The winningest Top Fuel driver in Houston Raceway Park history, Doug Kalitta, was looking to add to his win total with the Mobil 1 Toyota Top Fuel dragster this weekend at the 35th NHRA SpringNationals. Through two days of qualifying the 49-time winner entered race day as the No. 3 qualifier on the strength of his final run of 3.696 seconds at 328.70 mph which earned him two qualifying bonus points. The veteran driver and his 11,000-horsepower dragster improved throughout the weekend and were confident entering a race where they were runner-up last season.
Facing Billy Torrence in the first round Kalitta got the jump off the starting line and was pulling away just past half-track. Kalitta moved first with a .056 reaction time and that was almost enough to keep him out in front at the finish line. As Kalitta was approaching the finish line his Goodyear tires lost traction for a moment and that opened the door for Torrence to move around him for the win.
“We qualified third and this Mobil1 Toyota dragster has been running good,” said Kalitta. “We were running one of the Torrence cars and they just outran us. My lights are getting better this weekend. Everyone is working their tails off on this race car. Just real proud to be racing this Mobil1 dragster. I am confident heading to Charlotte.”
Kalitta will have a chance earn win number 50 in a few days when the NHRA Camping World Drag Racing Series heads to zMax Dragway for the Circle K Four-Wide Nationals April 29-May 1.
Qualified: No. 3 (3.696 sec., 328.70 mph)
Bonus points: +2 (2nd quickest of Q3)
Qual Driver RT ET MPH
3 Doug Kalitta .056 3.772 323.89
14 Billy Torrence .092 3.726 319.07 (W)
Kalitta Motorsports PR