Mac Tools U.S. Nationals
Kalitta heads to Indy with a small lead and big expectations
Indianapolis, prerace: In its most simple terms, this Labor Day weekend's running of the 51st Mac Tools U.S. Nationals in Clermont, Ind., Aug. 31-Sept. 5, just outside of downtown
First of all, it's Kalitta's sponsor's, Mac Tools, event. The pressure to win any event on the NHRA's 23-national event trail is always greater when the name on your 7,000 horsepower nitro race car matches the name on the marquee and other copious amounts of signage scattered around the quarter-mile race track. Second, it's Indy. It is the race that every drag racer dreams of winning. To win at Indy defines a career because of its legendary history and its unrivaled level of competition in every racing class. Finally, the pressure to succeed in
"Yeah, I feel the pressure for sure this year," Kalitta said. "I've never won at Indy. We came very close last year, but it wasn't meant to be. Maybe this will be our year.
"It's really hard to describe how big this race is for me and my Mac Tools team. There are so many reasons why we want to do well, but the main thing we all have to do is keep our focus and concentrate on qualifying and then hopefully winning one round at a time.
"At Indy especially, it's so easy to get ahead of yourself and start thinking 'what if,' but we can't let ourselves do that. We need to forget about the points and go racing. Of course, we want to increase our lead because the championship is our ultimate goal, but if we just go out there and do our jobs, the points will take care of themselves."
Kalitta was No. 1 qualifier for the Big Go last year (4.544 seconds, 320.51 mph), and he took a runner-up finish in the final round in 2004 to Schumacher. Doug holds the IRP track record for speed at 328.86 mph (2003).
Two-time Top Fuel championship points runner-up (2003-2004) Kalitta, 41, is an eight-year Top Fuel veteran and former USAC National Sprint Car Champion (1994). He owns 24 NHRA national event trophies. His wins so far in 2005 were in
Return to Team Reports Archive
Return to the Home Page