Indy ORP: Jeff Arend preview

Jeff Arend set for debut in the DHL Funny Car in Indy INDIANAPOLIS, (Aug. 28, 2008) -- Native Canadian Jeff Arend will take the reigns as driver of the Nitro-fueled DHL Toyota Solara Funny Car at this weekend's, Aug. 27-Sept. 1, annual running...

Jeff Arend set for debut in the DHL Funny Car in Indy

INDIANAPOLIS, (Aug. 28, 2008) -- Native Canadian Jeff Arend will take the reigns as driver of the Nitro-fueled DHL Toyota Solara Funny Car at this weekend's, Aug. 27-Sept. 1, annual running of the world-renowned Mac Tools U.S. Nationals at O'Reilly Raceway Park at Indianapolis.

Kalitta Motorsports team owner and drag racing legend Connie Kalitta chose Arend to drive the DHL Toyota Solara mount in late July to help preserve the legacy of his legendary son, Scott Kalitta, who died as result of a high-speed Funny Car qualifying accident in Englishtown, N.J., June 21.

"It will always be Scott's car," Arend, a 46-year old resident of San Dimas, Calif., said. "I am just the newest member to be added to the DHL Funny Car team, and I will do my best to accomplish what Scott and Connie started out to do, and that is having a consistent, competitive, and safe racecar capable of going rounds and winning races.

"Scott was a racer that would race you hard, but one who always enjoyed life, too. He was a great husband and father to his children. For those that know me, I try to emulate those same, basic traits. I will do my best to carry on what Scott was best known for -- family."

Arend was the No. 1 qualifier in the Funny Car class at the Mac Tools U.S. Nationals in 2007. His most recent start in a Funny Car at an NHRA national event prior to this weekend was at the NHRA Finals in Pomona, Calif., in November of last year.

Arend continued, "We took the DHL car up to Martin (Michigan) to test this week, and we're very pleased with what we saw. I was a little rusty on the first lap, but once I got the cobwebs shook loose, everything was fine. We're all anxious to get on the track at Indy and carry on with what Scott started."

-credit: km

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About this article
Series NHRA
Drivers Scott Kalitta , Jeff Arend , Connie Kalitta