Doug Kalitta and Mac Tools Exit Early at Mile-High Nationals

Gary Nastase Photography

The Mac Tools team and Doug Kalitta have enjoyed years of success at Bandimere Speedway competing in the NHRA Mile-High Nationals. The team has raced to the final round six times and the perennial Top Fuel champion took the Mile-High Nationals title in 2010. This weekend after a successful day of testing leading up to the event they had high hopes of securing their second win in Denver and first win of 2021 to go along with two runner-up finishes this season.

In the final two rounds of qualifying yesterday Kalitta and the Mac Tools team made solid runs lighting up the scoreboard with times of 3.993 and finally 3.849 seconds, respectively. The final run moved Kalitta up to the No. 4 qualifier spot and a first round match up with Leah Pruett.

In the opening round race Kalitta took a starting like lead but his race car lost traction and the veteran driver pedaled his throttle to work to regain traction as his 11,000 horsepower Top Fuel dragster lunged down the race track. His repeated efforts behind the wheel were unsuccessful as Pruett was able to get in front of him and hold off the tire smoking Mac Tools dragster. This was just the third time this season Kalitta has not advanced to the quarterfinals.

“I was working the throttle for all it was worth as soon as I lost traction,” said Kalitta. “I knew if I could get it to hook up again we might have a shot of getting that round win. We made a couple good runs to close out qualifying yesterday and I felt good coming into race day today. We wanted to get the Western Swing started with a strong race in Denver but we will start focusing on Sonoma now.”

Statistics:
Qualified: No. 4 (3.849 sec., 299.33 mph) 
Bonus points: 0

Race Details: 

First Round
Driver                                    Qual       R/T         ET           MPH 
Doug Kalitta                        4              .064        7.384     108.12
Leah Pruett                          11           .121        3.824     316.45 (W)

Kalitta Motorsports PR