NORWALK, Ohio, (July 4, 2013) – Doug Kalitta, driver of the 10,000-horsepower “Big Red” Mac Tools Top Fuel dragster for Kalitta Motorsports, thinks this may be the weekend that he and the Mac Tools team pick up their first “Wally” trophy of the 2013 Mello Yello Drag Racing Series at his “home track”, Norwalk Motorsports Park, during the annual running of the NHRA Norwalk Nationals in Norwalk, Ohio.
The Kalitta Motorsports race shop, based in Ypsilanti, Mich., is less that 120 miles away from Norwalk Motorsports Park making it the closest NHRA national event track for the team helmed by Kalitta’s Uncle Connie “the Bounty Hunter” Kalitta, team owner and drag racing icon.
“It’s always great racing in Norwalk because a lot of our family and friends are there to watch us race,” Kalitta, a 48-year old resident of Ann Arbor, Mich., said. “The track and the facility in Norwalk are among the best we see all year. Plus, they have one of the best fireworks shows you will ever see, so it’s great we can all celebrate Independence Day there.
“Our Mac Tools dragster has been one of the best performing race cars this season, but we just can’t seem to get to the winner’s circle. It’s coming, though. We’re all confident it’s going to happen very soon, and Norwalk would be the perfect place to get it done.”
Kalitta and the Mac Tools team are averaging an outstanding 4.3 qualifying position thus far through 12 events. They’ve been the No. 1 qualifier four times (Phoenix, Gainesville, Fla., Houston, and Epping, N.H.). Their 3.733-second blast in Phoenix qualifying is the quickest elapsed time of the season.
Kalitta raced to the quarterfinals at the previous event in Chicago and set the Route 66 Raceway track record for speed – 328.22 mph. He has three semi-final appearances thus far this season (Gainesville, Atlanta, and Epping), and he is currently No. 5 in NHRA Mello Yello Top Fuel championship points.
Kalitta has amassed 32 NHRA Top Fuel title trophies in 65 final-round appearances. He has finished in the top ten in Mello Yello championship points in every season of his 16-year straight-line career. He was also the 1994 USAC National Sprint Car champion. Kalitta is the owner and president of Kalitta Charters and Kalitta Charters II, airlines specializing in passenger charter flights and freight transportation respectively.
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The NHRA Norwalk Nationals begin Friday for Team Kalitta and all the Nitro-powered pros with two qualifying sessions at 5:30 p.m. and 8:00 p.m. (ET). Two more qualifying sessions follow on Saturday at 12:30 p.m. and 3:00 p.m. The top 16 qualified cars in each Nitro class will race Sunday in final eliminations beginning at 11:00 a.m.
Times and dates subject to change.
ESPN2 TV Schedule:
6:00 PM-8:00 PM (ET)
7:00 PM-10:00 PM (ET)
Times and dates subject to change.
About Kalitta Motorsports:
Based in Ypsilanti, Mich., Kalitta Motorsports is a Top Fuel and Funny Car drag racing team in the NHRA (National Hot Rod Association) Full Throttle Drag Racing Series. The team was founded and is owned by drag racing icon Connie “the Bounty Hunter” Kalitta. For more than 50 years, Connie has been involved in the sport as a driver, tuner, and an owner. Kalitta Motorsports is one of the most successful teams in the history of auto racing with five world championships and over 50 national event titles in five different professional drag racing sanctioning bodies since it was established by Connie in 1959.
Del Worsham drives the DHL Toyota Camry Funny Car for Team Kalitta. Alexis DeJoria pilots the Tequila Patrón Toyota Camry Funny Car. David Grubnic drives the OPTIMA Batteries/Advance Auto Parts Top Fuel dragster while Connie’s nephew, Doug Kalitta, pilots the Mac Tools Top Fuel dragster. Connie serves as head tuner for all Team Kalitta entries. He is assisted by co-crew chiefs Jon Oberhofer and Nick Boninfante on the DHL Toyota Camry Funny Car, by Tommy DeLago and Glen Huszar on the Tequila Patrón Toyota Camry Funny Car, and by Jim Oberhofer on the Mac Tools Top Fuel dragster. Connie serves as crew chief on the Optima Batteries Top Fuel dragster.
Associate sponsors on Kalitta Motorsports’ race cars include Candlewood Suites, Red Line Oil, Technicoat and JEGS.
For more info about Kalitta Motorsports including exclusive content such as videos, photos and more, please visit www.teamkalitta.com. Follow Us on Twitter:www.twitter.com/TeamKalitta. Like Us on Facebook: www.facebook.com/KalittaMotorsports. Check out videos about Team Kalitta on our YouTube Channel:www.youtube.com/user/TeamKalitta. Follow us on Instagram: www.instagram.com/teamkalitta.