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Doug Kalitta, Autodesk Team Up for NHRA Charlotte Four-Wide Nationals

This weekend Top Fuel driver Doug Kalitta will trade in his familiar red, white and black Mac Tools dragster for a new look Autodesk 11,000-horsepower land rocket during the NHRA Charlotte Four-Wide Nationals. The 49-time Top Fuel national event winner will be leading the charge for Kalitta Motorsports with one of their longtime sponsors Autodesk, a global leader in 3D design, engineering, and entertainment software.

As the primary sponsor of Kalitta’s Top Fuel dragster Autodesk will be drawing attention to the over 1,000 parts designed and made in the Kalitta Motorsports CNC, chassis, and fabrication shop using Autodesk solutions.

“The Autodesk software is an integral part of our success at Kalitta Motorsports and Kalitta Air. We started in 2015 machining our clutch assemblies and now we are doing the assemblies as well as cylinder heads and so many more parts,” said Chad Head, Kalitta Motorsports General Manager. “We have built our entire parts manufacturing and design program with the help of Autodesk technology and their support staff. The cost savings and efficiency has been a game changer for us.”

The Autodesk product Design and Manufacturing Collection enabled Kalitta to design the clutch assembly in Autodesk Inventor and make it using Autodesk’s best-in-class CAM machining solutions.  Specifically, “adaptive” tool paths result in light, fast and constant-engagement strategies that widely replace slower, heavier cuts. The resulting improvements in tool life and performance have reduced machining time on main clutch components from 30 hours to 10 hours.

Bringing these designs in-house has allowed Kalitta Motorsports to reduce spend and improve performance and reliability on race day. Last season Autodesk was the primary sponsor on Shawn Langdon’s Top Fuel dragster at the Carolina Nationals during the NHRA Countdown national event. During the NHRA Charlotte Four-Wide Nationals in addition to their presence on Kalitta’s Top Fuel dragster Autodesk will be participating in the Kalitta Motorsports B2B event on Friday as well as hosting guests in the pit-side VIP hospitality Friday through Sunday.

This story was originally published on April 29, 2022. Drag Illustrated

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Since 2005, DI has informed, inspired and educated drag racers from every walk of the racing life - weekend warrior and street/strip enthusiasts to pro-level doorslammer and Top Fuel racers. From award-winning writing and photography to binge-worthy videos to electric live events, DI meets hundreds of thousands of racers where they live, creating the moments that create conversations.