NORWALK, Ohio - (July 1, 2015) - After one weekend off, the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series returns to action this weekend in Norwalk, Ohio, for the Summit Racing Equipment Nationals. The fan-favorite race is in just its ninth season and Kalitta Motorsports plans on finally equaling their Summit Racing Equipment Nationals qualifying success into raceday results.
One week after announcing the growth of the SealMaster program, Kalitta Motorsports will also announce a brand new partner to the team during the race weekend.
Del Worsham, driver of the DHL Toyota Camry Funny Car, could hit two milestones this weekend. Prior to joining Kalitta Motorsports in 2012, Worsham drove the Al-Anabi Top Fuel Dragster to the Norwalk win along his way to a Top Fuel Championship in 2011. If he could earn the win this weekend, Worsham would be the only driver to win in NHRA’s top two classes at Summit Racing Equipment Motorsports Park.
In addition, Worsham would earn his 500th career round win by advancing to his third final round appearance after earning such finishes in Phoenix and Charlotte earlier this season.
Worsham returns to the Summit Racing Equipment Nationals as the reigning no.1 qualifier. His 4.000 second run in qualifying held as the track record coming into this weekend’s event.
“The Bader family always puts on a great event,” said Worsham. “The Norwalk race is always a great one and I look forward to putting on a great show for the fans.”
Worsham is returning to the track for the first time since Bristol, where he beat Chad Head in the first round and set his career best MPH mark as Jon Oberhofer and Nicky Boninfante tuned the DHL Toyota Camry Funny Car to a 322.58 mph mark in the final qualifying round on Saturday evening.
Norwalk fans can meet Worsham at the Toyota Pit Pass display on Friday and Saturday at 4pm.
Doug Kalitta, driver of the Mac Tools Top Fuel Dragster, has come close many times, but is still searching for his first Summit Racing Equipment Nationals trophy.
Kalitta briefly held the track record last season and in 2013 earned one of his 42 No. 1 qualifying positions at the Summit Racing Equipment Nationals before advancing to the final round.
After two races of close finishes, Kalitta spent time in Bristol on the top of the qualifying heap before just missing the no.1 qualifying spot, earning two bonus points in the final session and slotting in second. The Mac Tools team rebounded on Sunday with round wins over Terry McMillen and Dave Connolly to earn their fourth semi-final or better event of the season.
“I’m a big fan of Norwalk and their unique schedule,” said Kalitta. “It is the closest race to home and one I definitely one I want to take the Mac Tools dragster to the winner’s circle.”
Kalitta, who is less than one race from the top two in points, will sign autographs in the SealMaster display on Saturday before participating in the SealMaster Track Walk on Sunday with his teammate, J.R. Todd.
J.R. Todd, driver of the SealMaster Top Fuel Dragster, hit the 100 round win milestone at our last event, and now looks to another milestone; his first victory at Summit Racing Equipment Motorsports Park.
Todd advanced to his second semi-final appearance of the season at Bristol Dragway. He defeated entries of Brittany Force and Tony Schumacher to earn round wins 99 and 100, while earning the best reaction time of the day in the Top Fuel class.
This weekend, Todd debuts the SealMaster Top Fuel Dragster. SealMaster, based not far from Norwalk, has been a Team Kalitta partner since 2014. This is the first of two primary events for the SealMaster branding, which will return in two events at Bandimere Speedway, where Todd won last season.
“It is always cool to debut new colors,” said Todd. “I am excited to represent SealMaster and plan on taking this new wrap to the Summit Racing Equipment winner’s circle.”
This is the third consecutive Norwalk event Todd has participated in. He earned a top five qualifying position last season. With last week’s success, Todd has moved further from the top ten bubble and sits just a little more than a round behind Force in eighth in the standings.
Todd will also be at the SealMaster display on Saturday and will walk with the fans on Sunday for the SealMaster Track Walk.
Alexis DeJoria, driver of the Patrón XO Café Incendio Toyota Camry Funny Car, heads into the season’s halfway way point just two points outside of Robert Hight in eighth in the point standings.
Norwalk has not been kind to DeJoria, who is in her fourth season in the Funny Car class. She is chasing that elusive first round win at a track not far from Kalitta Motorsports headquarters. A round win would be the 60th for her career.
DeJoria had a solid fourth qualifying effort in Bristol earning a top five spot before falling to tire smoke in the first round on Sunday.
DeJoria will join her teammate at the Toyota Pit Pass on Friday and Saturday.
This is the second of three consecutive live televised NHRA events. Live coverage starts at 1PM on Sunday on ESPN.
Top Fuel (Unofficial)
1. Antron Brown (826)
2. Tony Schumacher (824)
3. Richie Crampton (734)
4. Larry Dixon (699)
5. Spencer Massey (693)
6. Doug Kalitta (666)
7. Shawn Langdon (626)
8. Brittany Force (585)
9. J.R. Todd (563)
10. Clay Millican (511)
Funny Car (Unofficial)
1. Matt Hagan (866)
2. Ron Capps (779)
3. John Force (713)
4. Del Worsham (704)
5. Jack Beckman (669)
6. Tommy Johnson Jr. (643)
7. Cruz Pedregon (592)
8. Robert Hight (576)
9. Alexis DeJoria (574)
10. Tim Wilkerson (570)