NHRA Top Fuel points leader Doug Kalitta qualifies No. 2 in Joliet; Kalitta Motorsports teammates "Aussie Dave" Grubnic and Scott Kalitta and qualify No. 8 and No. 10 respectively Joliet, Ill., June 11, 2005 -- After four qualifying laps down...
NHRA Top Fuel points leader Doug Kalitta qualifies No. 2 in Joliet; Kalitta Motorsports teammates "Aussie Dave" Grubnic and Scott Kalitta and qualify No. 8 and No. 10 respectively
Joliet, Ill., June 11, 2005 -- After four qualifying laps down the record-setting quarter-mile drag strip at Route 66 Raceway at the CARQUEST Auto Parts NHRA Nationals in Joliet, Ill., just south of Chicago, Kalitta Motorsports' NHRA-only three-car Top Fuel dragster team of Doug Kalitta, Scott Kalitta and "Aussie Dave" Grubnic qualified No.2, No. 8 and No. 10 respectively in Sunday's 16-car eliminations ladder.
Current Top Fuel championship points leader and two-time points runner-up (2003-2004) Doug, 40, driver of the Mac Tools Top Fuel dragster, made his best lap of 4.516-second, 329.83-mph lap in Friday's second qualifying session to qualify No. 2. He will race No. 15 qualifier Bobby Lagana Jr. in round one of eliminations. Doug is 2-0 versus Lagana Jr. in elimination rounds in his career.
Doug is an eight-year Top Fuel veteran and former USAC National Sprint Car Champion (1994). He owns 22 NHRA national event trophies. He has three wins so far in 2005 (Gainesville, Fla., Bristol, Tenn., and Atlanta). He will be vying for his sixth final-round appearance of Sunday. He also made the title round at events in Las Vegas and Columbus, Ohio.
2004 CARQUEST Auto Parts NHRA Nationals event winner Doug recorded the quickest lap in NHRA history at Route 66 Raceway last May with a stunning 4.420-sec. lap in a final-winning effort against Brandon Bernstein.
Doug's Team Kalitta teammate Grubnic, driver of the Zantrex-3 Top Fuel hot rod, qualified No. 8 (4.566 seconds, 326.87 mph). He will race No. 9 qualifier Rod Fuller in round one of eliminations. Grubnic is 1-0 versus Fuller in his career.
Third place in championship points holder and native Australian Grubnic, 42, the $100,000 Budweiser Shootout special event winner last fall in Las Vegas, made history at the previous event 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.
Two-time Top Fuel World Champion (1994-1995) and Doug's Cousin Scott Kalitta, 43, driver of the Mac Tools/Jesse James Top Fuel dragster, qualified No. 10 (4.595 sec., 322.50 mph). He will race No. 7 qualifier Morgan Lucas in round one of eliminations. Scott is 0-2 versus Lucas in his career.
Scott, who won the opening event of the 2005 season in Pomona, Calif., in February, is currently eighth in championship points. He has 17 (16 Top Fuel, 1 Funny Car) NHRA national event victories in his 24-year career.
Kalitta Motorsports has made five straight final-round appearances. In the first nine NHRA national events of 2005, Team Kalitta race cars have made seven final-round appearances with five wins (Doug - 3, Scott - 1, Grubnic - 1).
The CARQUEST Auto Parts NHRA Nationals is the tenth 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.