St. Louis: Doug Kalitta preview

Doug Kalitta looks to become all-time win leader at St. Louis drag strip MADISON, Ill., (April 29, 2009) -- Doug Kalitta, driver of the bright yellow, 8,000-horsepower, nitro-fueled, No. 50 Top Fuel dragster, will try to become the first...

Doug Kalitta looks to become all-time win leader at St. Louis drag strip

MADISON, Ill., (April 29, 2009) -- Doug Kalitta, driver of the bright yellow, 8,000-horsepower, nitro-fueled, No. 50 Top Fuel dragster, will try to become the first four-time Top Fuel class winner at Gateway Int'l Raceway this weekend, May 1-3, during the annual running of the O'Reilly NHRA Midwest Nationals in Madison, Ill., just across the Mississippi River from St. Louis.

Kalitta collected the champion's trophy in St. Louis in 2001, and then in back-to-back seasons, '03 and '04. No driver has collected more than three professional class wins at GIR since it opened in 1996.

"Gateway has been great to us in the past, that's for sure," Kalitta, a 44-year old resident of Ann Arbor, Mich., and 31-time NHRA national event winner, said. "I'm not really sure what it is, but we've always had a pretty good handle on the race track, and we've gotten our share of luck, too.

"Our No. 50 dragster has been struggling a little in the past few events. We've made some changes to our combination since Atlanta (previous event) and hopefully that will be the fix we need to get going in the right direction again."

Kalitta, a 12-year NHRA veteran, and his team won the season-opening Winternationals in Pomona, Calif., in early February. It was Kalitta's first trip to the winner's circle since the fall of 2007. Kalitta has finished in the top ten in Full Throttle Top Fuel championship points in every season of his drag racing career. He is currently in 8th place (288) in Full Throttle championship points, 199 points behind the leader.

-credit: km

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Series NHRA
Drivers Doug Kalitta