Doug Kalitta Suffers Early Exit in Chicago

Qualifying: Doug Kalitta was the No. 3 qualifier at the Gerber Collision & Glass NHRA Route 66 Nationals. Kalitta qualified in the top three for the fourth time in the season’s first six races. Kalitta’s best qualifying attempt came during the Friday-evening session when the 2023 Top Fuel champion reached the finish line in 3.750 seconds at 332.84 mph.

Eliminations: Kalitta raced Justin Ashley in the first round of eliminations. Kalitta made a brilliant run posting the low elapsed time of the first round in the Applied Innovation dragster – a 3.79-second effort at 330.15 mph, but Ashley left the starting line first and won the round by seven thousandths of a second. It is Kalitta’s only first-round loss of the season.

Unofficial Point Standings: Kalitta leaves Chicago in third place in the NHRA Top Fuel point standings. He trails his teammate, second-place Shawn Langdon, by 40 points and leads fourth-place Steve Torrence by 10 points.

Kalitta on Chicago: “I just obviously missed the tree a little bit, and Justin had a really good light. It’s just unfortunate because we had a good-running car this weekend and wanted to have a long day with Applied Innovation, Revchem, Safety Kleen and Toyota. We were hoping to have a good day with the Applied guys here this weekend, but it’s just one of those deals. We’re all trying hard, but it happens.”

Doug Kalitta Photo Courtesy: Chris Hall/Kalitta Motorsports