Scott Kalitta taking momentum into the mountains for Bristol NHRA event Bristol, Tenn., April 28, 2004 -- Scott Kalitta is breathing a little easier these days, but not too much. After his first semi-final round appearance of 2004 at the last...
Scott Kalitta taking momentum into the mountains for Bristol NHRA event
Bristol, Tenn., April 28, 2004 -- Scott Kalitta is breathing a little easier these days, but not too much. After his first semi-final round appearance of 2004 at the last NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series in Houston, the son of racing legend and crew chief Connie "the Bounty Hunter" Kalitta is anxious to get even more elimination round wins on his stat sheet at the upcoming O'Reilly NHRA Thunder Valley Nationals, April 30-May 2, at Bristol Dragway, nestled in the scenic Appalachian Mountains that surround Bristol, Tenn.
The race in Bristol will be the sixth national event of the 23-event, $50 million NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series tour.
Kalitta's radically painted Mac Tools/Jesse James Top fuel dragster was relatively quiet for a 7,000+ horsepower nitro hot rod for the first four races with no round wins, but he has now won three rounds in the past two events and is focusing on the light at the end of a very frustrating tunnel.
"Houston was a big boost for us," Kalitta said. "I think people were beginning to doubt us, and we may have even started doubting ourselves a little bit. We're all happy with the performance we saw there and hopefully now we can get back on track toward the championship.
"The season is still fairly young and we still have a shot at the title. I think the frustrations we've had at the beginning of the season will help us be more determined to win as the rest of the year goes by."
With his trip to the semis in Houston, Kalitta, a 15-time NHRA national event winner, moved from 13th to eighth in Top Fuel championship points.
Kalitta has one No. 1 qualifying position in 2004, a 4.472-sec., 333.74-mph blast put him on top of the qualifying ladder in Las Vegas in early April.
Qualifying for Kalitta, his teammates Doug Kalitta, cousin and driver of the Mac Tools Top Fuel dragster, and "Aussie Dave" Grubnic, driver of the Kalitta Air Top Fuel dragster, begins Friday at Bristol Dragway near Bristol Motor Speedway.