Todd continues recent hot streak
Race Recap: Todd came to the mountain on a roll. With back-to-back final rounds in the last two events, Todd's SealMaster team was performing very strong. The efforts continued in qualifying with Todd running three solid passes in four attempts and a sixth-place starting spot.
Todd's run would continue on Sunday. With a first round draw of Scott Palmer, Todd was prepared. He laid down a class-best .038 reaction time and led start line to finish line with a solid 3.844 second pass. Richie Crampton would be the second opponent. Again, Todd beat the driver in the other lane off of the line and then his SealMaster ride was better on the track to move to his third consecutive semi-final or better. That was the first time that Todd had done that in his three seasons with Kalitta Motorsports.
The semi-final round transitioned to live TV and Todd and his foe, Antron Brown, were the second pair to see the track. Todd recorded the best light of the session again, but the SealMaster ride encountered problems down track to allow Brown to drive by. On the day, Todd recorded the top two reaction times of the class.
Qualified: No. 6 (3.816 sec., 316.38 mph)
E1: Todd defeated Palmer - 3.844 sec., 318.64 mph to 4.019 sec., 282.78 mph
E2: Todd defeated Crampton - 3.841 sec., 322.11 mph to 3.862 sec., 312.57 mph
E3: Todd defeated by Brown - 3.915 sec., 274.05 mph to 3.826 sec., 307.86 mph
Quotable: "We had a good handle on the SealMaster Toyota ride here on the mountain, but it was not our day. I am excited with the consistency we have built into this machine and I look forward to see what else we can do on the Western Swing."
Point Standings: Seventh (-346); trails sixth-place Shawn Langdon by one point, leads eighth-place Clay Millican by 118 points.
Worsham rebounds at Bandimere
Race Recap: The DHL team and driver Del Worsham looked to rebound at Bandimere Speedway after a tough Chicago outing. With a new Bounty Hunter, the DHL Yella Fellas felt confident about their chances.
They started their strong run in qualifying with Worsham becoming the first driver in the 1,000-ft era to hit 320 mph at Bandimere Speedway, and Worsham would do it twice. The DHL team would earn five bonus points spread across three sessions and start third.
First up, Todd Simpson. Worsham moved first on the line and continued a strong run down the track to advance him out of the first round for the 11th time this season. Next up, the points leader. Worsham was prepared, earning the jump at the line and earning the semi-final spot with a 4.052 second run. Worsham's day did end there with a close defeat to John Force, but it was a solid result for the DHL Toyota team.
Qualified: No. 3 (3.963 sec., 322.34 mph)
E1: Worsham defeated Simpson - 4.024 sec., 317.12 mph to 4.411 sec., 230.57 mph
E2: Worsham defeated Capps - 4.052 sec., 317.42 mph to 4.399 sec., 213.27 mph
E3: Worsham defeated by J. Force - 4.054 sec., 315.78 mph to 4.005 sec., 316.60 mph
Quotable: "We keep knocking on the door of these races. The DHL boys did a great job and this new Bounty Hunter chassis performed very well. Denver is a tough race to compete at and the way we competed this weekend makes me very proud."
Point Standings: Sixth (-243); tied with fifth-place Robert Hight, leads seventh-place Tommy Johnson Jr. by 22 points
Kalitta suffers second first round loss of the season
Race Recap: With the extreme conditions on the mountain at Bandimere Speedway, Kalitta knew this weekend was going to be different than any other this season. Qualifying was clean, but not as strong as the Mac Tools team is used to. They would earn the eighth starting spot and continue their streak of starting in the top half in every race.
However, a top half start did not mean a easy draw in round one, as Kalitta would face Tony Schumacher. Billed as NHRA's Marquee Matchup, Kalitta left first but Schumacher was able to drive back around giving Kalitta just his second first round loss of the season. Kalitta's combined reaction time and elapsed time efforts would have defeated every other Top Fuel competitor in round one.
Qualified: No. 8 (3.835 sec., 290.13 mph)
E1: Kalitta defeated by Schumacher - 3.832 sec., 320.74 mph to 3.788 sec., 321.19 mph
Quotable: "Quick exit today for this Mac Tools team, but the performance was there. I look forward to going to Sonoma, where my team as a ton of history, and have more success there.
Point Standings: Second (-57); trails first-place Antron Brown by 57 points, leads third-place Steve Torrence by 106 points
DeJoria endures tough Denver weekend
Race Recap: DeJoria experienced a tough weekend with an early exit on Sunday at the Mile High Nationals. The Tequila Patrón driver was able to start in the fourth position with a good pass in the last qualifying session, but the Camry ended up in the sand at the top end. After repairs, DeJoria's Sunday was much shorter than she would have liked after her machine shut off just past the 660-foot mark yielding the round win to John Hale
Qualified: No. 4 (3.975 sec., 318.69 mph)
E1: DeJoria defeated by Hale - 4.324 sec., 232.71 mph to 4.303 sec., 240.64 mph
Point Standings: Tenth (-387); trails ninth-place Tim Wilkerson by 60 points, leads 11th-place Tim Wilkerson by 171 points
Alexis DeJoria: Driver of the Kalitta Motorsports Tequila Patrón Toyota Camry Funny Car
No. 4: 3.975 E.T. at 318.69 MPH
E1: 4.324 E.T. at 232.71 MPH defeated by John Hale 4.303 E.T. at 240.64 MPH
Alexis DeJoria, Driver
It’s been a frustrating weekend for Team Patrón. We ran two good numbers in qualifying, ended up fourth and got a bonus point out of it, but unfortunately, first round of eliminations was a disappointment. We went out there and our car shut off. We have a pan pressure switch that shuts off when it reaches a certain pan pressure, and that’s what happened. We coasted to the finish line, but it just wasn’t enough to get around John Hale’s team, and that’s the end of our day.
We have yet to do well here in Denver, but I love racing up here on the mountain, and I love the Bandimere family. Bandimere Speedway is always a nice venue; just unfortunate we had to go out in the first round. Luckily we have two Kalitta cars still in it, so we’ll be here supporting them.
This wasn’t the way we wanted to start off the Western Swing, but Sonoma is next, and that’s a place that has been good to us in the past. It’s a Toyota race and we’re looking forward to that.
NHRA Countdown to the Championship Points Standing:
733 points, ranked 10th
Alexis DeJoria: Driver of the Kalitta Motorsports Tequila Patrón Toyota Camry Funny Car
No. 4 Alexis DeJoria (LC) vs. No. 13 John Hale
Alexis DeJoria, Driver
Well it’s been a very strange weekend, to say the least, but they say everything comes in threes. Going into the sand in Q4, that was our third weird thing. I’ve done it a few times before but it’s been a very long time. Not a great way to end qualifying but we did make a three-second run. Our chassis is going to be all right, but our body needs to be fixed, obviously. We’ll get it done by Sonoma. Luckily, we always have a backup so we’ll be good for tomorrow. It’s been a tough weekend so far up on the mountain, but we’re qualified fourth and in the top half of the field. That’s definitely a plus and Team Patrón has been known to turn things around on race day.
Doug Kalitta, driver of the Mac Tools Top Fuel Dragster
Q1: 3.893 sec. at 313.73 MPH
Q2: 3.959 sec. at 300.20 MPH
Q3: 3.906 sec. at 308.99 MPH
Q4: 3.835 sec. at 290.33 MPH
Bonus Points: 1 pt. (Third best in the first session)
Starting Position: 8th
First Round Matchup: Tony Schumacher
Quotable: "Four passes down Bandimere, but we were looking for more with this Mac Tools machine. Tough first round draw, but I know my guys are working hard and I look forward to Sunday's race."
Notes: Kalitta retook the Top Fuel point standing lead in qualifying.
J.R. Todd, driver of the SealMaster Top Fuel Dragster
Q1: 3.898 sec. at 311.56 MPH
Q2: 7.800 sec. at 89.62 MPH
Q3: 3.878 sec. at 314.71 MPH
Q4: 3.816 sec. at 316.38 MPH
Starting Position: 6th
First Round Matchup: Scott Palmer
Quotable: "The SealMaster team has continued to improve each pass and we made a solid one there late. Tomorrow we are going to see conditions that we have yet to race in all weekend, but I am confident that we will have the setup we will need to do well."
Del Worsham, driver of the DHL Toyota Camry Funny Car
Q1: 4.008 sec. at 317.94 MPH
Q2: 3.963 sec. at 322.34 MPH
Q3: 5.666 sec. at 124.53 MPH
Q4: 3.969 sec. at 322.19 MPH
Bonus Points: 5 pts. (Second best in the first session, third best in the second session, second best in the fourth session)
Starting Position: 3rd
First Round Matchup: Todd Simpson
Quotable: "What a solid weekend for this entire DHL team. They worked hard during the off week on this new Bounty Hunter chassis and it has been consistent and strong. I feel great about our chances tomorrow."
Notes: Worsham is the first driver in the NHRA 1,000-ft. era to go over 320 MPH at Bandimere Speedway. Worsham's 322.34 MPH is the new track record. Worsham was a part of the first side-by-side three second passes at Bandimere Speedway with Jack Beckman in the final qualifying round.
Q1: 4.684 sec. at 177.46 MPH
Q2: 7.744 sec. at 87.94 MPH
Q3: 4.066 sec. at 316.30 MPH
Q4: 3.975 sec. at 318.69 MPH
Bonus Points: 1 pt. (Third best in the fourth session)
Starting Position: 4th
First Round Matchup: John Hale
#NHRAonFOX Telecast information:
7/24 Race (FOX) - 3:00pm - 6:00pm - LIVE
All times are EST.
Denver Highlights: One win (2010); Four finals (2009, 2003, 2001, 1999)
2015 Denver Event Recap: Qualified fifth; First round defeat (lost to Richie Crampton in the first round)
Previous Event Recap (Chicago): Qualified third, Track Record MPH (330.55); Quarter-Final finish (defeated Kyle Wurtzel in the first round, defeated by Tony Schumacher in the second round.)
Quotable: “The Mac Tools team is ready to be back on track. The last event did not have the result that we would have liked, so we are looking for a rebound in Denver. Bandimere Speedway has been a great track for Team Kalitta, and I hope it is that way this weekend.”
Career Stats: 423 starts, 573 round wins (11th all-time), 41 wins (Fourth all-time in Top Fuel), 85 finals, 46 no.1 qualifiers (13th all-time)
2016 Season Stats: Three wins (Houston, Atlanta, Topeka); Three poles (Phoenix, Atlanta, Norwalk), One final (Pomona), 28 round wins
Point Standings: Second (-2); trails first-place Antron Brown by 2 points, leads third-place Steve Torrence by 142 points
Noteworthy: leads Top Fuel class in semi-final or better finishes (nine); has won his first round pairing in 12 of 13 events this season; Kalitta has set four track records in the past five 2016 events; one of three Kalittas' to win at Bandimere Speedway (Connie, 1984 and 1985; Scott, 1994, 1995 and 2005)
Denver Highlights: Two wins (2006, 2014); tied for the most Top Fuel wins among active drivers (Antron Brown, Tony Schumacher)
2015 Denver Event Recap: Qualified ninth; Quarter-Final finish (defeated Antron Brown in the first round, lost to Larry Dixon in the second round)
Previous Event Recap (Chicago): Qualified seventh; Finalist (defeated T.J. Zizzo in the first round, Steve Torrence in the second round, Tony Schumacher in the semi-finals, lost to Antron Brown in the finals)
Quotable: “We have been really pleased with our performance the last couple races. The SealMaster team has really been knocking out good runs consistently and that is important as we close the regular season. Denver has been a great place for me personally and for the team, and I would love to finally get that first win of the season at Bandimere Speedway.”
Career Stats: 137 starts, 128 round wins, 8 wins, 16 finals, 8 no.1 qualifiers
2016 Season Stats: Three finals (Atlanta, Norwalk, Chicago); Two semi-finals (Pomona, Las Vegas); 16 round wins
Point Standings: Seventh (-331); trails sixth-place Shawn Langdon by 21 points, leads eighth-place Clay Millican by 122 points
Noteworthy: coming off consecutive final round appearances (Chicago and Denver) for the first time of his career; celebrating ten year anniversary of first win (Denver, 2006); has won event twice in five attempts
Denver Highlights: One win (2002)
2015 Denver Event Recap: Qualified 11th; First round defeat (lost to Matt Hagan in the first round)
Previous Event Recap (Chicago): Qualified tenth; First round defeat (lost to Courtney Force in the first round)
Quotable: “To say Chicago did not go our way would be an understatement. However, we know we have a great car and Denver is always an exciting place to race. The fans are awesome and it is a race many drivers look forward to every year. I am excited to be back on track in the DHL Toyota Camry and look forward to competing for the trophy this weekend.”
Career Stats: 496 starts, 538 round wins, 38 wins (30 in Funny Car, 8 in Top Fuel), 63 finals (52 in Funny Car, 11 in Top Fuel), 18 no.1 qualifiers (11 in Funny Car, 7 in Top Fuel)
2016 Season Stats: Two finals (Pomona, Las Vegas); Two semi-finals (Epping, Englishtown); One pole (Norwalk); 16 round wins
Point Standings: Seventh (-272); trails sixth-place Robert Hight by three points, leads eighth-place Tim Wilkerson by 36 points
Noteworthy: 2015 Funny Car Champion, 2011 Top Fuel Champion; one of three drivers with championships in both nitro classes; second in the Funny Car class with 10 first round wins this season.
J.R. Todd, driver of the SealMaster Toyota Top Fuel dragster, will attend the Aspen Dental Eldora Dirt Derby NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS) race on Wednesday, July 19th as a guest of ThorSport Racing and Toyota, which will be televised live on FOX Sports 1. Todd will promote the NHRA Western Swing, which will air on nationally-broadcasted FOX-TV beginning with the Mile High Nationals in Denver on Sunday, July 24th.
Todd is coming off consecutive final round appearances for the first time in his career. He is seventh in the standings with 16 round wins on the season. He has eight career wins and 16 final round appearances. Todd is in his third season campaigning for Kalitta Motorsports and first with SealMaster as his primary sponsor.
ThorSport Racing and SealMaster, the most trusted name in pavement maintenance for more than 40 years, are part of the ThorWorks Family of Brands. ThorSport Racing campaigns four NCWTS teams. Their drivers are two-time champion Matt Crafton; rookie of the year contenders Rico Abreu and Ben Rhodes, and the only Canadian competing full-time in NCTWS, Cameron Hayley.
Top Fuel (Unofficial)
1. Antron Brown (1145)
2. Doug Kalitta (1088)
3. Steve Torrence (982)
4. Brittany Force (953)
5. Tony Schumacher (916)
6. Shawn Langdon (800)
7. J.R. Todd (799)
8. Clay Millican (681)
8. Richie Crampton (660)
10. Leah Pritchett (553)
Funny Car (Unofficial)
1. Ron Capps (1120)
2. Courtney Force (998)
3. Jack Beckman (976)
4. Matt Hagan (881)
5. Robert Hight (877)
5. Del Worsham (877)
7. Tommy Johnson Jr. (855)
8. John Force (821)
9. Tim Wilkerson (793)
10. Alexis DeJoria (733)