Kalitta advances to the Gateway final

Doug Kalitta and the Mac Tools team advanced to the final before losing a close race to Steve Torrence at Gateway Motorsports Park earlier today.

Kalitta started his weekend with bonus points and new career-best in qualifying. It occurred in the second round of qualifying on Friday evening as Kalitta took the Mac Tools Top Fuel dragster to the 1,000 foot line in 3.681 seconds, which lowered his career-best elapsed time by one thousandth of a second. Kalitta eventually qualified his Mac Tools machine in the fourth position for the stacked field.

In the first round, Kalitta faced fellow Countdown competitor Scott Palmer. Kalitta got off the line first, and that ended up giving him the win. He was on a great pass before a problem caused a massive explosion. Kalitta was only going 275mph at the line, but thanks to his starting line skills, he was still able to get the win.

After the Mac Tools team put their car back together, they came back to the line to face Brittany Force. Kalitta was ready with a .035 reaction time to give him the early advantage. Kalitta would never give it up and move on the semi-finals defeating the driver directly behind him in the point standings.

In the semi-finals, Kalitta drew the upset-minded Dom Lagana, who reached the semi-finals for the second straight weekend. Kalitta again got the jump at the line and steadily pulled away to move to his fourth final round of the year. His opponent was the man he is chasing for the title: Steve Torrence.

The final pair to the Gateway Motorsports Park surface was the duo, and Kalitta moved first at the starting line. Unfortunately it was not enough as Torrence was able to drive back around and get the win. 

Qualified: No. 4 (3.681 sec., 331.85 mph)

E1: Kalitta defeated Palmer – 3.845 sec., 275.34 mph to 3.827 sec., 306.74 mph

E2: Kalitta defeated Force – 3.717 sec., 329.83 mph to 4.250 sec., 231.83 mph

E3: Kalitta defeated Lagana – 3.718 sec., 330.23 mph to 3.760 sec., 326.24 mph

Final: Kalitta defeated Torrence –  3.698 sec., 331.28 mph to 3.684 sec., 329.34 mph

Quotable: “Tough way to end a great race weekend for this Mac Tools Toyota team. We had a great hot rod, and just came up a little short there in the final. We still have a shot at this title and I have the best group behind me. We will put these Mac Tools to work and go some more rounds in Dallas.”

Point Standings: Second; leads Brittany Force by 41 point for third, trails Steve Torrence by 42 points for first

Kalitta Motorsports PR/Photo Gary Nastase Photography

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