Coming into race day Doug Kalitta and the Mac Tools Top Fuel dragster team knew they needed a near perfect effort and some help from their fellow Top Fuel competitors to secure their first NHRA Camping World Top Fuel world championship. In order to win the championship Kalitta needed to win the race and have the point leader Steve Torrence lose in the first round. It was a longshot but Kalitta was not giving up on his dream.
During Saturday’s qualifying round the Mac Tools Top Fuel dragster was a solid runner and posted the third quickest run of the second session to head into race day as the No. 3 qualifier. There were fourteen Top Fuel dragsters on the property and Kalitta would be racing 2020 Rookie of the Year Justin Ashley for the sixth time this season. He held a 3-2 win advantage to the young driver.
In the first round both dragsters launched side by side and were welded together going down the track. The Mac Tools dragster improved dramatically from their best qualifying effort and posted an impressive 3.733 second run at 322.73 mph. Unfortunately, Ashley was making the quickest run of the event for Top Fuel in the lane beside Kalitta. It was a heartbreaking loss but for the veteran driver he knew he had given it his all.
“I just ran the wrong guy in the first round,” said Kalitta. “It’s just unfortunate. We would have beaten just about everyone else out there. I don’t know what else to say. It’s heart-breaking to go out in the first round at the last race. I know I have a hell of a team here. I’m really proud of my guys and everything we’ve done this year. We’re just going have to suck it up, put this behind us and move on and know that we have a great running car with a great group of guys. We were just unlucky today.”
Kalitta ended the season is second place for the second season in a row and sixth time in his career.
Doug Kalitta on wrapping up the 2020 season: “We were strong all season and we just came up a little short. I am proud of these Mac Tools crew guys as well as all our Mac Tools distributors.”
Qualified: No. 3 (3.746 sec., 327.74 mph)
Bonus points: +2 (Third quickest of Q2)
Driver Qual R/T ET MPH
Doug Kalitta 3 .048 3.733 322.73
Justin Ashley 12 .041 3.700 325.61 (W)
Kalitta Motorsports PR