Pomona: Scott Kalitta preview

Scott Kalitta prepped for another championship run Pomona, Calif., Feb. 17, 2003 -- Last year at the Mac Tools U.S. Nationals in Indianapolis, the world was introduced to the Mac Tools/Jesse James Top Fuel dragster. Two-time NHRA Top Fuel World...

Scott Kalitta prepped for another championship run

Pomona, Calif., Feb. 17, 2003 -- Last year at the Mac Tools U.S. Nationals in Indianapolis, the world was introduced to the Mac Tools/Jesse James Top Fuel dragster. Two-time NHRA Top Fuel World Champion (1994 and 1995) Scott Kalitta drove the wildly painted rail to two final round appearances in the season's final seven NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series national events and, in Dallas last fall, Scott became the fastest driver in NHRA history after his 333.95 mph blast.

As the 2004 racing season gets rolling this week at Pomona Raceway for the K&N Filters Winternationals in Pomona, Calif., Feb. 19-22, Kalitta is eager to maintain and build upon the momentum that he and his Mac Tools/Jesse James team launched in 2003.

"I probably had the most fun I have ever had driving a racecar last season," Kalitta said. "This year is going to be great too, but there will be a lot more pressure because we are chasing the championship. Our car is as strong as any other car out there, so we expect to be in contention for the title all the way to the end."

The off season at Kalitta Motorsports has produced more reasons for Kalitta's confidence in 2004. First, he has a new co-crew chief in Jim Oberhofer. Oberhofer moves over a pit stall from the Mac Tools dragster driven by Scott's cousin and teammate Doug Kalitta. Second, he has a new Kalitta Motorsports teammate in David Grubnic. Grubnic will pilot the new Kalitta Air Top Fuel dragster. Sharing data is the biggest advantage for multi-car teams. With Kalitta and Grubnic's teams sharing their information among themselves and with Doug's Mac Tools team, data will be in abundance in all of their pit areas.

Since Grubnic's car will be used primarily for research and development, Kalitta and his cousin Doug will be equally competitive and equally determined to win the 2004 championship.

"My dad (Connie Kalitta, team owner and crew chief) really wants another championship," Kalitta said. "He doesn't care if it's me or Doug, so we will race heads up. We both have great cars, so when we match up, it will be exciting."

-kr-

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Series NHRA
Drivers Doug Kalitta , David Grubnic , Scott Kalitta , Jim Oberhofer , Connie Kalitta , Jesse James