Baytown: Scott Kalitta preview

Scott Kalitta takes lighter load to Houston Houston, Tex., April 12, 2004 -- Scott Kalitta got one monkey off of his back at the last NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series national event in Las Vegas. He finally got his first round win in the young...

Scott Kalitta takes lighter load to Houston

Houston, Tex., April 12, 2004 -- Scott Kalitta got one monkey off of his back at the last NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series national event in Las Vegas. He finally got his first round win in the young 2004 season, but he still has another even larger primate clutching his shoulders. Scott and his Mac Tools/Jesse James Top Fuel dragster team are looking for their first win since the son of drag racing legend, team owner and crew chief Connie "the Bounty Hunter" Kalitta, emerged from retirement last year at the Mac Tools U.S. Nationals in Indianapolis.

Kalitta, a 15-time NHRA national event winner and two-time Top Fuel World Champion (1994-1995), also claimed the No.1 qualifying spot at the somewhat unburdening previous event. It was the 19th low qualifier of his career and first in 2004.

He is looking to shed all of his racing beasts at Houston Raceway Park this weekend for the NHRA O'Reilly Spring Nationals, April 15-18.

"As the saying goes, a good time slip heals many wounds," the 42-year-old Kalitta said. "We're still disappointed that we haven't gotten past the first round this year, but a No.1 qualifier eases that sting just a little bit.

"I have been doing this most all of my life. I guess that's why I'm not too concerned yet. There are ebbs and flows with everything, especially racing. The way I see it, with the way our year has started, we're due for a four or five race winning streak. Houston is as good as any place for that to start."

Kalitta, his legendary father and co-crew chief Jim Oberhofer will set the wildly painted Mac Tools/Jesse James entry on its chase to escape its demons when professional qualifying begins Friday.

-km-

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Series NHRA
Drivers Scott Kalitta , Jim Oberhofer , Jesse James