NHRA's Scott Kalitta wins in Chicago; Teammates Doug Kalitta and "Aussie Dave" Grubnic make quarterfinals and suffer first round loss respectively Joliet, Ill., June 12, 2005 -- After a four-month drought, Scott Kalitta, driver of the 7,000+ ...
NHRA's Scott Kalitta wins in Chicago; Teammates Doug Kalitta and "Aussie Dave" Grubnic make quarterfinals and suffer first round loss respectively
Joliet, Ill., June 12, 2005 -- After a four-month drought, Scott Kalitta, driver of the 7,000+ horsepower Mac Tools/Jesse James Top Fuel dragster, scored his second NHRA win of 2005, the 18th of his 24-year career (17 Top Fuel, 1 Funny Car), Sunday at Route 66 Raceway at the CARQUEST Auto Parts NHRA Nationals in Joliet, Ill., just south of Chicago. Scott won the season-opening NHRA national event of 2005 in Pomona, Calif., in February, but had won only four final elimination rounds in the previous eight events until Sunday's long-awaited victory.
Two-time Top Fuel World Champion (1994-1995) Scott, 43, qualified No. 10. He defeated Morgan Lucas (4.547 seconds, 326.87 mph to 18.40 sec., 36.16 mph) in round one of eliminations. In round two, Scott defeated teammate and Cousin Doug Kalitta in a great side-by-side drag race, 4.529 sec., 325.53 mph to 4.569 sec., 324.83 mph. Scott won another great race over Larry Dixon in the semifinals, 4.556 sec., 325.92 mph to 4.584 sec., 317.27 mph.
In the final round, the 35th final of Scott's quarter-mile career, Scott blasted by Rod Fuller (4.602 sec., 323.58 mph) with a stellar 4.518-sec., 330.15-mph lap. With his win, Scott moved up two championship points positions into sixth.
"What an incredible day for my team," Scott exclaimed. "My team and I have struggled so much in these past several races sometimes just to get down the track. To get this win, and do it with four solid runs like we had today, is really awesome.
"We really didn't change that much on our car, but for some reason, today it did exactly what we told it to do.
"Thanks to Jim "O" (Oberhofer, co-crew chief) and my dad (Connie Kalitta, team owner and crew chief) and all our sponsors for sticking with us through these past few months. It's been tough for us all, but we knew it would eventually turn around. I'm just so relieved. Now, we need to keep our focus and turn this win into more wins."
Current Top Fuel championship points leader and two-time points runner-up (2003-2004) Doug Kalitta, 40, driver of the Mac Tools Top Fuel dragster, qualified No. 2. He defeated Bobby Lagana Jr. in round one before losing to his cousin Scott in round two.
Doug now leads the championship points standings by 25 over Tony Schumacher.
Team Kalitta teammate "Aussie Dave" Grubnic, driver of the Zantrex-3 Top Fuel hot rod, qualified No. 8. He lost in round one to Fuller on a holeshot, 4.551 sec., 317.57 mph to 4.565 sec., 325.30 mph. Fuller's starting line advantage of .016 seconds allowed him to defeat Grubnic, who had a better elapsed time. The margin of victory at the finish line was only .0023 seconds. Grubnic is now in fourth place in points, 153 shy of the lead.
Kalitta Motorsports has now made six straight final-round appearances. In the first ten NHRA national events of 2005, Team Kalitta race cars have made eight final-round appearances with six wins (Doug - 3, Scott - 2, Grubnic - 1).
The CARQUEST Auto Parts NHRA Nationals was the tenth of 23 national events in the 2005 NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series.