Doug Kalitta qualifies No. 4 in Chicago; Teammates Scott Kalitta and "Aussie Dave" Grubnic qualify No. 10 and No. 13 respectively Joliet, Ill., (Oct. 1, 2005) -- At the Ameriquest Mortgage NHRA Nationals in Joliet, Ill., Mac Tools Top Fuel ...
Doug Kalitta qualifies No. 4 in Chicago; Teammates Scott Kalitta and "Aussie Dave" Grubnic qualify No. 10 and No. 13 respectively
Joliet, Ill., (Oct. 1, 2005) -- At the Ameriquest Mortgage NHRA Nationals in Joliet, Ill., Mac Tools Top Fuel dragster driver Doug Kalitta led the three-car Team Kalitta Top Fuel qualifying efforts for Sunday's 16-car field of final eliminations at Route 66 Raceway, just south of Chicago.
Two-time Top Fuel points runner-up (2003-2004) Doug qualified No. 4 with a best lap down the quarter-mile of 4.491 seconds at 329.58 mph. He will race his teammate and No. 13 qualifier "Aussie Dave" Grubnic in round one of eliminations. Doug is 11-2 versus Grubnic in eliminations in his career. This is the fourth time the Team Kalitta teammates will race one another in 2005. Each of the previous three races were decided before they ever started as Grubnic red-lit (foul start disqualification) in their first two meetings and Doug red-lit in their last match-up in the quarterfinals at Indianapolis two events ago.
Doug enters final eliminations in third place in Top Fuel championship points. He is 108 points behind leader Tony Schumacher.
Doug, 41, is an eight-year Top Fuel veteran and former USAC National Sprint Car Champion (1994). He owns 24 NHRA national event trophies. He has five wins, a career-best, so far in 2005 (Gainesville, Fla., Bristol, Tenn., Atlanta, Sonoma, Calif., and Brainerd).
Zantrex-3 Top Fuel dragster driver and native Australian Grubnic, 43, the $100,000 Budweiser Shootout special event winner last fall in Las Vegas, made history May 29th in Topeka, Kans., by becoming the first non-North American to win an NHRA Top Fuel national event. The win in Topeka was Grubnic's first in his 11-year career.
Grubnic is currently in fourth place in championship points. He is 318 points off of the lead.
Two-time Top Fuel World Champion (1994-1995) and Doug's cousin Scott, 43, driver of the Mac Tools/Jesse James Top Fuel dragster, qualified No. 10 (4.548 sec., 324.75 mph). He will race No. 7 qualifier Larry Dixon in round one of eliminations. Scott is 13-9 versus Dixon in elimination rounds in his career. Scott is 2-1 versus Dixon this season with their last match-up going Scott's way in his semi-final victory at the spring event in Chicago, an event that Scott ultimately won.
Scott, who won the opening event of the 2005 season in Pomona, in February, and again in June in Joliet, is currently ninth in championship points.
Scott has 18 (17 Top Fuel, 1 Funny Car) NHRA national event victories in his 24-year career.
The Ameriquest Mortgage NHRA Nationals is the 20th of 23 national events in the 2005 NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series.
Sunday's final eliminations begin with the Top Fuel class at 11:00 a.m.