Scott Kalitta looks at Las Vegas for turnaround to NHRA season LAS VEGAS (April 3, 2006) -- To say that the 2006 NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series has not turned out how Scott Kalitta, driver of the Kalitta Air nitro Funny Car, had planned after...
Scott Kalitta looks at Las Vegas for turnaround to NHRA season
LAS VEGAS (April 3, 2006) -- To say that the 2006 NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series has not turned out how Scott Kalitta, driver of the Kalitta Air nitro Funny Car, had planned after four events so far would be like saying a 7,000 horsepower, 325-mph Funny Car is just kind of fast.
Of the four NHRA national events contested this year, Kalitta and his team have successfully qualified for final eliminations only once (Phoenix). As Kalitta turns his attention now to this weekend's NHRA SummitRacing.com Nationals at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway in Las Vegas April 6-9, he's not ashamed to admit his disappointment, but he remains resolved to right the carbon fiber ship and contend for wins.
"We're really struggling. It's easy to see," Kalitta, the son of team owner and drag racing legend Connie Kalitta, said. "I've been driving a nitro car for 25 years now and I've been through a lot in this sport, but this is certainly one of the worst lows.
"The last two qualifying sessions in Houston (previous event) showed us something pretty good. Obviously, it was not good enough to qualify, but it's a step in a positive direction. Las Vegas is all about taking risks and going big, so I'll go out on a limb and say that Las Vegas will be the race that we look back on at the end of the year and say that's the race that we turned it all around."
Kalitta, a 43-year old resident of Palmetto, Fla., won 17 NHRA national events and two (1994-1995) world championships in the Top Fuel class before returning to the cockpit of a nitro Funny Car in 2006. Kalitta raced in the Funny Car class at the beginning of his drag racing career and won his first NHRA national event trophy in the flopper ranks in 1989, his only win to date in Funny Car.