Madison: Doug Kalitta preview

Kalitta fired up to race in St. Louis St. Louis, Mo., June 26, 2003 -- For those that are more technically minded, the brilliant illumination charging from the header flames of a nitro-fueled Top Fuel dragster roaring down the quarter mile at ...

Kalitta fired up to race in St. Louis

St. Louis, Mo., June 26, 2003 -- For those that are more technically minded, the brilliant illumination charging from the header flames of a nitro-fueled Top Fuel dragster roaring down the quarter mile at night is quickly explained as a matter of combustion rather than exhaust. Since the exhaust gasses from the 8,000 horsepower land rockets are not hot enough by themselves to create the display, it combines with the dissipating droplets of unused fuel escaping from the header pipes and oxygen to become the world's brightest nightlight. For NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series fans, it is just really cool to watch.

Driver Doug Kalitta and his Mac Tools/Kalitta Motorsports Top Fuel dragster team hope to light up the skies eight times near St. Louis, Mo., this weekend at the Sears Craftsman NHRA Nationals, June 26-29, at Gateway Int'l Raceway in Madison, Ill., just east of the famed Gateway Arch. All professional qualifying sessions and elimination rounds are scheduled to begin later in the day to gain relief from summer heat and provide the proper backdrop for the bright spectacle on the drag strip.

"These cars put on a great show at night for the fans," Kalitta said. "I hope the fans get to see the header flames of our Mac Tools dragster eight times. That will mean that we made all four qualifying rounds and made it to the final round on Sunday. Then, maybe we can put on another show as a celebration in the winner's circle."

After a semi-final round appearance last time out in Columbus, Kalitta and the Mac Tools team, currently second in NHRA Top Fuel championship points, are looking for a win in St. Louis to help close the gap between themselves and points leader Larry Dixon.

Qualifying action begins for the Top Fuel class at approximately 6:30 p.m. (CST) Friday. Sunday's final eliminations are set to start at 4:30 p.m.

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Series NHRA
Drivers Larry Dixon , Doug Kalitta