its very sad to hear of any motor sport driver dieing, i know there has been many times through out my life when i was watching and rooting for Scott, now its sad to hear of his passing, but like so many others have said, he died doing what he loved and i guess thats the most important way to remember him, i want to send my thoughts and prayers out to his family..
Scott Kalitta would hate that people today are feeling bad for him -- his wife, Kathy, yes, and sons, Corey and Colin, certainly, but not for Scotty.
Racing was in his blood, and Kalitta, the son of a drag racing legend, knew it might be spilled in his pursuit of speed and making a good living.
But that was the risk Kalitta, who died Saturday in a Funny Car accident at a NHRA event at Old Bridge Township Raceway Park in New Jersey, was prepared to take, like a steelworker, a logger or fisherman does when he or she checks in on the job.
On Saturday evening, racers sat in groups at Old Bridge talking about their friend and opponent. They laughed, they cried, but they mainly remembered a loving son, proud father and fierce driver who gave his best every time he belted into a dragster.
Kalitta, 46, a two-time NHRA Top Fuel champion, was always going to be a driver. After all, his father Connie (The Bounty Hunter) Kalitta was one of the great ones, forging a name for himself on the track, helping Shirley Muldowney in her quest to become a world champion and forming Kalitta Motorsports, which is based in Ypsilanti.
Scott, who grew up in Mt. Clemens, began racing professionally in 1982 at Old Bridge, retired several times over the years but could never stay away from Top Fuel or Funny Cars. He was never happier than going 300 miles per hour.
At Old Bridge, several drivers said Scott Kalitta died doing what he loved, and they were right. One said, when his time was up, that's the way he'd like to go -- quickly, his right foot hard on the gas.
This was not macho, daredevil banter: All race car drivers, be they NASCAR, Indy Car, Saturday night short-trackers or Formula One aces, feel the same way. They choose to live in the fast lane, know the consequences and tuck any fear they might have away before the green flag waves.
They are human, too, and have concerns about safety and what happens if they do not come home to their loved ones should an accident occur. But, we all do in some way or another when we walk out the door in the morning on our way to work, school, the supermarket or the airport.
Scott Kalitta took every precaution as a race driver to finish his job on weekends and return home.
That he didn't Saturday is devastating to his family, so feel bad for them. Scott, I'm pretty sure, would prefer you to root on his spirit the next time you see a Funny Car thunder down the quarter-mile strip.