Doug Kalitta and the Mac Tools team closed out another stellar season with a semi-final finish in today’s Auto Club Finals in Pomona.
Kalitta was consistent in qualifying but was unable to earn any qualifying bonus points. However, the Mac Tools team did what they had to do and kept their deficit to under 90 points to give them a shot at the title going into Sunday. The Mac Tools driver would be seeded seventh overall and faced Australian Wayne Newby in the first round.
Kalitta and Newby left together, but Kalitta continued to gain and grow the advantage. The Mac Tools ride ended up running the low elapsed time of the first round and set a new track speed record at over 332 mph.
After Brittany Force would claim the title in front of Kalitta in the second round, the Mac Tools team turned their focus to another Auto Club Finals trophy. The mission was still in tact with a nice 3.687 pass in the quarterfinals that allowed Kalitta to advance past Clay Millican.
That moved Kalitta to the semifinals, where he would face his teammate Shawn Langdon. Langdon got a couple hundredths on the starting line and he was able to take that advantage to the finish line to eliminate Kalitta.
Even in defeat, Kalitta had another stellar season in his hall-of-fame career. He would end the season in the third spot in the standings.
Qualified: No. 7 (3.738 sec., 325.37 mph)
E1: Kalitta defeated Newby – 3.684 sec., 332.59 mph to 3.786 sec., 326.32 mph **TRACK MPH RECORD**
E2: Kalitta defeated Millican – 3.687 sec., 330.96 mph to 3.698 sec., 328.38 mph
E3: Kalitta defeated by Langdon – 3.703 sec., 331.04 mph to 3.718 sec., 318.54 mph
Quotable: “A great race to end with the teammate. We would have loved to had got the win today for all the Mac Tools distributors, but we had a great season. I am already looking forward to 2018.”
Final Point Standings: Third
Kalitta Motorsports PR/Photo Gary Nastase Photography