Now, after a tune-up race at the IHRA event in Norwalk, OH, Kalitta returned to action at this year's U.S. Nationals and plans to enter the rest of the 2003 NHRA POWERade events. He hopes to mount a full-season charge behind the wheel of his father Connie Kalitta's dragster next year. DRO spoke with Kalitta at Indy, shortly after he set the crowd abuzz with a stellar 4.59 at 320.36 mph straight out of the box for the first round of qualifying.

DRO: Scott, first of all congratulations, you've got to be happy with that.

Kalitta: Oh absolutely, especially with the way the weather is right now (hot and humid). I just wanted to get from A to B and get in, and to be honest we were trying to play it conservative, but I guess it wasn't as conservative as we thought.

DRO: How important was last week in Norwalk for giving you a feel for the car again?

Kalitta: That was good, but I wouldn't have had a problem if we couldn't have done that. But there were a lot of things that we wanted to do as well as give me a couple of runs. There's a bunch of new guys on my team and there were some things collectively on both cars that we wanted to try in the engine department, so it was three-fold what we trying to do. So it was fun, we did good, it was a low-pressure-deal, and we accomplished pretty much what we were trying to do.

Scott Kalitta (photo by Ron Lewis)

DRO: Had you done any testing at all prior to going to Norwalk?

Kalitta: After Vegas earlier this year, I made one-and-a-half runs over there and it was the same thing.

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