GOD SPEED SCOTT
Driver killed in crash at Old Bridge Township Raceway Park
by Susan Wade and Jeffery C. Mays/The Star-Ledger Saturday June 21, 2008, 5:59 PM
A driver was killed in a fiery crash during a drag race today at Old Bridge Township Raceway Park, state police said.
US PRESSWIRE/Bob Kozel
NHRA funny car driver Scott Kalitta during qualifying for the Route 66 Nationals at Route 66 Raceway on June 6.
Witnesses said the driver, Scott Kalitta, was speeding at an estimated 300 mph during the National Hot Rod Association Super Nationals when the engine of his Toyota Solara exploded in a ball of flames.
"The driver was killed after he lost control of his vehicle," said Sgt. Julian Castellanos, a spokesman for the State Police.
He declined to confirm that Kalitta was the victim, saying his family had not yet been notified.
But spectators at the track watched as Kalitta's car exploded, hit a sand trap, then vaulted over a protective catch fence. A slow-moving ambulance took the driver away.
Kalitta, 46, of Palmetto, Fla., was a two-time Top Fuel champion (1994-95) had 18 career victories, 17 of them in the Top Fuel class.
Mark J. Rebilas/US PRESSWIRE
NHRA funny car driver Scott Kalitta during testing at the National Time Trials at Firebird International Raceway on Jan. 29.He began his racing career at Old Bridge Township Raceway Park in 1982.
His father, Connie Kalitta, the legendary driver/team owner known as "The Bounty Hunter," was his co-crew chief, along with Glenn Mikres. Kalitta's cousin, Doug Kalitta, compete sin the Top Fuel class.
Castellanos said that the event was being taped for ESPN, and police will review the tapes to determine what caused the accident.