Baytown: Scott Kalitta preview

Scott Kalitta remembers his first NHRA win in Houston with a smile and a grimace BAYTOWN, Texas (March 28, 2006) - It's not easy growing up as the son of a drag racing legend, especially if you follow his famous footsteps into the world's...

Scott Kalitta remembers his first NHRA win in Houston with a smile and a grimace

BAYTOWN, Texas (March 28, 2006) - It's not easy growing up as the son of a drag racing legend, especially if you follow his famous footsteps into the world's quickest and fastest motorsport. Kalitta Air Funny Car pilot Scott Kalitta, son of drag racing icon Connie "the Bounty Hunter" Kalitta, did just that. Now imagine coupling that paternal pressure with trying to win your first ever NHRA national event trophy driving a 7,000 horsepower, nitro-fueled Funny Car with a broken left foot.

This weekend, March 31-April 2, at the O'Reilly NHRA Spring Nationals at Houston Raceway Park in Baytown, Tex., just east of downtown Houston, Scott returns to the track that provided him his first taste of victory in the NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series in 1989.

"I remember it really hurt," Scott lightheartedly said. "Back then, Funny Cars would shake your fillings out. Every time the car wiggled even the slightest bit, my leg would throb in pain. It was my clutch foot too, so it was amplified.

"After we won, I didn't care about the foot. I still remember being in the winner's circle and not even thinking about my foot. Houston Raceway Park will always be special because of not only getting my first win there, but how we did it."

Scott's win in Houston is his only to date in the Funny Car class. Scott, a 43-year old resident of Palmetto, Fla., won 17 NHRA national events and two (1994-1995) world championships in the Top Fuel class before returning to the cockpit of a Funny Car in 2006.

The O'Reilly NHRA Spring Nationals begins Friday, March 31, for the Funny Car class with two qualifying sessions at 4:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m. (CT). Two more qualifying sessions follow on Saturday at 12:30 p.m. and 3:00 p.m. The top sixteen qualified cars will race Sunday in final eliminations beginning at 11:00 a.m.

All times and dates subject to change.

The O'Reilly NHRA Spring Nationals is the 4th of 23 national events in the 2006 NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series.

-km-

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Series NHRA
Drivers Scott Kalitta