Topeka: Kalitta Motorsports preview

Team Kalitta hoping for memorable NHRA event in Topeka Topeka, Kan., May 26, 2004 -- After winning the previous NHRA event in stunning style in Joliet, Ill., less than a week ago, Doug Kalitta, driver of the bright red Mac Tools flagship Top...

Team Kalitta hoping for memorable NHRA event in Topeka

Topeka, Kan., May 26, 2004 -- After winning the previous NHRA event in stunning style in Joliet, Ill., less than a week ago, Doug Kalitta, driver of the bright red Mac Tools flagship Top Fuel dragster now leads the three-car Kalitta Motorsports Top Fuel dragster team to Kansas for a Memorial Day weekend of exciting NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series action. Kalitta's final round blast of 4.420 seconds at Route 66 Raceway still has the racing world buzzing. It was the quickest run in NHRA history, and it gave Kalitta a decisive win over a wheel-standing Brandon Bernstein. Now, Doug and his teammates Scott Kalitta and David Grubnic turn their attention to mid-America for the O'Reilly NHRA Summer Nationals at Heartland Park Topeka, May 27-30.

Top Fuel championship runner-up in 2003 Doug Kalitta has 16 career NHRA national event victories in 35 final rounds. He has reached three final rounds this year (Pomona 1, Phoenix, Joliet). He was low qualifier at the season-opening event in Pomona, Calif., and has 17 No.1 qualifying spots in his seven-year career. He is cousin to teammate Scott Kalitta and nephew of team owner, crew chief and drag racing legend Connie "the Bounty Hunter" Kalitta. Doug's entry is overseen by co-crew chief Rahn Tobler, who helped wrench wife Shirley Muldowney's race cars to three NHRA championships until her retirement last season. Doug also holds the fastest (335.57 mph -- Las Vegas 1, 2004) time slip in NHRA history. He currently sits in third in championship points.

Two-time NHRA Top Fuel Champion (1994-1995) Scott Kalitta, driver of the radically painted red and black Mac Tools/Jesse James dragster has 15 career national event victories (14 Top Fuel, 1 Funny Car). He too 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. Kalitta Motorsports team manager Jim Oberhofer serves as co-crew chief on Scott's fan-favorite hot rod. Scott, the son of Connie, is currently eighth in championship points. After a multi-year retirement, Scott returned to the Top Fuel ranks in 2003 at the Mac Tools U.S. Nationals in Indianapolis.

Journeyman racer "Aussie Dave" Grubnic pilots the third dragster from Kalitta Motorsports. Grubnic's jet black Kalitta Air machine was low qualifier this season at consecutive events in Phoenix and Gainesville and again in Atlanta and Joliet. He has five No. 1 qualifying positions in his ten-year career. Jim Oberhofer's younger brother Jon has the responsibilities of co-crew chief on Grubnic's race car. Jon is in his rookie season at the position. Grubnic, a native of Brisbane, Australia, has reached the final round twice in his career but has yet to take home a title trophy. He is fourth in Top Fuel points. 2004 is Grubnic's first season with Kalitta Motorsports.

The event at Heartland Park Topeka is the ninth of 23 events on the $50 million NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series tour.

Please visit www.kalittaracing.com for team stats, bios and more info about Kalitta Motorsports.

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Series NHRA
Drivers Shirley Muldowney , Doug Kalitta , David Grubnic , Scott Kalitta , Brandon Bernstein , Jim Oberhofer , Jesse James