Doug Kalitta qualifies No. 5 in Seattle; Teammates Scott Kalitta and "Aussie Dave" Grubnic qualify No. 6 and No. 7 respectively Kent, Wash., July 23, 2005 -- At the CARQUEST Auto Parts NHRA Nationals in Kent, Wash., just outside of downtown ...
Doug Kalitta qualifies No. 5 in Seattle; Teammates Scott Kalitta and "Aussie Dave" Grubnic qualify No. 6 and No. 7 respectively
Kent, Wash., July 23, 2005 -- At the CARQUEST Auto Parts NHRA Nationals in Kent, Wash., just outside of downtown Seattle, 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 Pacific Raceways.
Two-time Top Fuel championship points runner-up (2003-2004) Doug, 40, took the No. 5 qualifying spot with a 4.552-second, 322.34-mph lap down the quarter-mile. He will race No. 12 qualifier Melanie Troxel in round one. Doug is 5-2 versus Troxel in his career. This will be the first time Doug and Troxel will race each other this season.
Doug, currently in second place in championship points, trails leader Tony Schumacher by only 23 points going into Sunday's eliminations. Doug took over the points lead with his win in Bristol, Tenn., in April and sustained the lead until he relinquished it to Schumacher at the previous event in Denver. Only Doug, Schumacher and Doug's cousin and teammate Scott Kalitta have held the lead this year.
Doug is an eight-year Top Fuel veteran and former USAC National Sprint Car Champion (1994). He owns 22 NHRA national event trophies. He has three wins so far in 2005 (Gainesville, Fla., Bristol, Tenn., and Atlanta).
Two-time Top Fuel World Champion (1994-1995) Scott, 43, driver of the Mac Tools/Jesse James Top Fuel dragster, qualified No. 6 (4.556 sec., 316.15 mph). He will race No. 11 qualifier Doug Herbert in round one of eliminations. Scott is 5-5 versus his Herbert in his career. This will be the third time the two veterans will match-up in 2005. Scott beat Herbert in their first meeting this year in the final round in Pomona, Calif., but Herbert bested Scott the last time they met in round one in St. Louis last month. Their round one battle in Seattle will also be important in the Top Fuel points race as Herbert trails Scott by only 10 points.
Scott, who won the opening event of the 2005 season in Pomona, in February, and again last month in Joliet, Ill., is currently seventh in championship points.
Scott has 18 (17 Top Fuel, 1 Funny Car) NHRA national event victories in his 24-year career.
Driver of the Zantrex-3 Top Fuel dragster "Aussie Dave" Grubnic qualified No. 7 (4.566 sec., 326.08 mph). He will race No. 10 qualifier Jack Beckman in round one of eliminations. Grubnic is 1-0 versus his Beckman in his career.
Native Australian Grubnic, 42, 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, just 105 markers behind the leader.
The CARQUEST Auto Parts NHRA Nationals is the 14th 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.
Doug Kalitta -- Friday, session one: 11.156 sec., 82.14 mph, Friday session two: 4.552 sec., 322.34 mph, Saturday, session three: 6.362 sec., 133.08 mph, Saturday, final session: 4.563 sec., 325.61 mph.
Scott Kalitta -- Friday, session one: 9.128 sec., 74.05 mph, Friday session two: 4.556 sec., 316.15 mph, Saturday, session three: 4.562 sec., 321.12 mph, Saturday, final session: 4.565 sec., 320.58 mph.
Dave Grubnic -- Friday, session one: 7.578 sec., 96.09 mph, Friday session two: 4.566 sec., 326.08 mph, Saturday, session three: 11.522 sec., 80.59 mph, Saturday, final session: 4.591 sec., 322.88 mph.