Team Kalitta Attends Aviation Event, Only Looking Forward Entering Four Wides at zMAX Dragway

(Photo Courtesy: Kalitta Motorsports)

While many NHRA competitors used the second off week of the NHRA season to rest, relax or catch up on personal business, Mac Tools Toyota driver Doug Kalitta spent the week working his real job as CEO of Kalitta Charters, and last week, that meant attending Aviation Week MRO Americas, a major aircraft maintenance, repair and overhaul show in Atlanta. The NHRA Camping World Drag Racing season resumes Friday with the Circle K NHRA Four-Wide Nationals at zMAX Dragway near Charlotte April 28-30, 2023.
MRO Americas had 850 exhibitors and tens of thousands of attendees representing the major aircraft and aircraft maintenance companies from all over the world. Some 16,000 people attended opening day, and the crowds grew through the show. Kalitta Air and Kalitta Charters handle maintenance on all of their aircraft at the Oscoda, Mich., maintenance facility.

While at this show, Kalitta was able to meet with suppliers ranging from engine manufacturers, brakes and wheels and just about any other aircraft component to talk about what it takes to keep the Kalitta Air and Kalitta Charters fleets flying. Eighteen Kalitta Air employees worked the booth representing departments such as engines, materials, wheels and brakes, quality control and purchasing/procurement among others.  
With a Team Kalitta show car on hand, fellow Kalitta drivers J.R. Todd and Shawn Langdon joined Kalitta at the show to represent the race team and sign autographs. The drivers also autographed rods and pistons that were given away at the Kalitta Air booth.
“MRO Americas is a really important event for Kalitta Air and Kalitta Charters,” Kalitta said. “It gives us an opportunity to meet with the companies that help us keep our planes in the air to either establish new relationships or nurture existing ones. It was really nice to have J.R., Shawn and the show car there to help link the team to the airlines. These people know a lot about aircraft maintenance but aren’t as familiar with Connie’s (team owner Connie Kalitta) drag racing history and how it was such a big part of starting the airline. We’d love to bring some of these companies over to the race team as new corporate partners so the show gives us a chance to talk about that as well.”  
This weekend, Kalitta returns to zMAX Dragway where he has one win in seven final appearances. The Mac Tools Toyota started the season with great promise in first two races but backed up a bit in the second two.              
“That’s why it’s a long season,” Kalitta said. “We started out really strong with a semifinal and a No. 1 qualifier in the first two races, and we tested after Phoenix. At Las Vegas, we found some issues that we didn’t have to consider at the first two races that should help us going forward. I know Alan, Brian and all my guys are doing everything they can to keep us moving in the right direction, and with what we found in Vegas, I’m super excited to get going again.”
At the NHRA Four-Wide Nationals one race ago, Kalitta made a strong run in the first round but finished third of the four cars and did not advance to the semifinals which was a major disappointment considering the flashes of brilliance the team is showing.
“Nobody was happy about that,” Kalitta continued. “I take a lot of pride in winning the close races, but it didn’t happen in Las Vegas; we will have another shot at a four-wide win this weekend in Charlotte. zMAX Dragway is one of the nicest places we race each year, and we generally run pretty well there. Like last race, it’s an opportunity to win a race like no one else has. The world has multiple drag racing series, but NHRA is the only place to race four wide. Winning one of these unique races would be a neat experience for our Mac Tools Toyota team.”  
Race Information: 
Circle K NHRA Four-Wide Nationals
zMAX Dragway, Concord, N.C.
TV Schedule:             

  • Qualifying 1: 7-8:30 p.m. Friday, April 28 on FS1
  • Qualifying 2: Noon-1 p.m. Sunday, April 30 on FS1
  • Finals: 6-9 p.m. Sunday, April 30 on FS1

Current Point Standings: Kalitta enters Charlotte in ninth place in the NHRA Top Fuel point standings. He trails eighth-place Austin Prock by 34 points and leads ninth-place Josh Hart by 28 points. 

2023 NHRA Camping World Drag Racing Series Results To Date:
Gatornationals: Qualified third; defeated Spencer Massey, Antron Brown; lost to Steve Torrence
Phoenix: Qualified No. 1; defeated Rob Passey, lost to Shawn Langdon.
Pomona: Qualified 11th and lost to Antron Brown in the first round.
Las Vegas: Qualified 10th; lost to Steve Torrence and Josh Hart in the first round.  

2022 NHRA 4-Wide Nationals Recap: Qualified fourth, defeated Alex Laughlin and Doug Foley before losing to Mile Salinas and Cameron Ferre in the semifinals.  

Doug Kalitta Career Stats: 570 events, 741 round wins, 49 wins, 107 final rounds, 52 No. 1 qualifiers

Team Kalitta PR

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