BRAINERD, Minn., (Aug. 10, 2008) -- Doug Kalitta, driver of the "Big Red", nitro-fueled, 8,000-horsepower Mac Tools Top Fuel dragster, posted his fourth semi-final finish of the season Sunday during final eliminations of the NHRA POWERade Drag ...
BRAINERD, Minn., (Aug. 10, 2008) -- Doug Kalitta, driver of the "Big Red", nitro-fueled, 8,000-horsepower Mac Tools Top Fuel dragster, posted his fourth semi-final finish of the season Sunday during final eliminations of the NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series national event at Brainerd Int'l Raceway in Brainerd, Minn.
Kalitta, the No. 12 qualifier (4.013 seconds, 297.61 mph), was the underdog going into his first round battle with the No. 5 qualifier Doug Herbert (3.901 sec., 306.60 mph), driver of a rival tool company-sponsored entry. Kalitta got off the starting line first and led the race wire-to-wire to get the upset victory with his best lap, so far, of the weekend, 3.972 sec., 305.22 to 3.980 sec., 280.66 mph.
In the quarterfinals, Kalitta and the Mac Tools team made an even quicker lap to defeat J.R. Todd, 3.968 sec., 303.91 mph to 4.980 sec., 157.74 mph, to set up their entry into the semifinals.
In the semifinals, Kalitta faced off against the driver of the Alan Johnson-tuned dragster. Kalitta's Mac Tools rail began losing valuable traction just before half-track, and that kept him from getting a shot at the win over his opponent, 4.222 sec., 229.90 mph to 3.885 sec., 310.33 mph.
Kalitta's trip to the semifinals in Brainerd was his first trip to the semis since he accomplished the same feat in St. Louis in early May.
"We really wanted a chance to get a win, but we're definitely satisfied with our performance," Kalitta, a 43-year old resident of Ann Arbor, Mich., said. "We've been struggling to get some round wins lately, so today was a good boost."
Kalitta moves up one position in POWERade championship points from 10th to 9th. Only the top ten pro drivers in points in their respective classes will be eligible for the 2008 Countdown to the Championship -- Countdown to 1 that begins at the 19th event in Concord, N.C. Kalitta is 16 points ahead of the driver in 10th position, his Kalitta Motorsports teammate Dave Grubnic, and 29 points ahead of the driver in 11th position.