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May 22, 6:59 PM EDT

Doug Kalitta races to third straight Top Fuel victory


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TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) -- Doug Kalitta overcame an ill-handling car Sunday in the NHRA Kansas Nationals to race to his third consecutive Top Fuel victory.

The season leader's dragster lost traction at the hit of the throttle and got sideways two times as he worked the steering wheel to cross the finish line before fellow finalist Antron Brown. Kalitta finished in 5.452 seconds at 238.85 mph for his 41st career victory, while Brown's dragster also lost traction and posted a 5.687 at 298.60.

"It's a seat of your pants kind of deal and you try to stay off the centerline and not hit the wall," Kalitta said. "There is a limit. I think I had it more sideways than I've ever had a Top Fuel car before. It finally straightened out and we were fortunate to get the win."

Matt Hagan won in Funny Car, and Jason Line topped the Pro Stock field.

Hagan's Dodge Charger also lost traction early in the final round, but he managed to get on and off the throttle just enough to finish in front of Jack Beckman in a replay of the Atlanta final last weekend. Hagan finished in 5.724 at 179.04, while Beckman's Dodge also smoked the tires on the run and trailed with a 6.560 at 146.75. It was Hagan's 20th career victory.

Line raced to his fifth win of the season in his eighth consecutive final, outrunning teammate Greg Anderson. Line finished in 6.664 at 207.85 in his Chevy Camaro, and Anderson's Camaro trailed with a 6.687 at 207.02. Line has 42 career victories.

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