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Sat, 5 Nov 2005, 05:03 PM

Two-time NHRA Top Fuel World Champion Scott Kalitta to Return to Nitro Funny Car Class
Courtesy of Todd Myers
Photo copyright 2005 NHRA

In 2006 NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series

POMONA, Calif. -- Current NHRA (National Hot Rod Association) Top Fuel dragster driver Scott Kalitta, 43, will return to the cockpit of a 7,000 horsepower, nitro-fueled Funny Car for Kalitta Motorsports when the 2006 NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series kicks off its 2006 season at Pomona Raceway in Pomona, Calif., with the Winternationals, Feb. 9-12.

Scott Kalitta
Kalitta drove a Funny Car in NHRA competition from 1985 until 1990. He earned his first NHRA national event title in a Funny Car in Houston in 1989. In 1990, Kalitta became only the third racer in NHRA history to qualify both a Funny Car and a Top Fuel dragster at the same event in Dallas.

"I'm really excited about getting back into a Funny Car," Kalitta said. "It's certainly going to be a great challenge for us to compete on the level with [John] Force and [Gary] Scelzi and all the great competitors that are in the Funny Car class now, but I'm looking forward to getting out there and running with those guys and trying to beat 'em.

"My to-do list in Top Fuel is pretty much complete. I kind of feel like I have unfinished business in a Funny Car. Ultimately, I'd like to win a championship in Funny Car and, with the talent that we have on our entire Kalitta Motorsports team, we should have a good chance to accomplish that.

"We should be very competitive right from the start, but it's a very tough class. We know it will be challenging, but it will also be a lot of fun."

Kalitta's storied career in Top Fuel includes consecutive points championships in 1994 and 1995 along with points runner-up finishes in 1993 and 1996. He retired from drag racing in 1999, but returned to full-time competition behind the wheel of his current Mac Tools/Jesse James Top Fueler at the Mac Tools U.S. Nationals in Indianapolis in 2003. Since his return from retirement, Kalitta has earned Top Fuel title trophies in Denver in 2004 and in Pomona (Winternationals) and Chicago (spring) in 2005. He is currently eighth in Top Fuel championship points after a fourth-place finish last season.

Kalitta, who resides in Snead Island, Fla., is the son of Kalitta Motorsports team owner and drag racing icon Connie "the Bounty Hunter" Kalitta. Connie's air cargo company Kalitta Air, based in Ypsilanti, Mich., the home of Kalitta Motorsports, will serve as the new flopper's sponsorship partner until further corporate funding can be attained.

Associate sponsorship from longtime Kalitta Motorsports supporters Mac Tools, Red Line Oil, Technicoat Companies and Fischer Honda will aid in Scott's new Funny Car efforts. Zantrex-3 will also add their support as an associate sponsor.

Scott's new racing digs will utilize the Monte Carlo-styled carbon fiber body and will be tuned by journeyman NHRA crew chief and current Kalitta Motorsports consultant Larry Meyer with assistance from Mike Criss, the supercharger specialist on Scott's current rail entry. Further crew assignments are yet to be determined and will be announced at a later date.

Scott has 18 (17 Top Fuel, 1 Funny Car) NHRA national event victories in his 24-year career.

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