NHRA Top Fuel points leader Doug Kalitta qualifies No. 5 in Denver; Teammates Scott Kalitta and "Aussie Dave" Grubnic qualify No. 8 and No. 9 respectively Morrison, Colo., July 15, 2005 -- At the Mopar Mile-High NHRA Nationals in Morrison,...
NHRA Top Fuel points leader Doug Kalitta qualifies No. 5 in Denver; Teammates Scott Kalitta and "Aussie Dave" Grubnic qualify No. 8 and No. 9 respectively
Morrison, Colo., July 15, 2005 -- At the Mopar Mile-High NHRA Nationals in Morrison, Colo., just outside of downtown Denver, Mac Tools Top Fuel dragster driver Doug Kalitta led the three-car Team Kalitta Top Fuel qualifying efforts at scenic Bandimere Speedway.
Current Top Fuel championship points leader and two-time points runner-up (2003-2004) Doug, 40, took the No. 5 qualifying spot with a 4.650-second, 316.30-mph lap down the quarter-mile. He will race No. 12 qualifier Mike Strasburg in round one. Doug is 4-1 versus Strasburg in his career, including a very disappointing loss to Strasburg in the opening round of the previous event in St. Louis.
Doug holds a 40-point lead over second place Tony Schumacher going into Sunday's eliminations.
Doug is an eight-year Top Fuel veteran and former USAC National Sprint Car Champion (1994). He owns 22 NHRA national event trophies. He has three wins so far in 2005 (Gainesville, Fla., Bristol, Tenn., and Atlanta).
Defending Denver Top Fuel champ and two-time Top Fuel World Champion (1994-1995) and Doug's Cousin Scott Kalitta, 43, driver of the specially painted Coors/Mac Tools/Jesse James Top Fuel dragster this weekend in Denver, qualified No. 8 (4.690 sec., 314.53 mph). He will race his Kalitta Motorsports teammate and No. 9 qualifier "Aussie Dave" Grubnic (4.800 sec., 272.01 mph) in round one of eliminations. Scott is 4-3 versus his teammate Grubnic in his career, including one match-up this season at the first event of the 2005 season in Pomona, Calif., that Scott won.
Scott, who won the opening event of the 2005 season in Pomona, in February, and again last month in Joliet, Ill., is currently seventh in championship points.
Scott has 18 (17 Top Fuel, 1 Funny Car) NHRA national event victories in his 24-year career.
Driver of the Zantrex-3 Top Fuel dragster and native Australian Grubnic, 42, the $100,000 Budweiser Shootout special event winner last fall in Las Vegas, made history May 29th in Topeka, Kans., by becoming the first non-North American to win an NHRA Top Fuel national event. The win in Topeka was Grubnic's first in his 11-year career.
Grubnic is currently in fourth place in championship points, just 101 markers behind.
The Mopar Mile-High NHRA Nationals is the 13th of 23 national events in the 2005 NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series.
Sunday's final eliminations begin with the Top Fuel class at noon.