Doug Kalitta, driver of the Mac Tools Top Fuel dragster, qualified No. 12 (3.901 seconds, 309.70 mph) -- advanced to final round Mac Tools driver Doug Kalitta takes runner-up finish at Mac Tools U.S. Nationals in Indy INDIANAPOLIS, (Sept. 1,...
Doug Kalitta, driver of the Mac Tools Top Fuel dragster, qualified No. 12 (3.901 seconds, 309.70 mph) -- advanced to final round
Mac Tools driver Doug Kalitta takes runner-up finish at Mac Tools U.S. Nationals in Indy
INDIANAPOLIS, (Sept. 1, 2008) -- Doug Kalitta, driver of the Nitro-fueled, 8,000-horsepower Mac Tools Top Fuel dragster, raced his "Big Red" machine to a runner-up finish Monday in the finals of the most heralded drag racing event in the world, the Mac Tools U.S. Nationals O'Reilly Raceway Park at Indianapolis.
Kalitta's charge to the final round at the "Big Go" was his first final-round appearance of the 2008 NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series and his first trip to the money round at an NHRA national event since he and the Mac Tools team went to the finals and won the title at the Richmond, Va., event last fall. Kalitta was also a finalist in Indy in 2004.
Kalitta, the nephew of team owner and drag racing legend Connie Kalitta, defeated J.R. Todd and Brandon Bernstein in the opening two rounds of eliminations Monday, and then defeated rival tool car driver Antron Brown in the semifinals to set up a rematch of the 2004 Mac Tools U.S. Nationals final round with the Alan Johnson-tuned dragster driven by Tony Schumacher.
Kalitta and Schumacher gave the fans at ORP a great side-by-side race to the 1,000 ft. finish line, but unfortunately Kalitta and the Mac Tools rail crossed the stripe a mere .08 seconds after their opponent and had to settle for the runner-up finish, 4.036 seconds, 299.86 mph to 3.916 sec., 309.13 mph.
"It's tough to get to the finals in Indy and not be able to bring home the trophy, but it was still a great weekend for the Mac Tools team," Kalitta, a 43-year old resident of Ann Arbor, Mich., said. "We just kept fine tuning our car all weekend and it was very consistent. Indy is the biggest race in the world and we made the finals, so it's still a good day."
"We're not hanging our heads at all about this. This was a big boost for me and the Mac Tools team going into the Countdown to 1. We're disappointed for all the great folks at Mac Tools and all the Mac Tools Distributors who support us, but they know we tried our best and we'll keep on doing that for them every time we race."
Kalitta's final round appearance in Indy was the 55th of his 11-year Top Fuel career.
Kalitta is in 9th place in POWERade championship points and in the Countdown to 1, which begins at the next event in Concord, N.C.