Former NHRA Champion Scott Kalitta Killed in Fiery Crash (Video)

June 21, 2008

Former NHRA Champion Scott Kalitta was killed today when his Funny Car burst into flames and crashed. Read about it and see photos and see the crash video below.

Scott Kalitta was traveling at about 300mph when his Funny Car burst into flames and crashed at the end of the raceway on Saturday. He was taken to the Old Bridge division of Raritan Bay Medical Center where he was pronounced dead a short time later. When the crash happened, Kalitta was in the final qualifying round of the Lucas Oil NHRA SuperNationals at Old Bridge Township Raceway Park in Englishtown, New Jersey. A video of the crash is included below, but be warned that its difficult to watch.

The NHRA issued a statement regarding the loss of Kalitta.

“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 drag strip to regain his championship form. … He will be truly missed by the entire NHRA community.”

Scott Kalitta was born on February 18, 1962 in Snead Island, Florida and died on June 21, 2008 in Englishtown, New Jersey. He was 46-years-old. He was born into a drag racing family. He was the son of the legendary NHRA driver and team owner, Connie Kalitta, also known as ‘The Bounty Hunter’. His cousin, Doug Kalitta, also is an NHRA driver.

Kalitta started his pro career in 1982 at the same track where he died. He moved to Funny Cars in 1986. He retired from racing in 1997 citing that he wanted to spend more time with his family. He came back briefly in 1999 and then sit out three more seasons. He came back in 2003, joining his cousin as teh family’s two Top Fuel dragsters.

He was one of only 14 drivers in the history of the sport to win both premier nitro categories. His last victory was in 2005 at the Chicago Top Fuel.

Scott Kalitta is survived by his father, his wife Kathy Kalitta and their two sons, Corey (14-years-old) and Colin (8-years-old).

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