Scott Kalitta was our champion, our hero and our friend. He was a son, a father, a husband, a cousin, a friend, and a racer. He, along with his father, Connie, and cousin, Doug, was a cornerstone of Kalitta Motorsports that cannot be replaced. His passing last Saturday has left not only our team but the entire NHRA drag racing community reeling. The outpouring of support from our competitors, friends, and race fans has been immeasurable and for that we are tremendously grateful.
Scott's legendary career on the race tracks throughout the world proved that he was unequalled as a racer, but his magnanimous personality is his most endearing legacy. He was tough as nails, but with a heart of gold.
Kalitta Motorsports will carry on and continue to race because that's what we do, and we feel certain Scott would want us too, but we obviously will never be the same, nor should we be.
Scott will always be with us in everything we do as a team and as individuals. His spirit shall forever remain indelible and untarnished.
“Having the last name Kalitta didn't make me a racer, but it definitely makes me want to be a winner.” – Scott Kalitta
Connie Kalitta, Scott's father, drag racing legend and team owner –
“I certainly appreciate everyone's thoughts, prayers and support in this most difficult time. Losing a family member is always tough, but losing my son has been incredibly hard. Scott was a great racer and a great son, but most importantly, he was a great husband to his wife, Kathy, and a wonderful father to his boys, Corey and Colin. Scott died doing what he loved to do, and I am very proud of what we accomplished together both on the track and off.”
Doug Kalitta, Scott's cousin and driver of the Mac Tools Top Fuel dragster –
“Words just don't seem to do Scott justice. He was so much bigger than life, and we all thought he was invincible. He loved being in a race car, and he was a great driver. We grew up together, and I really can't imagine my life without him in it, but we will come together as a family and as a team and carry on in his honor.”
Hillary Will, driver of the KB Racing, LLC Top Fuel dragster –
“Scott was like a big brother to me. I feel very fortunate to have known him and have him in my life both as a friend and as a mentor. He was always very supportive and encouraging to me as a person and as a Top Fuel driver. I'm so glad now that our team got our first win a couple of weeks ago and Scott was in the winner's circle with us. We will always miss him.”
Dave Grubnic, driver of the DHL Top Fuel dragster –
“Scott was more than just my teammate. He was always there for me whenever I had a problem, regardless of the nature. He was a great racer and a champion, and I was proud to be his teammate. Scott Kalitta was my friend, and he will be deeply missed. My sincere and heartfelt condolences go out to Scott's wife Kathy, his sons Corey and Colin, Connie, Doug, and the entire Kalitta family.”
Kalitta, a two-time former NHRA Top Fuel champion and one of just 14 drivers to have won in both of NHRA's nitro categories, died June 21, 2008, as the result of multiple injuries suffered in a qualifying accident at Old Bridge Township Raceway Park in Englishtown, N.J., during the running of the Lucas Oil NHRA SuperNationals. He was 46.
Scott is survived by his wife, Kathy; sons Corey, 14, and Colin, 8; and his father, Connie.
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