Event 04: NHRA Las Vegas Nationals
The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway
March 31 – April 2
Kalitta earns second consecutive semi-final result
Race Recap: After earning a semi-final finish at the Gatornationals, Kalitta and the Mac Tools team turned to Las Vegas where he had seen much success. However, the talented driver was still searching for his first spring Vegas win to add to his two Toyota Nationals triumphs.
Kalitta failed to make a clean pass on Friday, but the Mac Tools team more than made up for it on Saturday. They earned five of the possible six bonus points with two solid passes. The best, a 3.758, moved him all the way to third overall.
Up first was part-time driver Steve Chrisman. The Mac Tools dragster got the jump at the line and ran clean down the Strip, laying down the best run of the first session of Top Fuel.
The quarter-final draw was Clay Millican. Kalitta was on his game on the starting line as he had the best reaction time of the class in the round with a .050 in his way to another round win over a tire-smoking Millican.
The Mac Tools driver’s day would end in the semi-finals in a close race with Tony Schumacher. Kalitta again earned the starting line advantage, but trailed at the finish line stripe by four thousandths of a second.
Qualified: No. 3 (3.758 sec., 318.69 mph)
E1: Kalitta defeated Chrisman – 3.743 sec., 326.40 mph to 4.104 sec., 248.48 mph
E2: Kalitta defeated Millican – 3.778 sec., 106.24 mph to 4.913 sec., 153.51 mph
E3: Kalitta defeated by Schumacher – 3.782 sec., 326.87 mph to 3.775 sec., 320.97 mph
Quotable: “Great effort by the Mac Tools Toyota team this weekend. We definitely want to get our first win of the season soon, so to not achieve that stinks. However, I am very confident in my Mac Tools guys and I know it is coming soon.”
Point Standings: Fourth (-81); trails Antron Brown by 23 points for third; leads Steve Torrence by 30 for sixth