Mac Tools driver Doug Kalitta has one more chance to win in 2008 in Pomona POMONA, Calif., (Nov. 11, 2008) --Doug Kalitta, driver of the "Big Red", Mac Tools Top Fuel dragster, is hoping that one of the most impressive win streaks in the...
Mac Tools driver Doug Kalitta has one more chance to win in 2008 in Pomona
POMONA, Calif., (Nov. 11, 2008) --Doug Kalitta, driver of the "Big Red", Mac Tools Top Fuel dragster, is hoping that one of the most impressive win streaks in the history of the NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series will continue with a visit to the Auto Club Raceway at Pomona (Calif.) winner's circle this weekend, Nov. 13-16, at the season-ending Auto Club of Southern California NHRA Finals.
Since he first began competing in the NHRA's Top Fuel class, the quickest and fastest professional class, in 1998, Kalitta has won at least one event in each season. Kalitta enters this weekend's finale without a mark in the win column so far for this season. Kalitta and the Mac Tools team, led by co-crew chiefs Jon Oberhofer and Nick Boninfante, were finalists this season at the world's most prestigious drag racing event, the Mac Tools U.S. Nationals in Indianapolis.
Kalitta will continue another remarkable streak this season no matter if he wins in Pomona or not. Kalitta is in ninth place in POWERade championship points and in the NHRA Countdown to 1 postseason. He is assured of a 12th consecutive POWERade Top 10 finish.
"I really just want to end the season on a winning note," Kalitta, a 44-year old resident of Ann Arbor, Mich., said. "Streaks will come and go. Sure, I would like to continue the win streak, but not because it's a streak, but because it would simply be a win. Our entire organization has been through a lot this year, so to cap off the season with win would be a big boost to everyone at Team Kalitta."
Beginning with the 13th event in Denver, the NHRA instituted a new racing distance for the nitro-fueled classes of Funny Car and Top Fuel dragster to 1,000 ft., as opposed to the traditional distance of 1,320 ft., or a quarter of a mile, as a temporary safety solution to help the drivers of the world's quickest and fastest racing safely bring their cars to a stop more efficiently. The unprecedented action, which will be observed for the remainder of the 2008 season, is in response to the tragic death of Kalitta Motorsports' Scott Kalitta, Doug's cousin, who died in a high-speed Funny Car qualifying accident in Englishtown, N.J., June 21.
Doug, unofficially, recorded the quickest 1,000-ft. elapsed time in NHRA history, 3.758 sec., in Joliet, Ill., in 2004.
Since winning the NHRA's equivalent of Rookie of the Year, the Automobile Club of Southern California's Road to the Future Award after the 1998 drag racing season, Doug has driven his dragster to 30 Top Fuel national event titles, which places him in sixth in career wins for the sport's quickest and fastest class. In the past five NHRA seasons, he has solidified his place among the best Top Fuel pilots of all-time. In 2006, he won a career-high five national events and led the POWERade points for almost the entire second half of the season. After finishing just 14 points shy of his first NHRA championship, Doug garnered his third career runner-up points finish in 2006. He was also points runner-up in 2003 and 2004. In 2007, he won one event -- the event held in Richmond, Va.
Qualifying for the Auto Club of Southern California NHRA Finals begins Thursday for the Nitro-fueled classes with one qualifying session at 2:30 p.m. (PT). Another qualifying session will follow on Friday at 2:30 p.m. Two more qualifying sessions take place Saturday at noon and 3:30 p.m. The top 16 qualified cars will race Sunday in final eliminations beginning at 11:00 a.m.
All times and dates subject to change.