Event 8: 2020 NHRA Midwest Nationals
St. Louis, MO
October 3-4, 2020
Team Kalitta enters the NHRA Midwest Nationals with all three teams in championship contention. Doug Kalitta and the Mac Tools Top Fuel dragster and Shawn Langdon in the DHL Top Fuel dragster are battling for the top spot while J.R. Todd in the DHL Toyota Camry Funny Car continues to climb the point standings.
Doug Kalitta and the Mac Tools Top Fuel dragster will be looking for their fourth win at World Wide Technology Raceway this weekend at the NHRA Midwest Nationals. Kalitta is currently tied with Gary Scelzi in second place on the most Top Fuel wins list at the famed race track in the shadows of the St. Louis skyline. This weekend will be a critical race for Kalitta and the Mac Tools team with only four races remaining and the battle for the Top Fuel Mello Yello world championship tightening up.
“We had a tough weekend in Florida but we put that race behind us and are focusing on St. Louis,” said Kalitta, a 48-time Top Fuel winner. “We have had some good races at this track and we have great data. The weather should be cooler so that will be a big change for all the teams. Florida was one of the hottest races we competed in.”
This year Kalitta started the season with a strong start continuing his winning ways at the Auto Club Raceway in Pomona. A win at the season opening Winternationals followed by a runner-up finish at the Arizona Nationals had the perennial championship contender in the driver’s seat just as the season was shut down by the pandemic. When the season restarted Kalitta once again raced to the final round but the last four races have seen Kalitta reach just one semifinal.
“There isn’t anything wrong with our Mac Tools dragster,” said Kalitta. “We have had some tough match-ups and just some bad luck. I am looking forward to these last four races because we have had have success down the stretch before. I have an amazing group of guys behind me and a ton of sponsor support from companies like Toyota, TRD, Mobil 1 and NGK Spark Plugs that really give us an edge I believe.”
Last year Kalitta narrowly missed his first Top Fuel championship coming up two points short. With four races remaining he is just 22 points out of the lead. The final race of the season will feature 30 points per round so the Top Fuel championship is very much in reach. A strong showing in St. Louis could vault the Mac Tools team right back into the lead.
“No one is going to win the championship this weekend or at the Texas races. I think it will come down to the last race of the season again. I have a lot of confidence and we are putting all our energy into getting that Top Fuel world championship for this Mac Tools and Kalitta Motorsports team,” summed up Kalitta.
Last Event Recap (2020 NHRA Gatornationals): Qual. No. 6; Lost to Terry McMillen
2019 NHRA Midwest Nationals Recap: Qual. No. 10; Beat Richie Crampton; Lost to Billy Torrence
Quotable: Doug Kalitta on back to back races: “I am glad we will be back on track this weekend in St. Louis. We have run well there and I know this Mac Tools dragster will be ready.”
Career Stats: 520 events, 513 starts, 704 round wins, 48 wins, 104 finals, 50 No. 1 qualifiers
Winternationals: Qual. No. 5; WINNER; Beat Brandon Welch, Justin Ashley, Brittany Force and Austin Prock
Arizona Nationals: Qual. No. 8; RUNNER-UP; Beat Shawn Reed, Brittany Force and Antron Brown; Lost to Steve Torrence
Indy1 NHRA Nationals: Qual. No. 2; RUNNER-UP; Beat Lex Joon, Leah Pruett and Antron Brown; Lost to Billy Torrence
Indy2 NHRA Nationals: Qual. No. 6; Beat Doug Foley; Lost to Justin Ashley
Indy3 NHRA Nationals: Qual. No. 12; Beat Cory McClenathan, Clay Millican; Lost to Terry McMillen
U.S. Nationals: Qual. No. 5; Beat Pat Dakin; Lost to Justin Ashley
Gatornationals: Qual. No. 6; Lost to Terry McMillen