Doug Kalitta gains ground in POWERade championship points with quarter-final showing in Englishtown; Teammates Dave Grubnic and Scott Kalitta lose in opening round of eliminations ENGLISHTOWN, N.J., (June 18, 2006) -- Doug Kalitta, driver of ...
Doug Kalitta gains ground in POWERade championship points with quarter-final showing in Englishtown; Teammates Dave Grubnic and Scott Kalitta lose in opening round of eliminations
ENGLISHTOWN, N.J., (June 18, 2006) -- Doug Kalitta, driver of bright red, 8,000 horsepower Mac Tools Top Fuel dragster, gained 23 all-important POWERade points in Sunday's 16-car Top Fuel final eliminations at the K&N Filters SuperNationals at Old Bridge Township Raceway Park in Englishtown, N.J.
Doug, the No. 4 qualifier (4.564 sec., 329.91 mph), raced No. 13 qualifier Morgan Lucas (4.636 sec., 313.66 mph) in the first round of eliminations. Doug was able to get the win light in a close race, 4.644 sec., 324.67 mph to 4.701 sec., 304.53 mph. In the second, or quarter-final, round, Doug's Mac Tools entry experienced a loss of traction from its big Goodyear rear slicks and let his opponent Rod Fuller get the victory, 5.002 sec., 293.09 mph to 4.643 sec., 320.74 mph.
Doug had won four of the previous five NHRA national events prior to Englishtown (Bristol, Tenn., Atlanta, Topeka, and Chicago). He entered the event in Englishtown 71 points behind Top Fuel championship points leader Melanie Troxel, but with Troxel's exit in round one and with Doug's better qualifying performance, he leaves the Garden State now down only 48 points in second place.
Doug's Kalitta Motorsports Top Fuel teammate Dave Grubnic, driver of the 330-mph, pink and black StriVectin-SD Top Fuel dragster, qualified for final eliminations in the No. 14 spot (4.641 sec., 325.14 mph). He raced the No. 3 qualifier in the Alan Johnson-tuned entry (4.561 sec., 324.59 mph) in the first round of eliminations.
In the best race of the opening round, native Australian Grubnic had the second quickest elapsed time of the round, 4.614 sec., 320.74 mph. Unfortunately for Grubnic, the car in the other lane ran the quickest time of the round, 4.586 sec., 324.51 mph, to end the StriVectin-SD team's day early.
Grubnic is now in 6th place in POWERade championship points, 249 away from the lead.
Grubnic's StriVectin-SD team and sponsor relations representative and drag racing legend Shirley Muldowney won the historic Englishtown event in 1977 and celebrates her birthday Mon., June 19.
Doug's cousin Scott Kalitta, driving his new Kalitta Air Monte Carlo Funny Car flopper, qualified No. 12 (4.853 sec., 322.04 mph) for Sunday's eliminations. Scott, the son of team owner and drag racing legend Connie Kalitta, lost his first match-up with No. 5 qualifier Tony Pedregon (4.812 sec., 320.58 mph) in a very close side-by-side trip down the quarter-mile, 4.961 sec., 294.88 mph to 4.926 sec., 313.73 mph.
Rookie Top Fueler Hillary Will, driving the Kalitta Motorsports-managed, Ken Black-owned dragster, qualified in the No. 14 position. She reached the semifinals for the first time in her career.
The K&N Filters SuperNationals was the 11th of 23 national events in the 2006 NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series.