Topeka: Kalitta Motorsports Saturday summary

Kalitta Motorsports qualifies No. 4, 9 and 10 at Topeka NHRA event Topeka, Kan., May 29, 2004 -- At a very windy O'Reilly NHRA Summer Nationals at Heartland Park Topeka, the three-car effort of the Kalitta Motorsports Top Fuel dragster team ...

Kalitta Motorsports qualifies No. 4, 9 and 10 at Topeka NHRA event

Topeka, Kan., May 29, 2004 -- At a very windy O'Reilly NHRA Summer Nationals at Heartland Park Topeka, the three-car effort of the Kalitta Motorsports Top Fuel dragster team qualified in the No. 4, 9 and 10 spots for Sunday's final eliminations. The event in Topeka is the ninth of the 23-event $50 million NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series tour.

Two-time NHRA Top Fuel Champion (1994 and 1995) Scott Kalitta will go for his 16th career NHRA national event victory from the No.4 qualifying position (4.576 seconds) in his Mac Tools/Jesse James nitro hot rod. Scott's speed of 325.61 mph was the best of qualifying for the 16-car eliminations field. Heartland Park Topeka has been a great place to race for Scott. His six career victories at the drag strip make up over one-third of his NHRA professional wins. Scott will face No.13 qualifier Brady Kalivoda in the first round of eliminations.

During the final qualifying session Saturday, the awning on the Mac Tools/Jesse James dragster transporter was damaged and had to be removed due to the strong winds in eastern Kansas.

Mac Tools dragster driver Doug Kalitta will make his 100th consecutive start tomorrow from the No. 9 qualifying slot (4.631 sec.). His 100th start is the longest current streak in Top Fuel. Doug, who won the previous NHRA event in Chicago, will be vying for his 17th career victory in Top Fuel. At the same event in Chicago, Doug made the quickest run in NHRA history with a 4.420-sec. blast in the final round. Doug will roll to the starting line in round one against No. 8 qualifier John Smith.

"Aussie Dave" Grubnic will pilot his Kalitta Air Top Fuel entry into eliminations from the No. 10 qualifying spot (4.640 sec.). Despite a huge fire from a mechanical failure in the 7000+ horsepower engine on his race car in the final qualifying session, Grubnic will be ready to race when he matches up with No. 7 qualifier and defending NHRA Top Fuel Champion Larry Dixon in the opening round Sunday.

Team owner and drag racing legend Connie "the Bounty Hunter" serves as crew chief for all three Team Kalitta rails. He is assisted by co-crew chiefs Rahn Tobler (Mac Tools dragster), Jim Oberhofer (Mac Tools/Jesse James dragster) and Jon Oberhofer (Kalitta Air dragster).

Sunday's final eliminations at Heartland Park Topeka begin at 11:00 a.m.

-km-

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Series NHRA
Drivers Larry Dixon , Doug Kalitta , Scott Kalitta , Jim Oberhofer , Brady Kalivoda , Jesse James