Gainesville: Scott Kalitta preview

Scott Kalitta and the DHL team looking for "hometown" win in Gainesville GAINESVILLE, Fla., (March 12, 2008) -- This weekend, March 13-16, Scott Kalitta, driver of the bright yellow and red, 8,000-horsepower DHL Toyota Solara Funny Car, is...

Scott Kalitta and the DHL team looking for "hometown" win in Gainesville

GAINESVILLE, Fla., (March 12, 2008) -- This weekend, March 13-16, Scott Kalitta, driver of the bright yellow and red, 8,000-horsepower DHL Toyota Solara Funny Car, is hoping to maintain the momentum that he and his team have built in the first two events of the 2008 NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series at the prestigious ACDelco NHRA Gatornationals at Gainesville Raceway in Gainesville, Fla.

Kalitta is currently in 6th place in 2008 POWERade Funny Car championship points in large part due to a convincing win over 14-time POWERade champion John Force in the first round of eliminations at the previous event in Phoenix. Until Kalitta bested "the Champ" in the desert, 4.78 seconds to 4.86 sec., he was 0-10 versus Force in his career in elimination rounds.

"I think we may look back on that round against Force as the turning point for our DHL team," Kalitta, a 46-year old resident of Palmetto, Fla., said. "Unfortunately, we didn't capitalize on it in round two in Phoenix, but it was a tremendous boost in everyone's confidence on our team.

"We're really looking forward to getting back on the track in Gainesville. DHL America is based in Florida, and we're expecting some DHL corporate staff and guests at the race track. With our new optimism and performance, hopefully we'll keep them cheering for us all weekend."

Kalitta is looking to join his father, team owner, and drag racing icon Connie "the Bounty Hunter" Kalitta and his cousin Doug Kalitta, driver of the Mac Tools Top Fuel dragster, as Kalitta family members that have conquered the quarter-mile at Gainesville Raceway. Connie defeated Scott in the only father-son Top Fuel final in NHRA history in Gainesville in 1994. Cousin Doug visited the winner's circle at the illustrious track in 2005 and 2000.

Kalitta returned to the Funny Car class in 2006 after many successful years at the helm of a Top Fuel dragster. He won the NHRA Top Fuel World Championship in 1994 and 1995 as well as 17 NHRA national event trophies, but got his first professional NHRA national event win under the carbon fiber canopy of a Funny Car in Houston in 1989.

-credit: km

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Series NHRA
Drivers John Force , Doug Kalitta , Scott Kalitta