Kalitta Motorsports News


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.

Worshams 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. DeJorias Free Mammograms for the Fans program starts at our next event in Dallas.

DeJorias 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 ToolsBreast Cancer Awareness initiative.

Kalittas 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, Todds 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. Well 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


READING, Penn. (Oct. 3, 2015) – Kalitta Motorsports, the nitro-fueled, four-car NHRA drag racing team based in Ypsilanti, Mich., has completed qualifying for the Keystone Nationals at Maple Grove Raceway in Reading, Penn. Results and quotes follow. Note the first and second qualifying sessions on Friday and fourth qualifying sessions were cancelled due to weather. Due to only fourteen cars completing a legal Top Fuel qualifying field, the ladder was set on a 14-car bracket system.

Doug Kalitta Driver of the Mac Tools Top Fuel Dragster:

Q3: 8.092 sec., 99.81 mph

No. 6 Qualifier

J.R. Todd Driver of the Jimi Hendrix Foundation Top Fuel Dragster:

Q3: 11.443 sec., 79.41 mph

No. 11 Qualifier

Del Worsham Driver of the DHL Toyota Camry Funny Car:

Q3: 8.172 sec., 84.23 mph

No. 6 Qualifier

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

Q3: 13.036 sec., 76.76 mph

No. 14 Qualifier

First Round Competition:

6) Doug Kalitta v. 9) Dom Lagana

11) J.R. Todd v. 4) Tony Schumacher

6) Del Worsham v. 11) Tommy Johnson Jr.

14) Alexis DeJoria v. 3) Jack Beckman

ESPN TV Schedule:

10/04 Qualifications - 6:00 a.m. - 7:30 a.m. EST (ESPN2)

10/04 Eliminations - 8:00 p.m. - 11:00 a.m. EST (ESPN2)

Times and dates subject to change.

Event Schedule:

Sundays eliminations begin at 11:00 p.m. EST.

Times and dates subject to change.

Top Fuel For Life SAMPLE Page 01Click Here for a Sample(Naperville, IL) Sept. 15, 2015—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 Chiefwhich is available on Amazon for $19.95.

Described as a true story of victory, unimaginable loss and the epiphany that changed everything, Oberhofers 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 Oberhofers 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. Thats 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.


MOHNTON, Penn. (Sept. 30, 2015)Del Worsham, driver of the DHL Toyota Camry Funny Car, has had a start of to the NHRA Mello Yello Countdown to the Championship that all drivers dream about. He takes his streak of eight consecutive round wins into a place where he has never won: Maple Grove Raceway.

Winning the first race of the Countdown in Charlotte, Worsham continued his strong start in St. Louis. The DHL Toyota Camry was solid throughout qualifying. Worsham earned a total of nine bonus points as he was among the top two times in each session.

The best part of the weekend was when Worsham ran 3.899 second pass to reset the national record in Funny Car in the last session. He became one of only four drivers to ever hold the national record in Top Fuel and Funny Car.

The momentum continued on Sunday. Jon Oberhofer, Nicky Boninfante and the DHL team gave Worsham four three second runs and Worsham was consistent on the starting line to pick up his first win in St. Louis since 2009. He became the first driver in NHRA history to run four three-second passes in eliminations and takes his run of seven consecutive three-second passes into Maple Grove. Worsham also became the first driver to give Kalitta Motorsports back-to-back Funny Car wins.

Although he grew his points lead from six points to 90, Worsham knows things can change in an instant and the DHL team plans to continue to push to gain points and round wins.

First off, I am extremely proud to be a part of this DHL Toyota team,said Worsham. The guys are on their game but are focused on the end goal. We will continue to work hard and let the chips fall where they are supposed to.

Worsham has come close to earning his first victory in Maple Grove, but has been unable to finish in the winners circle. He earned a final round appearance during his Top Fuel championship season of 2011 and was the no.1 qualifier in 2007.

Worsham will also be a car owner for the third consecutive weekend as Paul Lee will be driving the Worsham Racing Charger. The machine will be decaled to look like Nitro NickBoninfantes U.S. Male scheme. Boninfante, who is the father of Worshams current co-crew chief Nicky Boninfante, lost a battle with heart disease earlier this year. He will be honored with a memorial service on Saturday evening.

Doug Kalitta, driver of Mac Tools Top Fuel Dragster, will move from the traditional Mac Tools red to pink and will join his crew in wearing matching Breast Cancer Awareness crew shirts. The team will unveil the pink dragster proudly displaying the Mac Tools Wrenching for a Cure branding on Friday.

Mac Tools is a proud supporter of The Stefanie Spielman Fund for Breast Cancer Research and the Breast Cancer Society of Canada. October is national Breast Cancer Awareness Month and the Kalitta team and race fans will be doing their part to raise funds for research in the race for the cure. The Mac Tools dragster will be running the Breast Cancer Awareness wrap in Reading, Penn., Dallas and Las Vegas.

Through Mac ToolsWrenching for a Cure product line, their goal is to raise awareness for Breast Cancer Research and donate a portion of the proceeds to the cause. Mac Tools is proud to donate a portion of all sales from the BCA products during the month of October in honor of Breast Cancer Awareness.

Kalitta was on his game in St. Louis in the first round. In a first round match, Kalitta and his opponent, Wayne Newby, turned on the same elapsed time on the scoreboard. The difference was Kalittas reaction time which advanced the Mac Tools team to the second round. With points tight in the Top Fuel ranks, Kalitta could move up quick in Maple Grove.

Kalitta earned a victory at Maple Grove Raceway in 2002 and if he could earn another win this weekend would tie his cousin Scott with two victories at the Pennsylvania track.

It is time to make a move in the Countdown,said Kalitta. We had a great Mac Tools machine in St. Louis and it would be great to continue that run in Reading which promises to be fast.

Alexis DeJoria, driver of the Patrón XO Café Incendio Toyota Camry Funny Car, debuts her hot pink Toyota Camry at the NHRA Keystone Nationals where DeJoria has had success.

DeJoria earned her first round win at Maple Grove Raceway two years ago, as she defeated Jack Beckman in the first round. Then last season, DeJoria advanced to the semi-finals on the strength of round wins over teammate Worsham and Bob Tasca.

DeJoria has also had a solid start to her second run at that Championship advancing the most spots of any Funny Car driver. Although the Patrón XO Café Incendio team struggled in qualifying in St. Louis, Tommy DeLago found the tune-up to defeat Tommy Johnson Jr. in the first round.

Reading is a record shattering track and by the way the Funny Cars have been running this season its bound to be a stunning weekend,said DeJoria. Were gonna work on being consistent in every aspect. Maple Grove is one of my favorite tracks on the circuit and well be debuting the pink Patrón XO Café Incendio Toyota Camry body for breast cancer awareness month. It should be a very exciting weekend. Cant wait!

J.R. Todd, driver of the Jimi Hendrix Foundation Top Fuel Dragster, looks for a rebound at a track that promises high speeds.

Todds career in Reading started with a high as he picked up his third career victory in 2006 as he drove past Melanie Troxel in the finals to pick up the win. Those three wins led Todd to be named as the AAA Road to the Future winner for the 2006 season which honors NHRAs top rookie driver.

St. Louis saw Todd fall in the first round for the first time in the Countdown since joining Kalitta Motorsports. The Jimi Hendrix Foundation machine was stout until dropping a cylinder, which gives Todd high hopes heading into Maple Grove where low times are given out with frequency.

Todd has already spent time in Maple Grove when he visited the track two weeks ago as he helped promote the event with the local media as part of the NHRA Countdown Fever promotion.

I always look forward to go to Maple Grove,said Todd. This weekend looks like it is going to be crazy fast. Were in a position where we need to win some races, and the plan is to start that charge this weekend.

Todd continues in the Jimi Hendrix Foundation colors for the final race for the purple haze scheme. Fans can continue to support the cause by buying t-shirts trackside or online at or

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