Scott Kalitta, DHL Toyota Solara Funny Car, No. 5 qualifier -- defeated in round one Scott Kalitta and the DHL Funny Car team suffer belt breakage in Seattle KENT, Wash., (July 22, 2007) -- During the opening round of final eliminations...
Scott Kalitta, DHL Toyota Solara Funny Car, No. 5 qualifier -- defeated in round one
Scott Kalitta and the DHL Funny Car team suffer belt breakage in Seattle
KENT, Wash., (July 22, 2007) -- During the opening round of final eliminations Sunday at the Schuck's Auto Supply NHRA Nationals at Pacific Raceways in Kent, Wash., just outside of the Seattle city limits, Scott Kalitta and his DHL Funny Car team made a valiant effort, but a broken blower belt ended their day of quarter-mile racing early.
Kalitta, the No. 5 qualifier, faced off against No. 12 qualifier Tony Pedregon in the opening stanza. Kalitta's yellow and red nitro-fueled flopper charged off of the starting line and looked well on its way to victory, but just before the finish line the blower belt on the machine's 8,000-horsepower engine snapped and that allowed Pedregon to sneak by for the win, 5.127 seconds, 211.03 mph to 4.816 sec., 319.14 mph.
"Man, that's a tough one to take," Kalitta, a 45-year old resident of Palmetto, Fla., said. "Our DHL car was really running great. I thought we had it, but the belt broke and that was that.
"We're all encouraged over here on the DHL Funny Car team. We know we have a fast hot rod, and we'll get all the stars to line up for us one day soon and get our first win."
Kalitta is the son of team owner and drag racing legend Conrad "Connie" Kalitta. He returned to the Funny Car class last season after many successful years at the helm of a Top Fuel dragster. He won the NHRA Top Fuel World Championship in 1994 and 1995 as well as 17 NHRA national event trophies, but got his first professional NHRA national event win under the carbon fiber canopy of a Funny Car in Houston in 1989.