Scott Kalitta reaches semifinals in Pomona; Teammates Doug Kalitta and David Grubnic reach quarterfinals Pomona, Calif., Nov. 14, 2004 -- At the season-ending Auto Club of Southern California NHRA Finals at Pomona Raceway, Kalitta Motorsports ...
Scott Kalitta reaches semifinals in Pomona; Teammates Doug Kalitta and David Grubnic reach quarterfinals
Pomona, Calif., Nov. 14, 2004 -- At the season-ending Auto Club of Southern California NHRA Finals at Pomona Raceway, Kalitta Motorsports three-car Top Fuel dragster team of Doug Kalitta, Scott Kalitta and "Aussie Dave" Grubnic was hoping to finish the season with another victory, but they will have to wait until 2005 to turn on more win lights.
No. 1 qualifier Doug, driver of the bright red, flame adorned Mac Tools flagship Top Fuel dragster, easily defeated a tire-smoking Andrew Cowin in round one despite losing the blower belt on his 7,000+ horsepower hot rod near the finish line. Doug's time of 4.598 sec. at 274.61 mph was not enough for lane choice in his second round duel with Morgan Lucas. It was the 235th round win of Doug's seven-year drag racing career.
With master fabricator and custom chopper specialist Jesse James looking on, Doug's cousin and teammate Scott, driver of the Mac Tools/Jesse James nitro rail, marched into the second round after winning his round one pairing with Rhonda Hartman-Smith, 4.542 sec., 326.95 mph to 13.701 sec., 59.52 mph. Scott began Sunday from the No. 4 qualifying spot.
No. 7 qualifier and Zantrex-3 Top Fuel pilot Grubnic completed the round one sweep for Team Kalitta by besting Brady Kalivoda, 4.543 sec., 329.42 mph to 5.109 sec., 223.17 mph. Grubnic's speed was the best of the opening round of eliminations.
Unfortunately, the 2004 season came to a close in the tricky right lane of Pomona Raceway for both Doug and "Aussie Dave" in round two. Both the Mac Tools machine and the Zantrex-3 dragster lost traction early in their runs against Lucas (5.532 sec., 183.42 mph to 4.526 sec., 326.08 mph) and Tony Schumacher (11.460 sec., 77.21 mph to 4.488 sec., 321.88 mph) respectively.
Doug finishes the season with four wins (Chicago 1, St. Louis, Sonoma and Las Vegas 2), giving him 19 title trophies in his career. Grubnic made five final round appearances (St. Louis, Seattle, Sonoma, Brainerd and Dallas) in the best season of his ten-year career, his first in the Team Kalitta third car.
Doug will end his season as the championship runner-up for the second straight year. Grubnic will end his season in fifth place in Top Fuel championship points.
Scott carried the banner solely then for Kalitta Motorsports into the semifinals. He bested Brandon Bernstein in round two, 4.658 sec., 278.92 mph to 12.544 sec., 66.15 mph, to reach the semis to face Lucas. Lucas had lane choice.
Scott and his Mac Tools/Jesse James team were unable to manage the menacing right lane as well in the semis. Scott's tire-smoking, 7.925-sec., 97.55-mph lap ended his 2004 season as Lucas cruised to the win, 4.615 sec., 312.64 mph.
Scott will end his season in fourth place in Top Fuel championship points. He scored one win in 2004 in Denver. He has 16 (15 Top Fuel, 1 Funny Car) event victories in his 23-year career.
Team Kalitta won 102 elimination rounds in 2004.
The Auto Club of Southern California NHRA Finals was 2004's final national event of the 23-event, $50 million NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series.