Inducted into the Michigan Motor Sports Hall of Fame in 2011
Scott Kalitta, a two-time NHRA POWERade Drag Racing 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.
Kalitta earned most of his racing success in Top Fuel, where he claimed
back-to-back world championship titles in 1994 and 1995. He retired from
racing in 1997, sitting out most of two seasons before returning for a
10-race campaign in 1999. He sat out three more seasons following that brief
stint and then returned again in 2003, joining cousin Doug as a second
driver for the family’s two Top Fuel dragsters.
Kalitta started his pro career in Top Fuel in 1982, running limited events
for four seasons before moving to Funny Car in 1986 for his first full
season of competition. He returned to that category full time in 2006. He
posted a 36 runner-up finishes in his career.
Funny Car driver Scott Kalitta, 46, died June 21, 2008, 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
Kalitta is survived by his father, legendary NHRA racer and
team owner Connie Kalitta; wife, Kathy; and sons, Corey and Colin.
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