Doug Kalitta Races Mobil 1 TRD Top Fuel to Runner-Up Finish in Houston

photo by Auto Imagery, Inc.

Doug Kalitta and the Mobil 1 TRD team raced to their second runner-up finish of the 2021 NHRA Camping World season and it was the fourth race out of five Kalitta Motorsports had a race car in either the Top Fuel or Funny Car final round. The team opened the season with dual finalist at the Gatornationals with Kalitta’s teammate Shawn Langdon posting a runner-up and J.R. Todd winning the Funny Car title. Kalitta raced to his first runner-up at the Las Vegas Four-Wide Nationals earlier this season. Last weekend Todd was the runner-up at the Charlotte Four-Wide Nationals.

On race day yesterday Kalitta was in the last pair of Top Fuel dragsters as the No. 9 qualifier facing No. 6 qualifier Brittany Force. He watched has his teammate Langdon advanced to the second round and moments before his Mobil 1 TRD dragster was set to fire up rain moved in and never left the Houston Raceway Park property forcing the NHRA to postpone the completion of the first round and the race to Monday.

Kalitta and Force were the first pair of race cars to go down the track and it was all Kalitta for the win.  His Mobil 1 TRD dragster made an impressive 3.765 second run even though it lost power just before the finish line. In the quarterfinals facing another former world champion, Antron Brown, Kalitta’s team put their Mac Tools to good use setting his race car up to post another stellar run in the 3.7s. This time a 3.77 8 second pass, to easily outrun a tire-smoking Brown. The second round win set up a race against teammate Shawn Langdon in the semifinals.

For the third round in a row Kalitta had to race a former world champion at Houston Raceway Park. It was a teammate but none the less a very tough competitor. Langdon got a brief starting line advantage but Kalitta’s race car moved around him in less than 200 feet before Langdon hazed the tires as Kalitta was pulling away. It was not an easy win as Kalitta had his hands full with his race car as well and he had to pedal the Mobil 1 TRD race car to keep it accelerating for the win and another final round.

Looking for his 50th career Top Fuel win Kalitta had to race No. 1 qualifier Steve Torrence in the final round. The team knew they had to give the reigning champion their best effort. The track had been consistent all race day but warmed up slightly for the final round which the Mobil 1 TRD team accounted for. Unfortunately, as Kalitta launched off the starting line his 11,000 horsepower race car over-powered the right lane and while Kalitta was able to adeptly pedal his dragster Torrence was able to get enough separation to hold on for the win even though he had his own issues.

“We were hoping to get this Mobil 1 car to the winner’s circle but we got the runner-up,” said Kalitta. “It was a good day overall. I am proud of everyone’s effort really. I was definitely on the tough side of the ladder racing three former world champions just to get to the final round. My guys are digging hard and we are super hungry to get another win. It is good to be moving up in the points. We are in the top five now and we just have to stay in there. We are definitely trying our hardest.”

Quotable: 
Doug Kalitta on heading to Epping in two weeks: It is an interesting place to run. We are going to go out there and run hard and see what we can do. We are going in a good direction.”

Statistics:
Qualified: No. 9 (4.548 sec., 168.68 mph) 
Bonus points: 0

Race Details: 

First Round
Driver                                    Qual       R/T         ET           MPH 
Doug Kalitta                         9              .045        3.765     281.01 (W)
Brittany Force                        6              .055        4.738     171.69  

Second Round
Driver                                    Qual       R/T         ET           MPH 
Doug Kalitta                       9              .056        3.778     291.57 (W)
Antron Brown                       3              .054        5.889     116.72

Semifinals
Driver                                    Qual       R/T         ET           MPH 
Doug Kalitta                         9              .074        3.997     272.06 (W)
Shawn Langdon                    7             .049        4.181     221.09

Final
Driver                                    Qual       R/T         ET           MPH 
Doug Kalitta                         9              .052        5.706     168.26
Steve Torrence                      1              .054        4.001     260.06 (W)

Kalitta Motorsports PR

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