Phoenix: Scott Kalitta preview

NHRA Nitro Funny Car driver Scott Kalitta focused on Phoenix Chandler, Ariz., (Feb. 20, 2007) -- Scott Kalitta, driver of the Kalitta Air Toyota Solara Funny Car, is cautiously optimistic about the potential performance of his 8,000-horsepower...

NHRA Nitro Funny Car driver Scott Kalitta focused on Phoenix

Chandler, Ariz., (Feb. 20, 2007) -- Scott Kalitta, driver of the Kalitta Air Toyota Solara Funny Car, is cautiously optimistic about the potential performance of his 8,000-horsepower race car at this weekend's, Feb. 23-25, annual running of the Checker Schuck's Kragen NHRA Nationals at Firebird Int'l Raceway just outside of Phoenix in Chandler, Ariz.

"We got our first [elimination] round win with our new Funny Car program in Phoenix last year," Kalitta, a 45-year old resident of Palmetto, Fla., said. "It was our first really positive step with our new deal, so we're definitely looking forward to returning to Firebird.

"We've started off the '07 season on a good note. It could be better, but at least we qualified in Pomona (Calif., first event) this year. We couldn't even get that done last year. Our car still needs a lot more consistency, but we're definitely making strides. We know we can run some big numbers because we have. We just need to find better ways to do that most of the time and not just some of the time."

Kalitta returned to the Funny Car class last season after many successful years at the helm of a Top Fuel dragster. He won the NHRA Top Fuel World Championship in 1994 and 1995 as well as 17 NHRA national event trophies, but he got his first professional NHRA national event win under the carbon fiber canopy of a Funny Car in Houston in 1989.

Kalitta celebrated his 45th birthday Monday, February 19. His dad, team owner, crew chief and drag racing legend Connie Kalitta will celebrate his 69th birthday Saturday, February 24.

The Checker Schuck's Kragen NHRA Nationals begins Friday, Feb. 23, for the Funny Car class with one qualifying session at 2:00 p.m. (MT), and then another qualifying session at 4:30 p.m. Two more qualifying sessions follow on Saturday at 12:30 p.m. and 3:00 p.m. The top sixteen qualified cars will race Sunday in final eliminations beginning at 11:00 a.m.

All times and dates subject to change.

The Checker Schuck's Kragen NHRA Nationals is the 2nd of 23 national events in the 2007 NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series.

-credit: km

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About this article
Series NHRA
Drivers Scott Kalitta , Connie Kalitta