Kalitta and Mac Tools Wrap Up Thunder Valley Nationals on Sunday

Gary Nastase Photography

Doug Kalitta has raced to six final rounds at the Thunder Valley Nationals from historic Bristol Dragway. The Mac Tools Top Fuel dragster was looking for its fourth win at the track carved into the Tennessee mountainside on the Tennessee and Virginia border. Through two days of tough qualifying the veteran driver was able to make the field in the fifth Countdown playoff race as the No. 11 qualifier. Track conditions were tough for al the teams with several top teams struggling to make consistent and quick runs on Friday and Saturday.

Coming into race day the Mac Tools team faced the coolest temperatures of the year with the air temperature at 50 degrees and the track temperature just about 70 degrees. Facing fellow Countdown competitor Billy Torrence Kalitta, a 49-time Top Fuel national event winner, was giving up lane choice.

As the 11,000 horsepower dragsters staged it was Kalitta getting the lead off the starting line, and he was pulling away as the Mac Tools dragster approached half-track. Just as quickly his Goodyears started overpowering the track losing traction. Torrence stayed hooked up as Kalitta tried mightily to pedal his race car and track down his opponent.

“I have a good group behind me, and it is tough out here,” said Kalitta, from the top end after the tough loss. “Billy got by us, he tried to give it to us. That thing shook out there and I tried to pedal it. I just couldn’t quite catch him. We will be ready for the next one.”

In two weeks Kalitta and the Mac Tools team will be on track at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. With two runner-up finishes this season Kalitta will be trying to grab his fiftieth Top Fuel victory as the turn heads to the west coast for the final two Countdown playoff races.

Qualified: No. 11 (4.203 sec, 221.78 mph) 
Bonus points: 0

Race Details: 

First Round
Driver                                  Qual       R/T         ET           MPH 
Doug Kalitta                      11           .073       5.236     133.63
Billy Torrence                      4             .094       4.120     201.34 (W)  

Kalitta Motorsports PR

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