Exiting the 35th annual AAA Texas NHRA FallNationals Doug Kalitta and his Mac Tools Top Fuel dragster team are right in the thick of the NHRA Camping World championship battle. After a day of qualifying on Saturday, Kalitta entered the race as the No. 7 qualifier, with a tough first opponent, fellow championship contender Antron Brown. It was a critical round for Kalitta to take out a Top Fuel pursuer and advance the Mac Tools dragster to the quarterfinals.
Both dragsters launcher together and Kalitta pulled away as he closed in on half-track. He made his quickest pass of the weekend for the win, a blistering 3.713 seconds at 328.38 mph.
In the quarterfinals Kalitta took a starting line advantage from Rookie of the Year contender Justin Ashley and never trailed in the race winning with a time of 3.723 seconds at 328.46 mph. It was back to back low 3.7 second runs and it set up a monster semifinal race with Billy Torrence of Torrence Racing.
Knowing every round win was paramount the Mac Tools team gave Kalitta a strong race car. He jumped off the starting line but as his 11,000 horsepower dragster accelerated down track in the right lane it overpowered the racing surface and smoked the tires. Kalitta attempted to get it back under control but Torrence was on a smooth pass with no chance of reeling him in.
“We lost some ground today but we have two races left to make that up,” said Kalitta. “The last race will be 30 points a round. We will be Houston and I am not sure how similar the conditions will be. This Mac Tools team was strong this weekend. We made some great runs today and we got aggressive in the semifinals. We will put this race behind us.”
Kalitta is well within striking distance of the point leader and with two races to go a couple of wins would secure Kalitta his first championship no matter what happens with his competitors. The Camping World Drag Racing Series will be back on track at Houston Raceway Park in Baytown, Texas next weekend.
Doug Kalitta on the FallNationals atmosphere: “It was great to see so many fans in the stands. I know they had some restricts on attendance but there were a lot of people here. Toyota is based here in Dallas and it was great to show off for them as well as our other sponsors like Ferguson who just came on board this race. I am excited to get to Houston and get in front of some of our Mobil 1 supporters.”
Qualified: No. 7 (3.761 sec., 313.95 mph)
Bonus points: 0