Tuesday, February 19, 2013
NHRA NEWS: Kalitta ready to continue the 2013 journey in Phoenix
Doug Kalitta, driver of the Mac Tools Top Fuel Dragster, is eager to get right back to racing this weekend at the annual running of the NHRA Arizona Nationals at Firebird International Raceway in Chandler, Ariz., just a few miles from the Phoenix city limits.
The “Big Red” Mac Tools dragster showed a lot of promise in the first event of the year, the historic Winternationals in Pomona, Calif., last weekend as it picked up three bonus qualifying points on its way to a third place qualifying effort. Kalitta was quick throughout the weekend, but achieved his best time of 3.763 in the final qualifying session. On Sunday, Kalitta added to his massive round win count by picking up his first round-win over Leah Pruett, who was in her debut Top Fuel race.
Kalitta has seen success at almost every NHRA drag strip, and Firebird International Raceway is no different. He is the 2001 event winner and was in the final round just three years ago. That combined with his performance in Pomona, which left him just one point outside of the top five in the Mello Yello championship points standings, has Kalitta ready for Phoenix.
“I love racing in Phoenix and I’m super excited about how my guys have the Mac Tools car running,” Kalitta, a 48-year old resident of Ann Arbor, Mich., said. “We are looking forward to hitting the ground running at Firebird.”
Kalitta has amassed 32 NHRA Top Fuel title trophies in 65 final-round appearances. He has finished in the top ten in Full Throttle championship points in every season of his 16-year straight-line career. He was the 1994 USAC National Sprint Car champion.
This is a big weekend for Kalitta Motorsports, as team patriarch and Doug’s Uncle Connie Kalitta will celebrate his 75th birthday on Sunday.