Winners of a combined 131 NHRA national events, Kalitta, McClenathan, Capps, and Johnson rank 18th (tie), 20th (tie), and 14th in NHRA career victories, respectively, and sixth (tie), fifth, and fifth in their respective categories. Kalitta also won five events in 2005 en route to one of his two third-place finishes and posted back-to-back four-win seasons in 2003 and 2004, when he made the quickest quarter-mile run in NHRA history at 4.420 seconds in the final round of the spring event in Chicago. [...] it's all about your health and your family, but it's one of the things we'd certainly like to accomplish.
From left, Doug Kalitta, Cory McClenathan, Ron Capps, and Kurt Johnson have won a combined 131 NHRA national events but no championships, though they have finished second 14 times. F ootball’s Dan really doubted that they could Marino, baseball’s Will 2010 be the year that pull it off. I was very surprised, Ted Williams, basketball’s Karl perennial runner-ups Kalitta, but they made it happen.” Kalitta, McClenathan, and Malone, and hockey’s Marcel Dionne are MCClenathan, Capps, and Johnson Capps will get another chance in 2010, but Johnson, whose 14-year among the best that ever played, but all retired without winning finally win it all? partnership with sponsor ACDelco ended with the 2009 a championship. Hoping to season, may have to wait. With avoid the same fate are four of by Steve Waldron help from longtime associate drag racing’s best: Top Fuel’s sponsor Mark Christopher Doug Kalitta and Cory coming within less than a round Schumacher entering the Chevrolet, Johnson will compete McClenathan, Funny Car’s Ron of winning it all. season’s final event, Kalitta in the season’s first two events, Capps, and Pro Stock’s Kurt Capps finished second to appeared to seal the deal with then play it by ear. For the other Johnson. Gary Scelzi by eight points in his semifinal finish. Schumacher three, it’s business as usual. Winners of a combined 131 2005 in the closest Funny Car also reached the semifinals and “Hopefully, this will be the NHRA national events, Kalitta, finish in history and won, but he still needed to win season that one of us breaks McClenathan, Capps, and McClenathan runner-upped to the final and set a national through,” said Kalitta, 45, who Johnson rank 18th (tie), 20th Joe Amato by 92 points in 1992, record to take the title. Sadly for is entering his 13th season (tie), and 14th in NHRA career when round-wins were worth Kalitta, he did both. behind the wheel of his uncle victories, respectively, and sixth 200 points instead of 20. But “[Crew chief Rahn] Tobler Connie Kalitta’s dragster. “We (tie), fifth, and fifth in their perhaps the most gut-wrenching and the whole team had a great had probably the best respective categories. They have of this foursome’s 14 near effort all year long, and it was a [preseason] test that we’ve ever finished second in points a misses was Kalitta’s in 2006. real heartbreaker,” said Kalitta, had. The whole team is fired up combined 14 times, with Kalitta, Holding a 45-point lead over who finished 14 points behind and ready to go, and we’re McClenathan, and Capps each defending champion Tony Schumacher. “Before the final, I going to give it our best.” 40 National DRAGSTER A former USAC National Sprint Car champion, Kalitta burst onto the Top Fuel scene in 1998. Taking over for his cousin, Scott, Kalitta won the Automobile Club of Southern California Road to the Future Award as NHRA’s top rookie and in 12 seasons has established himself as one of Top Fuel’s top drivers. Kalitta has finished in the top 10 in points every year since finishing sixth in his rookie season. He finished second in 2003, 2004, and 2006, when he tied his career high for wins in a season with five, Kalitta, the Top Fuel points leader with just one round of racing remaining in 2006, rounds-wins with 43, watched in disbelief as Tony Schumacher not only beat Melanie Troxel in the final but set and led the points for the national record to steal the title. the entire second half of the season something that we can use won one in 1977 as crew chief for Top Fuel before losing the title on my car. Connie’s champion Shirley Muldowney and two as a team to Schumacher in the
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