Dave Grubnic, Zantrex-3 Top Fuel dragster, lost in round two Doug Kalitta, Mac Tools Top Fuel dragster, lost in round two Scott Kalitta, Kalitta Air Toyota Solara Funny Car, DNQ NHRA's Team Kalitta improves Top Fuel performances in Gainesville...
Dave Grubnic, Zantrex-3 Top Fuel dragster, lost in round two
Doug Kalitta, Mac Tools Top Fuel dragster, lost in round two
Scott Kalitta, Kalitta Air Toyota Solara Funny Car, DNQ
NHRA's Team Kalitta improves Top Fuel performances in Gainesville with quarter-final showings
Gainesville, Fla., (March 18, 2007) Sunday's final eliminations at the ACDelco NHRA Gatornationals at historic Gainesville Raceway in Gainesville, Fla., did not exactly turn out how the team members of Kalitta Motorsports wanted it to, but in many regards, it was a positive step toward getting back to the winning ways that have defined the Ypsilanti, Michigan-based drag racing team since being founded by team owner and drag racing legend Connie "the Bounty Hunter" Kalitta in 1959. All of the Team Kalitta race cars were ousted in the first round at the previous event in Phoenix.
Team Kalitta Top Fuel driver and native Australian Dave Grubnic, driver of the 8,000-horsepower, black and blue Zantrex-3 dragster, qualified for Sunday's final day of racing in Gainesville in the No. 7 position. Grubnic, the 2006 Top Fuel trophy winner at the Gatornationals, won a tire-smoking, throttle-pedalling first round race down the quarter-mile over Bob Vandergriff Jr., 5.145 seconds, 315.64 mph to 7.671 sec., 104.78 mph. In the quarterfinals, Grubnic's nitro-fueled rail again struggled to maintain valuable traction with the pavement, but his opponent Rod Fuller had less trouble getting down the race track to get the win over the Zantrex-3 machine, 5.393 sec., 224.25 mph to 4.646 sec., 309.13 mph.
Doug Kalitta, driver of the bright red Mac Tools Top Fuel dragster, qualified in the No. 11 spot on the final eliminations ladder. Doug, a ten-year drag racing veteran, proved once again why he was voted as the "Best Leaver" in a recent poll of his Top Fuel peers in National Dragster magazine by getting a holeshot win over his opening-round opponent Cory McClenathan, 4.553 sec., 328.46 mph to 4.534 sec., 325.69 mph. Doug's better starting line reaction margin of .046 sec., was enough to help get him to the finish line first by .027 sec. In round two, Doug and his Mac Tools dragster team made another strong effort in the warmer atmospheric conditions, but this time it was just not enough to get around Tony Schumacher, 4.646 sec., 312.57 mph to 4.566 sec., 327.90 mph.
Doug's cousin Scott Kalitta, driver of the Kalitta Air Toyota Solara Funny Car, failed to qualify for Sunday's final eliminations for the first time in the 2007 NHRA season.
Hillary Will, driver of the Kalitta Motorsports-managed, Ken Black-owned KB Racing LLC Top Fuel dragster, defeated Doug Herbert in round one. She lost to Whit Bazemore in the second round.
The ACDelco NHRA Gatornationals was the 3rd of 23 national events in the 2007 NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series.