Gainesville: Team Kalitta final report

Team Kalitta takes early exit in Gainesville GAINESVILLE, Fla., (March 16, 2009) -- Despite making their best runs of the weekend in their respective first-round races in yesterday's eliminations of the ACDelco NHRA Gatornationals at historic ...

Team Kalitta takes early exit in Gainesville

GAINESVILLE, Fla., (March 16, 2009) -- Despite making their best runs of the weekend in their respective first-round races in yesterday's eliminations of the ACDelco NHRA Gatornationals at historic Gainesville Raceway in Gainesville, Fla., Kalitta Motorsports teammates Doug Kalitta and Jeff Arend both saw their chances of Gatornationals glory dashed in the initial stanza.

Kalitta, a 44-year old resident of Ann Arbor, Mich., and 31-time NHRA national event winner, qualified his bright yellow, 8,000-horspower Kalitta Motorsports Top Fueler in the 16th slot of the 16-dragster eliminations ladder (4.118 seconds, 293.98 mph). He was defeated in the first round in a great side-by-side, 1,000-ft. battle with No. 1 qualifier Larry Dixon, 3.945 sec., 309.20 mph to 3.882 sec., 312.50 mph. Dixon's stellar lap against Kalitta was the quickest pass of the weekend in the class.

Arend, a 46-year old resident of San Dimas, Calif., qualified his yellow and red-striped, nitro-fueled DHL Toyota Solara Funny Car in the No. 14 spot for fuel coupe eliminations (4.222 sec., 290.94 mph). Like his teammate, Arend had a terrific match-up on the drag strip with Del Worsham, but it was Worsham who got to the finish line before Arend, 4.196 sec., 302.08 mph to 4.143 sec., 301.40 mph.

Kalitta is now in 4th place in Full Throttle Top Fuel championship points (194). He is 65 points behind the class leader. Arend is in 15th place in Funny Car points (94), 169 points below the top spot.

The event in Gainesville was the 3rd of 24 national events in the 2009 NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series.

-credit: km

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Series NHRA
Drivers Larry Dixon , Doug Kalitta , Jeff Arend