Las Vegas II: Doug Kalitta preview

Mac Tools driver Doug Kalitta seeking to soar to 350 in Las Vegas LAS VEGAS, (Oct. 28, 2008) --Doug Kalitta, driver of the "Big Red", Mac Tools Top Fuel dragster, spends his weekends behind the wheel of his 8,000-horsepower, Nitro-fueled race...

Mac Tools driver Doug Kalitta seeking to soar to 350 in Las Vegas

LAS VEGAS, (Oct. 28, 2008) --Doug Kalitta, driver of the "Big Red", Mac Tools Top Fuel dragster, spends his weekends behind the wheel of his 8,000-horsepower, Nitro-fueled race car in the NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series, but during the week, Kalitta spends his time in the skies as the owner and president of Kalitta Charters, an air charter service based in Ypsilanti, Mich.

In aviation lingo, an airplane flying at flight level 350, or FL350, is flying at pressure altitude 35,000 feet, an optimal long-range cruising altitude. This weekend, Oct. 30-Nov. 2, Kalitta and his team are looking to ascend to an earthly echelon of 350 at the annual running of the ACDelco Las Vegas NHRA Nationals at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

Currently, Kalitta stands on 346 career elimination-round wins in his 11-year NHRA Top Fuel career. With an event win this weekend in Las Vegas, Kalitta would fly to 350 round wins and continue to add new heights to his terrestrial tenure.

"We always look forward to this race, but getting to 350 this weekend would be a great accomplishment for the whole team," Kalitta, a 44-year old resident of Ann Arbor, Mich., said. "Our Mac Tools machine certainly has the potential to go out this weekend and pick up the four we need. Hopefully we can get a good spot in qualifying and go for it on Sunday.

"I really enjoy both aspects of my life. I'm not sure if I could pick either flying or racing as my favorite. I'm just thankful that I'm able to do both.

Kalitta won the fall event in Las Vegas in 2004 and holds the quarter-mile speed record at The Strip, 335.57 mph (April, 2004).

Kalitta is in 9th place in POWERade championship points and in the NHRA Countdown to 1 postseason.

-credit: km

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Series NHRA
Drivers Doug Kalitta