Skip to comments.Race car driver Kalitta killed in crash at Old Bridge Raceway
Posted on 06/21/2008 4:27:18 PM PDT by racing fan
Funny Car driver Scott Kalitta was killed today in a fiery crash during a drag race at Old Bridge Township Raceway Park, race officials said.
Kalitta, 46, was pronounced dead at Old Bridge Township Hospital after his car lost control during the fourth and final round of qualifying at the National Hot Rod Association Super Nationals, according to statement by the association.
(Excerpt) Read more at nj.com ...
Prayers going up for Scott and the Kalitta family.
from the link.
Over here ST...
I saw the wreck on ESPN. Very sad. RIP Scott.
My prayers go out to him and his family.
The car exploded going down track and continued until it crashed at the end of the track in a huge fireball.....
bummer his dad was one of my favorites back in the 60’s
Prayers for the family.
A sad day.
RIP, I haven’t seen it yet, don’t know if I want to.
Oh man! Prayers for his family.
oh no.... : (
ESPN might show it again, but it is horrible to watch.
OMG ... so infrequent serious injuries in Drag Racing. Scott was one of the best. I was in Indy in 96??? when Blaine Johnson went over. It was a shock then to the drag race community. In fact I thin Bernstein turned his championship over to honor the Johnson brother. Alan was his crew Chief.
I love drag racing .... but when it goes bad ...it goes bad in a very big way. Prayers up for the kalita family.
We will miss you Scott
Conrad "Connie" Kalitta (born February 24, 1938 in Michigan) is the CEO of Kalitta Air and a retired American drag racing driver, once known as "The Bounty Hunter". He grew up in Mount Clemens, Michigan, and was a 1957 graduate of Mount Clemens High School. He raced from the 1950s through the 1990s. He was the first driver to hit 200 mph in an NHRA sanctioned event. He also helped Shirley Muldowney get started (in the "Bounty Huntress" car). Kalitta won 10 NHRA national events between 1967 and 1994. He was inducted into the Motorsports Hall of Fame of America in 1992. On the 2001 National Hot Rod Association Top 50 Drivers, 1951-2000, Kalitta was ranked #21. He was played by Beau Bridges in the Muldowney biography film Heart Like a Wheel. He is the father and uncle respectively, of racers Scott Kalitta and Doug Kalitta.
Gasoline is for cleaning parts
Alcohol is for drinking
Nitro is for racing!
Prayers for the Kalitta family.
When Connie was driveing he used to have the “Man, that is flying!” on the side of the dragster and support semi. Connie was one of the old school with Eddie/Ersie Hill, Kenny Bernstein and of course John foce in funny cars.
You often saw their aircraft out at DFW. They had a small fleet of planes and Semis.
Yep! Connie Kallita who owns Kallita Air,the 747 that broke up in Belgium last month. RIP Scott and to a Great Kallita Family.
Condolences to the Kallita family and organization.
Thanks to SouthTexas for linking me to this.
That's how I fell about it myself. My First Wife just proposition me so we are off to the nearest Hunan Restaurant for dinner. Will post more T. Bender history latter...
Man o man. I actually caught part of the half hour show that preceded it today on ESPN2 (around 4:30pm, I think), 2007 Thrills and Chills. It featured a bunch of crashes just like this with some time set aside to demonstrate the safety advances, especially in the Funny Car class, with additional roll cage bracing and body protection.
By the looks of that crash, nothing would’ve made a difference. There’s only so much you can do to prevent death when halting a car from 225+ in just a few feet, with what apparently was still fuel on board.
It looks like his engine blew, but the car kept tracking in a straight line.
Watched the tape twice and it looks to me like the drag chute never fully deployed.
Very sad. Looks like the configuration of the track made the difference. There’s just no room for error there. Had this happened at Sonoma, for instance, he probably would have survived, as he would have went into the sand pit, instead of a wall.
Was he driving a Toyota?
loved watching him run. Prayers to him, his family, and friends.
If you feel the need to see it, it is on YouTube.
It’s pretty stunning to say the least. It’s a very different experience from watching the Earnhardt crash, which I still can’t watch, and haven’t been able to watch since the day it happened.
All I can say is that the car simply exploded. It stayed in a straight line before, during and after the explosion. Just a huge fireball.
Yrah, I believe it was a Toyota.
I believe that's what the article said. And I thought, "Toyota funny car? No wonder it blew up."
It was claimed that debris from the car's body became wrapped up in the chute so it couldn't deploy as needed.
Someone on the ESPN page this said that he met Kalitta there years ago and this was his favorite track.
When it comes to Funny Cars, the body is (rather loosely) based on a certain manufacturer's body style, but other than sponsorship money, that's about it for factory involvement. Yes, the car was a Toyota. But I doubt that anything inside that car was actually made by Toyota.
Prayers to him and his family.
Personally, I think Funny Cars should be banned.
They really aren’t cars, they are a fiberglass body over a chassis. More than once, they have contained the fire and killed the driver.
I used to wrench on a 6 second ride that was a full frame off camero. A few years after I moved on, our boss ate fire when the fuel pump puked gallons of fuel on the hood at the line. He wouldn’t have lived had he been in a funny car. Even with his firesuit, he damn near didn’t make it.
Scott will probably be the the Dale Sr. of NHRA in as such as future safety requirements, first off I can see that there should have been something, anything better than what looked like a solid barrier at the end of that strip.
I doubt SAFR would help, maybe something that stops aircraft like nets or a road surface that sinks the vehicle in air pockets (Mythbusters).
Jimmy Clark, Jochen Rindt, Graham Hill, Darrel Russell, Eric Medlin....if you watch racing you're going to see some of the sportsmen pay the ultimate price.
Did you ever see the news from the 1964 Indy 500? Two drivers killed and Parnelli Jones bailing from a burning car in the pits as he directed it to a wall....an accident plagued race if there ever was one.
Indy 500 Crash in 1964 After this crash, gasoline was no longer used at the speedway.
The drag chute got tied up, it was probably burned to some extent by the fire. If the chute is nylon, fire will cause it to melt together before it deploys. From what I read on the Simpson Equipment web site, the chute may be made of canvas.
Whatever it is, it burns. They need to get the chute away from a burning car; IMHO it would have saved Scott’s life here. Possibly an emergency system that is activated along with the fire extinguishers.
Scott hit the sand hard. There was no aerodymic braking..he was probably busy hitting the extinguishers.
Why would they build a wall at the end of the track?
Why not a sand trap?
ESPN interviews with other drivers brought up something I didn't even think about. In the early days, the slow down areas and safety overruns were designed for cars with problems like a stuck accelerator and no chute. Only the speeds weren't as fast as they are today. Few strips have kept up with the new higher speeds, many have the same set up as when they were first built. The drivers were accusing the owners of negligence.
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