Sonoma: Kalitta Motorsports preview

NHRA's Kalitta Motorsports to field fourth Top Fueler in Sonoma with driver Ben Marshall Sonoma, Calif., July 26, 2005 - Impressed with its initial successes of its first forays into NHRA Drag Racing at the Las Vegas event in April and again in...

NHRA's Kalitta Motorsports to field fourth Top Fueler in Sonoma with driver Ben Marshall

Sonoma, Calif., July 26, 2005 - Impressed with its initial successes of its first forays into NHRA Drag Racing at the Las Vegas event in April and again in Englishtown, N.J., in June, StriVectin-SD will once again be the title sponsor of a Kalitta Motorsports Top Fuel dragster to be driven by Ben Marshall at this weekend's Fram Autolite NHRA Nationals in Sonoma, Calif.

"StriVectin was the talk of the track both of the times we ran the car," said Gina Gay, spokesperson for Klein-Becker USA, maker of StriVectin-SD. "People don't expect to see a high-end cosmetic brand on the quarter-mile track. StriVectin certainly stands out, and customer response to our sponsorship was overwhelming."

StriVectin's link to Top Fuel racing is a smart, natural fit and a significant marketing development, according to legendary three-time NHRA Top Fuel champion Shirley Muldowney, team manager of the Kalitta Motorsports Zantrex-3 entry. "Drag racing is quickly becoming just as popular as NASCAR. But to really become mainstream, the sport needs a strong female following, and StriVectin will definitely help bring women to racing. Ultimately, I see this sponsorship as the first of many between drag racing and other female-oriented companies smart enough to see the marketing possibilities of this exciting sport," said Muldowney.

StriVectin's customer base is also growing among men who want to look younger and reduce the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles, and crow's-feet. In fact, sales of StriVectin-SD for use as a skin-soothing aftershave balm and antiwrinkle conditioner have more than doubled in 2005.

"We see Top Fuel racing as the next big trend. Sponsoring a car helps us reach a larger male audience and introduces female StriVectin users to this thrilling sport," said Gay.

The car is owned by Santo Rapisarda, who owns a thriving crane company in Sydney and two very competitive dragsters on the Australian circuit. Rapisarda bought the car and parts from Kalitta Motorsports near the beginning of 2005. His plan was to get a few "hot" laps on the race car in Las Vegas and then return Down Under to race it there, but after successful weekends with StriVectin-SD and Team Kalitta in April and June, he graciously allowed the car to stay in the States to run again in the NHRA, joining the Zantrex-3 car driven by "Aussie Dave" Grubnic, the Mac Tools dragster driven by Doug Kalitta, and the Mac Tools/Jesse James dragster driven by Scott Kalitta.

Dallas, Tex., native Marshall, 29, will race professionally for the third time as driver of the StriVectin dragster. The marketing manager for the Kalitta Motorsports team qualified ninth for the field in his initial outing in Las Vegas. He was the No. 11 qualifier at his last event in the driver's seat in Englishtown.

About Kalitta Motorsports

Based in Ypsilanti, Michigan, Kalitta Motorsports is the only full-time three-car Top Fuel drag racing team in the NHRA (National Hot Rod Association) POWERade Drag Racing Series. The racing operation was started in 1959 by now legendary drag racer and team owner Connie "the Bounty Hunter" Kalitta. His son Scott Kalitta drives the Mac Tools/Jesse James dragster. Scott's cousin, Connie's nephew, Doug Kalitta drives the flagship dragster for Mac Tools. Native Australian David Grubnic drives the third dragster under the banner of Zantrex-3.

Connie serves as crew chief for all three Team Kalitta entries. He is assisted by co-crew chiefs Rahn Tobler (Mac Tools dragster), Jim Oberhofer (Mac Tools/Jesse James dragster) and Jon Oberhofer (Zantrex-3 dragster).

Team Kalitta race cars made seven straight NHRA national event final-round appearances (Las Vegas 1, Bristol, Tenn., Atlanta, Columbus, Ohio, Topeka, Kan., Joliet, Ill., and Englishtown) in the first 12 events of 2005. Team Kalitta race cars made nine total final-round appearances with six wins (Doug - 3, Scott - 2, Grubnic - 1) in those 12 events. Two of the runner-up finishes were by Doug in Las Vegas and Columbus, and the other was Grubnic in Englishtown.

Associate sponsors on all three race cars include Red Line Oil, Summit Racing Equipment, Technicoat Companies and Fischer Honda.

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About this article
Series NHRA
Drivers Shirley Muldowney , Doug Kalitta , David Grubnic , Scott Kalitta , Jim Oberhofer , Jesse James