Pomona II: Kalitta Motorsports Saturday summary

Doug Kalitta qualifies No. 1 for NHRA event in Pomona; Scott Kalitta and Dave Grubnic qualify No. 4 and No. 7 respectively Pomona, Calif., Nov. 13, 2004 -- Kalitta Motorsports three-car Top Fuel dragster assault, attempting to qualify No. 1, 2...

Doug Kalitta qualifies No. 1 for NHRA event in Pomona; Scott Kalitta and Dave Grubnic qualify No. 4 and No. 7 respectively

Pomona, Calif., Nov. 13, 2004 -- Kalitta Motorsports three-car Top Fuel dragster assault, attempting to qualify No. 1, 2 and 3 for the third consecutive NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series national event, completed one of three of their tasks by placing Doug Kalitta in the No. 1 qualifying position at the Auto Club of Southern California NHRA Finals in Pomona, Calif. Teammates Scott Kalitta and "Aussie Dave" Grubnic qualified No. 4 and No. 7 respectively.

The Auto Club of Southern California NHRA Finals is 2004's final national event of the 23-event NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series.

Doug has been low qualifier seven times in 2004 and 23 times in his seven-year career. Kalitta Motorsports will finish this season's campaign with 14 low qualifier awards (Grubnic -- 5, Scott -- 2).

Doug set the pace for rail qualifying Thursday with his exceptional 4.472-second, 328.62-mph blast down the famed Pomona Raceway drag strip. Doug's lap established him and his Mac Tools team as the provisional No. 1 qualifiers going into Friday's second qualifying session.

His cousin and teammate Scott drove his Mac Tools/Jesse James Top Fuel entry into the provisional fourth qualifying slot Thursday (4.509 sec., 322.34 mph) despite losing one of the magnesium side panels on the left side of his race car near 1000 ft. The loss of body armor did not affect his time, however.

Grubnic, third Team Kalitta driver, in his new look Zantrex-3 dragster had traction problems about one-third of the way down the quarter mile and had to settle for the 19th provisional spot (8.059 sec., 91.76 mph) at the end of Thursday's qualifying session.

Friday's action saw Doug suffer the same woes of his teammate Grubnic from the night before as he lost traction early in his run with his Mac Tools hot rod to cross the finish stripe in 9.939 sec. at 83.80 mph. Doug remained provisional low qualifier with two qualifying sessions remaining Saturday.

Scott and his Mac Tools/Jesse James team made another strong run in Friday's single qualifying session with a 4.525-sec., 328.54-mph pass. Scott stayed in his provisional fourth spot in the qualifying ladder.

Grubnic fared much better on Friday than his Thursday effort with an impressive showing of 4.529 sec., 330.31 mph, which moved him all the way up to the No. 7 provisional qualifying slot. His speed of 330.31 mph in his Zantrex-3 entry was the fastest of the meet to that point.

In Saturday's first session of qualifying, Doug drove his bright red Mac Tools flagship dragster down the center of the left lane to post a great lap of 4.525 sec. at 323.50 mph in the heat of Pomona's early afternoon.

Zantrex-3 Top Fuel shoe Grubnic posted similarly impressive marks with his first run on Saturday at 4.522 sec., 327.90 mph.

Scott finished Saturday's first session with another great run for Kalitta Motorsports by crossing the finish line in 4.575 sec. at 327.19 mph in his Mac Tools/Jesse James race car.

In the final qualifying session, Doug continued his torrid pace with a 4.484-sec., 332.02-mph shot to keep his spot at the top of Sunday's 16-car final eliminations ladder. Doug's jaw-dropping speed of 332.02 in the run was the fastest of qualifying. He will face No. 16 qualifier Andrew Cowin in round one of eliminations.

In his last attempt, Scott, like his teammates in earlier runs, lost traction in his bid for a higher spot and coasted by the timers with a 9.325-sec., 80.87-mph score. He remained in the No. 4 qualifying position and will face No. 13 qualifier Rhonda Hartman-Smith first Sunday.

Grubnic made another strong pass in his last trip of qualifying with a 4.530-sec., 307.79-mph run to hold his slot in No.7. He will meet No. 10 qualifier Brady Kalivoda in the first round of eliminations.

Final eliminations at the Auto Club of Southern California NHRA Finals at Pomona Raceway begin at 11:00 a.m. Sunday morning.

-km-

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Series NHRA
Drivers Rhonda Hartman-Smith , Doug Kalitta , Andrew Cowin , Scott Kalitta , Brady Kalivoda , Jesse James