Baytown: Doug Kalitta preview

Houston holds potential promise of records and consecutive victories for Doug Kalitta Houston, Tex., April 12, 2004 -- Doug Kalitta likes racing at Houston Raceway Park. After all, it was here one year ago at the O'Reilly NHRA Spring Nationals...

Houston holds potential promise of records and consecutive victories for Doug Kalitta

Houston, Tex., April 12, 2004 -- Doug Kalitta likes racing at Houston Raceway Park. After all, it was here one year ago at the O'Reilly NHRA Spring Nationals that he set a new track speed record of 333.91 mph en route to his first of four victories in the 2003 NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series tour.

A 15-time NHRA national event winner and runner-up in Top Fuel championship points last season, Kalitta, driver of the bright red Mac Tools dragster, made his record-setting speed in Houston look slow, relatively speaking, at the previous event in Las Vegas two weeks ago when he clicked off an incredible 335.57 mph qualifying blast, the fastest in NHRA history. Kalitta also owns the quickest pass in history with a 4.428-sec. gem at the second race in Chicago last season.

Unfortunately, Kalitta lost in the second round of eliminations in Las Vegas despite his impressive preliminary marks.

"Records are great, but I would much rather have wins instead," he said. "Running that fast is certainly a thrill, but it is nothing like the thrill of winning. We ran really fast last year in Houston, and we won the race. When you win it makes the records even sweeter. Hopefully, we can get our Mac Tools car in the winner's circle again this year and break a couple records along the way."

Kalitta, with help from co-crew chief Rahn Tobler, will attempt to defend his title with his Connie Kalitta-tuned rail when professional qualifying for this year's installment of the O'Reilly Spring Nationals begins Friday, April 16.

-km-

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Series NHRA
Drivers Doug Kalitta , Connie Kalitta