JOLIET, Ill., (June 10, 2007) -- Cousins Doug and Scott Kalitta both made valiant efforts in their opening round match-ups of final eliminations at the Torco Race Fuels Route 66 NHRA Nationals at Route 66 Raceway Sunday, but the Team Kalitta ...
JOLIET, Ill., (June 10, 2007) -- Cousins Doug and Scott Kalitta both made valiant efforts in their opening round match-ups of final eliminations at the Torco Race Fuels Route 66 NHRA Nationals at Route 66 Raceway Sunday, but the Team Kalitta teammates both came up just a few feet short of pulling off first round upsets in Joliet, Ill., just south of Chicago.
Doug, driver of the Mac Tools Top Fuel dragster, qualified for eliminations in the No. 16 slot. He faced the No. 1 qualifier Tony Schumacher in round one. The two quarter-mile veterans put on a great side-by-side race for the huge crowd of nitro fans at Route 66 Raceway, but Doug's best lap of the weekend, 4.583 seconds at 325.06 mph, was just barely not enough as Schumacher took the win light with a 4.511-sec., 325.61-mph run. The margin of victory at the finish line was a mere .0647 seconds.
In their storied NHRA Top Fuel careers, the two venerable championship contenders have now raced one another 46 times in final eliminations and are now dead-even with 23 wins each.
Scott, driver of the DHL Toyota Solara Funny Car, qualified his fuel flopper in the No. 11 spot for Funny Car eliminations. He raced against Jack Beckman, the No. 6 qualifier, in the opening stanza. Just like his cousin had done a few minutes before, Scott and Beckman gave the straight-line faithful in Joliet another close race, but unfortunately, Scott joined his teammate on the losing end, 4.957 sec., 297.75 mph to 4.899 sec., 317.94 mph. The margin of victory was a scant .1244 seconds.
Native Australian and Team Kalitta Top Fuel pilot Dave Grubnic, driver of the Zantrex-3 dragster, failed to qualify for Sunday's eliminations. It marks the first time that the fan favorite has been absent on race day since the fall event in Las Vegas in 2003.
Hillary Will, driver of the Kalitta Motorsports-managed, Ken Black-owned KB Racing LLC Top Fueler, qualified in the No. 7 position for eliminations. She was defeated by Rod Fuller in the quarterfinals.
The Torco Race Fuels Route 66 NHRA Nationals was the 9th of 23 national events in the 2007 NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series.