Three-time Gatornationals winner Doug Kalitta will head to Gainesville Raceway chasing history and looking to protect his Mello Yello Top Fuel points lead. Kalitta and his Mac Tools Top Fuel dragster team has been on a mission to secure the Top Fuel world championship for over two decades and once again they are off to a fast start racing to a win at the Winternationals and a runner-up finish at the Arizona Nationals. They have held onto the lead through four consecutive races in Indianapolis but they are eager to start extending that lead with five races left in the season.
“We were excited with the start to the season and I am glad we have held on to the point lead,” said Kalitta. “WE want to get that early season momentum back starting this weekend since I know we need to not only start strong but also finish strong. I have a great team and I really like our chances heading into the Gatornationals.”
Kalitta’s three wins at the historic Gatornationals were recorded most recently in 2014, 2005 and 2000. He also has two No. 1 qualifiers to his credit in 2013 and 2003. A Kalitta Motorsports Top Fuel dragster has won the previous two Gatornationals and Kalitta would like to keep that streak alive in 2020.
“The DHL Top Fuel dragster that Connie (Kalitta) tunes has won the last two Gators so we would love to see an all Kalitta Motorsports final round,” said Kalitta. “There is so much history here for our team and I just get pumped up racing here. We have had a lot of success and I want to keep that positive momentum going. I am really glad we were able to keep this race on the schedule because there is so much history here.”
Only four Top Fuel drivers have four or more wins at the Gatornationals and Kalitta would love to add his name to a list that includes Don Garlits (4 wins), Joe Amato (4), Larry Dixon (4) and Tony Schumacher (5).
“You want to win the big races of the season,” said Kalitta. “We got our first Indy win last year and that was a big boost. We won again at the Winternationals and to possibly get another Gatornationals win and join those four time winners would be an amazing accomplishment. Getting wins at the Gatornationals or Pomona or Indy definitely make for great memories.”
Earlier this season Kalitta chased down another major career milestone as he won his 700th career round win in Top Fuel. Only Tony Schumacher has more round wins in Top Fuel and no other driver besides Schumacher has eclipsed 700 round wins in the category.
“I have had a great career and I am looking forward to a lot more round wins. The key to our success I think has been the stability of our team and our sponsors like Mac Tools. So many of those wins have come in the Mac Tools Top Fuel dragster and I am very proud to represent them as well as Toyota, SealMaster, DHL and new sponsors like Mobil 1, NGK Spark Plugs, Fifth Third Bank, Osborn and Ozium,” added Kalitta.
Last Event Recap (2020 NHRA U.S. Nationals): Qual. No. 5; Beat Pat Dakin; Lost to Justin Ashley
2019 Gatornationals Recap: Qual. No. 11; Beat Terry McMillen, Steve Torrence; Lost to Clay Millican
Quotable: Doug Kalitta on getting back to Gainesville: “I am looking forward to getting back to Gainesville. It seems like a long time ago when we were trying to run this race the first time. We had some good runs in Indianapolis but we are excited to get to a new venue. We have run well here and this Mac Tools team will be ready to go.”
Career Stats: 519 events, 512 starts, 704 round wins, 48 wins, 104 finals, 50 No. 1 qualifiers
Winternationals: Qual. No. 5; WINNER; Beat Brandon Welch, Justin Ashley, Brittany Force and Austin Prock
Arizona Nationals: Qual. No. 8; RUNNER-UP; Beat Shawn Reed, Brittany Force and Antron Brown; Lost to Steve Torrence
Indy1 NHRA Nationals: Qual. No. 2; RUNNER-UP; Beat Lex Joon, Leah Pruett and Antron Brown; Lost to Billy Torrence
Indy2 NHRA Nationals: Qual. No. 6; Beat Doug Foley; Lost to Justin Ashley
Indy3 NHRA Nationals: Qual. No. 12; Beat Cory McClenathan, Clay Millican; Lost to Terry McMillen
U.S. Nationals: Qual. No. 5; Beat Pat Dakin; Lost to Justin Ashley
Kalitta Motorsports PR