Baytown: Kalitta Motorsports preview

NHRA's Team Kalitta heads to Houston with somber hearts BAYTOWN, Texas, (March 28, 2007) -- As friend and fellow NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series racer Eric Medlen was laid to rest today in Indiana after losing his life to injuries suffered in a...

NHRA's Team Kalitta heads to Houston with somber hearts

BAYTOWN, Texas, (March 28, 2007) -- As friend and fellow NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series racer Eric Medlen was laid to rest today in Indiana after losing his life to injuries suffered in a nitro-fueled Funny Car testing accident in Gainesville, Fla., nine days ago, the members of Team Kalitta and all NHRA participants and fans are trying to find a way to cope with such a tragic loss as they make their way to Texas to compete in this weekend's, March 30-April 1, annual running of the O' Reilly NHRA Spring Nationals at Houston Raceway Park in Baytown, Texas, just a few miles east of downtown Houston.

Scott Kalitta, driver of the Kalitta Air Toyota Solara Funny Car --

"Words can't even describe my feelings now. Eric had such a positive, unselfish and kind disposition about him. I wish I was half of Eric Medlen in that regard. He was a true friend to everybody. My heart truly bleeds for his family and, right now I wish we could wake up and this all be just a nightmare. As hard as it is going to be to go to Houston and race, I believe in my heart that is what Eric would have wanted us all to do. I'm going to remember all the great things about him and the good times I had with him. He was the only guy I didn't mind losing to. Eric was good at everything he did. I'm going to do my best to console his dad and his family. I know he'll be riding along with me and all the other drivers this weekend at Houston Raceway Park. Going to the race track will never be the same. The only positive thing I can extract from this is Eric was doing what he loved. If there is life after death, he's up there smiling down upon us feeling fulfilled. I can only hope when the shock and pain subsides we will then be able to celebrate his life and all that he contributed to us in his life. Godspeed Eric."

Dave Grubnic, driver of the Zantrex-3 Top Fuel dragster --

"Right now I'm at a loss for words. Eric was one of kindest and most genuine people that I've had the privilege of knowing. I don't understand why the good are taken from us so prematurely, but I guess I'm not supposed too. My deepest and sincerest sympathies are extended to the Medlen Family and to John Force Racing."

Doug Kalitta, driver of the Mac Tools Top Fuel dragster --

"The thoughts and prayers of my family are with Eric's family and everyone at JFR. Eric was such a great guy to be around. He always made me laugh and that's what I will miss the most. He was a great driver and a great ambassador for drag racing. We will miss him terribly."

Todd Myers, Kalitta Motorsports public relations manager, offered this statement on behalf of everyone at Team Kalitta --

"Everyone at Kalitta Motorsports is deeply saddened by Eric's death. To lose a competitor as well as a friend is completely unimaginable. Eric's smile and gentle-hearted laugh was inescapable to his peers and to drag racing fans across the world. Eric will be irreplaceable, but we as a drag racing community must continue to do our best to honor his name in all of actions from this point forward. Our condolences go to the Medlen family, John Force Racing, and everyone privileged enough to have known the great man that Eric Medlen was."

The O'Reilly NHRA Spring Nationals is the 4th of 23 national events in the 2007 NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series.

-credit: km

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Series NHRA
Drivers John Force , Doug Kalitta , Scott Kalitta , Eric Medlen