Doug Kalitta leads Kalitta Motorsports qualifying in Reading READING, Penn., (Aug. 18, 2007) -- For tomorrow's Top Fuel final eliminations of the Toyo Tires NHRA Nationals at Maple Grove Raceway Park in Reading, Penn., Doug Kalitta will begin...
Doug Kalitta leads Kalitta Motorsports qualifying in Reading
READING, Penn., (Aug. 18, 2007) -- For tomorrow's Top Fuel final eliminations of the Toyo Tires NHRA Nationals at Maple Grove Raceway Park in Reading, Penn., Doug Kalitta will begin his quest for a second Reading title trophy (2002) from his best qualifying position to date in the 2007 NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series.
Doug, driving a one-off, special edition Stanley-themed dragster, will begin Sunday's race day from the lofty No. 3 spot on the qualifying ladder, 4.545 seconds, 331.20 mph. He will contend for a first-round victory against No. 14 qualifier Doug Herbert, 4.642 sec., 295.14 mph.
Doug's Team Kalitta teammate and native Australian Dave Grubnic, driver of the Zantrex-3 Top Fueler, made an identical best elapsed time qualifying effort as Doug, but by less than one mile per hour of speed, Grubnic will begin his day of eliminations from the No. 4 qualifying slot, 4.545 sec., 330.88 mph. Grubnic will race No. 13 qualifier Rit Pustari (substituting for an ailing Brandon Bernstein) in round one.
This season the NHRA instituted the new Countdown to the Championship points system. Only the top eight in POWERade points after the first 17 national events will be allowed to vie for the season championship. This weekend's event in Reading is the 17th of the season, and Grubnic and the Zantrex-3 team are in that precarious 8th place points position with a mere three-point lead over 9th place driver Melanie Troxel going into tomorrow's eliminations. Troxel qualified in the No. 5 position for tomorrow.
Doug, who still holds a mathematical chance of getting into the Countdown to the Championship, is 62 points shy of 8th place going into race day tomorrow.
Doug's Cousin Scott Kalitta, driver of the DHL Toyota Solara Nitro Funny Car, missed making it into tomorrow's 16-car Funny Car final eliminations field by only 15.47 mph. Scott's best qualifying effort out of four laps came in Saturday's last-chance qualifying session, 4.904 sec., 294.24 mph, but he was relegated to not racing tomorrow as he needed more speed to "bump" out No. 16 qualifier Jeff Arend, 4.904 sec., 309.70 mph.