15, 2015— (Naperville, IL) Sept.Kalitta Motorsports and NHRA Crew Chief Jim Oberhofer (“Jim O.”) led his life like the dangerous, fast lanes on the drag strip. The track became the location where the Kalitta team shared raucous triumph and the anguish of defeat. Off the track, he endured personal struggles such as the loss of his wife Tammy O. to stage 4 metastatic lung cancer, yet found the courage to go on with his life.
Readers can now delve into Jim O.’s life through his new book “Top Fuel For Life: Life Lessons From A Crew Chief” which is available on Amazon for $19.95.
Described as a true story of victory, unimaginable loss and the epiphany that changed everything, Oberhofer’s book shows the sin and sacrifice amidst the showy world of Top Fuel and explores the elusive path to happiness. He urges readers not to wait for grief, loss or heartache to live a happy life. Readers will gravitate to Oberhofer’s down to earth, belly up to the bar writing style that nicks the skin as he reminds them that choices define who we are and regret is rarely left to chance.
“When you take a long hard look at your life, I guarantee you that being a winner has little to do with crossing the finish line,” Jim O. says. “After many mistakes and a whole lot of heartache, I learned that happiness comes from a deeper, simpler place. That’s the big win.”
About Jim Oberhofer, Crew Chief for Kalitta Motorsports:
Oberhofer has been with Kalitta Motorsports, one of the most successful professional drag racing teams in NHRA (National Hot Rod Association) history, for almost three decades, serving as crew chief for Doug Kalitta’s Mac Tools Top Fuel Dragster and Vice President of Operations for the Kalitta Motorsports four-car team. He is a second-generation drag racing enthusiast whose father campaigned a Jr. fueler as well as a Top Fuel dragster in the 1960s and 70s. Oberhofer got his first part-time job in drag racing in 1983 when he started cleaning parts for Kalitta Motorsports, which led to a full-time crew member position with the team in 1988. His brother Jon is also a crew chief for Kalitta Motorsports on the DHL Toyota Funny Car driven by Del Worsham. Jim’s daughter Ashley also works for Kalitta Motorsports as the team’s Social Media Coordinator.
READING, Penn. (October 4, 2015) – Del Worsham, driver of the DHL Toyota Camry Funny Car, held on to point lead as tricky conditions led to unfortunate finishes for the Kalitta Motorsports cars. For the first time in nearly four years, a Team Kalitta entry failed to make the second round.
Teams battled weather all weekend. Both Friday qualifying sessions were cancelled, in addition, to the Saturday night session due to consistent rain showers. In the one session that pro teams were able to get in, a total of three nitro machines were able to make it down the Maple Grove Raceway surface setting up interesting matchups and a jumbled field.
Worsham’s one pass on Friday saw tire smoke before he reached the 330 mark. However, his 8.172 second run was good enough for a top half starting position and a Countdown pairing with Tommy Johnson Jr.
Johnson Jr. and Worsham left together, however, Worsham smoked the tires again. He pedaled hard, but Johnson Jr. was on a rare solid pass in the conditions and defeated Worsham.
“Well, it was tough out there,” said Worsham. “Wish we could have given a better show to these Maple Grove fans who really stuck with it this weekend through all the weather. The DHL team will regroup and be ready to take on the challenge in Dallas.”
Worsham will retain his points lead with just three events remaining.
Alexis DeJoria, driver of the Patrón XO Café Incendio Toyota Camry Funny Car, drove a bright pink entry to the lane to support Breast Cancer Awareness month. DeJoria’s Free Mammograms for the Fans program starts at our next event in Dallas.
DeJoria’s one qualifying attempt was also difficult as she fell to tire smoke immediately and was able to make it down the track in 13.036 seconds. That gave her the 14 seed and a first round draw with Jack Beckman.
Both Beckman and DeJoria smoked the tires at the hit. DeJoria was ahead most of the way as she pedaled several times to earn the advantage, but Beckman was finally able to get ahold of his entry and steamed by DeJoria at the last second to earn the round win.
“Short for all the Kalitta cars this weekend. Man, it is a bummer,” said DeJoria. “I tried to catch it quickly. My foot fell off the throttle and I am out there trying to fish for it. I found it, got back on it a couple times and got close to the center line. I figured I was close enough to the finish. I hear Tommy getting back on the radio telling me to ‘Go, go!’ Beckman just flew right past me. That was a bummer. It has been a crazy weekend. We only had one shot in qualifying. Mostly nobody made it down. It is what it is. We are just going to go to Dallas. Conditions will be better and we have high hopes for that.”
DeJoria will leave the halfway point of the Countdown for the Championship in the 9th position in the standings.
Doug Kalitta, driver of the Mac Tools Top Fuel dragster, also saw new colors on the side of his racecar as the familiar Wrenching for a Cure scheme returned to support Mac Tools’ Breast Cancer Awareness initiative.
Kalitta’s one pass on Saturday was rough as well. Early tire smoke led to a eight-second run. However, due to the struggles of his competitors, Kalitta earned a top half starting spot and a first round pairing with Dom Lagana.
Kalitta and Lagana left together, but that was the only time that he was close. Early tire smoke affected Kalitta, and although he tried to pedal to catch Lagana, his efforts were for not as Lagana was able to cross the finish line first.
“Not the start we wanted for the Mac Tools Wrenching for a Cure scheme,” said Kalitta. “Tough when you only have one shot at the track in qualifying to get a good baseline number for Sunday. However, we will go back and regroup and put forth a great effort to finish out this season.”
Kalitta is in eighth in the standings with three races remaining.
J.R. Todd, driver of the Jimi Hendrix Foundation Top Fuel dragster, also failed to get the machine down the track in his only opportunity on Saturday. The tire smoke was very instant for him as well with Todd earning an 11-second pass to seed 11th and face Schumacher in the first round.
Todd came up and staged, and like his teammate, had identical reaction times to his opponent. Todd and Schumacher had the best race of the entire nitro session. However, Todd’s 3.776 was not good enough. Todd ran the fourth best pass of the entire session and would have beaten five other round winners, however, the luck was not on side.
“Thanks to everybody from the Jimi Hendrix Foundation,” said Todd. “I wish we could have done better for them and everybody with Kalitta Motorsports. We’ll bounce back and get ready for Dallas.
Todd returns to the familiar Red Line Oil colors in Dallas, before finishing the season with Optima Batteries. He will move to Dallas in the sixth position in the standings.
After 21 races, Team Kalitta nitro race cars have won five events, advanced to 11 final rounds and earned three no.1 qualifying positions. Team Kalitta will enjoy a weekend off and then head to Dallas for the AAA Texas NHRA Nationals.
Del Worsham – Driver of the DHL Toyota Camry Funny Car:
No. 6 Qualifier (8.172 sec., 84.23 mph)
E1: Worsham defeated by Johnson Jr. - 4.799 sec., 208.39 mph to 3.941 sec., 324.44 mph
Alexis DeJoria – Driver of the Patrón XO Café Incendio Toyota Camry Funny Car:
No. 14 Qualifier (13.036 sec., 76.76 mph)
E1: DeJoria defeated by Beckman - 7.468 sec., 122.56 mph to 6.625 sec., 254.90 mph
Doug Kalitta – Driver of the Mac Tools Top Fuel Dragster:
No. 6 Qualifier (8.092 sec., 99.81 mph)
E1: Kalitta defeated by Lagana - 8.584 sec., 112.37 mph to 5.150 sec., 218.09 mph
J.R. Todd – Driver of the Jimi Hendrix Foundation Top Fuel Dragster:
No. 11 Qualifier (11.443 sec., 79.41 mph)
E1: Todd defeated by Schumacher - 3.776 sec., 324.20 mph to 3.741 sec., 320.51 mph
1 Antron Brown 2432
2 Tony Schumacher 2338
3 Brittany Force 2238
4 Larry Dixon 2234
5 Richie Crampton 2187
6 J.R. Todd 2181
7 Shawn Langdon 2177
8 Doug Kalitta 2173
9 Steve Torrence 2160
10 Dave Connolly 2158
1 Del Worsham 2361
2 Jack Beckman 2345
3 Matt Hagan 2271
4 Tommy Johnson 2263
5 Ron Capps 2256
6 John Force 2211
7 Cruz Pedregon 2169
8 Tim Wilkerson 2162
9 Alexis De Joria 2154
10 Robert Hight 2140