Madison: Kalitta Motorsports preview

Kalitta Motorsports' three-car Top Fuel team set for NHRA tour's mid-way stop in St. Louis Madison, Ill., June 23, 2004 -- Mac Tools flagship dragster driver Doug Kalitta is anxious to race his bright red, 7000+ horsepower Top Fuel hot rod again...

Kalitta Motorsports' three-car Top Fuel team set for NHRA tour's mid-way stop in St. Louis

Madison, Ill., June 23, 2004 -- Mac Tools flagship dragster driver Doug Kalitta is anxious to race his bright red, 7000+ horsepower Top Fuel hot rod again at Gateway Int'l Raceway in Madison, Ill., just east of St. Louis at the 8th annual Sears Craftsman NHRA Nationals, June 25-27.

It was at Gateway Int'l Raceway's drag strip that Doug and his Mac Tools rail took the title trophy in last season's NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series, his third of four wins in 2003. A 16-time NHRA national event winner, he defeated Scott Weis in last year's final round. Doug was the 2003 Top Fuel championship points runner-up.

The Sears Craftsman NHRA Nationals is the 12th of 23 events in the $50 million NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series.

After last weekend's semi-final appearance in Englishtown, N.J., Doug closed the points gap by 39 and now trails points leader Tony Schumacher by only 48. Doug is third, just ten behind second place Brandon Bernstein.

Doug, 39, has reached four final rounds this year, (Pomona 1, Phoenix, Chicago 1 and Topeka) with one win in Chicago. He was low qualifier at the season-opening event in Pomona, Calif., and has 17 No.1 qualifying spots in his seven-year career. Doug holds the quickest (4.420 sec. - Chicago 1, 2004) and fastest (335.57 mph -- Las Vegas 1, 2004) time slips in NHRA history.

Two-time NHRA Top Fuel Champion (1994-1995) Scott Kalitta, driver of the wildly painted red and black Mac Tools/Jesse James dragster has 15 career national event victories (14 Top Fuel, 1 Funny Car). He also has one low qualifier award this year (Las Vegas 1). He has 19 No. 1 qualifiers in his 23-year career. Scott is currently in seventh position in championship points. After a multi-year retirement, Scott, 42, returned to Top Fuel competition in 2003 at the Mac Tools U.S. Nationals in Indianapolis.

Journeyman racer "Aussie Dave" Grubnic pilots the third dragster from Kalitta Motorsports. Grubnic's jet black Kalitta Air machine was low qualifier earlier this season at consecutive events in Phoenix and Gainesville and again at consecutive events in Atlanta and Chicago. He has five No. 1 qualifying positions in his ten-year career. Grubnic, 41, a native of Brisbane, Australia, has reached the final round twice in his career. He now sits eighth in points.

Team owner and drag racing legend Connie "the Bounty Hunter" Kalitta serves as crew chief for all three Team Kalitta entries. He is Doug's uncle and Scott's dad. He is assisted by co-crew chiefs Rahn Tobler (Mac Tools dragster), Jim Oberhofer (Mac Tools/Jesse James dragster) and Jon Oberhofer (Kalitta Air dragster).

Qualifying for Sunday's 16-car final eliminations field begins with two sessions Friday for the professional classes and two more again Saturday.

Please visit www.kalittaracing.com for more information about Kalitta Motorsports.

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Series NHRA
Drivers Scott Weis , Tony Schumacher , Doug Kalitta , Scott Kalitta , Brandon Bernstein , Jim Oberhofer , Jesse James