Commerce: Scott Kalitta preview

Scott Kalitta's Mac Tools/Jesse James NHRA Top Fuel team wants return to winning ways in Atlanta Commerce, Ga., May 11, 2005 - Scott Kalitta won the first national event of the 2005 NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series season in Pomona, Calif., ...

Scott Kalitta's Mac Tools/Jesse James NHRA Top Fuel team wants return to winning ways in Atlanta

Commerce, Ga., May 11, 2005 - Scott Kalitta won the first national event of the 2005 NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series season in Pomona, Calif., in February. That was then. Now, Scott and his team find themselves battling to get back into the top five in Top Fuel championship points after an uncharacteristic slump that has seen the perennial Top Fuel favorite win only two rounds in five events since his season-opening glory.

This weekend at the Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Southern Nationals at Atlanta Dragway, just east of downtown Atlanta in Commerce, Ga., Scott's Mac Tools/Jesse James team is hopeful to right their 7,000 + horsepower rocket ship and get back into the championship chase after another first-round loss at the previous event in Bristol, Tenn.

"We found something wrong in the motor after Las Vegas which was causing a loss of horsepower," Jim Oberhofer, Scott's crew chief said. "We made changes for Bristol and the motor responded very well. In the first round at Bristol, we thought we could run between a 4.55 (sec.) and 4.58. Since the motor is making good power again, it blew through the clutch early and slowed the car down to a 4.62, and we got whupped by John Smith.

"I feel that we're heading in the right direction now though. I'm looking forward to these next few events to get everything fixed and start doing some whupping of our own.

"My daughter Ashley's tenth birthday is Saturday. She is going to be at the race in Atlanta, so hopefully her ol' dad can get her a trophy there for her birthday."

Two-time Top Fuel World Champion (1994-1995) and Snead Island, Fla., resident Scott, 43, has 17 (16 Top Fuel, 1 Funny Car) NHRA national event victories in his 24-year career. His career-best elapsed time is 4.455 sec., and his career-best speed is 333.95 mph. He is currently in seventh place in Top Fuel championship points.

Kalitta Motorsports, which includes Scott's teammates Doug Kalitta and "Aussie Dave" Grubnic, has made four final-round appearances in the first six NHRA national events of 2005 with three wins (Doug - 2, Scott - 1).

The Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Southern Nationals begins Friday, May 13, for the Top Fuel class with two qualifying sessions. Two more qualifying sessions follow on Saturday. The top sixteen qualified cars will race Sunday in final eliminations.

The Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Southern Nationals is the seventh of 23 national events in the 2005 NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series.

About Kalitta Motorsports

Based in Ypsilanti, Michigan, Kalitta Motorsports is the only full-time three-car Top Fuel drag racing team in the NHRA (National Hot Rod Association) POWERade Drag Racing Series. The racing operation was started in 1959 by now legendary drag racer and team owner Connie "the Bounty Hunter" Kalitta. His son Scott Kalitta drives the Mac Tools/Jesse James dragster. Scott's cousin, Connie's nephew, Doug Kalitta drives the flagship dragster for Mac Tools. Native Australian David Grubnic drives the third dragster under the banner of Zantrex-3.

Connie serves as crew chief for all three Team Kalitta entries. He is assisted by co-crew chiefs Rahn Tobler (Mac Tools dragster), Jim Oberhofer (Mac Tools/Jesse James dragster) and Jon Oberhofer (Zantrex-3 dragster).

Associate sponsors on all three race cars include Red Line Oil, Summit Racing Equipment, Technicoat Companies and Fischer Honda.

-www.kalittaracing.com

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Series NHRA
Drivers Doug Kalitta , David Grubnic , Scott Kalitta , Jim Oberhofer , Jesse James