Kalitta reaches final round in Denver; Retains second place in points Denver, Col., July 21, 2003 -- Surrounded by the Rocky Mountains at Bandimere Raceway, driver Doug Kalitta and his Mac Tools Top Fuel dragster team came very close to claiming...
Kalitta reaches final round in Denver; Retains second place in points
Denver, Col., July 21, 2003 -- Surrounded by the Rocky Mountains at Bandimere Raceway, driver Doug Kalitta and his Mac Tools Top Fuel dragster team came very close to claiming their second straight national event win on Sunday. Unfortunately, NHRA POWERade Top Fuel points leader Larry Dixon ended Kalitta's current consecutive round win total at seven at the Mopar Mile-High NHRA Nationals, just outside of Denver. The Mac Tools team's runner-up finish was from their sixth final round appearance and fourth final against Dixon in 2003.
After winning the previous event in St. Louis last month, Kalitta was seeking his fourth win of the season and the 15th win of his six-year drag racing career. Kalitta qualified third for the scenic event. He has qualified no lower than sixth at the 12 events run so far in the 2003 championship campaign including seven top qualifying positions.
The event in Denver marked the beginning of the Western Swing, a challenging and nearly exhausting three-event string of events (Seattle, Wash., Sonoma, Calif.) in three consecutive weeks. Kalitta is understandably dissatisfied, but hopes that his final round appearance in Denver is a sign of good things to come for the rest of the "swing".
"It is always disappointing to get to the finals and come up short, but Dixon was running really well. We knew it was going to be tough to beat them. Connie (Kalitta, crew chief), Jim (Oberhofer, co-crew chief) and the Mac Tools crew did a great job on our car in the thin-air conditions. We have a great tune-up. Hopefully we will see better final round results in Seattle and Sonoma."
With 10 national events remaining on the schedule this season, Kalitta remains second in championship points, 229 points behind Dixon.