Richmond: Doug Kalitta final report

Doug Kalitta and the Mac Tools team win Top Fuel title in Richmond RICHMOND, Va., (Oct. 7, 2007) -- At the Torco Racing Fuels NHRA Nationals at Virginia Motorsports Park in Richmond, Va., Doug Kalitta, driver of the Mac Tools Top Fuel dragster,...

Doug Kalitta and the Mac Tools team win Top Fuel title in Richmond

RICHMOND, Va., (Oct. 7, 2007) -- At the Torco Racing Fuels NHRA Nationals at Virginia Motorsports Park in Richmond, Va., Doug Kalitta, driver of the Mac Tools Top Fuel dragster, finally had the day that he and his team have been striving to get all year long Sunday by getting their first win of the 2007 POWERade Drag Racing Series.

In the final round of eliminations, Kalitta defeated Melanie Troxel in an incredible drag race. The two drivers and cars were neck-and-neck all the way down the quarter-mile, but it was Kalitta's 4.647-second, 316.08 mph that barely edged out Troxel's 4.649-second, 316.45-mph attempt to get the win light for Kalitta. The margin of victory was .032 seconds.

The win is the 30th of Kalitta's NHRA Top Fuel career, and it came in the 55th final round of his career. The win in Richmond extends Kalitta's streak of winning at least one event in every season of his 10-year tenure in Top Fuel racing. It also moves Kalitta into 6th place for all-time NHRA Top Fuel event wins.

"This Mac Tools team needed this win in a very bad way," Kalitta said. "We never lost faith that we could get it done, but we've struggled so much this season. This win will take away a lot of frustration in our team and our entire Kalitta Motorsports team.

"Thanks to everyone that has stuck by us throughout this year, especially to Mac Tools for all of their great support and to all of our associate sponsors for sticking by us, too."

Kalitta, the No. 11 qualifier, faced his teammate and No. 6 qualifier Dave Grubnic in round one of eliminations. Kalitta was able to pick up a very close win over his friend, 4.599 sec., 322.50 mph to 4.632 sec., 309.06 mph. The margin of victory was a scant .076 seconds.

In the quarterfinals, Kalitta rolled to the starting line to race Larry Dixon. The two Top Fuel vets had faced each other fives times previously this season with Dixon holding a 4-1 advantage. This time it was Kalitta's turn to turn on the win light in yet another exciting drag race that was decided in the final 320 ft. Kalitta had a slight starting line advantage, .008 seconds, but trailed Dixon from the 60ft. markers all the way to the 1000 ft. markers. Kalitta's Mac Tools dragster was then able to almost-miraculously make up the gap between he and Dixon's machine just in time to get the win, 4.647 sec., 314.39 to 4.651 sec., 281.48 mph The margin of victory this time was only .012 seconds.

In the semifinals, Kalitta raced against Doug Foley. Kalitta's Mac Tools dragster had traction troubles almost immediately after the start of the race, but as he tried to maintain control and get his dragster to regain grip, Foley also experienced problems with his machine. Kalitta was finally able to get his rail to recover and went on to get the bizarre win over Foley, 6.360 sec., 260.66 mph to 6.951 sec., 154.21 mph, to set up the final round against Troxel.

-credit: km

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Series NHRA
Drivers Doug Kalitta , Melanie Troxel , Doug Foley