Scott Kalitta Died Today.

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    http://cbs.sportsline.com/autoracing/story/10873527/rss
====================================================================June 21, 2008
CBSSports.com wire reports
ENGLISHTOWN, N.J. -- Two-time American drag racing champion Scott Kalitta was killed Saturday when his "funny car" burst into flames and crashed during the final round of qualifying for the Lucas Oil NHRA SuperNationals at Old Bridge Township Raceway Park.
The NHRA said the 46-year-old Kalitta -- the 1994 and 1995 champion in the premier top fuel division who had 18 career victories, 17 in Top Fuel and one in Funny Car -- was taken to the Old Bridge division of Raritan Bay Medical Center, where he died a short time later.
Kalitta's Toyota Solara was traveling at an estimated speed of 300 mph when the car, leading his race, burst into flames, continued to the end of the track, struck a barrier and exploded. ===================================================================
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BottleBob
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BottleBob wrote:

RIP Scott!
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Michael Gailey
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=============================================> > June 21, 2008

=============================================>
Rest In Peace! He died doing what he loved, driving a funnycar. Thoughts and prayers going out to the entire Kallitta family. "D"
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I saw the crash on TV, and I had to wonder how the NHRA approved that track. No nets, no sand trap, no gravel- just an asphalt strip with some dirt and a concrete wall at the end. I sure hope they've got more than I could see.
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I wondered that also, the other tracks seem to have more at the end.
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Why wrote:

Most tracks have a longer runoff, why the hell did they put a wall there? Sound baffle maybe?
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wrote:

I looked it up on google satellite maps. There is a main road just past the end the track. I read somewhere that the concrete barrier was put in after a race car crossed the road. Apparently this track was built when the cars were a lot slower. Interesting to note that there is a large X painted at the end of the strip to keep pilots from landing there instead of the airport near the track.
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On Sun, 22 Jun 2008 07:59:06 -0700 (PDT), Charlie Gary

They probably got about enough to put in a shoebox, based on similar air crashes Ive been around.
Gunner
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Gunner Asch wrote:

Something I find odd is that is the three articles I've read that mentioned family there wasn't a single word about Shirley.
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John R. Carroll wrote:

I met Shirley in her pit several years ago at the Gator Nationals. She was running a resurrection tour.
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Michael Gailey
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Charlie Gary wrote:

Saw it too. And the first thing I wondered is, if the Navy can trap an F14 safely with a net, causing minimal damage, why can't someone come up with a last ditch safety net device for drag strips? Something that could be taken from track to track, and easily resettable to allow for a couple possible incidents per event?
When his chute burned off and failed to slow him significantly, he must have known he was in deep shit and probably screwed. Those long few seconds before impact would have been a lot different if he had hope of safely stopping in a safety net.
Jon
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I don't think he was even alive or at least awake when he hit the wall. I think the explosion got him first.
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Anthony

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Anthony wrote:

May not have been conscious, but he was alive long enough to be transported to a hospital according to the news. But an aircraft carrier type trap net across the track would be passive so far as the driver is concerned. Hell, if I had the engineering background and time to burn, I'd give designing one a go....
Jon
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On Sun, 22 Jun 2008 16:49:25 -0800, Jon Anderson

The other day while channel surfing I watched a drag race. They had a net set up at the end of the strip. Drag bike lost control, skipped off the wall, both bike and rider went right through the net into the sandbox. Looked like the net failed but I don't know for sure. Net could be designed to slow bike and rider before they impact the sand not catch them.
Tom
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snipped-for-privacy@aol.com wrote:

I'm not an expert on carrier safety barriers, but I believe they are designed to give as cables play out from drums, bringing things to a stop pretty quickly. A straight net would have to be pretty damned strong, and if that strong, would not be a lot better than a solid wall. But if the whole thing could enfold around the vehicle and slow it down over 25-30 yards, it would certainly dissipate the energy over enough time to make survival likely.
A long enough sand trap runout would work too, but I've seen a car or two tumble pretty violently after hitting the sand.
Jon
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Jon Anderson wrote:

They needed about 1/8 mile longer run off, it seems that Scott was probably unconscious after the first explosion, the brakes were never applied and one chute kinda deployed because of the flames. It was said tonight on ESPN that a saftey net was there, that freaking concrete wall should be bulldozed and the run off extended. The net that was there was not rated to stop a full speed car but to simply "catch" a slow rolling car. NHRA will get the heat from this one.
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Michael wrote:

The reason I say he may have been unconscious is that NHRA driver normally use the side walls to diffuse the speed in a crash, fire or whatever, they steer into the side wall to help slow the car and so the fire crews "The Saftey Safari in NHRA" to help rescue the driver asap.
Scott never attempted to get into the side walls. He was out cold.
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Looking at the video, over and over, the tires were still turning all the way to the sand, indicating that either he was unconsious, or the braking system had completely failed / was taken out by the explosion.
I agree, the drivers will use the wall to "scrub off" speed to try to avoid the kitty litter, didnt see that this time.
Terribly sad day.
"D"
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If you watched the interviews on Sunday, I forget which driver they were talking to, but he indicated that Scott was dead and they knew it before he even left the track area.
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Anthony

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Jon Anderson wrote:

F14's are a lot stronger than anything running at the track. A net strong enough to stop a dragster at 300 miles per hour would probably be strong enough to act as a pretty good strainer. It's also worth remembering that anything either behind or in front of the cockpit on a rail would end up in the net with the driver so even if the cage didn't collapse, you'd be left with other consequences.
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