Doug Kalitta and the Mac Tools Top Fuel dragster will be rolling into World Wide Technology Raceway across the river from downtown St. Louis with the Mello Yello Top Fuel points lead and momentum as they pursue their first Top Fuel world championship. The U.S. Nationals winner and runner-up at the NHRA Reading Nationals two weeks ago knows that continuing to put pressure on the rest of the category is critical but they cannot lose their focus.
“We know we have the points lead but that doesn’t change how we are running this Mac Tools dragster,” said Kalitta. “We have been to back-to-back finals and picked up the win in in Indy by being consistent and taking advantage of every opportunity that was presented to us. We are going to come out of the trailer on Friday ready to make quick runs and hopefully start from pretty high up in the qualifying order.”
Kalitta is the second winningest Top Fuel racer at the NHRA Midwest Nationals with three wins. He is tied with racing legend Gary Scelzi and the pair of surefire Hall of Famers are just two wins behind Antron Brown. The Mac Tools dragster has raced in five final rounds in St Louis most recently two years ago.
“We have won a lot of rounds in St. Louis I would like to get four more on Sunday,” said Kalitta. “The field is so tough. We lost a close race to our teammate Richie Crampton in Reading and he made a big jump in the points. Our goal will be to just race as hard as we can with the conditions that are presented to us. You can’t start thinking about races down the road. We are going to focus on taking care of business in St. Louis.”
This season Kalitta has raced to three final rounds and also picked up a No. 1 qualifier in Bristol. One of the major keys to his success has been the fact he has only suffered four first round losses and none since the beginning of the Western Swing.
“I would say we have done a really good job of maximizing our efforts and performance since the Western Swing. We had an awesome Indy and a great start to the Countdown. Our goal now is to keep moving in a positive direction with this Mac Tools team,” added Kalitta.
2018 NHRA Midwest Nationals Highlights: Qual. No. 10; Lost to Antron Brown
Last Event Recap (2019 NHRA Reading Nationals): Qual. No. 3; RUNNER-UP; Beat Smax Smith, Mike Salinas, Austin Prock; Lost to Richie Crampton
Quotable: Kalitta on heading to St Louis with points lead: “Reading was big for this Mac Tools team. We have the points lead again and we are going to keep pushing. We have had some success in St. Louis and we are ready to get back at it.”
Career Stats: 508 events, 501 starts, 680 round wins, 46 wins, 99 finals, 50 No. 1 qualifiers
Winternationals: Qual. No. 7, WINNER; Beat Scott Palmer, Billy Torrence, Terry McMillen and Steve Torrence
Arizona Nationals: Qual. No. 5; Beat Jim Maroney; Lost to Jordan Vandergriff
Gatornationals: Qual. No. 11; Beat Terry McMillen, Steve Torrence; Lost to Clay Millican
Las Vegas1: Qual. No. 7; Beat Terry McMillen and Steve Chrisman; Beat Steve Torrent and Richie Crampton; Lost to Mike Salinas and Brittany Force
Houston: Qual. No. 8; Beat Terry McMillen; Lost to Brittany Force
Charlotte1: Qual. No. 4; Beat Richie Crampton and Lex Joon; Lost to Clay Millican and Leah Pritchett
Atlanta: Qual. No. 3; Lost to Shawn Reed
Richmond: Qual. No. 5; Lost to Scott Palmer
Chicago: Qual. No. 5; Beat Shawn Reed, Pat Dakin; Lost to Mike Salinas
Topeka: Qual. No. 5; Beat Leah Pritchett; Lost to Antron Brown
Bristol: Qual. No. 1; Beat Cameron Ferre, Terry McMillen; Lost to Mike Salinas
Norwalk: Qual. No. 13; Beat Clay Millican; Lost to Steve Torrence
Epping: Qual. No. 3; Lost to Terry McMillen
Denver: Qual. No. 10; Lost to Clay Millican
Sonoma: Qual. No. 5; Beat Scott Palmer; Lost to Antron Brown
Seattle: Qual. No. 8; Beat Scott Palmer; Lost to Mike Salinas
Brainerd: Qual. No. 7; Beat Terry McMillen, Steve Torrence; Lost to Mike Salinas
Indianapolis: Qual. No. 8; WINNER; Beat Clay Millican, Brittany Force, Austin Prock and Billy Torrence
Reading: Qual. No. 3; RUNNER-UP; Beat Smax Smith, Mike Salinas, Austin Prock; Lost to Richie Crampton