While the NHRA 2009 season got off to a very rough start (see next post), I could not have picked two better nitro drivers to win the season opener than Top Fuel Doug Kalitta and Funny Car Ron Capps. As show below, Doug earned a tough and well deserved win. Also, congrats to Pro Stock Jason Line(1). I would have liked to see his Summit Racing teammate Greg Anderson(2) win the Winternationals Wally, as he did last year, but Jason is a great guy and great driver. Greg The Man Anderson and Summit Racing is the only reason I have any interest in Pro Stock.
(1) 2006 NHRA Pro Stock World Champion
(2) 2003, 04, 05 NHRA Pro Stock World Champion
Due to the economy, Kalitta Motorsports experienced a significant loss of sponsors. Presently, Doug is not funded to run the full season. Hopefully, his win will help in locating additional sponsors. I hated that Conrad "Connie" Kalitta had to mothball his other two 2008 Top Fuel teams of Hillary Will and Dave Grubnic. Aussie Grubby is a great guy and NHRA needs a good female Top Fuel driver like Hillary for 2009. However of the three drivers, Doug is the best and Connie made the right decision.
Currently, there are no women racing in Top Fuel. Melanie Troxel is the other very good Top Fuel female driver. She raced in Top Fuel until the end of the 2007 season, then switched over to a Funny Car for the 2008 season. Unfortunately, Melanie is without sponsorship for the 2009 season, as is her Funny Car driving husband Tommy Johnson Jr., who drove for Kenny Bernstein Racing. I thought it was a mistake when Melanie moved to Funny Car because Ashley Force Hood gets all the female media exposure and there were more cars competing in the FC division than the Top Fuel division. Hopefully, Melanie will find adequate sponsorship and come back to Top Fuel. ~ fla
Good Video: 02.2-3.09: Doug Kalitta testing at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway
Nitro Racing Teams' Press Releases
A cold and "green" track makes for wild and unhappy nitro dragsters. In the first round of Top Fuel eliminations, held on Sunday before rain ended racing, Doug Kalitta experiences a major engine fire but still won the race. 1:17 of video: Doug's huge fireball, but he keeps his foot in it. Many pro cars experienced severe starting-line tire shake and wheel hop. - fla
Kalitta Motorsports: Doug Kalitta wins 2009 NHRA Top Fuel opener in Pomona
Don Schumacher Racing: Ron Capps wins Pomona!
MotorSports NHRA 2009 Winternationals:
Winternationals End On High Note | Final Eliminatons Report
Finals Round-by-Round Results | Final Top 16 Finish Order
Great photo of Connie and Doug. And great photos of my main man Ron Capps, and my No. 1 favorite active NHRA legend Ed McCulloch(Crew Chief), that we combined, edited, and digitized. It would be fantastic to see Ron win a Funny Car World Championship this year. With he and Ed's substantial talent, strong team sponsorship, and racing for/backed by the highly successful Don Schumacher Racing, there is no excuse for not winning it all this season. NAPA recently updated their NAPA-NHRA website and corrected/eliminated all the corrupted NHRA related links caused by NHRA's new website. It looks great. Click the above banner if you wish to check it out.
~ fla <> Original photos credit: Kalitta Motorsports, CP, DRO, NAPA
posted on 03/14/2009 5:59:41 PM PDT
(See my comprehensive FR Profile "Straight Talk" Page)
Great looking thread!
posted on 03/14/2009 6:03:30 PM PDT
The 2009 NHRA season didnt get off to a very good start. Hope it's not a bad omen like 2008. From Thursday to Monday, it was rain, rain, and more rain. There was only one round of pro championship qualifying on Saturday, and weather only allowed one round of eliminations on Sunday. Monday was another washout, and then the rain left to allow pro eliminations on Tuesday. But, if you were like 2009 sidelined Top Fuel drivers Rod Fuller and Hillary Will, the Winternationals gave you plenty of time to work on your romance back at the hotel. I got a kick out of them on NHRA Race Day. Talk about major JBF looks *lol*.
On Thursday, during Stock Eliminator qualifying, John Irving hits and destroys the Christmas Tree after one of his rear wheels falls off immediately after he hit the throttle. Someone call the battered Christmas Tree hotline and report this guy.
On Saturday, the rain halted long enough to get in one round of pro championship qualifying before it started again. Qualifying was difficult with many cars having trouble getting down the track, along with several nitro engine explosions and fires. For the only qualifying round, there was a major problem with the timing clocks in the left lane. For a number of runs no final MPH was recorded. Also, several final E.T.'s were wrong based on incremental track ET's. NHRA set the final eliminations field with the questionable numbers but awarded no points. But hey, how about that Doug Kalitta in his nitro banana boat.
Southern California. . . the birthplace of NHRA. Many lost legendary drag strips on this map. Later this season, I/we will do a narrative and photos tribute post(s). The last twelve months there has been several great articles on these legendary SoCal drag strips.
I need to end the pre-season and '09 Winternationals posts on a high note *rummaging through my drag racing blown babes photos folder*. Here we go. . . . . .
posted on 03/14/2009 6:58:52 PM PDT
(See my comprehensive FR Profile "Straight Talk" Page)
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