NHRA Nitro Funny Car driver Scott Kalitta and BIR celebrate 25 years of nitro racing in Brainerd BRAINERD, Minn., (July 8, 2006) -- This weekend, Aug. 10-13, the NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series returns to Brainerd, Minn., for the silver ...
NHRA Nitro Funny Car driver Scott Kalitta and BIR celebrate 25 years of nitro racing in Brainerd
BRAINERD, Minn., (July 8, 2006) -- This weekend, Aug. 10-13, the NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series returns to Brainerd, Minn., for the silver anniversary of the annual Lucas Oil NHRA Nationals at Brainerd Int'l Raceway. This year also marks the 25th year of nitro drag racing competition for Scott Kalitta, driver of the carbon fiber-shelled, 7,000 horsepower Kalitta Air Funny Car.
Kalitta began his legendary drag racing career as a Top Fuel dragster crewmember for his father, drag racing legend, team owner and crew chief Connie "the Bounty Hunter" Kalitta. Scott graduated from crew guy to driver at the 1981 Winternationals where he piloted an A/Fuel dragster, which he drove until mid-way into the 1982 season when he switched to Top Fuel.
"It's hard for me to believe that it has been a quarter of a century since I first drove a nitro car," Scott said. "I took a couple of years off there for a bit (1998, 2000-2001), but one thing's for sure, it has never been boring. I still love getting strapped in and going racing. I probably enjoy it more these days since the cars are quicker and faster now.
"It's cool that the annual NHRA event at BIR and I have 25 years in common. It's always fun going up to Minnesota and racing. The fans, especially the campers in "the Zoo", are always great to us. It should be a blast."
Scott, a 43-year old resident of Palmetto, Fla., made the switch from Top Fuel to Funny Car this season. Scott has one NHRA national event win in his career in nitro Funny Car and that was at the Houston event in 1989 while driving with a broken left foot. In Top Fuel, Scott scored two POWERade world championships (1994-1995) and 17 NHRA national event wins.