Doug Kalitta came into the Reading NHRA Nationals at Maple Grove Raceway looking to close the gap on the rest of the Countdown field. Two years ago, the perennial championship contender raced to the final round before losing to his teammate Richie Crampton. This weekend after three rounds of qualifying the Mac Tools Top Fuel dragster advanced into race day as the No. 9 qualifier on the strength of his 3.743 second run at 325.69 mph. Earlier on Saturday Kalitta posted a 3.780 second pass and the team went to work to improve that package for the final session.
In the first round Kalitta drew No. 6 qualifier Justin Ashley, the 2020 NHRA Rookie of the Year. The Mac Tools dragster and Kalitta got the jump off the starting line and both 11,000 horsepower Top Fuel dragsters were welded together heading down the racetrack. At the finish line both racecars crossed at over 320 mph, but it was Ashley getting the nose of his dragster out in front for the win. The Mac Tools Top Fuel dragster stepped up its performance to make its quickest and fastest run of the weekend, a solid 3.768 second run at 321.81 mph.
“That was another close race for this Mac Tools team,” said Kalitta, a 49-time national event winner. “There are six more races in the Countdown, and we will be in Charlotte in a couple days working on getting more round wins to move up in the points. There is no quit in this Mac Tools team so we will be ready for the next race.”
Heading to the DeWalt NHRA Nationals at zMax Dragway Kalitta will hold his position in the Top Fuel Top Ten.
Qualified: No. 9 (3.743 sec, 325.69 mph)
Bonus points: 0
Driver Qual R/T ET MPH
Doug Kalitta 9 .065 3.768 321.81
Justin Ashley 6 .067 3.703 328.62 (W)
Kalitta Motorsports PR