DRO: Did you drive Doug's car there?

Kalitta: As a matter of fact, the car that we're running now is the car Doug ran the first half of the year, so yeah, that was the car I drove there. But both these cars, believe it or not, at least the driver's section, have been around since I was driving before anyway. So, I made two runs over there, and the second run, which was the only full run I made, we ran 4.57 at 320. And last year, I did some testing for them 'cause Doug and my dad couldn't make it, and I made 10 runs over in Gainesville at the beginning of the year. So I've stayed in it a little bit.

DRO: When you left drag racing before the '98 season you said the demands of racing, business, and family were getting to be too much and one of them had to go. Looking back on it, are you still happy with the decision?

Kalitta: Well, it was something I needed to do. Then I ended up selling it (air cargo business) a year after I quit, and that's why I was available in 2000 when I ran the last half of the year. You know, I never really wanted to get out of it, it was just one of those life choices that you've gotta' make.

DRO: So are you planning a full-time return to racing?

Kalitta: We're definitely finishing out this year and we're about 99 percent sure on next year that yes, we are.

DRO: Will your sponsorship be the same next year?

Kalitta: That's the part that's up in the air. But I think if that doesn't come through, my dad will probably want to do it anyway. We'll just do it ourselves. We're just taking it day by day
and seeing what happens.

DRO: What about this year? Do you think you can win a race or two?

Kalitta: Oh, definitely, especially with the way my dad's got these cars running. And you know, it's actually more fun for me because there's no pressure for me -- or at least not the same kind of pressure, let's say. I'm not in the points, so it's kind of fun to go out there and mess with these guys. And if we can help Doug out along the way and take Dixon out, that'd be real nice, too. Realistically, though, I don't see LaHaie messing up that bad the rest of the year so that they can catch him, but we're gonna' try.

DRO: Is that part of the strategy of putting you back in a car this year, to help Doug out?

Kalitta: Oh, absolutely. I mean, when we made the decision and announced it in June, we kept saying to ourselves, "Man, I wish we could do this sooner," because it would have been very helpful to start taking him (Dixon) out earlier.

DRO: So let's say it gets down to a Doug Kalitta versus Scott Kalitta final. Who wins then?

Kalitta: We're gonna' go for the throat. I tell you what, there'll be no knees on this deal.

Previous INNERviews

Gary Densham — 8/20/03
Cole Coonce — 8/8/03
John Force, Part 1 — 7/16/03

John Force, Part 2 — 7/25/03

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