NHRA Top Fueler Doug Kalitta ready to begin a new drag racing chapter at Pomona's season opener POMONA, Calif., (Feb. 4, 2009) -- Doug Kalitta, a 12-year NHRA veteran and driver of the 8,000-horsepower Kalitta Motorsports Top Fuel dragster, is...
NHRA Top Fueler Doug Kalitta ready to begin a new drag racing chapter at Pomona's season opener
POMONA, Calif., (Feb. 4, 2009) -- Doug Kalitta, a 12-year NHRA veteran and driver of the 8,000-horsepower Kalitta Motorsports Top Fuel dragster, is eager to get back to racing this weekend, Feb. 5-8, at the season-opening NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series event, the Kragen O'Reilly NHRA Winternationals at Auto Club Raceway at Pomona (Calif.). Kalitta and his team have experienced several drastic changes since he wrapped up his 12th consecutive top-ten finish in championship points at the final event of the 2008 season last November.
Jim Oberhofer will serve as crew chief on the Kalitta-driven, nitro-fueled Top Fueler with Troy Fasching assuming the duties of assistant crew chief this season. Both had the same roles last season on the Hillary Will-driven Top Fuel dragster. Oberhofer, a 22-year veteran of Kalitta Motorsports, served as crew chief under the tutelage of team owner and head tuner Connie Kalitta, Doug's uncle, on Doug's dragster from 2000 to 2003.
"I'm really excited about working with Jim again," Kalitta, a 44-year old resident of Ann Arbor, Mich., and 30-time NHRA national event winner, said. "We won 13 events together a few years ago, so I'm sure there are more wins to come this year. I'm really excited about what the opportunities we have this year. It's going to be a little strange for the first couple of races not getting into a red dragster, but I don't care what color the car is as long as it's competitive."
Kalitta's newly-hued bright yellow dragster entry will begin the 2009 championship campaign without a primary sponsor for the first time since 1999. Although the car will not initially be adorned with the signage of a primary backer, it will be decorated with large, special-edition "50 years of Connie Kalitta" decals near the cockpit on each side of the car.
In 2009, Kalitta Motorsports is celebrating 50 years of drag racing by team owner and drag racing legend Connie "the Bounty Hunter" Kalitta. Over the past 50 years, Connie, who has been involved in the sport as a driver, tuner, and as an owner, has dedicated unequalled amounts of time and resources to building one of the most successful teams in the history of auto racing. Kalitta Motorsports has won five world championships and over 50 national event titles in five different drag racing sanctioning bodies since it was established by Connie in 1959.