Hard Charging Doug Kalitta Focused on First New England Nationals Victory
Epping, NH – Doug Kalitta and the Mac Tools Top Fuel team roll into the NHRA New England Nationals with a recent runner-up finish and a very dominant race car. Two weeks ago Kalitta blasted through a tough field of Top Fuel teams at the rain delayed NHRA SpringNationals in Houston to race to his second final round of the season. The Mac Tools team will be heading to New England Dragway looking to capture some of the success they had early in the event’s history.
In 2014, the second year the NHRA was racing at the track just north of Boston, Kalitta drove to the final round. The previous year at the inaugural race the Mac Tools Top Fuel team was the No. 1 qualifier.
“We had some pretty good races the first couple of years we started coming up to New England,” said Kalitta. “We have run pretty well here we just need to get some more win lights on Sunday. This Mac Tools team has been really strong all season and we have a couple runner-up finishes and some low qualifiers. I have a lot of confidence coming into this race.”
This season Kalitta started off with a quarterfinal finish at the historic Gatornationals and followed that up with a runner-up at the Las Vegas Four-Wide National event. The team has continued to perform well and debuted the Mobil 1 TRD Top Fuel dragster in Houston for a one race sponsorship. The run to the final round was a solid showing for Kalitta’s team and definitely highlighted they were moving in the right direction.
“We had a great race in Houston with the Mobil1 TRD dragster,” said Kalitta. “The race car is the same underneath and we will be back in my red and white Mac Tools look this weekend. I feel we have a great handle on the performance side and I feel great driving. This weekend will be a big race for us in Epping for sure.”
Last year the New England Nationals was cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic like so many NHRA national events and sporting events across the country. This year the track operators along with the NHRA worked to ensure the event would happen in 2021. The strength of the fan base and the continued reduction in virus cases played a large roll in getting the race on the schedule but additional sponsor support also helped.
“We have to thank the Tasca and DeJoria families for stepping up and working with their corporate partners to sponsor the race,” added Kalitta. “This market is an important one for the NHRA and we want to have a fun and safe race. I think this will be one of the big events for the sport as we move into the summer months.”
Kalitta and the Mac Tools team sit No. 5 in the Top Fuel point standings with just two rounds separating them from the No. 3 position. Three qualifying sessions will be contested this weekend beginning on Friday night with qualifying bonus points available in each session. The race will be nationally broadcast on Fox on Sunday afternoon.
“This will be our second national Fox broadcast this season and we want to go as many rounds as possible to show off for the fans watching at home,” said Kalitta. “Out last Fox broadcast at the Gatornationals had almost two million people watching the final. That kind of audience gets your competitive juices flowing for sure.”
2019 NHRA New England Nationals Highlights (event not contested in 2020): Qual. No. 3; Lost to Terry McMillen
Last Event Recap (2021 NHRA SpringNationals): RUNNER-UP; Qual. No. 9; Beat Brittany Force, Antron Brown, Shawn Langdon; Lost to Steve Torrence
Career Stats: 529 events, 522 starts, 719 round wins, 49 wins, 107 finals, 50 No. 1 qualifiers
Gatornationals: Qual. No. 4; Beat Arthur Allen; Lost to Justin Ashley
Las Vegas1: RUNNER-UP; Qual. No. 3; Beat Troy Buff and Rob Passey, Beat Shawn Langdon and Leah Pruett; Lost to Steve Torrence
Atlanta: Qual. No. 9; Lost to Antron Brown
Charlotte1: Qual. No. 12; Beat Josh Hart, Billy Torrence, Kyle Wurtzel; Lost to Brittany Force, Josh Hart
Houston: RUNNER-UP; Qual. No. 9; Beat Brittany Force, Antron Brown, Shawn Langdon; Lost to Steve Torrence