Kalitta Motorsports' Doug Kalitta makes semifinals in Houston; Teammates Scott Kalitta and "Aussie Dave" Grubnic make quarterfinals and suffer first round loss respectively Houston, Tex., April 10, 2005 -- At the O'Reilly NHRA Spring...
Kalitta Motorsports' Doug Kalitta makes semifinals in Houston; Teammates Scott Kalitta and "Aussie Dave" Grubnic make quarterfinals and suffer first round loss respectively
Houston, Tex., April 10, 2005 -- At the O'Reilly NHRA Spring Nationals in Baytown, Tex., just outside the Houston city limits, Doug Kalitta, driver of the bright red Mac Tools flagship Top Fuel dragster, posted a semi-final finish, the 63rd semifinal round of his drag racing career.
Doug defeated T.J. Zizzo in the first round of final eliminations, 4.592 seconds, 318.92 mph to 4.690 sec., 309.42 mph. In the second round, Doug won a close race over Larry Dixon, 4.500 sec. (Tied for best elapsed time of eliminations), 328.38 mph to 4.538 sec., 326.24 mph. In the semifinals, Doug's 7,000 + horsepower Mac Tools rail lost traction in the left lane of the quarter-mile drag strip at Houston Raceway Park to give the win light to eventual event winner Tony Schumacher, 5.172 sec., 293.98 mph to 4.500 sec., 334.15 mph.
Doug, 40, and eight-year Top Fuel veteran and former USAC National Sprint Car Champion (1994), won the previous NHRA event, the Mac Tools Gatornationals, two weeks ago in Gainesville, Fla. Doug has won 20 NHRA national event trophies. He is currently 3rd in championship points. He has gained six points positions in the past two events.
Two-time Top Fuel World Champion (1994-1995) Scott Kalitta, 43, driver of the Mac Tools/Jesse James Top Fuel dragster, defeated Brandon Bernstein in the opening round, 4.604 sec., 326.08 mph to 9.527 sec., 83.30 mph. In the quarterfinals, Scott's nitro hot rod had traction problems and lost to Cory McClenathan, 7.591 sec., 97.82 mph to 4.568 sec., 324.90 mph.
Scott, who won the opening event of the 2005 season in Pomona, Calif., in February, is currently fifth in championship points. He has 16 (15 Top Fuel, 1 Funny Car) NHRA national event victories.
Zantrex-3 Top Fuel pilot "Aussie Dave" Grubnic, the 2004 Budweiser Shootout special event winner, lost a very close race to Dixon in round one, 4.546 sec., 326.95 mph to 4.536 sec., 326.71 mph.
Native Australian Grubnic, 42, is currently in sixth place in Top Fuel championship points.
The O'Reilly NHRA Spring Nationals was the fourth of 23 national events in the 2005 NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series.