Team Kalitta sees highs and lows in Chicago qualifyingJ JOLIET, Ill., (June 9, 2007) -- At the Torco Race Fuels Route 66 NHRA Nationals at Route 66 Raceway in Joliet, Ill., just south of Chicago, Scott Kalitta continued his string of performance...
Team Kalitta sees highs and lows in Chicago qualifyingJ
JOLIET, Ill., (June 9, 2007) -- At the Torco Race Fuels Route 66 NHRA Nationals at Route 66 Raceway in Joliet, Ill., just south of Chicago, Scott Kalitta continued his string of performance consistency by qualifying in the No. 11 (4.789 sec., 314.61 mph) spot for Sunday's 16-car final eliminations field in the nitro-fueled Funny Car class.
Scott, driver of the DHL Toyota Solara Funny Car, will face No. 6 qualifier Jack Beckman (4.769 sec., 317.42 mph) when the first round of Funny Car eliminations begin tomorrow.
Scott's cousin and Team Kalitta teammate Doug Kalitta, driver of the Mac Tools Top Fuel dragster, qualified his "Big Red" race car in the No. 16 spot in the Top Fuel field, 4.596 sec., 317.57 mph. Doug will roll to the starting line tomorrow morning to race No. 1 qualifier Tony Schumacher, 4.462 sec., 327.66 mph. Doug and Schumacher battled to the bitter end last season for the POWERade Top Fuel points championship that was eventually won by the latter by only 14 points at the last event of 2006.
Doug's Top Fuel comrade and Kalitta Motorsports teammate Dave Grubnic, driver of the Zantrex-3 dragster, failed to qualify for Sunday's final festivities for the first time in 78 NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series events. Grubnic's last DNQ came at the fall event in Las Vegas in 2003 before he began driving for Team Kalitta.
"Sure, I'm disappointed for my crew, our fans, and our entire Kalitta Motorsports team, but we're more disappointed for our sponsors and the folks we represent with our Zantrex-3 machine," Grubnic, a native of Australia, said. "We'll keep our heads up and move on. That's all we can do.
"The competition in the NHRA pro classes this year is crazy. Three of the top eight in Top Fuel points, including the points leader, failed to qualify here. Both nitro winners from last week failed to qualify here. It is one of the most bizarre seasons I've ever seen, and we're not even halfway through."
Hillary Will, driver of the Kalitta Motorsports-managed, Ken Black-owned KB Racing LLC Top Fueler, qualified in the No. 7 position for eliminations.