Scott Kalitta, NHRA Champion, Killed In Qualifying IncidentS

UPDATE: We've now posted the Scott Kalitta crash video. Funny Car driver and two-time Top Fuel champion Scott Kalitta died after injuries sustained in a fiery crash during the final round of qualifying of the Lucas Oil NHRA SuperNationals at Old Bridge Township Raceway park saturday. According to reports, his Toyota Solara Funny Car experienced an engine explosion at around 300 mph, causing his car to hit a sand trap and eventually crash. Kalitta, age 46, had a long and successful career, including back-to-back championships in the NHRA POWERade Series Top Fuel series in 1994 and 1995.

THe NHRA released the following statement:

On behalf of everyone at NHRA, we are deeply saddened and want to pass along our sincere condolences to the entire Kalitta family.

Scott shared the same passion for drag racing as his legendary father, Connie. He also shared the same desire to win, becoming a two-time series world champion. He left the sport for a period of time, to devote more time to his family, only to be driven to return to the dragstrip to regain his championship form.

Scott was a terrific driver and perhaps more importantly a better person and a great father to his two kids. He will be truly missed by the entire NHRA community.

Our thoughts and prayers go out to his wife, Kathy, sons Corey and Colin, his cousin Doug, and his father Connie.

[Photo: TriciaCoyne]