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Kalitta Motorsports News

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SONOMA, Calif. (July 29, 2015) Doug Kalitta, driver of Mac Tools Top Fuel Dragster, has established a track record at the picturesque Sonoma Raceway that is unchallenged in the competitive NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series Top Fuel class.

The 2008 inductee of the Sonoma Raceway Hall of Fame, Kalitta earned his first career No.1 qualifier and took that all the way to victory in his rookie season of 1998, which led to his selection as the AAA Road to the Future winner. However, that is only the beginning of Kalitta’s Sonoma success. He would start his career 3-for-3 in wine country earning wins in 1999 and 2000, and would follow that with two more victories in back-to-back fashion in 2004 and 2005. Combine that with an additional Top Fuel final round appearance and three more no.1 qualifiers, Kalitta is near the top of everyone’s list of a team to watch in Sonoma.

It is always incredible to go back to a track with so much great history for me and the team,” said Kalitta. “However, it has been a while since I have won at this great facility, and I would like nothing better than to earn another Wally for Mac Tools and all of our great partners.”

Kalitta turns to the second stop at the Western Swing coming off a rare first round loss in Denver, however, the Mac Tools team continued to hold a top five points position for the third consecutive event.

Alexis DeJoria, driver of the Patrón XO Café Incendio Toyota Camry Funny Car, has her own run of success at Sonoma Raceway.

In just three starts, DeJoria has earned five round wins and has advanced out of the first round in every season. Guided by now teammate, Del Worsham, she earned her first round win in California by defeating John Force Racings Mike Neff in 2012. Tommy DeLago took over the tuning duties in 2013 and guided her to back-to-back semi-final finishes defeating former champions Matt Hagan, Robert Hight and Cruz Pedregon in the process.

DeJoria is coming off of her best career start to the Western Swing. Last weekend in Denver, she advanced to her fourth semi-final finish of the season defeating fellow top ten contenders Courtney Force and Tim Wilkerson in the first two rounds. Those round wins moved her up one spot in points to ninth, and helped her grow her advantage over 11th to nearly three rounds.

Coming off a great race weekend with another semi-final finish, I am excited to go back to a track where I have such a great history,said DeJoria. Hopefully, we can take the next step and move into the finals and pick up the win.

J.R. Todd, driver of the Red Line Oil Top Fuel Dragster, has fond memories of his first Western Swing. 2006s Road to the Future winner, Todd picked up two wins in just three events including the NHRA Sonoma Nationals. On that day, he qualified in the sixth position and defeated Tony Schumacher in the final round to earn his second career victory.

This season will be his fifth career start in the valley, and he has had a run of success. Three of his first four starts saw him advance out of the first round and a 2008 start saw Todd also start from the first spot.

His 2006 victory was special for Todd, as he shared the winners circle with his friend, the late Eric Medlen. Todd will continue to honor his legacy this weekend as a featured driver at the Eric Medlen Nitro Night on Thursday which raises money for charity in his honor.

Sonoma is one of my favorite races on the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing season,said Todd. I was able to share a win there with Eric and now it is nice that we are able to go back and celebrate his life.

Todd returns to the Red Line Oil colors this weekend. This is the seventh time this season that Todd has paraded the red, white and blue scheme. The Red Line Oil scheme is scheduled to run three more times this season, including next weekend in Seattle.

Last weekend, Todd earned his tenth round win on the season and the first for primary sponsor, SealMaster, as he defeated former champion Antron Brown in the first round. It was his first career round win over Brown, and allowed him to gain a couple points over Clay Millican, who runs 11th in the standings.

Del Worsham, driver of the DHL Toyota Camry Funny Car, is looking for a rebound race as he suffered his first round one loss in six events in Denver. Last season the Western Swing was not kind to the DHL team, and Worsham is looking to put a stop to that run this weekend.

Although the recent races have not been kind, Worsham has done well at this event. 2001 saw Worsham celebrating the win, and he got close again in 2007 as he returned to the final round. His lone Top Fuel start at Sonoma Raceway in 2011 saw him advance to the semi-finals and he was able to guide teammate Alexis DeJoria to her first round win in Sonoma in 2012.

Even with the round one loss, Worsham is still one of just three drivers to maintain a position among the top five throughout the season and the only driver has done that without the joy of victory. With just one Traxxas Shootout position available, Worsham plans on ending that run and finishing where he knows this team belongs: the Winners Circle.

The DHL team has been great in the heat this season,said Worsham. It looks like it will be a great weather weekend, and with those temperatures promising to reach the nineties, I am confident that our tune-up will be solid and we can get the first win checked off.

Sonoma is big weekend for Worshams manufacturer, Toyota. The California-based company will have their Toyota PitPass display at the track throughout the weekend. Fans can meet Worsham, DeJoria and the rest of the Toyota drivers on both Friday and Saturday.

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MORRISON, Colo. (July 26, 2015) Alexis DeJoria, driver of the Patrón XO Café Incendio Toyota Camry Funny Car, advanced to her fourth semi-final or better on the season today at Bandimere Speedway for the Mile High Nationals.

DeJorias Camry was a top half car throughout qualifying running two solid passes on Friday to secure her position. Her best was a 4.077 second run in the second attempt at the track which would end up placing her in the seventh position on the run order.

In what was labeled as the ESPN Marquee Matchup in the first round, DeJoria took on Courtney Force. Coming into this weekend, DeJoria and Force found themselves locked in a tight battle for the 10th position in the point standings. The ladies watched many cars struggle with the track temperatures and altitude before stepping to the line. However, the race was over before it even began. Force turned on the red-light and DeJoria advanced to the second round where Tommy DeLago tuned her Camry up and DeJoria earned her first round victory over the no. 2 qualified Tim Wilkerson. DeJoria was a little early on the tree in the semi-final against the car that ran the best in the previous session, Jack Beckman, to end her day.

DeJoria gained one spot in the point standings to rank ninth overall.

J.R. Todd, driver of the SealMaster Top Fuel dragster, struggled early in qualifying, but finally had all the pieces come together in the final opportunity. Sitting on the bump spot, Todd drove his way to a 3.884 second pass that nearly placed him among the top half of the field. His reward for the improvement? Antron Brown as a first opponent.

Brown waited as the SealMaster team had a little difficulty getting the machine started, but that was the only moment they were behind. Todd beat Brown off the line and to the finish line. A 3.968 elapsed time gave him lane choice over Larry Dixon in the second round.

Again, Todd had a consistent light and continued to lead Dixon through the 330-foot line, however, the SealMaster machine began losing power and Dixon was able to drive around to move to the semi-finals.

The unique Denver conditions really made it difficult to start the car this weekend,said Todd. Wish we could have done better for SealMaster, but we will get the car put back together and move to Sonoma and plan for more success there.

Todd slipped to the tenth in the standings, but slightly extended his advantage over 11th position.

Doug Kalitta, driver of the Mac Tools Top Fuel dragster, started the Mile High Nationals weekend very strong. Jim Oberhofer had a handle on the tune-up from the moment the Mac Tools dragster hit the high altitude of Bandimere Speedway. In the first qualifying session, Kalittas 3.828 second run was second best and earned him two more bonus points. From there, the Mac Tools continued their consistency by laying down four sub four second runs in the tricky conditions. He would earn the fifth starting position and draw Richie Crampton in the first session.

The match-up of two top five drivers in the point standings was highly anticipated matchup in the first round. Conditions proved very tough as several drivers experienced tire smoke and Kalitta and Crampton suffered the same fate. Their tires lit up at about the same time and Cramptons car maintained just a little more momentum to be able to sneak past the Mac Tools team.

You never like to go out in the first round,said Kalitta. We are hopefully getting that all out of our system prior to the Countdown. I look forward heading to Sonoma with the Mac Tools team and hopefully pick-up on some of our prior success.

Kalitta departs the mountain in the fourth position in the point standings.

Del Worsham, driver of the DHL Toyota Camry Funny Car, has had a solid car throughout the seasons first 13 events. However, the unique conditions of this event are like nothing that the team has experienced in the first half of the season or will experience going forward.

The team had rough start in the first round of qualifying before picking it up in the second opportunity. A 4.143 second run solidified Worshams qualifying spot, and then the DHL Toyota Racing team picked up another qualifying bonus point in the third session but was unable to move into the top half of the field seeding himself in 11th.

Another marquee pairing in the first round featured Worsham and the points leader, Matt Hagan, and in a tight race Hagan defeated Worsham by mere inches.

Another close race that just did not end up the way the DHL Toyota Camry team wanted,said Worsham. We are looking forward to going to Sonoma and hopefully pick up where we left off in the normal conditions.

Worsham retained his top five points placement heading into Sonoma Valley.

After 14 races, Team Kalitta nitro race cars have won two events, advanced to six final rounds and earned three no.1 qualifying positions. Team Kalitta will spend Monday servicing the cars before making their way to the second stop on the annual Western Swing, the NHRA Sonoma Nationals.

Alexis DeJoria Driver of the Patrón XO Café Incendio Toyota Camry Funny Car:

No. 7 Qualifier (4.077 sec., 306.26 mph)

E1: DeJoria defeated C. Force - 4.330 sec., 271.52 mph to foul

E2: DeJoria defeated Wilkerson - 4.248 sec., 292.84 mph to 4.427 sec., 254.23 mph

E3: DeJoria defeated by Beckman - Foul to 4.184 sec., 295.40 mph

J.R. Todd Driver of the SealMaster Top Fuel Dragster:

No. 9 Qualifier (3.884 sec., 312.28 mph)

E1: Todd defeated Brown - 3.968 sec., 305.56 mph to 3.991 sec., 302.89 mph

E2: Todd defeated by Dixon - 4.080 sec., 259.26 mph to 3.974 sec., 300.86 mph

Doug Kalitta Driver of the Mac Tools Top Fuel Dragster:

No. 5 Qualifier (3.828 sec., 317.34 mph)

E1: Kalitta defeated by Crampton - 4.242 sec., 256.70 mph to 4.193 sec., 254.90 mph;

Del Worsham Driver of the DHL Toyota Camry Funny Car:

No. 11 Qualifier (4.143 sec., 295.53 mph)

E1: Worsham defeated by Hagan - 4.221 sec., 292.39 mph to 4.235 sec., 303.71 mph

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MORRISON, Colo.(July 25, 2015) – Kalitta Motorsports, the nitro-fueled, four-car NHRA drag racing team based in Ypsilanti, Mich., has completed qualifying for the Mile High Nationals at Bandimere Speedway in Morrison, Colo. Results and quotes follow.

Doug Kalitta Driver of the Mac Tools Top Fuel Dragster:

  • Q1: 3.828 sec., 317.34 mph (Two bonus points for the second best run of the session.)
  • Q2: 3.850 sec., 302.28 mph
  • Q3: 3.980 sec., 280.25 mph
  • Q4: 3.858 sec., 310.48 mph

No. 5 Qualifier

J.R. Todd Driver of the SealMaster Top Fuel Dragster:

  • Q1: 8.070 sec., 88.58 mph
  • Q2: 7.947 sec., 90.18 mph
  • Q3: No Time
  • Q4: 3.884 sec., 312.28 mph

No. 9 Qualifier

Alexis DeJoria Driver of the Patrón XO Café Incendio Toyota Camry Funny Car:

  • Q1: 4.190 sec., 298.80 mph
  • Q2: 4.077 sec., 306.26 mph
  • Q3: 4.492 sec., 201.10 mph
  • Q4: 10.031 sec., 86.04 mph

No. 7 Qualifier

Del Worsham Driver of the DHL Toyota Camry Funny Car:

  • Q1: 5.170 sec., 146.57 mph
  • Q2: 4.143 sec., 295.53 mph
  • Q3: 4.179 sec., 293.28 mph (One bonus point for the third best run of the session.)
  • Q4: 4.515 sec., 196.02 mph

No. 11 Qualifier

First Round Competition:

  • 5) Doug Kalitta v. 12) Richie Crampton
  • 9) J.R. Todd v. 8) Antron Brown
  • 7) Alexis DeJoria v. 10) Courtney Force
  • 11) Del Worsham v. 6) Matt Hagan

Quotables:

Doug Kalitta, driver of the Mac Tools Top Fuel Dragster: “The Mac Tools car has been solid throughout the weekend. We have a tough first round match-up, but the team looks forward to tomorrow’s conditions and going rounds.”

J.R. Todd, driver of the SealMaster Top Fuel Dragster: “Definitely wanted to give the great Bandimere crowd a better show today, but hopefully we have gotten rid of all the gremlins in this SealMaster machine. We made a good pass there in the last session, and look to improve our tune-up for tomorrow’s first round run.”

Del Worsham, driver of the DHL Toyota Camry Funny Car: “We have been solid in qualifying but not as good as we wanted to be. The DHL Toyota Camry team is working hard, and I am confident we will make the correct set-up decisions for tomorrow.”

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MORRISON, Colo. - (July 22, 2015) - J.R. Todd, driver of the SealMaster Top Fuel Dragster, has fond memories in the high altitude of Bandimere Speedway. His success combined with Kalitta Motorsports class-leading seven victories on the mountain gives Todd high hopes heading into the first stop of the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series’ annual Western Swing.

Historically, Kalitta Motorsports has been strong at Bandimere Speedway in years that end in 4 or 5. Starting back in 1984 and 1985, NHRA legend and Kalitta Motorsports team owner Connie Kalitta scored wins. Ten years later, the late Scott Kalitta took his turn in the winner’s circle as he was Top Fuel’s victor in 1994 and 1995, and then once again in 2004. Todd continued that tradition last season by winning in 2014, and looks for all the pieces to fall into place to continue that unique statistic in 2015.

Todd came to Kalitta Motorsports last season with his own history in Denver. In just his ninth career NHRA start, Todd defeated champions Larry Dixon and Tony Schumacher to hoist his first Wally. That win solidified his name in NHRA history as the first African-American driver to win in NHRA’s fastest class, Top Fuel Dragster. Todd would pick up two more wins on his way to the 2006 AAA Road to the Future trophy.

Last season in his 12th start for Team Kalitta, Todd qualified 10th and beat Terry McMillen, Steve Torrence, Larry Dixon and Brittany Force on his way to his seventh career victory and first since 2008. Now one year later, Todd wants to return to the peak position as we near the NHRA playoffs, which will be set out of after the historic U.S. Nationals in Indianapolis. Todd sits in the ninth position heading into the Western Swing.

“I am definitely looking forward to getting back on the mountain,” said Todd. “Team Kalitta has always been strong there and I feel like we have a great shot at doing well there again this year.”

Todd welcomes back SealMaster to the primary partner for this weekend’s Mile High Nationals. This is SealMaster’s second event as a primary sponsor after making their debut in Norwalk. Fans can meet Todd and walk Bandimere Speedway’s track surface on Sunday during the SealMaster Track Walk.

Doug Kalitta, driver of Mac Tools Top Fuel dragster, added his name to the Kalitta Motorsports legacy at Bandimere Speedway in 2010.

He qualified second and defeated Terry McMillen, Steve Torrence, Rod Fuller and Brandon Bernstein for his 32nd career win. That was preceded by years of trying to reach the top. He has four other final round appearances (1999, 2001, 2003 and 2009) and was the no.1 qualifier in 2002 and 2006.

Last season, Kalitta’s Mac Tools team struggled in Denver, but finished the Western Swing strong and picked up the victory in Seattle.

“We are ready for the Western Swing,” said Kalitta. “The Mac Tools team has used the week off to prepare and with our recent success I am confident in our set-up heading to Denver.”

Del Worsham, driver of the DHL Toyota Camry Funny Car, is the highest in the points of any Kalitta Motorsports driver as he used a holeshot round win in the first round of Chicago to move into the top three in the point standings.

That round win was even more historic as that gave Worsham his 500th for his career that dates back to 1991. He is just the 17th driver to hit that number, and only the third with round wins in Top Fuel and Funny Car.

Denver was kind to Worsham previously. In 2002, he celebrated the win with his wife, Connie, and young twin daughters, Kate and Maddy. Over a decade later, Worsham is still winning rounds and now celebrating his daughters successes. Kate and Maddy both participated in the Junior Western Finals during the off weekend with Kate advancing to the finals.

The Western Swing was not kind to the DHL “Yella Fellas” last season, but Worsham plans to change that on the first stop.

“The off weekend was a great time for my family, but I am ready to get back at it,” said Worsham. “Hopefully Denver is the start to a great Western Swing run for the DHL team.”

Alexis DeJoria, driver of the Patrón XO Café Incendio Toyota Camry Funny Car, is attempting her fourth career start at Bandimere Speedway.

DeJoria gained five points in Chicago over 11th-place Courtney Force in the point standings, and looks to continue gaining separation in Denver.

DeJoria is searching for her first round win on the mountain. Last season, she qualified in the top ten and fell to championship points leader Matt Hagan in round one.

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