Doug Kalitta qualifies No. 7 in Reading; Teammates "Aussie Dave" Grubnic and Scott Kalitta qualify No. 8 and No. 11 respectively Reading, Penn., (Sept. 17, 2005) -- At the Toyo Tires NHRA Nationals in Reading, Penn., Mac Tools Top Fuel dragster...
Doug Kalitta qualifies No. 7 in Reading; Teammates "Aussie Dave" Grubnic and Scott Kalitta qualify No. 8 and No. 11 respectively
Reading, Penn., (Sept. 17, 2005) -- At the Toyo Tires NHRA Nationals in Reading, Penn., Mac Tools Top Fuel dragster driver Doug Kalitta led the three-car Team Kalitta Top Fuel qualifying efforts for Sunday's 16-car field of final eliminations at Maple Grove Raceway.
Two-time Top Fuel points runner-up (2003-2004) Doug qualified No. 7 with a best lap down the quarter-mile of 4.554 seconds at 323.58 mph. He will race No. 10 qualifier Brandon Bernstein in round one of eliminations. Doug is 4-4 versus Bernstein in elimination rounds in his career. They have also split their two meetings this season with Bernstein winning over Doug in the semifinals in Seattle and Doug getting the win light over Bernstein in the semifinals in Brainerd, Minn.
Doug enters final eliminations in second place in Top Fuel championship points. He is only 45 points behind leader Tony Schumacher and 35 points ahead of third place holder Larry Dixon.
Doug, 41, is an eight-year Top Fuel veteran and former USAC National Sprint Car Champion (1994). He owns 24 NHRA national event trophies. He has five wins, a career-best, so far in 2005 (Gainesville, Fla., Bristol, Tenn., Atlanta, Sonoma, Calif., and Brainerd).
"Aussie Dave" Grubnic, driver of the Zantrex-3 Top Fueler, took the No. 8 qualifying spot with a 4.560-sec., 325.30-mph run. He will race No. 9 qualifier David Baca in round one. Grubnic is 2-0 versus Baca in elimination rounds in his career. This is the first meeting of the two rail pilots this year.
Native Australian Grubnic, 43, the $100,000 Budweiser Shootout special event winner last fall in Las Vegas, made history May 29th in Topeka, Kans., by becoming the first non-North American to win an NHRA Top Fuel national event. The win in Topeka was Grubnic's first in his 11-year career.
Grubnic is currently in fourth place in championship points. He is 251 off of the lead.
Two-time Top Fuel World Champion (1994-1995) Scott, 43, driver of the Mac Tools/Jesse James Top Fuel dragster, qualified No. 11 (4.585 sec., 326.16 mph). He will race No. 6 qualifier Cory McClenathan in round one of eliminations. Scott is 10-18 versus McClenathan in elimination rounds in his career. The two veterans have raced each other three times in 2005 with McClenathan winning twice in quarterfinals in Houston and Memphis. Scott won over McClenathan in the opening round in Topeka.
Scott, who won the opening event of the 2005 season in Pomona, in February, and again in June in Joliet, Ill., is currently ninth in championship points.
Scott has 18 (17 Top Fuel, 1 Funny Car) NHRA national event victories in his 24-year career.
The Toyo Tires NHRA Nationals is the 19th of 23 national events in the 2005 NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series.
Sunday's final eliminations begin with the Top Fuel class at 11:00 a.m.