Strong Effort Not Enough at Las Vegas Nationals for Doug Kalitta

Gary Nastase Photography

Doug Kalitta and the red and white Mac Tools Top Fuel dragster were racing for their third win at the NHRA Las Vegas National today from The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. For twenty seasons Mac Tools and Kalitta have been racing and winning and today the veteran driver was looking for his 50th career Top Fuel victory.

After three qualifying sessions on Friday and Saturday Kalitta rolled into race day as the No. 13 qualifier in a tight Top Fuel field. The perennial championship contender was facing another Countdown qualified Top Fuel dragster driven by Bristol winner and eventual Las Vegas Nationals runner-up Mike Salinas.

In the opening session Kalitta launched off the starting line side by side with Salinas and both racecars were welded together as they accelerated down track. As the finish line approached Kalitta’s 11,000 horsepower Mac Tools machine was hitting on all eight cylinders. At the stripe it was Salinas getting the win light with a slightly quicker 3.726 second pass against Kalitta’s 3.735 second run.

Kalitta’s first round run was a stronger run than his qualifying effort and showed his Mac Tools team made the appropriate adjustments to give the veteran a chance on race day. Heading to the final race of the season Kalitta will be racing to advance his position in the NHRA Top Ten and finish the season on a high note.

“We stepped up in the first round but came up a little short,” said Kalitta. “We have one more race this year, and we will be focusing on getting that last win of the season.”

Qualified: No. 13 (3.797 sec, 295.34 mph) 
Bonus points: 0

Race Details: 

First Round
Driver                                  Qual       R/T         ET           MPH 
Doug Kalitta                      13           .072       3.735     323.43
Mike Salinas                        4             .058       3.726     323.97 (W)

Kalitta Motorsports PR

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