Doug Kalitta and the Mac Tools team look to log third triumph in Brainerd BRAINERD, Minn., (Aug. 6, 2008) -- Doug Kalitta, driver of the "Big Red", nitro-fueled, 8,000-horsepower Mac Tools Top Fuel dragster, will attempt to win his third event...
Doug Kalitta and the Mac Tools team look to log third triumph in Brainerd
BRAINERD, Minn., (Aug. 6, 2008) -- Doug Kalitta, driver of the "Big Red", nitro-fueled, 8,000-horsepower Mac Tools Top Fuel dragster, will attempt to win his third event in Paul Bunyan's stomping grounds this weekend, Aug. 7-10, at the annual running of the NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series national event at Brainerd Int'l Raceway in Brainerd, Minn.
Kalitta claimed Brainerd Top Fuel title trophies in 2005 and 2003 in the land of the fictional forester and his blue ox, Babe.
"I really like racing in Brainerd," Kalitta, a 43-year old resident of Ann Arbor, Mich., said. "The fans up there are great. Our Mac Tools team has been working very hard since Sonoma (Calif., previous event) to get our car ready to race again this weekend. We've been struggling this year, and we just couldn't seem to get on the right track, so the guys basically stripped our car down last week and started over.
We went to Martin (Mich., a non-NHRA sanctioned track) yesterday and made three laps, and it was a very successful outing. We're 10th in points right now, so we've got to do whatever it takes to get our car as competitive as we possibly can. I'm anxious to get back out on the track in Brainerd and see what we have. From what we've seen so far, I'm sure it will be good."
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 just nine points ahead of the driver in 11th position going into the event in Brainerd, the 16th event.
This week Kalitta Motorsports announced that veteran nitro tuner Nick Boninfante will join the Mac Tools dragster team as co-crew chief alongside current co-crew chief Jon Oberhofer.
"I'm excited about Nicky coming on board with us," Kalitta continued. "I think he's going to be a big help to us. He has a lot of experience and a fresh set of eyes will be beneficial I'm sure."
Boninfante begins his second stint at Kalitta Motorsports in Brainerd. He first worked for the team as a clutch specialist on team owner and drag racing legend Connie Kalitta's Top Fuel team in 1991 and 1992. From 1993 until 1996, Boninfante served as clutch specialist on Scott Kalitta's Top Fuel machine where he and the team won back-to-back world championships (1994-1995).