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Scott Kalitta DIES in Accident

This is a discussion on Scott Kalitta DIES in Accident within the Drag Racing forums, part of the Racing Forums category; Funny Car driver Scott Kalitta, 46, died Saturday from multiple injuries suffered after his car went out of control and ...

  1. #1
    Nitrous Tuner LS2Tuner's Avatar
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    Scott Kalitta DIES in Accident

    Funny Car driver Scott Kalitta, 46, died Saturday from multiple injuries suffered after his car went out of control and crashed in a high-speed racing accident at Old Bridge Township Raceway Park during the fourth and final round of qualifying at the Lucas Oil NHRA SuperNationals.

    Kalitta was extracted from his car by NHRA emergency services officials and transported to Old Bridge Township Hospital, where he was later pronounced dead.

    Kalitta, a two-time NHRA POWERade Series Top Fuel champion and one of only 14 drivers in NHRA history to earn victories in both premier nitro categories, earned 18 victories during his career, his last coming in Chicago in 2005 in Top Fuel
    Don't be afraid of the bottle!!! Be afraid of your tune!!!

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    LTX N20LT4's Avatar
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    That's very sad. He will be missed.

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    Nitrous Tuner LS2Tuner's Avatar
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    On behalf of everyone at NHRA, we are deeply saddened and want to pass along our sincere condolences to the entire Kalitta family.

    Scott shared the same passion for drag racing as his legendary father, Connie. He also shared the same desire to win, becoming a two-time series world champion. He left the sport for a period of time, to devote more time to his family, only to be driven to return to the dragstrip to regain his championship form.

    Scott was a terrific driver and perhaps more importantly a better person and a great father to his two kids. He will be truly missed by the entire NHRA community.

    Our thoughts and prayers go out to his wife, Kathy, sons Corey and Colin, his cousin Doug, and his father Connie."

    National event wins
    1989 Houston (FC)
    1993 Topeka
    1994 Columbus
    1994 Topeka 1
    1994 Denver
    1994 Sonoma
    1994 Reading
    1995 Columbus
    1995 Topeka 1
    1995 Denver
    1995 Reading
    1995 Topeka 2
    1995 Dallas
    1996 Topeka 1
    1997 Topeka 1
    2004 Denver
    2005 Pomona 1
    2005 Chicago

    1988: Qualified No. 1 for first time in career (Baton Rouge)

    1989: Won first career event in Houston in Funny Car

    1993: Captured one event victory (Topeka), his first in Top Fuel; recorded fastest speed in NHRA history (308.64 mph) in Topeka; became fourth member of the Slick 50 300-mph Club in Gainesville

    1994: Earned first career NHRA championship; became first Top Fuel driver in NHRA history to win four consecutive races (Columbus, Topeka, Denver, and Sonoma); won five events overall

    1995: Won second consecutive NHRA Top Fuel championship; was runner-up at Budweiser Shootout at Pomona; won six events and a career-best 45 rounds of eliminations

    1996: Earned a $100,000 bonus for winning the Budweiser Shootout at Pomona; finished second in Top Fuel standings; recorded top speed at a category-best eight races

    1997: Won Topeka for fourth consecutive season; announced retirement in October

    1999: Made brief comeback and advanced to one final round in 10 starts

    2003: Returned to competition after nearly three-year absence; advanced to two final rounds; clocked fastest speed in history at 333.95 mph but failed to certify mark as national record

    2004: Earned one victory in two final-round appearances; clocked career-best time; was No. 1 qualifier at both Las Vegas events; earned his sixth top five points finish in POWERade Series

    2005: Earned two victories in two final-round appearances; set a career-best elapsed time at Pomona 1; qualified for all 23 events and was in the top half of the field in 13 events

    2006: Returned to Funny Car; advanced out of the first round at three of last six events; advanced to semifinals in Richmond

    2007: Qualified for 16 of 23 races; reached the semi's in Denver

    2008: Reached final round in Chicago

  4. #4
    Nitrous Tuner LS2Tuner's Avatar
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    Good tribute video. . . . . . . . . . . . .

    Just found this and thought I would share it.

  5. #5
    Nitrous Tuner LS2Tuner's Avatar
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    Exclamation Today. . . . . . . . . . .

    Kalitta team 'bound and determined' to race its Funny Car again in 2008

    by Brad Littlefield, National DRAGSTER

    The loss of Funny Car driver and two-time Top Fuel world champion Scott Kalitta as the result of an accident at Old Bridge Township Raceway Park June 21 left a void in the pits that has been felt by racers and fans alike. Though that void can never be filled completely, the DHL-sponsored Funny Car team will hit the racetrack again this season and perhaps fulfill Kalitta's vision by completing his and father Connie's quest to field a winner in the Funny Car ranks, which they had worked tirelessly toward since their return to the class in 2006.

    The Kalitta Motorsports team is still searching for answers regarding Kalitta's accident along with exploring driver possibilities but is geared toward a return to the NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series tour this season.

    "We will bring the Funny Car back out this year; we just don't know when," said Jim Oberhofer, team manager of Kalitta Motorsports and crew chief for Hillary Will. "It could be Brainerd, it could be Indy, or it could be later. Connie is bound and determined to get it back out there."

    The challenge of racing in the Funny Car class for the first time since 1989 proved to be just that. Connie, who shares tuning duties on the DHL Toyota Solara with crew chief Glenn Mikres, wanted to master the shorter-wheelbase counterparts to his more familiar Top Fuel drivers, and Scott felt he had unfinished business in the category. He had only one flopper win to his credit (at Houston Raceway Park in 1989), and he thought he did all he could in the Top Fuel ranks after world championships in 1994 and 1995, 17 wins, and national record performances.

    The team struggled initially, winning only seven eliminations rounds in 2006 and four in 2007. The team showed promise at times but was unable to find the consistency needed to score on race day. The group appeared to be on the upswing this season, though. Scott made his first final-round appearance since his Funny Car return at the Chicago event, filling the team with confidence prior to Englishtown.

    "When Connie first talked about putting a Funny Car on the track for 2006, he wanted to do it for the challenge of taking something different and making it competitive and maybe win races with it," explained Oberhofer. "They struggled for the first two years, but the car was finally showing signs of life. I think that runner-up in Chicago was a turn in the right direction, and Connie Kalitta doesn't quit on nothin'."

    A lack of parts and pieces isn't an issue for the DHL team, which has a brand-new chassis sitting in its shop waiting to be put together. However, the search for answers regarding the accident is ongoing, and no driver has been slated to wheel the 7,000-horsepower flopper at this time.

    "It's hard to get motivated about looking for a driver because you can never replace Scott," said Oberhofer. "We've talked to people like Del Worsham and Tim Wilkerson to get their insight. Our choices are pretty limited since we can't test and therefore can't license anybody. We'll have something within the next couple weeks as far as a driver and a timeline of when we can get back out there.

    "Obviously, we are first and foremost trying to figure out what happened and what we can do to make sure it doesn't happen to anyone else," Oberhofer continued. "Scott's accident may have been a one-in-a-million deal, but we're going to do what we can to minimize those odds even further. That's a promise we made to Scott's wife. Maybe Scott can save a life."

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