Phoenix: Kalitta Motorsports final report

Team Kalitta races to quarterfinals in Phoenix CHANDLER, Ariz., (Feb. 22, 2009) -- Doug Kalitta, driver of the bright yellow, 8,000-horsepower Kalitta Motorsports Top Fuel dragster, led the charge for Team Kalitta in Sunday's final eliminations...

Team Kalitta races to quarterfinals in Phoenix

CHANDLER, Ariz., (Feb. 22, 2009) -- Doug Kalitta, driver of the bright yellow, 8,000-horsepower Kalitta Motorsports Top Fuel dragster, led the charge for Team Kalitta in Sunday's final eliminations of the NHRA national event at Firebird Int'l Raceway in Chandler, Ariz., just a few miles from Phoenix, with a quarter-final finish.

Kalitta, the No. 8 qualifier (3.987 seconds, 307.86 mph) in the 16-car eliminations field, defeated Cory McClenathan in the opening round of eliminations. McClenathan jumped the start of the race and was disqualified with a red light, but Kalitta's weekend-best lap of 3.845 sec., 313 mph would have been difficult to overcome anyway.

In the quarterfinals, Kalitta, a 44-year old resident of Ann Arbor, Mich., and 31-time NHRA Top Fuel winner, raced against No. 1 qualifier Larry Dixon. Kalitta and Dixon thrilled the fans at FIR with a great side-by-side drag race, but unfortunately Kalitta crossed the 1,000-ft. finish line after Dixon, 3.883 sec., 309.34 mph to 3.802 sec., 317.27 mph.

Kalitta won the season-opening Winternationals event two weeks ago in Pomona, Calif.

Doug's Kalitta Motorsports teammate Jeff Arend, driver of the nitro-fueled DHL Toyota Solara Funny Car, was defeated in the opening round of eliminations of the Funny Car class.

Arend, a 46-year old resident of San Dimas, Calif., qualified his nitro-fueled coupe in the No. 16 spot (4.196 seconds, 293.60 mph). He had the challenge of racing No. 1 qualifier Ron Capps in the opener. Arend left the starting line first (.104 sec. to .113 sec.), but his DHL ride started losing valuable traction before the 330-ft. mark on the track, and that allowed Capps to get the win, 7.157 sec., 87.78 mph to 4.105 sec., 305.91 mph.

-credit: km

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Series NHRA
Drivers Larry Dixon , Ron Capps , Doug Kalitta , Cory McClenathan , Jeff Arend