Kalitta was going in excess of 300 mph in the National Hot Rod Association Super Nationals, when his Toyota Solara burst into a ball of flames.
State Police Sgt. Julian Castellanos stated, “The driver was killed after he lost control of his vehicle.”
The sergeant would not confirm that the accident victim had been Kalitta, as his family had not yet been informed of his death.
Drag race spectators watched as Scott Kalitta’s Toyota exploded into flames, hit a sand trap, then flipped over the protective catch fence. The ambulance carried Kalitta away, moving slowly.
Kalitta, 46, of Palmetto, Florida was a Top Fuel champion twice in his career (1994-95), had 18 career victories, 17 of them in the Top Fuel class.
Scott Kalitta’s father is Connie Kalitta, a legend in his field, known as “The Bounty Hunter,” was his co-crew chief, along with Glenn Mikres.
Police said the event had been taped for ESPN, and would be reviewed to determine what caused the accident, and the death of driver Scott Kalitta.
Scott Kalitta is survived by his wife Kathy and 2 sons, Corey and Colin.
You can view the crash video here that took Scott Kalitta’s life.
The NHRA issued this statement:
“We are deeply saddened and want to pass along our sincere condolences to the entire Kalitta family,” the NHRA said in a statement. “Scott shared the same passion for drag racing as his legendary father, Connie. He also shared the same desire to win, becoming a two-time series world champion. He left the sport for a period of time, to devote more time to his family, only to be driven to return to the drag strip to regain his championship form. … He will be truly missed by the entire NHRA community.”