Verlander visits another high-velocity sports star

David Goricki
The Detroit News
Justin Verlander and Doug Kalitta swap jerseys Sunday.

Tigers pitcher Justin Verlander took advantage of a little time off during spring training Sunday to watch some NHRA competition in Gainesville, Fla., while visiting with Kalitta Motorsports team members.

He traded jerseys with Kalitta Motorsports top fuel star Doug Kalitta at the starting line.

"We are excited Justin decided to come out to the race track this weekend to support a fellow Michigan team," said Doug Kalitta. "He was already a fan, but to be that close to the action was very cool for him."

Kalitta was involved in a bit of a scare when Larry Dixon's hot rod broke in half at 300 mph while competing against Kalitta. Both drivers escaped injury.

Kalitta was eliminated in the first round Sunday by his teammate J.R. Todd by a 322.81 mph to 321.58 margin – approximately three feet – before losing to Antron Brown in the second round.