Bristol: Scott Kalitta preview

Scott Kalitta and the DHL team keen to keep climbing in Bristol BRISTOL, Tenn., (May 14, 2008) -- This weekend, May 16-18, venerable NHRA veteran Scott Kalitta, driver of the nitro-fueled DHL Toyota Solara Funny Car, is eager to begin ascending...

Scott Kalitta and the DHL team keen to keep climbing in Bristol

BRISTOL, Tenn., (May 14, 2008) -- This weekend, May 16-18, venerable NHRA veteran Scott Kalitta, driver of the nitro-fueled DHL Toyota Solara Funny Car, is eager to begin ascending to the top of the Funny Car field at Bristol Dragway in mountainous Bristol, Tenn., during the annual running of the O'Reilly NHRA Thunder Valley Nationals.

At the previous NHRA national event in St. Louis, Kalitta and the DHL team qualified their colorful yellow and red flopper in the No. 15 spot and narrowly missed a quarter-final finish. The team had failed to qualify for the three events prior to St. Louis -- Houston, Las Vegas, and Atlanta.

"We definitely got a boost in our confidence at the last race," Kalitta, a 46-year old resident of Palmetto, Fla., said. "Hopefully our performance in St. Louis will get us set on the right track, and we can start getting some more round wins and then some event wins as the season progresses. We're very optimistic that we can do just that, and that our momentum will continue to build this weekend in Bristol."

Kalitta is currently in 18th place in 2008 POWERade Funny Car championship points.

Kalitta is the son of team owner and drag racing legend Conrad "Connie" Kalitta. He returned to the Funny Car class in 2006 after many successful years at the helm of a Top Fuel dragster. He won the NHRA Top Fuel World Championship in 1994 and 1995 as well as 17 NHRA national event trophies, but got his first professional NHRA national event win under the carbon fiber canopy of a Funny Car in Houston in 1989.

The O'Reilly NHRA Thunder Valley Nationals begins Friday for the nitro-fueled classes with two qualifying sessions at 4:30 p.m. (ET) and 7:00 p.m. Two more qualifying opportunities take place Saturday at 1:00 p.m. and 3:30 p.m. The top sixteen qualified cars will race Sunday in final eliminations beginning at noon.

All times and dates subject to change.

The O'Reilly NHRA Thunder Valley Nationals is the 8th of 24 national events in the 2008 NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series.

-credit: km

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Series NHRA
Drivers Scott Kalitta