Doug Kalitta and the Mac Tools Top Fuel dragster will leave Houston Raceway Park No. 2 in the Camping World Top Fuel standings. The team raced to a quarterfinal finish from the No. 5 qualifier position and will head to The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway with a serious but not insurmountable point deficit. There will be 30 points awarded each round and with a little help Kalitta could be in control of his championship destiny.
“We knew the championship would come down to the last race,” said Kalitta. “We have a hole to dig out of for sure. The one thing about this Mac Tools team is we are going to keep fighting. There are points and half in Las Vegas and if we get a couple quick qualifying runs we can make up some ground on Saturday. We are going to go into the weekend with our focus on winning the race and getting the championship.”
In the opening round today Kalitta outran Texan Kebin Kinsley for his 21st round win of the season. The Mac Tools Top Fuel dragster never trailed in the race. Kalitta grabbed a starting line reaction time advantage and then he powered to victory with a 3.716 second at 327.27 mph run. It was a big jump in performance from his best qualifying effort and gave him lane choice going into the quarterfinals.
In a close quarterfinal race Kalitta fell with a 3.747 second elapsed time slowing just slightly from his first round winning time. The team will head to The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway needing some help to chase down the points lead but with a dragster that has the performance numbers to go rounds.
Doug Kalitta on championship chase: “We didn’t make up ground this weekend which is disappointing. There is one race left and we just want a chance to get that championship. We have that opportunity and the Mac Tools team just has to capitalize on it.”
Qualified: No. 5 (3.764 sec., 269.78 mph)
Bonus points: 0