Two races into the 2019 Countdown and Doug Kalitta, driver of the Mac Tools Top Fuel dragster, holds a slim lead in the Mello Yello point standings. A final round appearance and quarterfinal finish at the first two races have the Mac Tools team on the verge of a break-out event. The veteran driver is hoping the NTK Carolina NHRA Nationals this weekend is that event. With sixteen rounds of racing remaining in the 2019 season every point counts.
“We are not getting ahead of ourselves by any means with this points lead,” said Kalitta. “There are too many tough cars out there and four more races. Anything can happen. We just are glad to be in control of our own destiny. If we take care of our business we will be just fine. These next couple of races starting with Charlotte will be critical for us.”
Two years ago Kalitta took four win lights at the Carolina NHRA Nationals defeating teammate Richie Crampton in the final. The Mac Tools team left Charlotte that weekend with the points lead and five races left in the season. The previous year Kalitta was runner-up to Antron Brown at the fall Charlotte race.
“We have had some good races at zMax Dragway in the fall,” said Kalitta. “The win in 2017 was big and we are looking to get another Countdown win this weekend. No one is getting crowned Top Fuel champion this Sunday but you definitely want hold onto the point lead or keep it within a round. It will be an exciting weekend for sure.”
Kalitta has three final round appearances at the fall race in Charlotte. In 2016 he came up just short against multi-time Top Fuel champion Larry Dixon. The consistency gives the 46-time Top Fuel race winner a feeling of confidence going into the NTK Carolina Nationals.
“You always like going back to tracks where you have had success. The fans in Charlotte are great and this Mac Tools team will be ready to hit the ground running on Friday. We want to get a good jump on qualifying on the first day,” added Kalitta.