Three-Time Bristol Top Fuel Champ Kalitta Has Unfinished Business in Thunder Valley

Doug Kalitta Bristol

Doug Kalitta BristolThree-Time Bristol Top Fuel Champ Kalitta Has Unfinished Business in Thunder Valley

BRISTOL, Tenn., (June 11, 2013) – Doug Kalitta, driver of the 10,000-horsepower “Big Red” Mac Tools Top Fuel dragster for Kalitta Motorsports, was within .02 seconds last year of claiming his fourth “Wally” trophy in Bristol Dragway’s Thunder Valley. At this season’s annual running of the NHRA Thunder Valley Nationals, June 14-16, in Bristol, Tenn., Kalitta is determined to return to the final round and finish the job he started a year ago.

In last year’s final round of eliminations in Bristol, Kalitta reached the 1,000-ft. finish line stripe approximately seven feet behind his opponent. It was Kalitta’s best finish in last season’s NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series, but that does not take away the sting of being so close to getting his 33rd visit to the Top Fuel’s winner’s circle.

“Losing in last year’s Bristol’s final was really tough, but I don’t dwell on it,” Kalitta, a 48-year old resident of Ann Arbor, Mich., said. “We’re very excited and encouraged about the way our Mac Tools dragster is performing this season and that’s what we have to focus on. We’ve had one of the top running cars all season, but we haven’t been able to pick up a win yet. Given our success in Bristol in the past, this weekend offers us a great opportunity to get our first win of 2013. We’re looking forward to it.”

 Kalitta has enjoyed great success at Bristol since the event began in 2001. He collected back-to-back victories in 2005 and 2006, and he claimed the title at the inaugural event 12 years ago. Kalitta was also the runner-up finisher in 2009.

Kalitta is in sixth place in Mello Yello Top Fuel championship points. He has reached two semifinals, Gainesville, Fla., and Atlanta.

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.

Follow Doug Kalitta:


Event Schedule:

The NHRA Thunder Valley Nationals begin Friday for Team Kalitta and all the Nitro-powered pros with two qualifying sessions at 6:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m. (ET). Two more qualifying sessions follow on Saturday at 1:00 p.m. and 3:00 p.m. The top 16 qualified cars in each Nitro class will race Sunday in final eliminations beginning at noon.

Times and dates subject to change.

ESPN2 TV Schedule:

6/15/2013 – Qualfying
7:00 PM-9:30 PM (ET)
6/16/2013 – Finals
1:00 PM-3:00 PM (ET)
6/16/2013 – Finals
11:00 PM-12:00 AM (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 Follow Us on Twitter: Like Us on Facebook: Check out videos about Team Kalitta on our YouTube Channel: Follow us on Pinterest: