Baytown: Doug Kalitta final report

Doug Kalitta, Mac Tools Top Fuel dragster -- No. 9 qualifier, advanced to semifinals Doug Kalitta and the Mac Tools team race to the semifinals in Houston HOUSTON, (March 30, 2008) -- Sunday during eliminations at the annual running of the ...

Doug Kalitta, Mac Tools Top Fuel dragster -- No. 9 qualifier, advanced to semifinals

Doug Kalitta and the Mac Tools team race to the semifinals in Houston

HOUSTON, (March 30, 2008) -- Sunday during eliminations at the annual running of the O'Reilly NHRA Spring Nationals in Baytown, Tex., just a few miles out of the Houston city limits, Doug Kalitta, driver of the "Big Red", 8,000-horsepower Mac Tools Top Fuel dragster, picked up his first and second round-wins of the 2008 NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series in his march to the semifinals in the Lone Star State.

Kalitta, the No. 9 qualifier (4.606 seconds, 317.87 mph), faced his Kalitta Motorsports teammate Hillary Will, the No. 8 qualifier (4.599 sec., 316.45 mph) in the opening round of the 16-car eliminations. Kalitta defeated Will in a great side-by-side lap for both cars, 4.607 sec., 317.19 mph to 4.619 sec., 310.84 mph. In round two, Kalitta and his Mac Tools machine blasted to the finish line in 4.635 seconds at 311.13 mph to get the quarter-final win over Urs Erbacher (4.785 sec., 309.70 mph).

In the semifinals, Kalitta raced against Antron Brown. Kalitta was away from the starting line first (.044 sec., to .056 sec.), but his 4.689-sec., 311.56-mph run was not quite enough to keep Brown from getting the win light in a good race, 4.570 sec., 321.88 mph.

"Making the semifinals is a big, big step for our Mac Tools team," Kalitta, a 43-year old resident of Ann Arbor, Mich., said. "We've been struggling for a while, so this was a really good weekend for our team. I think we've turned the corner now, and hopefully you'll see the Mac Tools car in more and more rounds now."

With his semi-final showing, Kalitta moves up from 14th to 11th place in 2008 POWERade Top Fuel championship points.

Also, Team Kalitta announced Sunday that famed nitro tuner Richard Hogan has been hired to be the co-crew chief on the Mac Tools Top Fueler. Hogan joins co-crew chief Jon Oberhofer to equally share the tuning responsibilities on "Big Red".

-credit: km

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Series NHRA
Drivers Antron Brown , Doug Kalitta , Urs Erbacher , Hillary Will