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Former champ Kalitta lost in qualifying accident
Funny Car driver Scott Kalitta, 46, died June 21 from multiple injuries suffered after his car went out of control and crashed in a high-speed racing accident at Old Bridge Township Raceway Park during the fourth and final round of qualifying at the Lucas Oil NHRA SuperNationals. Kalitta was extracted from his car by NHRA emergency services officials and transported to Old Bridge Township Hospital, where he was later pronounced dead.

Kalitta, a two-time NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series Top Fuel champion and one of only 14 drivers in NHRA history to earn victories in both premier nitro categories, earned 18 victories during his career, his last coming in Chicago in 2005 in Top Fuel.

Kalitta earned most of his racing success in Top Fuel, where he claimed back-to-back world championship titles in 1994 and 1995. He retired from racing in 1997, sitting out most of two seasons before returning for a 10-race campaign in 1999. He sat out three more seasons following that brief stint and then returned again in 2003, joining cousin Doug as a second driver for the family's two Top Fuel dragsters.

Kalitta started his pro career in Top Fuel in 1982, running limited events for four seasons before moving to Funny Car in 1986 for his first full season of competition. He returned to that category full time in 2006. He posted a runner-up finish two weeks ago in Chicago, his 36th career NHRA final-round appearance.

Kalitta is survived by his father, legendary NHRA racer and team owner Connie Kalitta; wife, Kathy; and sons, Corey, 14, and Colin, 8.

 
The Kalitta Motorsports team has issued a statement following the loss of their driver Scott Kalitta, a teammate, a son, a cousin, and a friend. In addition to a general statement, also included are quotes from his father, team owner Connie Kalitta (pictured), and teammates Doug Kalitta, Hillary Will, and David Grubnic.

 
Kalitta Motorsports unveils official memorial decal
Kalitta Motorsports has released the official Scott Kalitta memorial decal, which will be available in a very limited supply at the Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Nationals in Norwalk.

Kalitta Motorsports will be making them available to the public for purchase as soon as possible with all proceeds going to Racers For Christ and BRAKES. They can then be ordered through the race shop (price TBD) and the track-side apparel trailer and online at some point. There is also a tribute T-shirt with this design incorporated being produced, but its availability by Norwalk is questionable.

 
The impact of the loss of two-time NHRA Top Fuel champion Scott Kalitta was felt worldwide as over the past several days, visitors from more than 150 countries, both big and small, around the globe have visited NHRA.com to read about his career and honor his legacy.

 
DHL statement regarding Scott Kalitta
DHL today issued the following statement Monday regarding the death of Scott Kalitta: "We are deeply saddened by the tragic loss of Scott Kalitta. He was a true champion of the sport and a dear friend to the DHL family. He will be missed. Our thoughts and prayers are with his wife Kathy, their sons, his father Connie, and the entire Kalitta family."

 
Mac Tools statement on the death of Scott Kalitta
The world has lost a true champion this week. Scott Kalitta will be missed by the entire Mac Tools family. We will always remember Scott’s smiling face and the joy he has brought to each one of us. We will keep Kathy, Corey, Colin, Connie and the entire Kalitta family in our thoughts and prayers. God bless you all.
 
NHRA statement on the death of Scott Kalitta
On behalf of everyone at NHRA, we are deeply saddened and want to pass along our sincere condolences to the entire Kalitta family.

Scott shared the same passion for drag racing as his legendary father, Connie. He also shared the same desire to win, becoming a two-time series world champion. He left the sport for a period of time, to devote more time to his family, only to be driven to return to the dragstrip to regain his championship form.

Scott was a terrific driver and perhaps more importantly a better person and a great father to his two kids. He will be truly missed by the entire NHRA community. Our thoughts and prayers go out to his wife, Kathy; sons, Corey and Colin; his cousin, Doug; and his father, Connie.

 
Scott Kalitta was a racer's racer, tough as nails and as capable behind the wheel as anyone out there. With nerves of steel and a fiery attitude, Kalitta knew how to get the job done on the track, but away from the quarter-mile, his friends and fellow racers knew him as a fun-loving guy. Updated, 6/24, 3:30 p.m. Eastern

 
Remembering Scott
The loss of Scott Kalitta impacted a lot of people, including two of NHRA.com's most prolific bloggers, National DRAGSTER Editor Phil Burgess and Checker Schuck's Kragen publicist Bob Wilber. In separate entries, they disucss the man they knew and that they will miss.

So long, Scott ... by Phil Burgess

Just a few words... by Bob Wilber

Photo essay: The many faces of Scott Kalitta

 
SCOTT KALITTA CAREER HIGHLIGHTS
National event wins
  • 1989 Houston (FC)
  • 1993 Topeka
  • 1994 Columbus
  • 1994 Topeka 1
  • 1994 Denver
  • 1994 Sonoma
  • 1994 Reading
  • 1995 Columbus
  • 1995 Topeka 1
  • 1995 Denver
  • 1995 Reading
  • 1995 Topeka 2
  • 1995 Dallas
  • 1996 Topeka 1
  • 1997 Topeka 1
  • 2004 Denver
  • 2005 Pomona 1
  • 2005 Chicago

    YEAR-BY-YEAR HIGHLIGHTS

  • 1988: Qualified No. 1 for first time in career (Baton Rouge)
  • 1989: Won first career event in Houston in Funny Car
  • 1993: Captured one event victory (Topeka), his first in Top Fuel; recorded fastest speed in NHRA history (308.64 mph) in Topeka; became fourth member of the Slick 50 300-mph Club in Gainesville
  • 1994: Earned first career NHRA championship; became first Top Fuel driver in NHRA history to win four consecutive races (Columbus, Topeka, Denver, and Sonoma); won five events overall
  • 1995: Won second consecutive NHRA Top Fuel championship; was runner-up at Budweiser Shootout at Pomona; won six events and a career-best 45 rounds of eliminations
  • 1996: Earned a $100,000 bonus for winning the Budweiser Shootout at Pomona; finished second in Top Fuel standings; recorded top speed at a category-best eight races
  • 1997: Won Topeka for fourth consecutive season; announced retirement in October
  • 1999: Made brief comeback and advanced to one final round in 10 starts
  • 2003: Returned to competition after nearly three-year absence; advanced to two final rounds; clocked fastest speed in history at 333.95 mph but failed to certify mark as national record
  • 2004: Earned one victory in two final-round appearances; clocked career-best time; was No. 1 qualifier at both Las Vegas events; earned his sixth top five points finish in POWERade Series
  • 2005: Earned two victories in two final-round appearances; set a career-best elapsed time at Pomona 1; qualified for all 23 events and was in the top half of the field in 13 events
  • 2006: Returned to Funny Car; advanced out of the first round at three of last six events; advanced to semifinals in Richmond
  • 2007: Qualified for 16 of 23 races; reached the semi's in Denver
  • 2008: Reached final round in Chicago
  • Services and condolences
    A public memorial service to celebrate the life of Scott Kalitta will be held Thursday, June 26 at 7 p.m. at Ernsthausen Performing Arts Center, 350 Shady Lane Drive, Norwalk, OH 44857.

    The Kalitta family asks that in lieu of flowers, donations be made to these charities close to Scott's heart:

    Saint Stephen's Episcopal School
    Attn: Development Office
    315 41st Street West
    Bradenton, FL 34209

    B.R.A.K.E.S.
    (Be Responsible and Keep Everyone Safe)
    c/o Doug Herbert Performance Parts
    1443 E. Gaston St.
    Lincolnton, NC 28092
    *All donations to BRAKES will be used for the expressed purpose of saving lives and keeping our children safe.

    A private funeral service for family members will be held at a later date.

    Cards for Scott's family or Connie can be sent to:
    Kalitta Air
    818 Willow Run Airport
    Ypsilanti, MI 48198

    Email condolences can be sent to champion@kalittaracing.com

    Photo Gallery


    Scott Kalitta, right, followed in his father Connie's footsteps to become a winner in NHRA's nitro classes.


    Kalitta first competed with this car in NHRA's Top Alcohol Dragster ranks and reached his first final in 1982, but he soon moved up to Top Fuel.


    The Kalittas competed with and against each other in Top Fuel for years.


    Kalitta also competed in Funny Car, flying the family colors on this Mustang.


    There was no tougher Top Fuel driver than Scott Kalitta in the mid-1990s. He won back-to-back championships in 1994-95.


    Scott, with son Corey, Connie, and crew chief Dick LaHaie, left, dominated NHRA's Topeka event for four years.


    Miss Winston Deb Brittsan congratulated Kalitta with two bottles of champagne after he clinched his second world title.


    Kalitta won his first of 18 NHRA national event titles in Funny Car, in Houston in 1989.


    Kalitta reached the 36th and last final round of his career just two weeks ago in Chicago, where he scored a runner-up in his DHL Toyota


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