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Author: Subject: Remembering NHRA top Fuel Driver Scott Kalitta, donation link attached

Zen Peach





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  posted on 6/21/2008 at 07:23 PM

Video


Funny Car driver Scott Kalitta, 46, died Saturday 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.


[Edited on 6/24/2008 by No1ToRunWith]

 

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Zen Peach



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  posted on 6/21/2008 at 07:25 PM
ENGLISHTOWN, N.J. -- Scott Kalitta died Saturday when his Funny Car crashed and burst into flames during the final round of qualifying for the Lucas Oil NHRA SuperNationals at Old Bridge Township Raceway Park.

The NHRA said the 46-year-old Kalitta -- the 1994 and 1995 Top Fuel season champion who had 18 career victories, 17 in Top Fuel and one in Funny Car -- was taken to Raritan Bay Medical Center in Old Bridge, where he died a short time later.

Witnesses told The Star-Ledger of Newark that Kalitta's Toyota Solara was traveling at an estimated speed of 300 mph when the crash occurred.

The Palmetto, Fla., resident started his career at Old Bridge Township Raceway Park in 1982. His father, Connie Kalitta, was a longtime driver and team owner known as "The Bounty Hunter," and his cousin, Doug Kalitta, also drives competitively.

Scott Kalitta is survived by wife Kathy and sons Corey and Colin.

NASCAR Nationwide Series driver Brad Keselowski -- a native of Rochester Hills, Mich., about 20 miles away from Kalitta's hometown of Mount Clemens -- learned the news from a television report Saturday afternoon.

"That really hits close to home," Keselowski said after winning the pole position for Saturday night's race at the Milwaukee Mile in West Allis, Wis. "[He was] a friend of my family's, and I send my thoughts and prayers out to him. That's tough to hear."

Last year, Funny Car driver Eric Medlen died after an accident in a testing session at Gainesville, Fla.

 

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  posted on 6/21/2008 at 10:10 PM
This is really sad. I used to watch his father race. Funny cars are some dangerous machines - the driver can't sit in front of the engine (which is basically a controlled explosion chamber) like they can in a dragster.

 

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  posted on 6/21/2008 at 11:11 PM
Tragic accident, my condolences to his family and friends. I still love the sport. If ther's anything more intense I don't want to see it. Why NHRA never acheved the big time like NASCAR I don't understand.
 

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  posted on 6/22/2008 at 12:15 AM
God, I love drag racing. Being from Indianapolis, I love ALL motorsports. To love drag racing is to love the Kalitta family and their involvement in the development and sport of straight line racing.

I am heartbroken to hear of Scott Kaliitta's passing.

He was just a year younger than me. While I feel like it's a blessing to go out of life doing something you love, it still sucks. Death is final. It's the end of life as we know it. But death is part of life. It's the finish line of life. Some folks hit the finish line sooner than others, certainly sooner than they thought they would.

Scott Kalitta went out on his terms. He knew the risk, he was willing to take it. He lived life by the balls. As a man, I tip my hat to him for that.

 

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Zen Peach



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  posted on 6/22/2008 at 12:27 AM
quote:
Tragic accident, my condolences to his family and friends. I still love the sport. If ther's anything more intense I don't want to see it. Why NHRA never acheved the big time like NASCAR I don't understand.



Back in my younger days, drag racing was the sh*t. I went to drag races before I even went to the Indy time trials up the road. When we were kids, it was Don "the Snake" Prudhomme versus Tom "the Mongoose" McEwen. When we got model kits, it was funny cars.

RIP to Scotty and thoughts to his family. Any driver on any circuit could die on any day.

DH

[Edited on 6/22/2008 by DerekFromCincinnati]

 

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  posted on 6/22/2008 at 07:10 AM
I saw that last night on ESPN. The accident was one of the most disturbing accidents that I've seen in my life.

 

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Zen Peach



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  posted on 6/22/2008 at 11:45 AM
It looked like he didn't slow down much when he hit the sand trap. My guess is he was unconscious when he hit the barrier at the end of the sand pit. His chutes were deployed but they were tangled and dangling. They didn't help a bit.

Connie Kalitta is a legend. He was the force behind Shirley Muldowney back int he 70's and 80's. Did you ever see "Heart Like a Wheel?" Great movie about her, and Connie is a huge character in the movie.

Still hard to believe.

 

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  posted on 6/22/2008 at 11:50 AM
Don't know the layout of this track, bud does it have a "sand trap" so to speak, to slow down cars that chutes have burned off, and breaks have failed?

Unusual to have a serious crash after staying on the track for the entire length, then going off the end.

If that is what happened here.

65 year old John Shoemaker died in March after making one of his best runs ever. It's thought that he had a heart attack at the 1000 foot mark, and just kept on the gas and drove it straight off the end of the track. Down track photographers saw his head tilted down, and his hand off the wheel towards the end of the run. The car never slowed down, no chutes, and plowed right thru a 300 foot sand trap.

Anyway, sad news about Kalitta.

Here is a link to the article about Shoemaker.

http://www.bakersfield.com/hourly_news/story/386283.html

 

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  posted on 6/22/2008 at 11:53 AM
Yeah Dave, that was a real good movie, Heart Like a Wheel.

The Kalittas go way way back.

 

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Zen Peach



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  posted on 6/22/2008 at 03:27 PM
There has a lot of discussion regarding the length / size of the sand trap. It appears to be the shortest in all of the NHRA. I would not be shocked to see the length increase for future events including possible energy foam toward the end.

 

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  posted on 6/23/2008 at 08:13 AM
Was it really necessary to post that video ??

Englishtown has 3000 feet of shutdown after the 1/4 and it was estimated Kalitta went into the sand trap at 200+ mph.( yes there's one at every dragstrip) but he hit a concrete pole which anchored the catch fence/net , a part of the safety runoff/sandtrap. Even if the track was 500 feet longer shutoff he still would have been going 180+ with the same outcome. I've seen lots of cars/bikes run off the end of very long dragstrips.

RIP Scott Kalitta.

 

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  posted on 6/23/2008 at 10:18 AM
That's a really poorly designed part of the track then.

The guardrail should be extended so no one could hit a pole.

I would guess most tracks were designed when cars went 225, not 330.

He did a hell of a driving job to keep it straight with that fire.

 

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  posted on 6/23/2008 at 01:42 PM
I feel really bad for Scott, but especially his family. My condolences.

I will never understand the lure of going 300 mph in a car. I just don't get it. To me it is a sensless loss. Another sport along with horse racing that I can't bring myself to watch anymore.

 

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Zen Peach



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  posted on 6/23/2008 at 02:42 PM
quote:
That's a really poorly designed part of the track then.

The guardrail should be extended so no one could hit a pole.

I would guess most tracks were designed when cars went 225, not 330.

He did a hell of a driving job to keep it straight with that fire.
As I posted earlier, I'm not sure if he was even conscious by the time he hit the sand trap. Watching the video, it didn't look like he was working the rear brakes, even though the chutes were ineffectively deployed. It's not uncommon to see a driver take a car up against the concrete side barriers in an effort to slow or stop the car if they have had an explosion and/or fire. I suppose they'll eventually make a report as to the exact cause of death, but I suspect the explosion had something to do with it.

 

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  posted on 6/24/2008 at 08:35 AM
I watched the race on Sunday and someone has posted the tribute. I about broke into tears.

Dave I think you are right, but seeing how I have never driven one I can not say for sure. The concussion most likely caused him to be knocked out. The fire burned his chutes and the trap was too small. Gary Scelzi talked to the Godfather yesterday on Sirius Nascar and Scelzi called it the perfect crash. The explosion, chutes burned and gone and not enough to stop the car.

Scott, who qualified 13th was to race Robert Hight
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zbwdgcu_6qQ

 

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Zen Peach



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  posted on 6/24/2008 at 08:43 AM
http://www.kalittaracing.com/

You can donate to the childrens school in Scott's memory.

The school his sons attend-

Saint Stephen’s Episcopal School
Attn: Development Office
315 41st Street West
Bradenton, FL 34209

B.R.A.K.E.S. (Be Responsible and Keep Everyone Safe)
c/o Doug Herbert Performance Parts
1443 E. Gaston St.
Lincolnton, NC 28092

*All donations to BRAKES will be used for the expressed purpose of saving lives and keeping our children safe. Website –putonthebrakes.com

 

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Zen Peach



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  posted on 6/24/2008 at 09:41 AM
Memorial Run by John Force Racing and driver Robert Hight. Hight would have faced Scott Kalitta in first round elimination racing on Saturday. Moving display of emotion from fellow NHRA racers and the Kalitta team.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MxjFv29735M

 

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