The mission is complete.

Doug Kalitta's decorated Top Fuel career includes a world championship from 2023 – and now he’s won at every track on NHRA’s national-event circuit.

That became a reality Sunday when Kalitta, piloting the Mac Tools dragster for Kalitta Motorsports, captured the victory at the New England Nationals in Epping, N.H.

Kalitta clocked a 3.802-second elapsed time at 332.92 mph at New England Dragway to defeat Tony Schumacher, who slowed to 4.307, 231.60.

“It’s a dream come true with Alan (crew chief Alan Johnson), Mac (assistant crew chief Mac Savage) and this whole team that got behind me. We’ve been digging hard. The car’s so good, I just really want to make sure I’m not the weak link,” Kalitta said. “I probably relied on those guys a little more than I’d like to today, but we got it done for Mac Tools, Revchem, SealMaster and Toyota. We finally got the win at Epping. We had a nice tribute to my cousin, (world championship driver) Scott (Kalitta), last night, so that was a cool experience with (team owner Connie Kalitta).

“We’re just really happy to get this win, and this will be a special trophy knowing we finally won a race on the Eddie’s Lobsterfest weekend with Joe (Poulin) and all his guys here with us. It’s definitely a special day. We really had a lot of fun with that because … those are the people that seemed to migrate over. It's just great to be able to have an opportunity to just hang out, have a good meal, and it really means a lot to Connie, too, because he's definitely one of the guys out here that just has had a lot of people working for him and just loves the sport.”

The victory was Kalitta’s 54th in NHRA Top Fuel competition, and his second this season. In mid-April, he captured the Four Wide Nationals at Las Vegas.  



Prior to Sunday, Kalitta’s best finish in Epping was a runner-up effort in 2014, when he lost to Schumacher.

On Sunday, Kalitta took out Scott Farley, Tony Stewart, Kalitta Motorsports teammate Shawn Langdon, and then Schumacher.

“I have to admit every round except first round, they were just incredibly close, and with my reaction times I just held on for the win for a couple of them,” Kalitta said. “So, it was just one of those days that it almost seemed like it was just a lucky day for me really with the way today turned out. So, I don't know how we managed to pull it all off. ... It's definitely a special day.”

For years, Doug Kalitta was the best driver still chasing a world championship. That’s not the case anymore, and he’s enjoying the ride he is on with his team.   

“I have to tell you, with the team that I have behind me, they have got my car running,” Kalitta said. “We have changed when ... Alan and Brian (Husen) and now we have Mac and my team, we have changed everything about our cars, and it took us a while. And just methodically Alan and the guys – with Connie and everybody else; Chad Head … just everybody working together to put this thing together – and I just feel very fortunate to be in this position because it's a dream come true.” 

Kalitta acknowledged that he doesn’t want to be the reason for a downturn in their performance.   

“With me driving the thing, I'm just trying to make sure I'm not the weak link because right now the car is running so good,” he said. “So, yeah, it's added pressure because you've got a good running car, and you need to definitely step up to the plate. So, it's just a hell of an opportunity. I'm definitely up for the challenge.



Sunday “was a little bit of a struggle for me with just close races and not necessarily having the best reaction time, but we're definitely ... It's good to have a car and a team like what I have, and so I'll just call today an incredible team effort because it really was. I've got one hell of an opportunity going on here. I'm just going to play this out and just see what I can do with it.”

Kalitta called the opportunity to face Stewart head to head Sunday in the second round was a highlight of his storied career.

Stewart, who won three NASCAR Cup Series championships, an IndyCar crown and an IROC title, is in his first season as a Top Fuel competitor. He gave Kalitta all he could handle, launching first with a .005-second reaction-time advantage. Stewart covered the 1,000-foot distance in 3.848 seconds at 323.58 mph, but it wasn’t enough to turn on the win light. Kalitta’s blast of 3.841 allowed him to take a razor-thin victory by 25/10,000ths of a second.       

“That was pretty cool in my book,” Kalitta said. “I ran him at the (Las Vegas) Four Wide. He was in one of the Four Wide quads (the finals) but to go one-on-one with him on elimination day was ... and that was an incredibly close race. He's definitely a hell of a driver. Everything that he has done, he's won and accomplished a lot with it. So, I'm super excited that he's out here. It's obviously great for our sport, and then just the history that we've got, we don't talk about it or anything like that, but it's cool for me just to have the memories of running when we did. It seems like a million years ago, but it was just when we were growing up trying to learn how to race sprint cars.”

Doug realizes that none of his drag racing accomplishments would have ever been possible without the team’s mastermind and founder, his uncle Connie Kalitta.

“Connie Kalitta, he has had my back for 27 years. This is my 27th year out here,” Doug said. “So, to have a guy like him who's as passionate as he is about just doing what we're doing out here … He started back in the (1950s) probably running out here, and he's 86 now and still getting around good. He's still having fun coming to the races.

“If it wasn't for him, I wouldn't have accomplished that goal. It would've been really tough. So, I am pretty fortunate to have Connie Kalitta in my corner, and he's brought through a lot of new younger guys. J.R. Todd, Troy Coughlin, who was here a little while ago, was driving one of our Top Fuel cars. It's been a lot of fun just watching what Connie has been trying to do. He's not tuning cars now and he's not driving the cars now, but he's still in the game trying to promote the sport. He loves the NHRA and just trying to help it grow and being out here and having fun, trying to beat these guys. So, yeah, it's been a pretty cool ride.”