After almost two years between appearances Doug Kalitta and the Mac Tools Top Fuel team will be making another run at the historic Western Swing starting this weekend at the NHRA Mile-High Nationals at Bandimere Speedway. The 2010 Top Fuel national event winner has two runner-up finishes in 2021 and the team is battling at the top of the Top Fuel standings with a grueling three week stretch of races on the horizon.
“The Western Swing will be different this year since we are adding Pomona and not going to Seattle,” said Kalitta, a 49-time Top Fuel national event winner. “All three of those tracks are awesome. Denver is always a little more challenging being at a higher elevation. My Mac Tools guys have a good set-up for all three of those places. I am really looking forward to going out there this year and making something happened.”
The Mac Tools team tested in Indianapolis on Tuesday leading up to the Mile-High Nationals and is full of confidence. The veteran team led by Kalitta and crew chief Rob Flynn know what it takes to get to the winner’s circle and their strong performances at Houston and the Four-Wide Nationals in Las Vegas have shown flashes of success. Winning three races in a row would not be a new experience for Kalitta but getting the sweep of the Western Swing would be a major accomplishment.
“Getting a Western Swing sweep would be awesome. We are more than capable of getting that done. It is a great goal to have going into Denver It would be a huge morale booster for anyone associated with the team for sure,” said Kalitta.
The Mile-High Nationals has a long history of being an NHRA fan-favorite facility. Kalitta has also experienced a long period of success at the track carved into the side of the mountain. HIs win in 2010 was bracketed by final round appearances in 1999, 2001, 2003 and 2009 with his most recent final round in 2018. The six final round appearances make Bandimere Speedway one of Kalitta’s most dominant tracks.
“They run a heck of a show at Bandimere Speedway,” said Kalitta. “The Friday night qualifying is kind of cool because it is late. It is interesting to run on the side of the mountain with the thinner air. You have to get your race car stopped a little quicker. The chutes don’t hit as hard. It is just a great track to race at, the fans are incredible and they have a hell of a set-up for anyone that has experienced it.
The perennial championship contender also has two No. 1 qualifiers at the Mile-High Nationals in 2002 and 2006. With a handful of races left in the regular season Kalitta and the Mac Tools team will begin to set their eyes on the 2021 Countdown to the championship.
2019 NHRA Mike High Nationals Highlights (event not contested in 2020): Qual. No. 5; Beat Scott Palmer; Lost to Antron Brown
Last Event Recap (2021 NHRA Norwalk Nationals): Qual. No. 11; Lost to Antron Brown
Career Stats: 531 events, 524 starts, 720 round wins, 49 wins, 107 finals, 50 No. 1 qualifiers
Gatornationals: Qual. No. 4; Beat Arthur Allen; Lost to Justin Ashley
Las Vegas1: RUNNER-UP; Qual. No. 3; Beat Troy Buff and Rob Passey, Beat Shawn Langdon and Leah Pruett; Lost to Steve Torrence
Atlanta: Qual. No. 9; Lost to Antron Brown
Charlotte1: Qual. No. 12; Beat Josh Hart, Billy Torrence, Kyle Wurtzel; Lost to Brittany Force, Josh Hart
Houston: RUNNER-UP; Qual. No. 9; Beat Brittany Force, Antron Brown, Shawn Langdon; Lost to Steve Torrence
Epping: Qual. No. 5; Beat Shawn Langdon, Lost to Mike Salinas
Norwalk: Qual. No. 11; Lost to Antron Brown
Kalitta Motorsports PR