NHRA Spring Training Quotes – Doug Kalitta, Mac Tools Toyota Fuel dragster

What’s the outlook for the 2018 season?
I’ve got the same group of guys this year and that’s always good to keep the team together. I’m really excited about that. I’m 21 years (in a Top Fuel car) this year and I’ve been second a lot of times, so I’m really hopeful that we can put something together this year. I’ve got a great team behind me and I’ve got a bunch of terrific sponsors including Mac Tools and Toyota – we really appreciate what TRD has done for us in terms of tech support.
What are your thoughts on Pomona?
I have to admit, Pomona is a place I love to run. The history of the track makes it a great place to open the season. We’ve run well there, so we’ll see what happens. We want to start fast at Pomona and take it one at a time and just lay it down.
Tell us about running a very successful business in Kalitta Charters and still being able to compete for championships on the race track?
I’m at the airport every day working on different deals.  Things have been busy. We have added five 737’s and it’s a step up.  Overall, we have 48 planes and over 300 people working with us. I’m very fortunate that my guys here make it easy on me. I’m in the office all week, so they basically make it that I can fly in and drive this thing.
What’s it like to be one on a team like this one with four proven drivers?
We’re all a bunch of hungry hunters and it’s nice to have teammates that you can bounce things off.  We’re excited to see Shawn and J.R. in the Funny Cars, both are great drivers and I’m expecting big things out of Richie.
Jim Oberhoffer, Mac Tools Toyota Top Fuel dragster Crew Chief:
What are the goals for the Mac Tools Toyota team in 2018?
To win a championship – plain and simple.
What would it mean to you to see Doug Kalitta win the title?
It would be very special. Doug’s more than just a driver to me, he’s like a brother.  We’ve had a lot of great times and some struggles here as well.  I’ve been with the Kalitta organization for 30 years and I’ve been Doug’s crew chief since 2009.  The first day I came to work here, Doug was the bottom-end guy on Connie’s Top Fuel dragster.
Overall, what’s it like to have four accomplished drivers on the team?
We’ve always had great drivers here at Kalitta Motorsports because that’s what Connie’s wanted. We’ve been fortunate over the years to have some great drivers and this group that we have right now is special.  They’ve won a lot of races between them. The talent here is unbelievable. We all work together. We’re one team with four cars.
What’s it like to have worked for the legendary Connie Kalitta for 30 years?
It’s been cool. He’s truly one of the most under-appreciated motorsports owners/drivers/crew chiefs in the world. He loves drag racing. He has a passion about it like nobody out here.  He makes you want to do things. You want to run through a brick wall for him. There’s just something about him. He’s helped the sport from the ground.
Toyota Racing PR
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