Las Vegas II: Doug Kalitta final report

Doug Kalitta and the Mac Tools/Long Way Down team make the finals in Las Vegas LAS VEGAS, (Oct. 28, 2007) -- At the ACDelco Las Vegas NHRA Nationals at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway in Las Vegas, Doug Kalitta, driver of the special...

Doug Kalitta and the Mac Tools/Long Way Down team make the finals in Las Vegas

LAS VEGAS, (Oct. 28, 2007) -- At the ACDelco Las Vegas NHRA Nationals at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway in Las Vegas, Doug Kalitta, driver of the special edition Mac Tools/Long Way Down Top Fuel dragster, made his second consecutive final round appearance of the 2007 NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series during final eliminations Sunday.

Kalitta, who won the previous NHRA national event in Richmond, Va., qualified his 8,000-horsepower Top Fueler in the No. 2 qualifying spot for today's 16-car final eliminations field, his best qualifying effort of the 2007 season. He defeated a tire-smoking Urs Erbacher, the European drag racing champ, in the first round, 4.544 seconds, 326.79 mph to 6.297 sec., 128.62 mph.

In the quarterfinals, Kalitta faced the formidable Larry Dixon. The two Top Fuel aces put on a great show for the sold-out crowd at The Strip with a spectacular drag race down the quarter-mile. Kalitta led wire-to-wire to get the close win, 4.559 sec., 327.82 mph to 4.583 sec., 317.87 mph.

Kalitta then had to race another tough opponent in the semifinals in Brandon Bernstein. Bernstein's rail started losing traction early in the run, but Kalitta's stellar 4.536-second, 329.58-mph lap would have been difficult to beat anyway. Bernstein crossed the finish line with a mark of 4.994 sec., 244.87 mph.

In the final round, Kalitta matched up against Rod Fuller. The fans at The Strip got to see an amazing drag race to end the weekend of racing in "Sin City". It was a neck-and-neck fight to the finish, but it was Fuller that turned on the win light bulb by mere inches, 4.537 sec., 331.36 mph to 4.531 sec., 327.82 mph. The margin of victory at the stripe was only .0102 seconds.

"Well, two finals in a row isn't too bad," Kalitta, a 45-year resident of Ann Arbor, Mich., said. "We almost got a two wins in a row, but it just wasn't meant to be today. I am still very encouraged by the way our car has been running lately. We are winning rounds and that feels great, to say the least.

"I want to say special thanks to Charley Boorman and everyone from Long Way Down and Mac Tools that were here cheering for us all weekend. Too bad we couldn't get their car in the winner's circle, but I know they had a great time anyway and it was great to have them with us."

-credit: kr

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Series NHRA
Drivers Larry Dixon , Doug Kalitta , Brandon Bernstein , Urs Erbacher , Rod Fuller , Charley Boorman