Doug Kalitta, Kalitta Motorsports
Mac Tools Toyota Top Fuel Dragster
– Doug Kalitta will be looking to open the 2021 NHRA campaign with his fourth consecutive season-opening win after taking the Winternationals title in 2018, 2019 and 2020. Kalitta is also a three-time Gatornationals winner.
– With his next victory, Kalitta will become just the fifth driver in NHRA history to win 50 Top Fuel events.
– Kalitta placed second in last year’s NHRA Top Fuel point standings. He has now finished in the top three in the point standings four times in the last five years.
You came out strong in testing here at Palm Beach International Raceway, what is it about your team that you’re up to speed so quickly?
I’m fortunate to have the guys on this Mac Tools team. We really didn’t have much turnover from last year. We had just one change and the person we brought in had been with us for three or four years previously.
How do you feel about Gainesville?
I love running Gainesville. I’ve always been a big Don Garlits fan and that’s his home. To be able to go there and start the season with a win would be huge for us.
You’ve won the last three season-openers, can you make it four?
I feel confident that we can do it. The car has been testing well and was running well at the end of last year. We’ve had more time than we ever wanted to get the season started, so we’re ready to get the 2021 season going.
Your Mac Tools Toyota team has finished in the top three in the championship four times in the last 5 years. How have you maintained the excellence over such a long period of time?
It’s really what Connie (Kalitta) has put together with Chad Head and the group they’ve assembled who build the cars. I feel fortunate to drive this car. It’s a great team effort. On my car, we’ve been able to keep the core group together and that’s a huge deal for me in particular. These guys are all super hungry like I am. We’ve been second or third for the past few years. We’re bound and determined that one of these years we’re going to finish it off and get a championship. We just need to keep our heads down and make it happen.
With four and a half months between races, how did your off-season go?
Isn’t that the craziest thing. I hope it’s the last time we have to do that. It is what it is and everyone’s had to deal with it. We have enough going on with the airlines stuff that we were able to keep everyone on staff. We got through it.
With so many questions about sponsorship in motorsports today, the one constant seems to be Mac Tools on your car, tell us about your relationship
Mac Tools has been with us 20 years now. They’re a strong group and they love drag racing. We’re happy to have the opportunity to represent them. They’re a part of everything we do – not only in racing, but back at the shop and with the airplane. They’re not just a sponsor, but a true partner. Bob Lawson and everyone in our marketing program has put together a terrific group of sponsors. We’re fortunate to not only have Mac Tools behind us, but other sponsors like Toyota and TRD, Mobil 1, SealMaster, NGK Spark Plugs and Revchem.
Toyota Racing PR