Denver: Doug Kalitta final report

Doug Kalitta and the Mac Tools team race to the quarterfinals in Denver after defeating teammate Grubnic DENVER, Colo., (July 13, 2008) -- During Sunday's final eliminations of the Mopar Mile-High NHRA Nationals at Bandimere Speedway in...

Doug Kalitta and the Mac Tools team race to the quarterfinals in Denver after defeating teammate Grubnic

DENVER, Colo., (July 13, 2008) -- During Sunday's final eliminations of the Mopar Mile-High NHRA Nationals at Bandimere Speedway in Morrison, Colo., just a few miles from Denver, Doug Kalitta, driver of the 8,000-horsepower "Big Red" Mac Tools Top Fuel dragster, became the first elimination-round winner in the new era of 1,000 ft. drag racing in the NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series.

In the opening round, Kalitta, the No. 9 qualifier (4.027 sec., 291.01 mph), faced off against his Kalitta Motorsports teammate and No. 8 qualifier (4.026 sec., 294.37 mph) Dave Grubnic, driver of the DHL Top Fueler, as the pair of racing vets began the day of eliminations for the pro classes. Both drivers had their "hands full" as both of their respective charges struggled to maintain traction on the tricky drag strip at Bandimere, but Kalitta's rail was able to "stay stuck" just a little better than Grubnic's bright yellow racer to get the win, 4.455 sec., 259.76 mph to 4.878 sec., 199.76 mph.

In the quarterfinals, Kalitta rolled to the mile-high starting line to race against Cory McClenathan. Kalitta's Mac Tools machine again had problems with traction after the race started, while McClenathan was able to "go the grand" with fewer troubles and get the win over Kalitta, 4.403 sec., 237.38 mph to 4.197 sec., 270.59 mph.

Beginning with the event in Denver, the NHRA instituted a new racing distance for the nitro-fueled classes of Funny Car and Top Fuel dragster to 1,000 ft., as opposed to the traditional distance of 1,320 ft., or a quarter of a mile. The unprecedented action is intended to be a temporary safety solution to help the drivers of the world's quickest and fastest racing safely bring their cars to a stop more efficiently.

Kalitta is now 9th in POWERade championship points, while Grubnic falls to 10th in points.

-credit: km

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Series NHRA
Drivers Doug Kalitta , Cory McClenathan