Kalitta Motorsports News

This morning, SealMaster Toyota driver Troy Coughlin Jr. did an Epping event preview on WCYY-FM 94.3. Check it out!



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On Monday, May 15th, Heartland High School juniors and seniors enrolled in the Maintenance and Light Repair classes experienced a tour of Kalitta Motorsports guided by our VP of Operations and Mac Tools crew chief Jim Oberhofer. Led by Ron Weston, the program is helping direct students interested in the automotive fields with successful career choices.

Doug Kalitta Topeka Sunday

Kalitta hits milestone in first round win

Race Recap: The Mac Tools team arrived in Heartland Park Topeka looking for a repeat in last year's winning fortune.

Qualifying was uncharacteristically rough for the Mac Tools team and Doug Kalitta. They made one clean pass in the three available attempts after Friday evening's session was cancelled due to weather. However, the one run was a good one as it earned Kalitta the seventh starting spot. 

The seventh starting spot meant a draw with the 10th seeded Scott Palmer. However, this was not just a normal round for Kalitta; this was the 1,000th time that he toed the line in eliminations. He is just the ninth driver in NHRA history to cross that milestone. This time, Kalitta moved first and led stripe-to-stripe taking his 601st career round win. 

Unfortunately, Kalitta's attempt to repeat would end in the quarter-finals despite a class-best reaction time and the second-best run of the session as he was dealt a loss by points leader Leah Pritchett. 

Qualified: No. 7 (3.711 sec., 329.75 mph) 

E1: Kalitta defeated Palmer - 3.731 sec., 329.42 mph to 3.811 sec., 323.58 mph 

E2: Kalitta defeated by Pritchett - 3.731 sec., 330.96 mph to 3.708 sec., 325.92 mph

Quotable: “Very close finish today in the second round with this Mac Tools Toyota team. We definitely were looking for more round wins today. We are closing the gap and getting closer. The Mac Tools guys are looking for big things on this upcoming four-race swing."

Point Standings: Fifth (-182); trails Antron Brown by 121 or 134 points for fourth; leads Clay Millican by 106 points for sixth

 Shawn Langdon Topeka Sunday

Langdon makes continues to make gains in Topeka

Race Recap: After hitting on some issues that had plagued the Global Electronic Technology team in Atlanta, Shawn Langdon was looking for the growth to continue in Topeka.

The Connie Kalitta and Rob Flynn-led team made three strong passes in qualifying nearly scoring bonus points in two of the three sessions. Their best pass, a 3.700, was Langdon's best since taking over his Team Kalitta hot rod just four races ago.

Langdon's first opponent was his Kalitta teammate, Troy Coughlin Jr. The duo left together, but the Global Electronic Technology team was making yet another solid lap to move them to the second round. That closed the gap again in the point standings and officially moved Langdon to 11th overall. 

Langdon was unable to score his first semi-final since joining the team as his ride suffered problems in the quarter-final matchup with reigning Top Fuel champion Antron Brown. 

Qualified: No. 6 (3.700 sec., 328.14 mph) 

E1: Langdon defeated Coughlin Jr. - 3.722 sec., 329.42 mph to 4.933 sec., 125.46 mph

E2: Langdon defeated by Brown - 4.736 sec., 179.21 mph to 4.026 sec., 275.90 mph

Quotable: "We had a great car in qualifying. Made a good run in the first round; in the second round, it warmed up a bit. It was tricky, because some of the cars were smoking the tires and others were making good runs. Antron was low elapsed time in the first round and they have the no.1 on the side of the car for a reason, so you have to give them credit and not back down the car. We didn't, and unfortunately, it did not work out in our favor. We still feel very good about the Global Electronic Technology team going into Epping."

Point Standings: 11th; trails Scott Palmer by 103 points for 10th

JO Todd Topeka Sunday 

Todd takes holeshot to a Topeka round win

Race Recap: After returning home from Atlanta, the DHL team discovered problems with the car that they had been campaigning, so the team brought out the back-up which had great memories for the team. It was the chassis that Del Worsham took to the 2015 title.

The team immediately noticed the difference as they made better runs each pass in qualifying with the final effort of 3.875 seconds nearing Todd's Funny Car best. The Yella Fellas just missed lane choice and was seeded ninth overall. 

Todd and his opponent, Brian Stewart, were the last nitro pairing to see the Heartland Park Topeka surface. Todd moved first and took that advantage to the stripe claiming the holeshot win. 

Despite another starting line advantage, Todd was unable to get the quarter-final win over no.1 qualifier Matt Hagan. 

Qualified: No. 9 (3.875 sec., 332.34 mph) 

E1: Todd defeated Stewart - 3.938 sec., 329.58 mph to 3.930 sec., 322.96 mph (holeshot win) 

E2: Todd defeated by Hagan - 5.288 sec., 148.27 mph to 4.016 sec., 273.94 mph

Quotable: "We got our DHL Toyota back to where we wanted it to be pretty much all season, so now we will go back to work on getting a handle on the tune-up and making it more consistent so we can be ready for Epping." 

Point Standings: Eighth (-370); trails Tommy Johnson Jr. by 86 points for seventh; leads Tim Wilkerson by 18 points for ninth

 Troy Coughlin Jr Topeka Sunday

Coughlin Jr. unable to get past teammate in first round

Race Recap: Coughlin Jr. and the SealMaster team continued learning in Michigan during the week off and looked to take advantage of that at Heartland Park Topeka. 

The first qualifying pass was solid as Coughlin Jr. went down the track in 3.809. However, the SealMaster team was unable to improve on that pass in the remaining two passes, and they moved down to 11th on the starting ladder and a draw with teammate Shawn Langdon in the first round.

Coughlin Jr. was solid on the tree with the SealMaster Toyota, but the machine suffered problems at the 300 foot mark and Langdon was able to score the round win.

Qualified: No. 11 (3.809 sec., 321.73 mph) 

E1: Coughlin Jr. defeated by Langdon - 4.933 sec., 125.46 mph to 3.722 sec., 329.42mph

Quotable: “We were aggressive with the tuneup and got in trouble at the 300 foot mark. All-in-all, it is coming around. We are getting data, keeping good notes and we hope we can have some more success with this SealMaster Toyota in the near future." 

Point Standings: Ninth (-394); trails Terry McMillen by six points for eighth, leads Scott Palmer by 51 points for tenth

Chad Head Topeka Sunday 

Head suffers close loss in opening round

Race Recap: Interim driver Chad Head returned to the seat of the Tequila Patrón Toyota Camry for the third consecutive event. The team struggled with the early passes on Friday and Saturday, but was able to earn the 13th starting spot with a clean run in the final qualifying session.

Head's first opponent was Jack Beckman. Beckman and Head both suffered problems with neither ride able to make a clean pass. Unfortunately for Head and the team Patrón, Beckman was able to get to the finish line first ending the Topeka race weekend for the team. 

Qualified: No. 13 (3.963 sec., 328.14 mph)

E1: Head defeated by Hight - 4.172 sec., 247.97 mph to 4.218 sec., 217.70 mph

Point Standings: (DeJoria) 14th; trails Cruz Pedregon by 49 points for 13th, leads Jeff Diehl by 95 points for 15th 

Doug Kalitta Topeka Sat

Doug Kalitta, driver of the Mac Tools Top Fuel Dragster

Q1: 4.071 sec. at 231.08 MPH
Q3: 3.711 sec. at 329.75 MPH
Q4: 3.892 sec. at 233.68 MPH

Starting Position: 7th
First Round Matchup: Scott Palmer
Quotable: “Solid effort in qualifying for the Mac Tools team. We have more in the tank and are looking forward to defend our Heartland Nationals title tomorrow."
Note: The first round versus Scott Palmer will be Kalitta's 1,000th round of racing for his career.

Shawn Langdon Topeka Sat

Shawn Langdon, driver of the Global Electronic Technology Top Fuel Dragster

Q1: 3.779 sec. at 319.90 MPH
Q3: 3.734 sec. at 328.38 MPH
Q4: 3.700 sec. at 328.14 MPH

Starting Position: 6th
First Round Matchup: Troy Coughlin Jr.
Quotable: "We have made some very good runs this weekend. We are very happy with the progression of the Global Electronic Technology team. Just sucks that we have to race our teammate in the first round. At the end of the day, we are out there to get round wins. We are going to do the best that we can."

Troy Coughlin Topeka Sat

Troy Coughlin Jr., driver of the SealMaster Top Fuel Dragster

Q1: 3.809 sec. at 321.73 MPH
Q3: 4.109 sec. at 196.13 MPH
Q4: 4.612 sec. at 166.19 MPH

Starting Position: 11th
First Round Matchup: Shawn Langdon

Quotable: "The SealMaster Toyota is ready. We have a tough competitor in Langdon; I have raced him a few times, just not in a Top Fuel dragster. It will be a great race; we are trying to go back to the drawing board with the SealMaster car and see where we are missing and why we are. We have a ways to go and I am getting a routine down. Everyone is gelling. The effort is definitely there." 

JR Todd Topeka Sat

J.R. Todd, driver of the DHL Toyota Camry Funny Car

Q1: 4.286 sec. at 241.67 MPH
Q3: 3.904 sec. at 331.53 MPH
Q4: 3.875 sec. at 332.34 MPH

Starting Position: 9th

First Round Matchup: Brian Stewart
Quotable: "We unloaded our backup car coming into this weekend after we found some problems with our primary. But it has been running good. It has been running right where it was at the start of the season if not better, which is a positive for the DHL Toyota Camry team. It is definitely going the direction we need to be going; each run we improved, so now we are looking forward to turning on four win lights tomorrow."

Chad Head Topeka Sat

Chad Head, fill-in driver of the Tequila Patrón Toyota Camry Funny Car

Q1: 7.805 sec. at 84.44 MPH 
Q3: 8.405 sec. at 86.93 MPH
Q4: 3.963 sec. at 328.14 MPH

Starting Position: 13th

First Round Matchup: Jack Beckman
Note: Chad Head is filling in for Tequila Patrón Funny Car pilot Alexis DeJoria.

Doug Kalitta Topeka

With another milestone in the books, Kalitta looks for another Topeka win

Topeka Highlights: Defending race winner; Track MPH Record Holder (331.85 MPH - 2016); Two wins (2016, 2006) Three finals (2004, 2003, 2000); One no. 1 qualifier (2005)

Last Event Recap (Atlanta): Qualified fifth; Semi-finalist (Defeated Chris Karamesines in the first round and Clay Millican in the quarter-finals, lost to Tony Schumacher in the semi-finals)

2016 Menards NHRA Heartland Nationals Recap: Qualified first; Race Winner (Defeated Rob Passey in the first round, Clay Millican in the quarter-finals, Steve Torrence in the semi-finals and Antron Brown in the finals)

Quotable: “We are excited to be headed back to Topeka with the Mac Tools team. It has a ton of positive history for the Kalitta Motorsports team and I hope to add to it this weekend."

Career Stats: 441 starts, 600 round wins (ninth all-time), 42 wins (Fifth all-time in Top Fuel), 88 finals, 47 no.1 qualifiers (13th all-time)

2017 Season Stats: One final (Pomona-I); 11 round wins; fifth in the standings

2016 Season Stats: Four wins (Houston, Atlanta, Topeka, Pomona-II); Four no.1 qualifiers (Phoenix, Atlanta, Norwalk, Charlotte-II); Two finals (Pomona-I, Charlotte-II); 44 round wins; second in the final standings 

Noteworthy: Will reach 1,000 career rounds of racing by participating in the first round of eliminations in Topeka

 Shawn Langdon Topeka

Langdon plans to add to Kalitta's Topeka winning tradition

Topeka Highlights: One win (2013); One final (2014); One no.1 qualifier (2013)

Last Event Recap (Atlanta): Qualified seventh; Quarter-final finish (Defeated Pat Dakin in the first round, lost to Steve Torrence in the quarter-finals)

2016 Menards NHRA Heartland Nationals Recap (w/ DSR): Qualified sixth; Quarter-final finish (Defeated Scott Palmer in the first round, lost to Steve Torrence in the quarter-finals)

Quotable: “I am definitely excited to get back out there. After Atlanta, we feel good about the Global Electronic Technology team. We have turned a corner and have a good handle on the car. Team Kalitta has a great track record at Topeka, so we have a lot of confidence rolling into the weekend. We are focused on making good runs. Weather looks like it could be a problem but now is as good as a time as any to get the car in the winners circle.”

Career Stats: 191 starts, 231 round wins, 14 wins, 28 finals, 18 no.1 qualifiers

2017 Season Stats: Three starts; One round win; 14th in the point standings

2016 Season Stats: Three wins (Bristol, Norwalk, St. Louis); 30 round wins; fifth in the final standings

Noteworthy: Joined Kalitta Motorsports from Don Schumacher Racing after Las Vegas in a full-time third Top Fuel entry; missed the first four events of the 2017 season due to lack of sponsorship; Langdon’s ride is backed by Global Electronic Technology, the fastest name in credit card processing

 Troy Coughlin Jr Topeka

Coughlin Jr. focused on Topeka

Noteworthy: Eighth career pro event; a candidate for Auto Club Road to Future trophy (best rookie driver); father is former two-time Pro Mod champion (Troy Coughlin Sr.); uncle is former six-time NHRA champion (Jeg Coughlin Jr.); part of Coughlin family with 113 career wins

Last Event Recap (Charlotte): Qualified 14th; First round loss (Lost to Antron Brown in the first round)

Quotable: “The trailers are loaded and the SealMaster Toyota team is ready for more! I'm still gaining experience and confidence as we go, so I am looking forward to qualifying and racing this weekend." 

2017 Season Stats: Seven starts; Three round wins; ninth in the point standings

Career Info: Five national event wins (Three in Super Gas, Two in Super Comp); 2013 Division III Super Gas Champion; 2015 NHRA Pro Mod Rookie of the Year

JR Todd Topeka 

Todd ready to rebound in Topeka

Topeka Highlights: One Final (2007)

Last Event Recap (Atlanta): Qualified 13th; First round defeat (Lost to Ron Capps in the first round)

2016 Menards NHRA Heartland Nationals Recap (Top Fuel): Qualified ninth; First round defeat (Lost to Antron Brown in the first round)

Quotable: “The track surface in Topeka is one of the better ones we race on all season long. I look forward to getting there. If the conditions call for it, you can really throw down some quick times. The Kalitta gang always runs well there. I’m looking forward to seeing what we can do in Friday night qualifying and go from there.”

Career Stats: 155 starts, 154 round wins, 9 wins, 19 finals, 9 no.1 qualifiers (Funny Car stats: Seven starts, One final (Charlotte); Five round wins)

2017 Season Stats: Seven starts; One final (Charlotte-I); five round wins; ninth in the point standings

2016 Season Stats: One win (Sonoma); Five finals (Atlanta, Norwalk, Chicago, Las Vegas-II, Pomona-II); One no.1 qualifier (Pomona-II); 37 round wins; fourth in the final standings

Noteworthy: Attempting to become the 16th driver in NHRA history with a Top Fuel and Funny Car win; DHL celebrating 10th season of NHRA sponsorship

 Chad Head Topeka

Chad Head Topeka pre-race notes

Last Event Recap (Atlanta): Qualified eighth; First round loss (Lost to Robert Hight in the first round)

2016 Menards NHRA Heartland Nationals Recap (w/ Head Racing): Qualified 12th; First round defeat (Lost to Alexis DeJoria in the first round)

Career Stats: 84 starts, 32 round wins, Two finals, Two no.1 qualifiers

2016 Season Stats: Two semi-finals (Gainesville and Las Vegas I); eight round wins; 11th in the final standings

Doug Kalitta Atlanta 

Kalitta earns milestone round win

Race Recap: Doug Kalitta came back to the site of one of his most exciting wins, last season's near tie with his teammate J.R. Todd, which was the closest finish in NHRA history. The Mac Tools team were looking for a repeat.

Kalitta and the Mac Tools team were solid again in qualifying earning another top five start with their 3.764 second effort in the afternoon qualifying session on Saturday. That gave them the fifth starting spot and a first round pairing with Chris Karamesines.

The next-to-last Top Fuel pair to see the track, Kalitta was prepared as he left first and steadily extended his advantage down Atlanta Dragway, clinching the round win with a 3.760 second effort. 

The second round saw Kalitta come up to the line with lane choice over Clay Millican. Kalitta again moved first, and drove straight down the track to a milestone: his 600th career round win. He is just the ninth driver in NHRA history to hit such a mark, and first since Antron Brown one season ago. 

Unfortunately, a repeat win was not in the cards. Kalitta left on his semi-final opponent, Tony Schumacher, and was pulling away before encountering issues giving up the round win to Schumacher.

Qualified: No. 5 (3.764 sec., 324.67 mph) 

E1: Kalitta defeated Karamesines - 3.760 sec., 325.45 mph to 4.073 sec., 263.00 mph 

E2: Kalitta defeated Millican - 3.779 sec., 321.81 mph to 4.744 sec., 158.63 mph

E3: Kalitta defeated by Schumacher - 4.089 sec., 251.67 mph to 3.758 sec., 320.13 mph

Quotable: “Very cool to hit such a big number of round wins with this Mac Tools team. I would have loved to take the win today, but it was not meant to be. We are running strong and I look forward to Topeka in a couple weeks." 

Point Standings: Fifth (-155); trails Antron Brown by 74 points for fourth; leads Clay Millican by 101 points for sixth

Shawn Langdon Atlanta

Langdon claims first Kalitta round win

Race Recap: Shawn Langdon and the Global Electronic Technology team came into Atlanta Dragway planning on securing more success than the first two events of Langdon's season achieved. 

After finding the source of a problem that had plagued them after their first qualifying effort, Langdon and the Global Electronic Technology team stepped up in into the top half of the field with their final qualifying pass. 

Shawn Langdon's first opponent was Pat Dakin. The Global Electronic Technology dragster made a solid pass. Despite issues before the finish line, Langdon was easily able to take the round win over Dakin and further close the gap to on the top ten in the point standings. The day ended in the second round as the team put in a strong setup against eventual race winner Steve Torrence, but the Global Electronic Technology machine suffered tire smoke. 

Qualified: No. 7 (3.764 sec., 321.19 mph) 

E1: Langdon defeated Dakin - 3.754 sec., 320.74 mph to 3.939 sec., 243.99 mph

E2: Langdon defeated by Torrence - 4.236 sec., 209.82 mph to 3.746 sec., 324.59 mph

Quotable: "We did have a good weekend. We made huge gains in the the tuneup department, so everything is positive heading into Topeka. Made a good qualifying run in the last session and made a good run in the first session. In the matchup with Torrence, we were pushing it and it smoked the tires. Nothing to hang our heads about. The car is responding to what we want it to. We will just head to Topeka and hopefully keep making up the rounds and get in the top ten."

Point Standings: 14th; trails Troy Buff by five points for 13th 

Troy Coughlin Atlanta

Coughlin Jr. makes best pass of the weekend in opening round Atlanta defeat

Race Recap: The last race of three straight, the SealMaster team and driver Troy Coughlin Jr., were looking to continue to learn and gain knowledge for the upcoming summer swing of races.

Unfortunately, after losing both Friday passes due to weather, Coughlin Jr. only got two laps at Atlanta Dragway and both of them failed to produce the results that the SealMaster team were looking for. A 4.083 second pass in the second Saturday session slotted the SealMaster team in 14th overall heading into Sunday.

The draw was defending Top Fuel champion Antron Brown. The SealMaster team had a clean 3.788 second pass, but Brown ran the second-best pass in Atlanta Dragway history cutting Coughlin Jr.'s day short. 

Qualified: No. 14 (4.083 sec., 199.58 mph) 

E1: Coughlin Jr. defeated by Brown - 3.788 sec., 304.67 mph to 3.702 sec., 328.78 mph

Quotable: “Well our weekend in Atlanta was cut short. We are making progress with this SealMaster Toyota; just making laps in the car and making notes on what I want to work on with myself. We will move along to Topeka and continue the progress there."

Point Standings: Ninth (-346); trails Terry McMillen by six points for eighth, leads Scott Palmer by 51 points for tenth

JR Todd Atlanta 

Todd dealt tough Atlanta event

Race Recap: After earning their first final round appearance of the season in Charlotte, Todd and the DHL team were hoping to continue that run of success into Atlanta, where Todd had been a Top Fuel finalist just one season ago.

However, the DHL team were dealt a tough weekend. After losing both Friday passes due to weather, the two runs on Saturday were both met with trouble. Seeded 13th overall going into Sunday, Todd drew eventual race winner Ron Capps. Todd was stellar on the tree, recording a top three reaction time for the class, but the DHL Toyota fell to near immediate tire smoke ending their weekend. 

Qualified: No. 13 (5.052 sec., 149.22 mph) 

E1: Todd defeated by Capps - 9.859 sec., 73.50 mph to 3.901 sec., 326.79 mph 

Quotable: "Not the weekend we were looking for with this DHL Toyota Camry team. We will pack up and head to the shop and work hard to improve our performance for our next race in Topeka."

Point Standings: Ninth (-307); trails Tim Wilkerson by three points for eighth; leads Jonnie Lindberg by eighth points for 10th

Chad Head Atlanta

Head loses to track record pass in the first round

Race Recap: Interim driver Chad Head competed in his second straight event in the Tequila Patrón Toyota Camry Funny Car filling in for Alexis DeJoria. The team was solid in both qualifying passes. They achieved lane choice with their 4.024 second pass in the final qualifying session on Saturday. 

Head drew Robert Hight in the first round. Head recorded his best run of the weekend, but it was not enough as Hight reset the track record with his 3.882 second run. 

Qualified: No. 8 (4.024 sec., 312.57 mph)

E1: Head defeated by Hight - 4.004 sec., 319.29 mph to 3.882 sec., 328.06 mph

Point Standings: (DeJoria) 14th (-405 or 425); trails Cruz Pedregon by 17 points for 13th, leads Jeff Diehl by 75 points for 15th


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Mello Yello Championship Points

Top Fuel (Unofficial)

1. Steve Torrence (954)
2. Leah Pritchett (943)
3. Antron Brown (934)
4. Tony Schumacher (801)
5. Doug Kalitta (678) 
6. Brittany Force (649)
7. Clay Millican (639)
8. Troy Coughlin Jr. (443)
9. Scott Palmer (432)
10. Terry McMillen (424)
11. Shawn Langdon (323)

Funny Car (Unofficial)

1. Ron Capps (1044)
2. Matt Hagan (881)
3. Jack Beckman (748)
4. Robert Hight (707)
5. Courtney Force (704)
6. Tommy Johnson Jr. (663)
7. John Force (641)
8. Tim Wilkerson (490)
9. J.R. Todd (476)
10. Cruz Pedregon (397)
14. Alexis DeJoria (327)