Doug Kalitta Secures 50th No. 1 Qualifier at 500th Race
BRISTOL, TN (June 15, 2019) — Doug Kalitta raced his red and white Mac Tools Top Fuel dragster to the top of the Top Fuel field at the Thunder Valley NHRA Nationals today. It was Kalitta’s 50th career No.1 and occurred at his 500th NHRA national event. This was the veteran leader of Team Kalitta’s first Top Fuel No. 1 of the 2019 season and his first at Bristol Dragway. Last week teammate J.R. Todd scored the No. 1 qualifier in Funny Car which was the 100th No. 1 for Team Kalitta.
On Friday during the second qualifying session at historic Bristol Dragway Kalitta zoomed to the top spot in the Mac Tools Top Fuel dragster with a 3.755 second run at 324.67 mph. He earned three valuable bonus points for the effort and will race Cameron Ferre in the first round.
“This is the first time I have been low qualifier at Bristol and honestly, it has been a while for this team to be the No. 1 qualifier,” said Kalitta, in the Bristol Dragway pressroom on Saturday night. “Our guys are gelling and I always say you are really only as good as your car some times. I have to thank the guys back at the shop because they are busting their tails too. We have the TRD guys helping us out. It would be awesome to pull off a win.”
“I have been out here for a little while,” added Kalitta, in reference to his 500th race. “I have been racing for 21 years and I am just very fortunate to have Connie and the whole Kalitta organization behind me. Connie is working on Richie Crampton’s car and he is our fearless leader out here. Getting to 500 races has been a lot of fun and I hope to be able to do it for a long time.”
During Saturday’s two qualifying sessions no Top Fuel competitor was able to approach Kalitta’s Friday elapsed time. Kalitta’s Thunder Valley NHRA Nationals performance was the 86th Top Fuel No. 1 for Team Kalitta. Kalitta’s last No. 1 was the 2017 Carolina Nationals where he went on to defeat Richie Crampton in the final for the win.
The 86 Team Kalitta Top Fuel No. 1 qualifiers have been earned by Connie Kalitta (3), Scott Kalitta (19), David Grubnic (8) and J.R. Todd (6). Team Kalitta’s first No. 1 was earned by team owner and legendary Top Fuel driver Connie Kalitta at the 1980 Winternationals at 5.85 seconds. Doug Kalitta leads the team with 50 No. 1 qualifiers in Top Fuel.
Fellow Team Kalitta Top Fuel dragster racer Richie Crampton qualified his DHL dragster in the No. 9 spot. The two Kalitta Funny Cars will go into race day with Shawn Langdon’s Global Electronic Technology Toyota Camry Gunny Car No. 2 and J.R. Todd’s DHL Toyota Camry No. 5.