.183, 230.02; 19. Terry McMillen, 4.655, 167.34.

Funny Car — 1. Del Worsham, Toyota Camry, 4.000, 317.34; 2. Tommy Johnson Jr., Dodge Charger, 4.030, 319.67; 3. John Force, Ford Mustang, 4.034, 319.45; 4. Matt Hagan, Charger, 4.044, 318.69; 5. Chad Head, Camry, 4.052, 318.02; 6. Jack Beckman, Charger, 4.064, 317.94; 7. Bob Tasca III, Mustang, 4.065, 315.12; 8. Cruz Pedregon, Camry, 4.077, 308.21; 9. Ron Capps, Charger, 4.083, 310.48; 10. Robert Hight, Mustang, 4.096, 310.34; 11. Courtney Force, Mustang, 4.106, 321.42; 12. Alexis DeJoria, Camry, 4.127, 309.91.  Not Qualified: 13. Tim Wilkerson, 4.140, 307.65; 14. Tony Pedregon, 4.153, 303.57; 15. Terry Haddock, 4.329, 275.51; 16. Jeff Diehl, 4.340, 260.71; 17. Jeff Arend, 4.704, 181.15.

Pro Stock — 1. Erica Enders-Stevens, Chevy Camaro, 6.523, 212.63; 2. Shane Gray, Camaro, 6.527, 211.69; 3. Allen Johnson, Dodge Dart, 6.532, 211.89; 4. Chris McGaha, Camaro, 6.546, 211.53; 5. Vincent Nobile, Camaro, 6.551, 211.69; 6. Jeg Coughlin, Dart, 6.554, 212.03; 7. Dave Connolly, Camaro, 6.557, 210.67; 8. Jason Line, Camaro, 6.564, 211.13; 9. Jonathan Gray, Camaro, 6.566, 211.69; 10. Rodger Brogdon, Camaro, 6.574, 210.90; 11. Greg Anderson, Camaro, 6.576, 211.39; 12. Shane Tucker, Camaro, 6.609, 211.56.  Not Qualified: 13. Larry Morgan, 6.613, 210.77; 14. V. Gaines, 6.628, 190.40; 15. John Gaydosh Jr, 6.684, 207.05; 16. Mark Hogan, 18.603, 35.35; 17. Travis Mazza, 89.000, no speed.

Pro Stock Motorcycle — 1. Eddie Krawiec, Harley-Davidson, 6.844, 195.05; 2. Jerry Savoie, Suzuki, 6.865, 195.48; 3. John Hall, Buell, 6.882, 194.38; 4. Andrew Hines, Harley-Davidson, 6.913, 192.49; 5. Hector Arana, Buell, 6.919, 196.16; 6. Matt Smith, Buell, 6.928, 193.27; 7. Shawn Gann, Buell, 6.933, 192.41; 8. Angie Smith, Buell, 6.933, 191.57; 9. Michael Ray, Buell, 6.943, 190.65; 10. Steve Johnson, Suzuki, 6.964, 192.08; 11. Scotty Pollacheck, Buell, 6.987, 191.76; 12. Chaz Kennedy, Buell, 6.989, 188.38.  Not Qualified: 13. Jim Underdahl, 7.009, 192.93; 14. Justin Finley, 7.012, 192.14; 15. Joe DeSantis, 7.022, 188.78; 16. Elvira Karlsson, 7.072, 183.37; 17. Adam Arana, 7.354, 148.12; 18. Wendell Daniels, 8.211, 119.70; 19. Hector Arana Jr, 13.922, 55.34.

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VIDEO: Recapping Formula E’s electric second season

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With the new Formula E campaign just two weeks away, the series has released a video recapping its electric second season as Sebastien Buemi and Lucas di Grassi battled for top honors.

Traveling all over the world from Beijing to London via Long Beach and Mexico (among others), Formula E continued to go to strength-to-strength in its second season.

The title fight is documented in this video, featuring interviews with the protagonists and many of the other drivers on the grid through last season.

The new Formula E season starts on October 9 in Hong Kong before finishing next summer in New York City, the latter’s race being launched earlier this week in Brooklyn.

Heineken would like to see Formula 1 race in Vietnam

MONTREAL, QC - JUNE 09:  Heineken announces global partnership with Formula One Management. Gianluca Di Tondo, Senior Director Global Heineken Brand talks in the press conference during previews to the Canadian Formula One Grand Prix at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve on June 9, 2016 in Montreal, Canada.  (Photo by Mark Thompson/Getty Images)
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Heineken senior global brand director Gianluca di Tondo would like to see Formula 1 stage a race in Vietnam as part of its expansion in the Asia-Pacific region.

Dutch beer company Heineken was announced as a new global partner for F1 over the Canadian Grand Prix weekend, with its branding being visible in Montreal and at the Italian Grand Prix earlier this month.

Heineken is looking to emulate its relationship with Europe’s premier soccer competition, the UEFA Champions League, in F1 through greater interaction with fans and special events.

One such event took place at Monza when a group of F1 drivers took on a Heineken all-star team in a game of soccer on the main straight of the track.

Following the takeover of F1 by American company Liberty Media Corporation, many believe an expansion of the calendar to include new markets is on the cards in the future.

“This is really touching on an important issue for us,” di Tondo said of the F1 calendar in an interview with the official F1 website.

“Heineken is super-strong in Europe – we were ‘born’ in Europe and are a European brand – but the playground for the future is Asia Pacific.

“Asia Pacific is a strategic area for us and having seven races around this area is fantastic, and the passion for Formula 1 in Asia is tangible.

“If there is program to double up in the US that, of course, is very interesting for us as the US is our biggest market. If you take it as a single market, it is still our biggest one.

“In the US it is easier to activate things that become popular – and we are open for discussions to make Formula 1 even more popular together.”

Di Tondo was asked which race he would add to the calendar if he had the choice.

“That is very simple – it is again in Asia: Vietnam,” he said.

“We are very present in Vietnam through a local partner and they were our guests in Monza and they were over the moon.

“So why not have a race in Ho Chi Minh City?”

Vandoorne: No extra pressure at McLaren despite chance of Button comeback

NORTHAMPTON, ENGLAND - JULY 13:  Stoffel Vandoorne of Belgium driving the McLaren Honda Formula 1 Team McLaren MP4-31 Honda RA616H Hybrid turbo on track during F1 testing at Silverstone Circuit on July 13, 2016 in Northampton, England.  (Photo by Mark Thompson/Getty Images)
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Stoffel Vandoorne believes that he will face no extra pressure during his debut Formula 1 season despite there being a chance Jenson Button will return to a McLaren seat for 2018.

McLaren announced over the Italian Grand Prix weekend that Vandoorne would be stepping up to a full-time seat for the 2017 season after spending the past year in a reserve role.

The Belgian will partner Fernando Alonso following Jenson Button’s decision to take a year out from F1 in 2017.

However, should both the driver and team be willing, Button is able to return to a McLaren seat for 2018, appearing to put pressure on Vandoorne should he not perform. The 2015 GP2 Series champion does not see it this way, though.

“No, I don’t see that situation as extra pressure. I have a long-term deal with McLaren,” Vandoorne told the official F1 website.

“Hopefully we soon will be able to get back to the competitive level where McLaren used to be.

“In terms of next year, yes it is a special structure, but I think it is one of the best. Myself and Fernando are going to race, and then it is good to keep Jenson as well.

“He is the most experienced driver in F1 now and he will be involved with the team, be it in the simulator or coming to a few races.”

“I am fully thinking about the opportunity that I get – there is no room for non-issues. I want to succeed and am very much looking forward to that.”

Marquez fights back from poor start to win Aragon MotoGP race

ALCANIZ, SPAIN - SEPTEMBER 24:  Marc Marquez of Spain and Repsol Honda Team rounds the bend during the qualifying practice during the MotoGP of Spain - Qualifying at Motorland Aragon Circuit on September 24, 2016 in Alcaniz, Spain.  (Photo by Mirco Lazzari gp/Getty Images)
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Honda rider Marc Marquez took a big step towards winning his third MotoGP world title in 2016 after fighting back from a poor start to win the Aragon Grand Prix on Sunday.

Marquez was expected to walk away with the race after dominating practice and qualifying, only for a mistake on lap three to cause the pole-sitter to drop to fifth place.

Suzuki rider Maverick Vinales took up the mantle at the head of the pack with future Yamaha teammate Valentino Rossi in tow as Marquez began his fightback.

The Spaniard deposed Andrea Dovizioso on lap five before picking off title rival Jorge Lorenzo two laps later.

Vinales lost the lead to Rossi on lap nine before slipping past Marquez and Lorenzo one lap later, with the lead finally falling to Marquez on lap 12.

From there, Marquez controlled proceedings at the front of the pack, pulling out an advantage of 2.7 seconds come the checkered flag.

Lorenzo bounced back from a crash in Sunday morning warm-up to finish second, his best result since the Italian Grand Prix in May, while Rossi rounded out the podium positions.

Marquez’s fourth victory of the season sees his lead extend to 52 points over Rossi, meaning he could mathematically wrap up the title at the next race in Japan.

Vinales finished the race fourth for Suzuki ahead of Cal Crutchlow and Dani Pedrosa, while the Espargaro brothers crossed the line seventh and eighth, Aleix ahead of Pol. Alvaro Bautista and Stefan Bradl rounded out the top 10.

Nicky Hayden’s one-off return to MotoGP with the Marc VDS team saw him pick up a solitary point for P15, the American rider standing in for the injured Jack Miller.

MotoGP returns in three weeks’ time at the Twin Ring Motegi in Japan on October 16.