Commentary

Kalitta carries weight at Bandimere

Originally Published: July 17, 2013
By Mike Dunn | ESPN

Doug KalittaMark J. Rebilas/USA TODAY SportsDoug Kalitta won at Bandimere Speedway in 2010 -- one of six victories there by the Kalitta clan.

Before every event of the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series, ESPN analyst Mike Dunn will rank the top five drivers -- and riders on weekends the Pro Stock Motorcycle crew competes -- in each class. Up this week? The Mopar Mile-High NHRA Nationals at Bandimere Speedway in Denver.

Top Fuel

1. Doug Kalitta
2. Antron Brown
3. Spencer Massey
4. Shawn Langdon
5. Tony Schumacher

Kalitta comes in at No. 1 based on his strong performances recently and the Kalitta family history at Bandimere. The Kalittas have six wins on the mountain over the years with Scott winning three times, Connie winning twice and Doug winning in 2010. Brown has struggled recently, but he has two wins at Bandimere and is the defending champion. Also, the team needs to get back on track and I think the mountain could be just what the doctor ordered.

Funny Car

1. Ron Capps
2. Courtney Force
3. Jack Beckman
4. John Force
5. Johnny Gray

Capps keeps getting better and I feel he has a good shot at getting the trophy. Fast Jack has struggled this year, but he does like the thin air and is your defending champion, winning last year from the No. 1 spot.

Pro Stock

1. Allen Johnson
2. Mike Edwards
3. Jeg Coughlin
4. Shane Gray
5. V Gaines

With Johnson's record of four wins at Bandimere since 2007, how can you not put him No. 1? Edwards beat him in 2011, and coming off his Norwalk win, it should be fun to watch. Oh, and don't forget V Gaines. It's his home race and he went to the finals last year.

Pro Stock Motorcycle

1. Michael Ray
2. Matt Smith
3. Scotty Pollacheck
4. Eddie Krawiec
5. Hector Arana Jr.

Ray and Arana Jr. have the best bikes so far this year, but Michael needs to quit losing on holeshots and Junior needs to quit red-lighting to get the trophy. I like Krawiec's chances. He looked good during eliminations in Norwalk and Vance & Hines has a great history running on the mountain.

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