Doug Kalitta Infineon Wall of Fame inductee

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Doug Kalitta - Mac Tools Top Fuel Dragster NHRA's Doug Kalitta to be Inducted into Infineon Raceway Wall of Fame SONOMA, Calif. (July 21, 2008) -- Top Fuel driver Doug Kalitta has earned a reputation for being tough to beat in the Sonoma...

Doug Kalitta - Mac Tools Top Fuel Dragster

NHRA's Doug Kalitta to be Inducted into Infineon Raceway Wall of Fame

SONOMA, Calif. (July 21, 2008) -- Top Fuel driver Doug Kalitta has earned a reputation for being tough to beat in the Sonoma Valley, and he will be recognized for his achievements during the FRAM Autolite NHRA Nationals, July 25-27.

Kalitta will be inducted into the Infineon Raceway Wall of Fame on Sunday, July 27, during pre-event ceremonies, making him the fourth NHRA driver to be enshrined.

He'll join Pro Stock driver Warren Johnson (2005), as well as Funny Car drivers John Force (2006) and Gary Scelzi (2007) in the Wall of Fame, which was created in 2005.

Kalitta has five-career victories on the Infineon Raceway drag strip, including three consecutive (1998-2000) and two back-to-back (2004, 2005). He is one of only two NHRA drivers to ever three-peat at Infineon Raceway, the other being John Force (1990-1992). He is the winningest Top Fuel driver in the Sonoma Valley.

"I'm real happy the raceway has selected me to go into the Wall of Fame. It really means a lot to me, considering all of the success I've had there," Kalitta said. "The facility there is state-of-the-art and the drag racers appreciate all the work Steve Page and Bruton Smith have done over the years. We can't wait to get out there."

"The Wall of Fame is all about recognizing individuals whose accomplishments have helped define the legacy of Infineon Raceway," said Steve Page, president and general manager of Infineon Raceway. "Doug Kalitta has had a phenomenal record of success at this track and he is very deserving of this recognition."

Kalitta comes from a family with a long-established history in drag racing. He is the son of the late Doug Kalitta Sr. and nephew of Hall of Fame driver and team owner Connie Kalitta. In addition to his drag racing accomplishments, Kalitta is also the 1994 USAC National Sprint Car Champion and an accomplished pilot.

Other members of the Infineon Raceway Wall of Fame include Jeff Gordon, Ricky Rudd, Rusty Wallace and Mark Martin from NASCAR, as well as O. Bruton Smith, Chairman of Speedway Motorsports Inc., which owns Infineon Raceway. The wall is located directly behind the main grandstand and is open to the public for viewing.

The Wall of Fame includes competitors from all forms of motor racing at Infineon Raceway, including NASCAR, NHRA, AMA, open-wheel cars, sports cars, and more. The Wall of Fame will also include those who have made significant contributions to the raceway over the years. A raceway committee oversees the selection process on an annual basis.

Since winning the NHRA's equivalent of Rookie of the Year, the Automobile Club of Southern California's Road to the Future Award after the 1998 drag racing season, Kalitta has driven his dragster to 30 Top Fuel national event titles, which places him in sixth in career wins for the sport's quickest and fastest class. In the past five NHRA seasons, Kalitta has solidified his place among the best Top Fuel pilots of all-time. In 2006, he won a career-high five national events in 2006 and led the POWERade points for almost the entire second half of the season. After finishing just 14 points shy of his first NHRA championship, Kalitta garnered his third career runner-up points finish in 2006. He was also points runner-up in 2003 and 2004. In 2007, he won one event -- the event held in Richmond, Va.

-credit: km

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