Doug Kalitta flies in Phoenix with test session-best 4.49 elapsed time; Two additional Team Kalitta cars impress as well In his final run Sunday at the weekend-long NHRA pre-season National Time Trials test session at Firebird Int'l Raceway just...
Doug Kalitta flies in Phoenix with test session-best 4.49 elapsed time; Two additional Team Kalitta cars impress as well
In his final run Sunday at the weekend-long NHRA pre-season National Time Trials test session at Firebird Int'l Raceway just outside the city limits of Phoenix, Doug Kalitta, driver of the Mac Tools flagship Top Fuel dragster, made the quickest quarter-mile lap of the test session with a dazzling 4.497-second, 327.43-mph posting. After struggling earlier in the weekend with a few ten-second plus, tire-shaking attempts, Doug and his Mac Tools team got on track with a 4.545-sec., 326.71-mph run prior to charging to the top of the Top Fuel heap.
The Phoenix test was the first of 2005 for Kalitta Motorsports' NHRA-only, three-dragster Top Fuel team.
"That was a lot of fun," Kalitta, a resident of Ann Arbor, Mich., said. "It's just a test session, but it's great to see that our Mac Tools car can come out and make those kind of numbers before the season gets rolling. Hopefully we can build on this and keep up the pace all year long."
In his Kalitta Motorsports entry, "Aussie Dave" Grubnic drove his new Zantrex-3 dragster to near the top of the leader board as well. In his final two attempts at the race track Sunday, the native Australian Grubnic made 4.544-sec., 325.06-mph and 4.541-sec., 288.46-mph runs respectively. In his last pass, Grubnic's Zantrex-3 rail lost the blower belt at approximately 1000 ft. If not for this bad break, Grubnic may have stolen the top spot from Doug.
"I think we're right where we want to be with the performance of the Zantrex-3 car," Grubnic said. "Our teammates and everyone else got a few laps on us Friday because we did not get our car here until Saturday, so I feel like we did a great job to get the numbers we did with fewer runs. That last run was going to be a good one, but we lost the belt. That's how it goes sometimes, but all-in-all we're quite happy."
Scott Kalitta, driver of Kalitta Motorsports' Mac Tools/Jesse James Top Fuel dragster, seemed to have the most difficulty getting back in the groove of racing. Scott's best of 5.593 sec. at 164.67 mph would set the bar for his team until Scott had to leave Sunday to return to his Tampa, Fla., home. Team Kalitta test driver Ben Marshall stepped into the cockpit of the Mac Tools/Jesse James nitro-rocket-on-wheels to improve the team's best marks to 4.540 sec., 321.96 mph in Sunday's last run.
Team Kalitta will continue to test for at least one more day at Firebird Int'l Raceway Monday. The team also plans to test at this coming weekend's session at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.