CHARLOTTE, NC (March 29, 2015) – Del Worsham, driver of the DHL Toyota Camry Funny Car, advanced to his second final round through just four events in the 2015 NHRA Mello Yello Series season today in Charlotte.
Though the DHL team started ninth for Sunday, they were confident that they had a solid car for racing. Del Worsham faced Courtney Force, Chad Head and Dale Creasy in the first session and was an easy victor. His 4.04 second pass put him in the semi-finals, where he again was the quickest of his group with a 4.061 elapsed time.
Worsham drew Jack Beckman, Tommy Johnson Jr. and Chad Head in the finals. Although the Jon Oberhofer and Nicky Boninfante-led crew tuned up Worsham to a 4.01 second run, it was not enough. Beckman earned his first victory in several years with a sub-4.0 second pass.
With his second-place effort, Worsham assumes the Mello Yello Funny Car points lead for the first time with Kalitta Motorsports.
“This DHL Toyota Camry was consistent and fast today,” said Worsham. “Excited to run that well and take the points lead, but we are definitely looking for that first victory of the season. Hopefully we can get that accomplished in Las Vegas.”
Doug Kalitta, driver of the Mac Tools Top Fuel Dragster, drove his way to another top five starting position for the eliminations, and drew Spencer Massey, Steve Torrence and Ike Maier in round one. The Mac Tools Top Fuel Dragster had a quick fire before crossing the finish line, but Kalitta was able to hold it together to finish second in his quad and advance to round two. Round two saw a crazy three-wide pedal fest, and the Mac Tools team came out on the losing end.
“The last session put a little damper on our day,” said Kalitta. “However, the Mac Tools team continues to make gains, and we are happy with our progress. We look forward to continuing this success in Las Vegas and hopefully picking up a trophy.”
Kalitta leaves Charlotte in the top five in the point standings.
J.R. Todd, driver of the Red Line Oil/Kalitta Air Top Fuel dragster, earned Team Kalitta their first no. 1 qualifying position of the season with an outstanding 3.713 second run in the final qualifying session on Saturday. His group for round one included former champions Antron Brown and Shawn Langdon. With special guest Matt Crafton looking on, the Red Line Oil Top Fuel Dragster was unable to advance after the car smoked the tires early.
“With our test in Gainesville, we made some progress especially in qualifying,” said Todd. “Unfortunately, our race day did not go as plan. We are already looking forward to (Las) Vegas and running well there.”
After four races, Todd sits tenth in the NHRA Mello Yello Top Fuel Standings.
Alexis DeJoria, driver of the Patrón XO Café Incendio Toyota Camry Funny Car, struggled with the new track surface and earned the fifteenth starting position for Sunday’s unique race format. The struggles ensued on race day, with DeJoria making a 10.200 second pass, which was not good enough to advance.
DeJoria, who finishes this event in the tenth position in the standings, will return to The Strip in Las Vegas as the defending champion.
After four races, Team Kalitta nitro race cars have advanced to three final rounds and earned one no.1 qualifying position. The teams will take next weekend off for Easter and then return to the SummitRacing.com Nationals in Las Vegas on April 10-12.