Saturday, May 18, 2024

Kalitta claims 50th career win with second Reading Wally

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By Anthony Caruso III | Publisher

Mac Tools Top Fuel Dragster driver Doug Kalitta had a wild weekend. And he still came out on top once everything was said and done.

Kalitta defeated Capco Contractors Top Fuel Dragster driver Steve Torrence in the 38th annual Pep Boys NHRA Nationals at Maple Grove Raceway in Mohnton, Pennsylvania. With the win, Kalitta claimed his 50th career win.

Mac Tools Top Fuel Dragster driver Doug Kalitta celebrates his win at the Pep Boys NHRA Nationals
Doug Kalitta celebrates his win at the Pep Boys NHRA Nationals (Photo by the NHRA)

The Michigan native went 3.662 at 336.99 mph to get the win. The Texan went 3.695 at 332.34 mph in the losing effort.

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“This is huge,” Kalitta said. “To get that monkey off my back and get that 50th win, now we can concentrate on the next five (playoff) races. Getting this victory, that’s been big on my list. It was a great job for my team and I’m really proud of their effort. To run like that and go in the 60s in the final, shows their talent and I couldn’t be happier. I love running here and my guys worked their tails off. It never hurts to have a thrash and I’m just really proud of this team.”

After an accident with his tire during Saturday’s qualifying, Kalitta went to a backup car on Sunday. He drove the backup car to the win a day later.

This is Kalitta’s second career win at the facility about 20 minutes away from Reading, Pennsylvania. He previously won this event in 2002.

Before this final-round appearance, Torrence held a 28-19 advantage over Kalitta. He also had an 8-3 advantage over Kalitta in prior final rounds.

Torrence had beaten Kalitta in their previous two final rounds before today. Kalitta had gone 60 races without a win before the streak ended. His last win came in St. Louis in 2020.

In that final round in St. Louis nearly three years ago, Kalitta also defeated Torrence in that final round.

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Kalitta has appeared in three final rounds this season. Both came during the Western Swing.

He was first defeated by Clay Millican in the final race at Bandimere Speedway in Morrison, Colorado. Then, the very next weekend, he was defeated by Torrence at Pacific Raceways in Kent, Washington.

Torrence has gone to five final rounds this season. Yet, the multi-time champion has just one win on the season, which came in the aforementioned win over Kalitta in Seattle.

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Anthony Caruso III
Anthony Caruso III
Anthony Caruso III is the Publisher of The Capital Sports Report. He has been in the Journalism field since August 2002. Since that time, Mr. Caruso has covered many marquee events. This includes 13 Heisman Trophy ceremonies, 2 Little World Series events, and one Army-Navy College Football game.
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