Doug Kalitta and Mac Tools Race to Quarterfinals at Sonoma Nationals

Richard H Shute Photo

The winningest driver in Sonoma Raceway history was looking to add one more victory to his win total during the NHRA Sonoma Nationals this weekend. Doug Kalitta and the Mac Tools Top Fuel dragster team used the two days of qualifying to gather data and position their team as the No. 8 qualifier. In the first round of racing Kalitta faced veteran Mike Salinas, who was the No. 5 qualifier.

The Mac Tools Top Fuel dragster driven by the perennial championship contender took a starting line advantage and never trailed in the drag race. Kalitta made his quickest run of the weekend a 3.731 second run at 323.19 mph. The work the Mac Tools team invested over the weekend paid off with a significant first round victory.

The second round set up a race against point leader and No. 2 qualifier Steve Torrence. This was the second time the championship combatants have met in 2021. Torrence took the win at the Springnationals in the final round four races ago. Kalitta took a slight starting line advantage but as the race cars flew down the track Torrence took the lead and never relinquished it.

“We had a good run first round. We really made two good solid runs today,” said Kalitta. “We are finally to a point now where we can actually race this Mac Tools dragster. There were a few races we were out there in survival mode and I think we have that behind us now. We can start turning the screws up on this race car and see what we can do. After today we have a lot more confidence. Everything in the motor looked good after both runs. We will start focusing on Pomona and the Winternationals next weekend.”

With one more race on tap during the Western Swing Kalitta is in the No. 8 spot in points and just over one round out of sixth place. The Mac Tools team has won the Winternationals an unprecedented three years in a row and will be looking to extend that streak in a few days.

Statistics:
Qualified: No. 8 (3.800 sec., 319.45 mph) 
Bonus points: 0

Race Details: 

First Round
Driver                                    Qual       R/T         ET           MPH 
Doug Kalitta                         8              .093        3.731     323.19 (W)
Mike Salinas                          5              .110        4.100     217.49

Second Round
Driver                                    Qual       R/T         ET           MPH 
Doug Kalitta                          8              .063        3.811     316.97   
Steve Torrence                       2              .067        3.730     327.35 (W)

 Kalitta Motorsports PR