Doug Kalitta and the Mac Tools Top Fuel team had raced to five consecutive final rounds and had won the previous three Winternationals. The team was looking to extend that record-setting streak today at Auto Club Raceway at Pomona. Two days of qualifying gave the team some information coming into race day but with two night-time sessions all the teams we forced to look into their run books for information that would translate to solid performance numbers.
In the second qualifying run the Mac Tools race car made a nice clean run of 4.04 seconds in the heat of the day. In the third and final session Kalitta stepped up with 3.855 second run to move up to No. 6 qualified position and set up a race with veteran Clay Millican in the first round.
Kalitta and Millican were the first pair of Top Fuel dragsters on the track trying to take advantage of the coolest track temperatures of the day. Both race cars took off together and were side by side as they approached half-track. Kalitta’s dragster started hazing the tires but the 49-time Top Fuel national event winner gave his throttle a quick pedal to give his race car the chance to continue accelerating. He was able to get it to hook back up and while Millican was mixing up cylinders in his lane Kalitta was unable to catch-up for the win.
“Getting beat at your favorite place is tough,” said Kalitta, who has two runner-up finishes in 2021. “We are coming on it just didn’t happen today. I really am proud of the effort we have going on with this Mac Tools Toyota dragster. We are going to keep working together. The guys are plenty smart with this race car so we will just pull together as a team.”
Qualified: No. 6 (3.855 sec., 311.41 mph)
Bonus points: 0
Driver Qual R/T ET MPH
Doug Kalitta 6 .068 4.287 232.19
Clay Millican 9 .070 3.843 305.49 (W)
Kalitta Motorsports PR