Doug Kalitta, left, with his daughter, Avery, was inducted into the Michigan Motor Sports Hall of Fame with his late cousin Scott, who was represented by his sons, Corey and Colin, and Kalitta Motorsports crew chief Jon Oberhofer.
(Photo by Randy Ellen)
The late Scott Kalitta, a two-time NHRA Top Fuel world champion, and his cousin Doug Kalitta, driver of the Technicoat Top Fuel dragster for Kalitta Motorsports, based in Ypsilanti, Mich., were inducted into the Michigan Motor Sports Hall of Fame Sunday, Nov. 6, during the 28th annual MMSHoF induction ceremony in Mount Pleasant, Mich.
Scott, who lost his life in a racing accident in June 2008 in New Jersey, was born in Mount Clemens, Mich., Feb. 18, 1962. His celebrated drag racing career included 18 NHRA national event victories in 34 final-round appearances. In 1994, he became the first Top Fuel driver in NHRA history to win four consecutive national events en route to his first of two consecutive Top Fuel world championships.
Scott’s sons, Corey, 18, and Colin, 11, along with longtime Kalitta Motorsports team member and crew chief Jon Oberhofer, accepted the induction plaque for Scott at the ceremony attended by approximately 400 friends, family members, and fans of the 10 inductees.
Scott was the only son of drag racing pioneer and icon Connie “the Bounty Hunter” Kalitta, who also is a Michigan native and resident. Connie continues his roles as Kalitta Motorsports’ team owner and chief tuner to this day. He was inducted into the Michigan Motor Sports Hall of Fame in 1985.
Doug, Connie’s nephew, is a 47-year-old resident of Ann Arbor, Mich. The 14-year drag racing veteran is still very active in NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series action and is in eighth place in the Top Fuel standings. Doug has 32 NHRA Top Fuel trophies from 64 final-round appearances, which places him in the No. 7 slot for most NHRA Top Fuel career wins. He has finished in the top 10 in championship points in every season of his NHRA career, which began in 1998, including runner-up finishes in 2003, 2004, and 2006.
Doug and his daughter, Avery, 8, also attended the ceremony. “It’s truly an honor for me to be inducted alongside my cousin Scott and join my uncle Connie in the Michigan Motor Sports Hall of Fame,” Doug said while accepting his induction plaque. “Our family is very proud to be a part of the great history of racing in the state of Michigan.”