Phoenix: Kalitta Motorsports Saturday summary

Kalitta Motorsports dragsters qualify No. 2, No. 4 and No. 10 for NHRA event in Phoenix Chandler, Ariz., Feb. 26, 2005 -- Doug Kalitta, driver of the Mac Tools flagship Top Fuel dragster, qualified No. 2 for Sunday's 16-car final eliminations ...

Kalitta Motorsports dragsters qualify No. 2, No. 4 and No. 10 for NHRA event in Phoenix

Chandler, Ariz., Feb. 26, 2005 -- Doug Kalitta, driver of the Mac Tools flagship Top Fuel dragster, qualified No. 2 for Sunday's 16-car final eliminations field at the Checker Schuck's Kragen NHRA Nationals at Firebird Int'l Raceway in Chandler, Ariz., just outside of Phoenix. Doug's best effort in four qualifying attempts was a 4.490-sec., 327.19-mph lap. He will face No. 15 qualifier Andrew Cowin in the first round of eliminations. Doug, 40, will be trying for the 20th NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series Top Fuel trophy of his eight-year drag racing career.

"The car ran really strong in qualifying," Doug said. "Hopefully, we can go out there and run our race and get by the first round and then go from there. You can never take anyone lightly out here, so I'll just try to do my job and hopefully we can get the win. Our Mac Tools team is one of the best, so if I do my job, I'm sure they'll put me in a car that can win."

Scott Kalitta, driver of the Mac Tools/Jesse James Top Fueler, qualified No. 4 with a best qualifying run of 4.500 sec., 327.82 mph in Friday night's session. He will match-up with No. 13 qualifier Scott Palmer in the first round.

"Well, we just need to go from A to B," Scott said. "In the last two qualifying runs, we had trouble doing that, so we're a little concerned, but I'm sure we'll get it all figured out and be ready for racing tomorrow."

Scott, 43, will be vying for the 18th national event victory of his 24-year career. Scott, Top Fuel World Champion in 1994 and 1995, won the season opening NHRA event in Pomona, Calif., two weeks ago.

Dave Grubnic, 42, driver of the Zantrex-3 nitro dragster, qualified No. 10 with a best qualifying pass of 4.571 sec., 323.12 mph. He will race No. 7 qualifier Larry Dixon in the first round. Grubnic had problems after the burnout in his last qualifying attempt and was unable to make the run.

"We obviously wanted to qualify higher than tenth," Grubnic said. "I will go out on a limb and say that we would have, but we had a break failure after the burnout. We did not want to risk backing the car up and making the run with bad brakes, so I just drove it on through after the burnout. We'll get it fixed and we'll be ready to give it our all tomorrow."

The Checker Schuck's Kragen NHRA Nationals is the second of 23 national events in the NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series.

Sunday's final eliminations begin at 11:00 a.m. for the Top Fuel class.

-km-

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Series NHRA
Drivers Larry Dixon , Doug Kalitta , Andrew Cowin , Scott Kalitta , Scott Palmer , Jesse James