MOHNTON, Pa. – – (Sept. 17, 2023) Mac Tools Top Fuel driver Doug Kalitta will race a backup car in today’s Pep Boys NHRA Nationals following an incident during yesterday’s final round of qualifying.
As the Mac Tools dragster completed its 3.748-second qualifying run at 332.10 mph Saturday afternoon, the right-rear tire shredded damaging the rear wing and the chassis forcing the team to run its backup car for final eliminations today. The Mac Tools team, with help from the Kalitta Air Careers team, worked late into Saturday night to prepare the backup car.
“The tire did not fault – there was nothing wrong with the tire,” Kalitta Motorsports general manager Chad Head. “The car did not have any malfunctions on the run, but something caused the tire to explode; we do not know what caused the tire explosion.”
Unlike the primary car, the backup car does not have a canopy so Kalitta will drive the car with an open cockpit in today’s race. The primary car will return to Michigan for repairs today.
The start time for final eliminations was moved to 9:30 a.m. eastern time due to inclement weather forecasted for the afternoon; the race will air on FOX this afternoon