Topeka: Doug Kalitta preview

Doug Kalitta focused on family legacy for Topeka TOPEKA, Kan., (May 28, 2009) -- Doug Kalitta, driver of the No. 50 Kalitta Motorsports Top Fuel dragster, is hoping that his surname serves him well this weekend, May 29-31, at the O'Reilly NHRA...

Doug Kalitta focused on family legacy for Topeka

TOPEKA, Kan., (May 28, 2009) -- Doug Kalitta, driver of the No. 50 Kalitta Motorsports Top Fuel dragster, is hoping that his surname serves him well this weekend, May 29-31, at the O'Reilly NHRA Summer Nationals at Heartland Park Topeka in Topeka, Kan.

Doug won the Topeka Top Fuel title trophy in 2006. His late cousin, Scott Kalitta, dominated the Top Fuel class at HPT in the mid 1990s by visiting the winner's circle in the Heartland a Top Fuel record six times.

"My cousin owned Topeka for a few years," Doug, a 44-year old resident of Ann Arbor, Mich., said. "Scott was almost unbeatable at Heartland Park during that time. I think about Scott every day and I still miss him very much. I'm sure he will be on my mind a lot this weekend, but in a very encouraging way."

Scott Kalitta, a two-time NHRA Top Fuel world champion (1994-95), died last June as the result of injuries he suffered in a high-speed Funny Car racing accident in New Jersey. He was 46.

With thoughts of his cousin fueling his desire to win more than usual this weekend, Doug is also optimistic about garnering his 2nd Top Fuel title at HPT because of a test session he and his team participated in after the previous event in Bristol, Tenn., where Doug and the No. 50 team reached the final round.

"We recently did some testing with our No. 50 dragster and we're very encouraged with the performances we saw. We ran some really good times on a hot race track, so we're confident heading into this weekend since the forecast is for some of the hottest temperatures we've seen so far this season. Our dragster ran great in Bristol and then in testing, so we're anxious to get back on the track."

-credit: km

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Series NHRA
Drivers Doug Kalitta , Scott Kalitta