Semifinal Finish in Charlotte  Motivates Doug Kalitta and Mac Tools Top Fuel Team

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Racing the familiar and dominant red, black and white Mac Tools Toyota Top Fuel dragster Doug Kalitta brought confidence to the NHRA Carolina Nationals this weekend. Right off the trailer Kalitta ran to the provisional No. 1 spot after Friday’s lone qualifying session. The team earned three valuable qualifying bonus point but more importantly it set them up to run at the back of the pack the rest of the weekend.

“We left Reading super excited after our test session,” said Kalitta, a 49-time Top Fuel national event winner. “I am happy we came in here and made a good run in the first session. This would be an awesome time to start going rounds. I am an eternal optimist by nature and I have a great team behind me. My goal is to seize this opportunity. It is exciting to have a team like I have.”

His Friday quick run held up as one of the best times throughout Saturday with his Mac Tools team trying to find the competitive edge of zMax Dragway’s all-concrete racing surface. Coming into race day Kalitta was the No. 5 qualifier he was lined up against his teammate Shawn Langdon in an all-Kalitta Motorsports match-up.

Kalitta left right behind Langdon off the line and duo was locked together as the finish line closed in at over 325 mph. Kalitta was able to get the win with a quicker 3.710 second run and advance to the quarterfinals against Countdown competitor and No. 4 qualifier Mike Salinas.
The quarterfinal race was a clash between two of the toughest teams on the circuit, but it was Kalitta’s day to shine picking up his second win light with an impressive win by half a dragster length. His winning time of 3.696 seconds was also quick enough for lane choice in the semifinals.

Once again Kalitta was great off the starting line racing Justin Ashley, the current points leader, but his Mac Tools dragster smoked the tires while Ashley was on a problem-free pass to the finals. Kalitta attempted to pedal his race car, but he could not reel in Ashley. For his efforts on race day Kalitta earned two win lights which translated to 40,000 meals for Feeding America thanks to a four-race program that began this weekend in partnership with Kalitta Motorsports sponsor DHL. Throughout the month of September every win light by Kalitta Motorsports will mean a 20,000 meal donation to Feeding America.

“We didn’t get as many win lights today as we wanted for our Mac Tools team or Feeding America, but I am excited about our race day,” said Kalitta. “That second round run was huge and we know we can run with anyone. (Crew chiefs) Alan Johnson and Brian Husen tried some things after Indy and I think we will continue to see improvement. There are four more races in the Countdown and I am ready to get after it. I have the best crew out here. We are just going to keep banging away at it to get to those final rounds and get those wins.”

Qualified: No. 5 (3.689 sec, 328.94 mph) 
Bonus points: +3 (quickest of Q1)

Race Details:

First Round
Qual    Driver                                                  RT        ET        MPH
5          Doug Kalitta                                       .058     3.710   327.19 (W)                                          
12        Shawn Langdon                                  .049     3.731   327.19

Second Round
Qual    Driver                                                  RT        ET        MPH
5          Doug Kalitta                                       .046     3.696   327.59 (W)                                          
4          Mike Salinas                                       .046     3.720   333.08

Qual    Driver                                                  RT        ET        MPH
5          Doug Kalitta                                       .046     7.778   119.78                                     
1          Justin Ashley                                       .025     3.691   333.91 (W)

 Kalitta Motorsports PR

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