Joliet II: Kalitta Racing Saturday summary

Doug Kalitta sets national speed record in Joliet qualifying; Qualifies No.1 for the ninth time this season Joliet, Ill., Sept. 27, 2003 -- Team Kalitta driver Doug Kalitta added another bullet point to the long and prestigious legacy of Kalitta...

Doug Kalitta sets national speed record in Joliet qualifying; Qualifies No.1 for the ninth time this season

Joliet, Ill., Sept. 27, 2003 -- Team Kalitta driver Doug Kalitta added another bullet point to the long and prestigious legacy of Kalitta Motorsports by piloting his 8,000 horsepower Mac Tools Top Fuel dragster to the quickest run in NHRA history, a jaw-dropping 4.428 seconds, during Saturday's first of two qualifying attempts at the CARQUEST Auto Parts NHRA Nationals at Route 66 Raceway in Joliet, Ill., just south of Chicago. Kalitta's speed of 333.00 mph on the run was third fastest posting in history. Kalitta's 333.19 mph quarter-mile blast in Houston earlier this year tops the list.

Since the certification of NHRA national records are based on a required backup run within one percent of the record during the course of the same event, Kalitta rolled into the second qualifying session looking for at least a 4.472-second run and a top speed of 329.67 mph or faster to officially claim new national records.

In the second qualifying attempt, Kalitta's 4.478-second pass at 331.85 mph was strong enough to garner the new national speed record (333.00 mph), but fell just six thousandths of a second short of setting the elapsed time national record. The previous national speed record was held by Larry Dixon, 332.75 mph.

Kalitta will have the opportunity to try for the backup of the national elapsed time record again when he stages his Mac Tools dragster for round one of final eliminations on Sunday. He will face Mike Strasburg in the opening stanza.

Doug's incredible performance in the first qualifying session gave him his ninth No. 1 qualifying position of the 2003 season, including five consecutive top spots to begin the year.

Doug's teammate Scott Kalitta, driver of the Mac Tools/Jesse James Top Fuel dragster qualified ninth in the 16-car field. He will meet Tony Schumacher in first round.

Final eliminations for the CARQUEST Auto Parts NHRA Nationals begin at 11:00 a.m. Sunday.

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Series NHRA
Drivers Larry Dixon , Tony Schumacher , Doug Kalitta , Scott Kalitta , Mike Strasburg , Jesse James