Seattle: Doug Kalitta preview

NHRA Top Fuel championship points leader Doug Kalitta ready to pad his lead in Seattle KENT, Wash., (July 18, 2006) -- Top Fuel POWERade championship points leader Doug Kalitta, driver of "Big Red", the 8,000 horsepower Mac Tools Top Fuel ...

NHRA Top Fuel championship points leader Doug Kalitta ready to pad his lead in Seattle

KENT, Wash., (July 18, 2006) -- Top Fuel POWERade championship points leader Doug Kalitta, driver of "Big Red", the 8,000 horsepower Mac Tools Top Fuel dragster, is cautiously optimistic heading to Seattle this weekend, July 21-23, for the Schuck's Auto Supply NHRA Nationals in Kent, Wash., just outside of the city limits of Seattle at Pacific Raceways.

Kalitta and his team lead the championship points by only 22 points over second place holder Melanie Troxel, who had held the lead for the entire 2006 season until Kalitta took over the top spot at the previous event in Denver.

"Denver was a great race for us," Kalitta said. "We made the semifinals and that was enough to get around Melanie. Although it's good to be in the lead, we're looking at the big picture. Having the lead now is great for our Mac Tools team, but we want it after the last race.

"I've never won in Seattle. This year would be the perfect time to break that streak."

Kalitta leads Top Fuel, the NHRA's quickest and fastest racing class, with four wins in 2006 and has climbed from 9th to 1st place in POWERade championship points since April. He made an incredible 232-point climb in points in the last eight events to take the lead. It marks only the third time that Doug has led the points in his career. He last led the points last season after the St. Louis event.

Kalitta has won four of the previous eight NHRA national events (Bristol, Tenn., Atlanta, Topeka, Kans., and Chicago).

Kalitta, a 41-year old resident of Ann Arbor, Mich., is a two-time Top Fuel championship points runner-up (2003-2004) and the 1998 Auto Club of Southern California Road to the Future Award winner for rookie excellence. He has 28 NHRA national event wins in 51 final-round appearances. He is now in his ninth season in NHRA Top Fuel drag racing. Before joining the quarter-mile set, Doug raced in open-wheel competition and won the 1994 USAC National Sprint Car Championship.

The Schuck's Auto Supply NHRA Nationals begins Friday, July 21, for the Top Fuel class with two qualifying sessions at 4:00 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. (PT). Two more qualifying sessions follow on Saturday at noon and 3:00 p.m. The top sixteen qualified cars will race Sunday in final eliminations beginning at 11:00 a.m.

The Schuck's Auto Supply NHRA Nationals is the 14th of 23 national events in the 2006 NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series.

-kalitta motorsports

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About this article
Series NHRA
Drivers Doug Kalitta , Melanie Troxel