St. Louis: Doug Kalitta preview

Doug Kalitta and the Mac Tools team hoping to make Top Fuel history in St. Louis MADISON, Ill., (April 29, 2008) -- This weekend, May 2-4, Doug Kalitta, driver of the 8,000-horsepower "Big Red" Mac Tools Top Fuel dragster, and his team will be...

Doug Kalitta and the Mac Tools team hoping to make Top Fuel history in St. Louis

MADISON, Ill., (April 29, 2008) -- This weekend, May 2-4, Doug Kalitta, driver of the 8,000-horsepower "Big Red" Mac Tools Top Fuel dragster, and his team will be looking to make history and go into the NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series record's book as the first four-time event champion at Gateway Int'l Raceway in Madison, Ill., just across the Mississippi River from downtown St. Louis, during the annual running of the O'Reilly NHRA Midwest Nationals.

Kalitta, an 11-year Top Fuel veteran, visited the winner's circle at GIR in 2004, 2003, and 2001.

"Getting a fourth win at Gateway this weekend would be a great accomplishment in different ways for our Mac Tools team," Kalitta, a 43-year old resident of Ann Arbor, Mich., said. "Winning four times at any track is something to be proud of, but we would be happy to see the winner's circle no matter where we're racing. The competition in Top Fuel this year is intense, and every round win is an achievement. Gateway has been good to us in the past so hopefully we'll break through with our first win this season there."

Kalitta and his Kalitta Motorsports teammate Dave Grubnic will also compete in the "NHRA on Dirt" event Thursday night, May 1, at Tri-City Speedway in Granite City, Ill. The event features an autograph session with Kalitta, Grubnic, and other participating stars of the NHRA POWERade Drag Series that begins at 5:30 p.m. (CT). Kalitta and Grubnic and their straight-line racing cohorts will take to the dirt oval of Tri-City Speedway at approximately 7:15 p.m. Tri-City Speedway is located eight miles north if GIR on Hwy. 203.

Kalitta returned to his oval racing roots a couple of weeks ago, April 13, in Las Vegas to win the NHRA Stars in Short Track Cars charity race at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway Bullring.

Kalitta's racing career began on oval tracks. He was ARCA/WWAR Midget Rookie of the Year in 1990 and USAC National Midget Rookie of the Year in 1991. In 1994, he was crowned the USAC National Sprint Car Champion. He followed his title with runner-up points finishes in 1995 and 1996.

At the previous NHRA national event last weekend at Atlanta Dragway, Kalitta and the Mac Tools team qualified in the No. 7 position for final eliminations. Kalitta's dragster suffered mechanical failures almost immediately after his first round match-up with Doug Herbert began. Herbert was then able to get the win (5.103 seconds to 4.724 sec.).

Kalitta is currently in 10th place in POWERade Top Fuel championship points. He holds the track record for speed at GIR, 330.55 mph (2006).

-credit: km

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Series NHRA
Drivers Doug Herbert , Doug Kalitta