Joliet: Doug Kalitta preview

NHRA Top Fuel points leader Doug Kalitta ready for improvement and continued success at Joliet Joliet, Ill., June 7, 2005 - This weekend, June 9-12, the stars of the NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series roll into Joliet, Ill., just south of ...

NHRA Top Fuel points leader Doug Kalitta ready for improvement and continued success at Joliet

Joliet, Ill., June 7, 2005 - This weekend, June 9-12, the stars of the NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series roll into Joliet, Ill., just south of Chicago, for the CARQUEST Auto Parts NHRA Nationals at Route 66 Raceway. In 2004 at this event, Doug Kalitta fired the drag-racing shot that was heard throughout the world of motorsports in his 7,000+ horsepower Mac Tools Top Fuel dragster with a jaw-dropping, NHRA-best 4.420-second winning lap in the final round against Brandon Bernstein.

Doug, the current NHRA Top Fuel championship points leader, is looking to defend his CARQUEST Auto Parts NHRA Nationals title this year and add to his shrinking points lead (26), which took a hit with his first-round loss at the previous national event in Topeka, Kans., two weeks ago.

"Topeka was a tough deal for us," Doug said. "The car just spun the tires loose and we lost. Now, we have to get our focus back and put that behind us. Drag racing is a tricky sport sometimes and those things happen, but the key to being successful is not dwelling on it. Luckily for us, our teammate (Dave Grubnic) took out Tony (Schumacher, second in points) in round two to help us keep our (points) lead.

"Route 66 Raceway is awesome. The track and the facility are at the top of the list of the places we race. We've had some pretty good showings there too. We won the race last spring and won the fall race in 2002. That 4.42 blast there was kind of good too (laughing). Hopefully, we'll run well this time and go some rounds and increase our lead."

Two-time Top Fuel championship points runner-up (2003-2004) Doug, 40, is an eight-year Top Fuel veteran and former USAC National Sprint Car Champion (1994). He has 22 career NHRA event wins, including three in 2005 (Gainesville, Fla., Bristol, Tenn., and Atlanta). He was the 1998 Auto Club of Southern California Road to the Future Award winner for NHRA rookie excellence.

Kalitta Motorsports, which includes Doug's teammates Scott Kalitta and "Aussie Dave" Grubnic, has made five straight final-round appearances. In the first nine NHRA national events of 2005, Team Kalitta race cars have made seven final-round appearances with five wins (Doug - 3, Scott - 1, Grubnic - 1).

The CARQUEST Auto Parts NHRA Nationals begins Friday, June 10, for the Top Fuel class with two qualifying sessions. Two more qualifying sessions follow on Saturday. The top sixteen qualified cars will race Sunday in final eliminations.

The CARQUEST Auto Parts NHRA Nationals is the tenth of 23 national events in the 2005 NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series.

About Kalitta Motorsports

Based in Ypsilanti, Michigan, Kalitta Motorsports is the only full-time three-car Top Fuel drag racing team in the NHRA (National Hot Rod Association) POWERade Drag Racing Series. The racing operation was started in 1959 by now legendary drag racer and team owner Connie "the Bounty Hunter" Kalitta. His son Scott Kalitta drives the Mac Tools/Jesse James dragster. Scott's cousin, Connie's nephew, Doug Kalitta drives the flagship dragster for Mac Tools. Native Australian David Grubnic drives the third dragster under the banner of Zantrex-3.

Connie serves as crew chief for all three Team Kalitta entries. He is assisted by co-crew chiefs Rahn Tobler (Mac Tools dragster), Jim Oberhofer (Mac Tools/Jesse James dragster) and Jon Oberhofer (Zantrex-3 dragster).

Associate sponsors on all three race cars include Red Line Oil, Summit Racing Equipment, Technicoat Companies and Fischer Honda.

-www.kalittaracing.com

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Series NHRA
Drivers Doug Kalitta , David Grubnic , Scott Kalitta , Brandon Bernstein , Jim Oberhofer , Jesse James