KALITTA'S 329 QUEST IN RICHMOND
At this weekend’s, Oct. 5-7, annual running of the Torco Racing Fuels NHRA Nationals at the Virginia Motorsports Park in Richmond, Va., Doug Kalitta, driver of the 330-mph, “Big Red” Mac Tools Top Fuel dragster, is looking forward to seeing “329” next to his name Sunday, and not necessarily in the illumination of the light bulbs of the finish line scoreboard at VMR.
At the previous event in Dallas, Kalitta reached the 325-round win milestone in the Top Fuel class, drag racing’s quickest and fastest racing division. He is hoping to add four more to that total this weekend and pick up a long overdue win for him and his Mac Tools team in the 2007 POWERade Drag Racing Series.
“Someone mentioned to me that it was our 325th in Dallas,” Kalitta, a 43-year old resident of Ann Arbor, said. “I’ve never kept up with records and stats too much. Our goal is just winning rounds and winning races. However those numbers fall into place, so be it. It would be great though to see that total at 329 round wins come Sunday night.”
Kalitta was a Top Fuel semifinalist during last year’s Torco Racing Fuels NHRA Nationals.
Since winning the NHRA’s equivalent of Rookie of the Year, the Automobile Club of Southern California’s Road to the Future Award after the 1998 drag racing season, Kalitta has driven his dragster to 29 Top Fuel national event titles, which already ties him for sixth in career wins for the sport’s quickest and fastest class. In the past four NHRA seasons, Kalitta has solidified his place among the best Top Fuel pilots of all-time. Last season was arguably the best of his straight-line career. He won a career-high five national events in 2006 and led the POWERade points for almost the entire second half of the season. After finishing just 14 points shy of his first NHRA championship, Kalitta garnered his third career runner-up points finish in 2006. He was also points runner-up in 2003 and 2004.