NHRA Driver Dies In Crash At New Jersey Race

Some sad news to pass on today in racing. Funny Car driver Scott Kalitta was killed in a crash at the Old Bridge Township Raceway Park, according the the NEWARK STAR-LEDGER.

Scott Kalitta

Kalitta was driving at the NHRA Super Nationals when he lost control of his Toyota and it burst into flames. It’s not clear whether he died at the scene or not; a hospital spokesperson is only confirming that he was taken there until more details are given to family members first.

The event was being taped for ESPN, and police will review it to try and determine the cause of the accident.

Kalitta was a two-time Top Fuel champion in NHRA, and had 18 victories in funny car racing. A current Palmetto, Florida resident, he died at the park he began his racing career at in 1982, and for him, it apparently was very much a family affair: his father Connie Kalitta was a legendary driver in his own right (racing fans on this circuit know him as “The Bounty Hunter”) and was his son’s co-crew chief. Scott’s cousin Doug Kalitta is also a racer.

Kalitta is survived by his wife Kathy and his sons Corey and Colin. He was 46 years old.

Rest in peace, sir.