Englishtown: Doug Kalitta preview

NHRA Top Fueler Doug Kalitta riding successful run to Englishtown with guarded optimism ENGLISHTOWN, N.J., (June 14, 2006) -- This Father's Day weekend, June 15-18, the NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series heads east for the K&N Filters...

NHRA Top Fueler Doug Kalitta riding successful run to Englishtown with guarded optimism

ENGLISHTOWN, N.J., (June 14, 2006) -- This Father's Day weekend, June 15-18, the NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series heads east for the K&N Filters SuperNationals at famed Old Bridge Township Raceway Park in Englishtown, N.J., and Mac Tools Top Fuel dragster driver Doug Kalitta is hoping to continue an incredible streak of momentum that has seen him win back-to-back NHRA national events -- Twice in the first ten events.

To say that Kalitta and his Mac Tools team are the hottest team on the NHRA tour right now, would be a huge understatement. In the preceding five events, Kalitta won back-to-back events in Bristol, Tenn., and Atlanta and then consecutively won again at the previous two events in Topeka, Kans., and Chicago. It is the best five-race run of his drag racing career, which includes 51 final-round appearances. Kalitta leads Top Fuel, the NHRA's quickest and fastest racing class, with four wins in 2006 and has climbed from 9th to 2nd place in POWERade championship points. He now sits only 71 points away from the championship lead after trimming away 139 points from the deficit with his recent winning runs.

"We're definitely running great right now," Doug said. "Drag racing is a tough sport though, and you can just as easily be on the other end of that, so we're trying to keep our focus and not get too overjoyed. We're still in second place and that's not where we want to be when everything is said and done. We just want to keep being consistent and win as many [elimination] rounds as we can. Don't get me wrong though, it's certainly been a fun ride."

"Larry [Dixon] has quite a streak going on Father's Day (Dixon has won on Father's Day five straight times). Just like him, I'm a dad too (son Mitchell, 5, and daughter Avery, 2), and I'd like to pick up a win on Father's Day this year for my kids and for my dad (Doug Sr.). Senior has had some recent health problems, so I'd really like to get a trophy for him in Englishtown. Sorry Larry."

Kalitta, a 41-year old resident of Ann Arbor, Mich., is a two-time Top Fuel championship points runner-up (2003-2004) and the 1998 Auto Club of Southern California Road to the Future Award winner for rookie excellence. He is now in his ninth season in NHRA Top Fuel drag racing and has 28 career Top Fuel victories. Before joining the quarter-mile set, Kalitta raced in open-wheel competition and won the 1994 USAC National Sprint Car Championship. He is also the owner and president of Kalitta Charters, a charter airline service based at Willow Run Airport in Ypsilanti, Mich., alongside Kalitta Air, an airline freight service owned by his uncle, race team owner, and drag racing legend Connie Kalitta.

The K&N Filters SuperNationals begins Friday, June 16, for the Top Fuel class with two qualifying sessions at 4:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. (ET). Two more qualifying sessions follow on Saturday at 1:00 p.m. and 3:30 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 K&N Filters SuperNationals is the 11th of 23 national events in the 2006 NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series.

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Series NHRA
Drivers Doug Kalitta