Commerce: Kalitta Motorsports final summary

Doug Kalitta rebounds to quarter-final finish in Atlanta; Teammates Dave Grubnic and Scott Kalitta suffer first round losses COMMERCE, Ga., (April 29, 2007) -- After failing to qualify at the previous NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series event in...

Doug Kalitta rebounds to quarter-final finish in Atlanta; Teammates Dave Grubnic and Scott Kalitta suffer first round losses

COMMERCE, Ga., (April 29, 2007) -- After failing to qualify at the previous NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series event in Las Vegas two weeks ago, 29-time Top Fuel national event winner Doug Kalitta and his Mac Tools/Chip Foose Design team made a valiant comeback in Sunday's final eliminations at the Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Nationals at Atlanta Dragway in Commerce, Ga., just outside of Atlanta.

Doug, the No. 16 qualifier for eliminations, faced off against No. 1 qualifier Rod Fuller in round one. When the lights went green, Doug took a slight starting line advantage over his opponent, but Fuller's rail lost traction soon thereafter to allow Doug to rocket to the win light for the big on-paper upset win over the POWERade points leader, 4.606 seconds, 317.19 mph to 7.103 sec., 107.26 mph.

In the second and quarter-final round, Doug rolled his 8,000-horsepower entry to the line to race Brandon Bernstein. Unfortunately for Doug his race car rolled through the starting line beams a bit too quickly as he turned on the ever-dreaded red light to give Bernstein the automatic round win with a foul start.

In Las Vegas, Doug's DNQ was his first failure to qualify since the Phoenix event in 2000 and ended his streak of qualifying for 164 consecutive NHRA national events in Top Fuel.

Native Australian Dave Grubnic, driver of the Zantrex-3 Top Fueler, qualified for Sunday's eliminations in the No. 9 qualifying spot which set him and the Zantrex-3 team up for a tough first round match-up with perennial favorite and No. 8 qualifier Bernstein. The two fan-favorite drivers were the first pair to line up at the starting line as the day of eliminations began under crystal clear skies in Georgia. The two drivers left the starting line at almost exactly the same time, but Grubnic's black and blue mount lost traction before half-track and that let Bernstein streak to the win, 8.363 sec., 96.22 mph to 4.548 sec., 324.75 mph.

Scott Kalitta, driver of the DHL Toyota Solara Nitro Funny Car and the No. 13 qualifier, had a great side-by-side battle with No. 4 qualifier Tony Pedregon. The two fuel floppers traversed the quarter-mile racing surface with quick and clean laps, but Pedregon reached the finish line a flash sooner to deny Scott the upset win, 4.887 sec., 307.79 mph to 4.824 sec., 316.30 mph.

Hillary Will, driver of the Kalitta Motorsports-managed, Ken Black-owned KB Racing LLC Top Fueler, qualified in the No. 10 position for eliminations. Will lost in the second round after she also red lit like her teammate Doug against Doug Herbert.

The Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Nationals was the 6th of 23 national events in the 2007 NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series.

-credit: km

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Series NHRA
Drivers Doug Herbert , Tony Pedregon , Doug Kalitta , Scott Kalitta , Brandon Bernstein , Rod Fuller , Hillary Will , Ken Black