Doug Kalitta makes third consecutive final round; Takes runner-up finish in Seattle Seattle, Wash., July 27, 2003 -- Going into his third consecutive final round, Mac Tools/Kalitta Motorsports Top Fuel dragster driver Doug Kalitta rolled his...
Doug Kalitta makes third consecutive final round; Takes runner-up finish in Seattle
Seattle, Wash., July 27, 2003 -- Going into his third consecutive final round, Mac Tools/Kalitta Motorsports Top Fuel dragster driver Doug Kalitta rolled his black flame-decorated, fire engine red racecar into the staging beams beside a familiar final-round foe in 2003, Larry Dixon. Unfortunately, the outcome at the CARQUEST Auto Parts Nationals at Pacific Raceways outside Seattle, Wash., on Sunday was also familiar. Championship points leader Dixon (4.672 seconds, 316.82 mph) defeated Kalitta (4.739 seconds, 306.95 mph) for the fourth time in the money round this season, including the previous event in Denver a week ago. Kalitta's lone win against Dixon in a final round in 2003 came in Englishtown, NJ, in May.
After qualifying third for the event held near scenic Mt. Rainier, Kalitta ascended through the Top Fuel final eliminations ladder with round wins over Don Sosenka, David Baca and Kenny Bernstein. Kalitta's less-than-a-car-length, semi-final round win over Bernstein (margin of victory: 0.0231 seconds) propelled him to his seventh final round of 2003, the 31st of his career.
"Those guys have our number right now," Kalitta said. "It is frustrating. We have gone to the finals in the last three races and won one of them, but we still can't make up much ground in the points because we have lost to Dixon in these last two events."
"We have had some success at Sonoma (Calif.), so we will get ready to race there next weekend and hopefully get a win for our Mac Tools dragster's fans."
Kalitta's achievements in Sonoma consist of three straight victories in 1998-2000, including a win over Dixon in 2000, and another final round showing last year.
Kalitta has won three NHRA national events in 2003 (Houston, Englishtown, St. Louis). With nine national events remaining on the schedule this season, Kalitta remains second in championship points, 251 points behind Dixon.