Reading: Kalitta Motorsports preview

Team Kalitta rolling to Reading aiming for eighth straight NHRA final Reading, Penn., Sept. 15, 2004 - Ever since the NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series national event in St. Louis in June, Kalitta Motorsports Top Fuel dragster drivers Doug...

Team Kalitta rolling to Reading aiming for eighth straight NHRA final

Reading, Penn., Sept. 15, 2004 - Ever since the NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series national event in St. Louis in June, Kalitta Motorsports Top Fuel dragster drivers Doug Kalitta, Scott Kalitta and "Aussie Dave" Grubnic have made a habit of racing in the money round. In this span of seven events, Kalitta Motorsports' race cars have made an astounding nine final round appearances.

The only full-time, three-car NHRA Top Fuel operation will be trying for their eighth straight title round appearance this weekend at the Lucas Oil NHRA Nationals, Sept. 16 -19, at Maple Grove Raceway in Reading, Penn.

"I wish we could have won them all," Team Manager Jim Oberhofer said. "You can't win a race if you can't get to the finals, so we're happy with our performance as a team to give ourselves those opportunities to win. I really wish we had more trophies in the case from this streak, but we are happy with the way all of our cars are running, and if we keep doing our best like we have over these last seven races, we'll pick up a few more wins before the season ends."

Top Fuel championship runner-up in 2003 Doug Kalitta, 40, driver of the bright red Mac Tools flagship rail, has 18 career national event victories including wins this season in Chicago, St. Louis and Sonoma. So far in 2004, he has been low qualifier at Pomona 1, Sonoma, Brainerd and Indianapolis and has 20 No.1 qualifying spots in his seven-year career. Doug holds the quickest (4.420 sec. - Chicago 1, 2004) and fastest (335.57 mph - Las Vegas 1, 2004) marks in NHRA history. He currently sits in second in championship points, just 160 markers behind leader Tony Schumacher.

Two-time NHRA Top Fuel Champion (1994-1995) Scott Kalitta, 42, driver of the radically painted red and black Mac Tools/Jesse James dragster has 16 career national event victories (15 Top Fuel, 1 Funny Car) including a trophy from Denver in 2004. He has one low qualifier award this year for his achievement in Las Vegas in early April. He has 19 No. 1 qualifiers in his 23-year career. Scott is currently in fourth position in championship points.

Journeyman racer "Aussie Dave" Grubnic, 42, pilots the third dragster for Kalitta Motorsports. He will again be flying the colors of Red Line Oil at the event in Reading. Grubnic's 7,000 + horsepower machine was low qualifier earlier this season at consecutive events in Phoenix and Gainesville, at consecutive events in Atlanta and Chicago 1 and again in Memphis. He has six No. 1 qualifying positions in his ten-year career. Grubnic, a native of Brisbane, Australia, has reached the final round six times in his career, including four (St. Louis, Seattle, Sonoma and Brainerd) in 2004, but has yet to take home a title trophy. He is currently fifth in Top Fuel championship points.

Team owner and drag racing legend Connie "the Bounty Hunter" Kalitta serves as crew chief for all three Team Kalitta entries. He is Doug's uncle and Scott's dad. He is assisted by co-crew chiefs Rahn Tobler (Mac Tools dragster), Oberhofer (Mac Tools/Jesse James dragster) and Jon Oberhofer (Red Line Oil dragster).

The Lucas Oil NHRA Nationals in Reading is the 19th event of the $50 million, 23-event 2004 NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series.

Please visit www.kalittaracing.com for more information about Kalitta Motorsports.

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Series NHRA
Drivers Tony Schumacher , Doug Kalitta , Scott Kalitta , Jim Oberhofer , Jesse James