Doug Kalitta and the Mac Tools Top Fuel team rolled into the 36th annual Texas NHRA Fall Nationals this weekend looking for their third Top Fuel victory at the iconic Texas Motorplex. The first super-track built in 1986 has been the scene of several successful race days for the 49-time Top Fuel winner. This weekend Kalitta was looking improve on his Texas performance with his first win in the 2021 Countdown. Earlier this season Kalitta raced to a runner-up finish at the Houston national event. Through four rounds of qualifying the Mac Tools Top Fuel dragster made consistent passes and went into race day as the No. 10 qualifier in a very stout 16-car qualified field.
In the first round Kalitta was racing rival Antron Brown, the No. 7 qualifier, and fellow Countdown competitor. Understanding the magnitude of the race Kalitta jumped off the starting line with a stellar .037 reaction time. His dragster ran into trouble almost immediately, but the veteran driver was able to get his 11,000-horsepower dragster back under control and continue storming towards the finish line. While Kalitta was hooked back up and charging Brown was trying to get his dragster under control, but he was never able to get enough traction to mount a serious charge at Kalitta. The win moved Kaitita to the quarterfinals and a match-up with point leader Steve Torrence. His round win was the only upset of the day in the first round of Top Fuel.
In the quarterfinals racing Torrence, most recent winner, Kalitta was giving up lane choice but not an aggressive attitude. Both race cars took off and were accelerating at break-neck speeds just before Kalitta’s dragster over-powered the track. Torrence was on a smooth run and Kalitta had no option but to watch him pull away for the win.
“We didn’t have as long of a day as I would have liked in the Mac Tools dragster,” said Kalitta. “We got a round win in a wild race and then it warmed up a little on us in the second round. We just got a little too aggressive, but we will be ready for Bristol in a couple days. Really appreciate all the fans that came out this weekend to the Stampede of Speed. It was a great event.”
Qualified: No. 10 (3.765 sec, 324.05 mph)
Bonus points: 0
Driver Qual R/T ET MPH
Doug Kalitta 10 .037 4.504 187.83 (W)
Antron Brown 7 .053 4.556 210.44
Driver Qual R/T ET MPH
Doug Kalitta 10 .068 5.093 144.07
Steve Torrence 2 .025 3.752 324.51 (W)
Kalitta Motorsports PR