Scott Kalitta (18 Feb 1962 - 21 June 2008)

Posted: Saturday, June 21, 2008 by Travis Cody in

From, Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press...

ENGLISHTOWN, N.J. -- Scott Kalitta died Saturday when his Funny Car crashed and burst into flames during qualifying for the Lucas Oil NHRA SuperNationals at Old Bridge Township Raceway Park.

State police confirmed that the 46-year-old Kalitta, a two-time Top Fuel champion who had 18 career victories, was killed in the accident.

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.

My mom has always been a huge fan of Top Fuel and Funny Car racing. I grew up hearing the names "T.V. Tommy" Ivo, Connie "Bounty Hunter" Kalitta, "Big Daddy" Don Garlits, Chris "The Golden Greek" Karamesines, Shirley Muldowney, and "Flamin'" Frank Pendregon.

That familiarity continue through the 80s and 90s with names like John Force, Kenny Bernstein, Tony & Cruz Pendregon, Doug & Scott Kalitta.

Mom's love of drag racing never really took with me, although I still know the names these days. Lots of times my Sunday calls catch her watching the drags, and she'll make sure I get the updates.

Her favorite driver is John Force, and she's a big fan of Ashley Force too. But she has a soft spot for the Kalittas, and I immediately thought of her when I heard the news.

I think I'll giver her a call now.


  1. Scott,may the Lord recieve you and Bless you.May you Rest In Peace.

    I guess if you gotto go doing something you love is the way to do it.

    No silly remarks tonight. God's blessing heading your way.

  1. Sorry to hear this. Goes to show how this is still a very dangerous sport.

  1. sorry about that trav... have a little cake now.

    smiles, bee

  1. I grew up hearing those names too, and I can remember my brother constructing the model kits of some of those cars.

  1. Akelamalu says:

    At least he died doing what he loved eh? :(

  1. Anndi says:

    Hugs for your Mom.

  1. Jeff B says:

    Those drivers have to have nerves of steel to strap themselves into those cars. The crashes are always spectacular to watch, but not when they have this kind of result.

  1. jennifer says:

    I pray for his family and for his fans (like your Mom).

    Be blessed.


  1. Julie says:

    Good for you for following up on the nudge to call mom. That happens so much with me, too.

  1. Jamie says:

    Back when I was married, the drag races were a regular stop on the "being a good wife and going because it's important to him" express, so I realize how devoted you mother must be because I listened to all those names way back then. The Kalittas were a special family and the young man they lost is only a year older than my son. My prayers and good thoughts of comfort go to his family for their loss.

  1. Travis says:

    Mike: I guess that's a comfort for the ones left behind, but 46 is just too damn young.

    Charles: I just wonder what happened to make that engine explode.

    Bee: Now that's a pretty good suggestion.

    TJ: I had small top fuel cars with the pull stick you threaded through the tires. You yanked that stick and the tires spun, and you could have drag races down the driveway. That was cool.

    Akelamalu: I guess, but it's not much consolation for the ones left behind.

    Ann: She was pretty upset Saturday.

    Jeff: This one was watch the explosion, and then the car just keeps on going straight into the wall and explodes again.

    Jennifer: It's just such a shame.

    Julie: She was so sad. And it was tough for her to watch the finals on Sunday too.

    Jamie: Drag racers are a special family within motor sports, and the Kalittas are so respected.

    Terra: Yes it is.

  1. Turnbaby says:

    I'm just amazed I missed this. HUGS

  1. Linda says:

    300 mph?? Good grief, I can't even imagine going that fast on the ground - ever.

    May he rest in peace.

  1. Travis says:

    Turn: I'm sure you were just distracted.

    Linda: Don't watch the video clip. It's horrifying.

  1. Anonymous says:

    Wow!! I found Scott Kalitta Crash

  1. Kent Kalitta says:

    SCOTT KALITTA, are missed by manny friends and dragracingfans, including me.
    It really hurted me to see the crasch on the U-tube.
    I hope to get in contact with some of the Kalittas family, soon.
    A great champion, hero and friend.
    1962-2008 SCOTT-Rest In Peace !

    Kent KALITTA (1961) a long distance relative from SWEDEN.