Doug Kalitta and the Mac Tools Top Fuel dragster team will need some help if they are going to secure their first NHRA Camping World Drag Racing Series Top Fuel world championship this weekend. Only two drivers are in contention, Steve Torrence and Kalitta, with Kalitta trailing the point leader by 101 points. There are 168 points up for grabs in competition including qualifying points and the 30 points awarded per round win. There are a number of scenarios that lead to a Kalitta world championship but the most realistic is a Torrence loss in the first round and a Kalitta victory.
“We have a chance to get the world championship and that is all we want,” said Kalitta. “It is a long shot but strange things can happen on race day. Nothing is guaranteed. This Mac Tools team is going to go out there and take care of our business. That is all we can do.”
The Mac Tools team has raced to four final rounds this season and picked up two wins. Kalitta started the season with a win at the Winternationals and also won the Midwest Nationals in St Louis earlier this month. In 2019 Kalitta picked up a season opening win at Auto Club Raceway and closed the season with a win there as well. He would like to repeat that bookend victory celebration at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.
“We missed the championship by three points last year but won the last race,” said Kalitta. “This year we need to win the last race and I think we could win the champions by about the same margin. I honestly don’t really look at that stuff but our focus Saturday and Sunday will be to put this Mac Tools dragster in the winner’s circle.”
The 49-time Top Fuel winner has some good history at the race track north of Las Vegas. He has two wins, most recently in 2015 and also 2004. He has raced to six total final rounds including four runner-up finishes in 2014, 2007, 2005 and 2003. His streak of four finals in five years and the win in 2015 gives Kalitta confidence.
“I don’t think there are tracks that are lucky for a driver. I do think there are tracks where your team has a good handle on the conditions. This Mac Tools team has a lot of data so I know my crew chief Rob Flynn will be able to make the right decisions when the time comes. We only have two qualifying runs so that makes it tricky but we can’t race with any regrets,” added Kalitta.
Last Event Recap (2020 NHRA Springnationals): Qual. No. 5; Beat Kebin Kinsley; Lost to Antron Brown
2019 NHRA Las Vegas Nationals Recap: Qual. No. 9; Beat Shawn Reed, Leah Pruett; Lost to Steve Torrence
Quotable: Doug Kalitta on Top Fuel championship battle: “We have been here before so I don’t feel any extra pressure. We just need to focus on what we can control. If we do that then no matter what happens we will know we gave it our best.”
Career Stats: 523 events, 516 starts, 711 round wins, 49 wins, 105 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
Gatornationals: Qual. No. 6; Lost to Terry McMillen
Midwest Nationals: Qual. No. 5; WINNER: Beat Shawn Langdon, TJ Zizzo, Tony Schumacher, Steve Torrence
FallNationals: Qual. No. 7; Beat Antron Brown, Justin Ashley; Lost to Billy Torrence
Springnationals: Qual. No. 5; Beat Kebin Kinsley; Lost to Antron Brown
Kalitta Motorsports PR