Memphis: Team Kalitta preview

Team Kalitta looks forward to favorable skies in Memphis Memphis, Tenn., Sept. 17, 2003 -- Team Kalitta drivers Scott and Doug Kalitta are anxious to head to Memphis this weekend for the 16th Annual O'Reilly Mid-South Nationals at Memphis ...

Team Kalitta looks forward to favorable skies in Memphis

Memphis, Tenn., Sept. 17, 2003 -- Team Kalitta drivers Scott and Doug Kalitta are anxious to head to Memphis this weekend for the 16th Annual O'Reilly Mid-South Nationals at Memphis Motorsports Park, Sept. 18-21. Of course, Doug and Scott are eager to get their Kalitta Motorsports' Top Fuel dragsters on the drag strip to make 330 mph quarter-mile jaunts, but maybe even more importantly, the forecast in the Bluff City calls for cool and dry conditions throughout the weekend -- a welcome change from the rain that has ominously followed the NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series to the previous two national events (Indianapolis, Reading, Penn.), wreaking scheduling havoc for fans, organizers and race teams.

"It has been a rough past several weeks for us," co-crew chief Jim Oberhofer said. "At Indy, we debuted Scott's new Mac Tools/Jesse James dragster. It is a very exciting time for our race team, but it has also been quite hectic. Throw into the mix that we have had to re-arrange flight schedules, hotel rooms, truck routes and so on because of the rainouts, and it has been like a whirlwind lately. The weather in Memphis this weekend is supposed to be great, so we will be happy to go there to stay dry and go racing."

Doug and his Mac Tools dragster team will enter the event with solid footing in second place in NHRA POWERade Top Fuel championship points. They are 299 points ahead of third place driver Darrell Russell, but they are almost as equally far behind points leader Larry Dixon (269 points). With only six events remaining in 2003, including Memphis, Doug knows that if he has a shot to win the championship this season, he and his Mac Tools team must make a big move in the points now.

"We need to win in Memphis to keep our championship dreams alive," Doug said. "Time and possible points are fading quickly. Our Mac Tools team knows that for us to win the championship this year we need some luck combined with some wins, but we are not giving up yet. We will keep racing for the championship until it's mathematically impossible for us to do so."

Both the Mac Tools and the Mac Tools/Jesse James dragster teams will have their 8,000 horsepower entries ready for action for the first of four qualifying attempts set to begin approximately at 4:00 p.m. (CST) Friday. The 16 best qualifying racecars will enter final eliminations at 11:00 a.m. Sunday.

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Series NHRA
Drivers Larry Dixon , Doug Kalitta , Jim Oberhofer , Jesse James