Phoenix: Doug Kalitta preview

Doug Kalitta is searching for the brighter end of the racing spectrum at NHRA event in Phoenix Chandler, Ariz., (Feb. 22, 2006) - Mac Tools Top Fuel dragster driver Doug Kalitta has experienced a pendulum of emotions at Firebird Int'l Raceway ...

Doug Kalitta is searching for the brighter end of the racing spectrum at NHRA event in Phoenix

Chandler, Ariz., (Feb. 22, 2006) - Mac Tools Top Fuel dragster driver Doug Kalitta has experienced a pendulum of emotions at Firebird Int'l Raceway in Chandler, Ariz., the site of this weekend's Checker Schuck's Kragen NHRA Nationals, Feb. 24-26, just outside the city limits of Phoenix. In his nine-year quarter-mile career, he has been through drag racing's highest of highs and lowest of lows in the NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series' duel in the desert.

Last season, Kalitta lost in the opening round of eliminations at the Checker Schuck's Kragen NHRA Nationals after posting a runner-up finish the year prior at the event. Kalitta won the event in 2001, just one year after failing to qualify for the event in '00. That DNQ was Kalitta's last qualifying failure. Since then, Kalitta has qualified for 138 consecutive NHRA national events, which lands him second behind John Force (370 - Funny Car) on the current qualifying streaks tally.

"Phoenix has always been a crazy kind of place for me," Doug, a 41-year old resident of Ann Arbor, Mich., said. "Since we went out in the first round last year, does that mean we're due for a win this year?"

"I like racing at Firebird. The weather is almost always great and the fans are usually very friendly and supportive. Rahn (Tobler, crew chief) and our Mac Tools team will have a great race car for me to drive I'm sure. I just hope that this year in Phoenix is one of our good years. I think we've had enough bad ones."

Kalitta also has a No. 1 qualifier award for the Phoenix event (2003).

Kalitta is a two-time Top Fuel championship points runner-up (2003-2004). He has 24 NHRA national event victories. He also holds the time slip for the quickest run in NHRA history, 4.420 sec., Chicago 1 - 2004.

In 1998, Kalitta was the Auto Club of Southern California Road to the Future Award winner for NHRA rookie excellence, and he's a former USAC National Sprint Car Champion (1994).

Kalitta's uncle, team owner and drag racing legend Conrad "Connie" Kalitta will celebrate his 68th birthday this Fri., Feb. 24.

-km

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Series NHRA
Drivers John Force , Doug Kalitta