Doug Kalitta will be looking to open the 2020 NHRA campaign with his third consecutive Winternationals title after winning in both 2018 and 2019. Overall, he’s been to four consecutive Winternationals finals after earning runner-up honors in 2016 and 2017. Last season, Kalitta swept both Pomona events and will be eyeing his third straight overall Pomona win in February.
– Kalitta fell just three points shy of earning his first Top Fuel title in 2020. He has now finished in the top three in the point standings three times in the last four years. His 47 career Top Fuel victories are good for fifth all-time.
Why do you think you’ve enjoyed so much success at Pomona?
I love going to Pomona. It’s a place that has always been special and it’s been very good to us. To me, the cool thing about Pomona is the history of the place. I’ve seen so many of the greats race there and I love the museum. I hope the fans take some time to visit there. Personally, I grew up watching Connie there over the years and it was just the coolest place to race. Hopefully, we can keep running well there.
What’s the key to moving up one spot to win a Top Fuel championship?
We’re just hoping to be running up front the whole season. We need to start off strong. We’ll try to go back to Pomona and pick up where we left off. We’ve been testing well here in Spring Training in Vegas. Qualifying is one of the things that we’re going to be focusing on this year. Usually on race day, we’re consistently good, so qualifying a little bit better will help us be there at the end again this year. The points you gain in qualifying can make a big difference in the point standings. I think the addition of NGK and Mobil 1 should be a big plus as well. We’re really looking forward to having them aboard this year. I’m excited to get to Pomona.
If there’s one constant in Top Fuel racing, it’s that the Mac Tools Toyota always seems to be near the top of the standings, how do you explain that?
I’ve been very fortunate over the years. I’m really proud of what this Mac Tools Toyota team has accomplished, especially last year. The car was running good throughout the year. I think what benefits us the most is simply that we have the ability to stay consistent. We don’t seem to have many long stretches where we struggle and that allows us to enter the Countdown in a good position to challenge for a title. This team is something special and I’m looking forward to the coming season.
How do you think the Top Fuel field shapes up this year?
It’s going to be a really strong field again this year. All of the top teams from last year are back. With Shawn moving back to Top Fuel, we’re adding another world champion. I think our Toyota teammate Antron Brown is going to be right back in the hunt, especially with Brian Corradi back with them. Plus, you have all the young kids who came up last year like Austin Prock and Jordan Vandergriff. There’s never an easy round out there.
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