Las Vegas: Kalitta Motorsports Saturday summary

LAS VEGAS (April 14, 2007) -- At the 5th event of the NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series, the SummitRacing.com NHRA Nationals at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway Saturday, it was a day of mixed emotions for Team Kalitta. For the first time ...

LAS VEGAS (April 14, 2007) -- At the 5th event of the NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series, the SummitRacing.com NHRA Nationals at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway Saturday, it was a day of mixed emotions for Team Kalitta.

For the first time since the Phoenix event in 2000, Doug Kalitta, driver of the special edition Mac Tools/Foose Design Top Fuel dragster, will not be introduced to the crowd of race fans on Sunday morning. Doug's best effort of 4.641 seconds at 325.22 mph was only enough to garner him the No. 17 qualifying position and only 16 dragsters get to race in Sunday's final eliminations. Until today, Doug had the second longest consecutive qualifying streak with 164 successful attempts.

"It's terribly disappointing, but no one here will hold their head down," Doug said. "We didn't make it, and that's that. We just had a bad weekend. It happens, and we'll move on. I really think this will just make us a lot stronger. We'll be okay."

After consecutive DNQs at the previous two NHRA events, Doug's cousin Scott Kalitta made the debut of the newly christened DHL Toyota Solara Funny Car a stylish one at "The Strip". Scott's 4.799-sec., 313.15-mph time trial placed him in the No. 9 qualifying slot. He will race No. 8 qualifier Tony Bartone in the opening round of eliminations tomorrow.

Dave Grubnic, driver of the Zantrex-3 Top Fuel dragster, makes Sunday's race day show with a solid No. 7 qualifying effort, 4.541 sec., 331.69 mph. Grubnic's speed was the fastest by any of the Top Fuelers during qualifying. He will race No. 10 qualifier Joe Hartley in round one.

Hillary Will, driver of the Kalitta Motorsports-managed, Ken Black-owned KB Racing LLC Top Fueler, qualified in the No. 11 position for eliminations.

Sunday's final eliminations begin at 11:00 a.m. (PT)

-credit: km

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Series NHRA
Drivers Tony Bartone , Doug Kalitta , Scott Kalitta , Joe Hartley , Hillary Will , Ken Black