Scott Kalitta looking forward after disappointing showing in season-opening Pomona

Pomona, Calif., Feb. 29, 2004 -- With sponsor and all-around radical rebel Jesse James in attendance at the K&N Filters Winternationals at Pomona Raceway Sunday, NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series driver Scott Kalitta had hoped for more of a Hollywood-type ending with his Mac Tools/Jesse James Top Fuel dragster in final eliminations.

Unfortunately, it was not to be. Kalitta entered Sunday's eliminations in the tenth qualifying position and matched up with fellow second-generation racer David Baca in round one. Under the tutelage of his father, team owner, crew chief and drag racing legend Connie "the Bounty Hunter" Kalitta and co-crew chief Jim Oberhofer, Scott (.087 sec.) nailed Baca (.135 sec.) on the Christmas tree, but he faded early when chattering lead to wisps of smoke from his racecar's big rear Goodyear slicks.

"Well, this is not what we had in mind for today, of course," Scott said. "We struggled yesterday in the final qualifying session, but we thought we had our Mac Tools/Jesse James dragster back on track. I guess we missed it, but we barely missed it."

"It's a long season, so I am not too upset. We will re-group and get ready for Phoenix. We have a great team, so I am confident in our ability to pick ourselves up and be ready to go next weekend."

Scott's Kalitta Motorsports teammate David Grubnic, in the Kalitta Air dragster advanced to the semi-final round, while his other teammate and cousin Doug Kalitta advanced to the final round.