CHANDLER,Ariz. (Feb. 22, 2015) – Doug Kalitta, driver of the Mac Tools Top Fuel Dragster, and Del Worsham, driver of the DHL Toyota Camry Funny Car, advanced Kalitta Motorsports to their first final rounds of the 2015 season earlier this evening at Wild Horse Pass Motorsports Park in Chandler, Ariz. Despite solid passes from each driver, neither team was able to pick up their first win of the season.
Kalitta started the day from the number two position and laid down two very fast passes to pick up round wins over Clay Millican and Brittany Force. After the track begin to see shade in the afternoon, Kalitta’s Mac Tools team came up against Shawn Langdon in the semi-finals. The tuneup proved to be too much for the Wild Horse Pass track but Kalitta hung on to defeat Langdon, 4.303 sec. to 4.752 sec.
The final round competition was Tony Schumacher from Don Schumacher Racing. Jim Oberhofer, crew chief for the Mac Tools team, tuned the car up to Kalitta’s quickest pass of the day, a 3.758 second run, but that number was unable to help Kalitta pick up the victory. Kalitta moves inside the top five in points for the first time this season in fourth place, 12 points out of the top two.
“My whole Mac Tools team did a great job this weekend,” said Kalitta. “We are not satisfied with the final result, but have continued to learn how to better handle the Mac Tools dragster and we look forward to Gainesville in a couple of weeks.”
Worsham’s DHL Toyota Camry Funny Car continued its tear of consistent 4.0 second runs. After running a 3.997 sec. in his final qualifying pass on Saturday, Worsham lined up against John Hale in round one. His 4.037 second run bested Hale’s 4.183 second pass to send Worsham to the quarterfinals. Two more great times (4.047 sec. and 4.010 sec.) led the DHL team past foes Chad Head and Robert Hight to set up a final pair of Worsham and Matt Hagan. Unfortunately, another 4.010 second run was not enough to take out the 2014 NHRA Funny Car champion, who won his second Wally of the season. Following Worsham’s finish and a semi-final effort at the season’s first event in Pomona, Worsham moves to the top two in the NHRA Mello Yello Funny Car standings.
Alexis DeJoria, driver of the Patrón XO Café Incendio Toyota Camry Funny Car, started the weekend with her first two round wins of the 2015 campaign. She was able to take two 4.0 second runs to round wins over Tony Pedregon and Tommy Johnson, Jr. DeJoria’s solid afternoon took her back to the top ten in points for the first time this season. She sits seventh after two events.
J.R. Todd, driver of the Red Line Oil/Kalitta Air Top Fuel dragster, earned his first round win of the season in the first round eliminating Terry McMillen. The Red Line Oil/Kalitta Air Top Fuel dragster ran 3.776 in round 2 but it was not enough to take out Antron Brown. Todd, with the round win, moved into a tie for eighth position in the point standings.
“Pushed a sparkplug out in round two, and just ran up against the wrong guy,” said Todd. “We have our hot rod back from last season, and we are going to go work on it in the shop and get ready for Gainesville.”
Team Kalitta nitro race cars advanced to their first two championship rounds at Phoenix, the second event of the 24-race 2015 NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series schedule this season.