So close, but yet so far. Doug Kalitta reached the final round last weekend in Denver. That elusive 50th win appeared within reach, but it was not to be so the 49-time race winner will try to make it one round further in Seattle this weekend. The NHRA Camping World Drag Racing series resumes this weekend with the Flav-R-Pac NHRA Northwest Nationals near Seattle set for July 21-23, 2023.
The Mac Tools Toyota team showed impressive consistency in Denver making seven-straight passes with elapsed times within .11 seconds, but in the final round, the Mac Tools car smoked the tires allowing Clay Millican to win the race. The runner-up finish is a positive step, and another positive is Kalitta’s berth in this weekend’s Mission Foods #2Fast2Tasty NHRA Challenge which Kalitta won in Phoenix earlier this season. This program provides an opportunity for the semifinalists at the previous race to re-run the semifinals and finals and earn valuable playoff points.
Kalitta and his Mac Tools team head to Seattle where the Michigan driver has one win in four final rounds with a healthy dose of momentum pushing the Toyota team closer and closer to its goal. And with all three Kalitta cars reaching at least the semifinals last weekend, good things could, indeed, be on the horizon.
“I am looking forward to getting to Seattle,” said Kalitta. “We ran really well in Denver and have been for a few races now. I think we can build on that this weekend. It will be hot, but I know (crew chiefs) Alan (Johnson) and Brian (Husen) will have this Mac Tools dragster tuned up.”
Kalitta qualified second, fourth and sixth at the last three races showing the kind of consistent reliability for which all teams strive, and the near win in Denver only adds to the anticipation of racing to just one more win light this Sunday.
“Our Mac Tools Toyota dragster has been great in qualifying for sure,” Kalitta added. “We have a great car and a great team – we just need a couple things to go our way on race day. I’m really proud of my guys with the way they’ve been busting their butts all season, and I know race wins are right around the corner.”