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Kalitta Motorsports News

Doug Kalitta

After strong Countdown start, Kalitta wants to reach Gateway winners' circle

St. Louis Highlights: Three wins (2004, 2003, 2001); One final (2010); Two no.1 qualifiers (2014, 2005)

2015 St. Louis Event Recap: Qualified fifth; Quarter-Final finish (Defeated Wayne Newby in the first round, lost to Brittany Force in the quarter-finals)

Previous Event Recap (Charlotte): Qualified first; Finalist (Defeated Ike Maier in the first round, Leah Pritchett in the quarter-finals and Wayne Newby in the semi-finals, lost to Antron Brown in the finals)

Quotable: “We did what we set out to do in Charlotte, and now my team is looking forward to continue having fun and doing our very best. Gateway has been a strong place for me in the past and I am looking forward to continuing our strong Countdown start there."  

Career Stats: 429 starts, 581 round wins (11th all-time), 41 wins (Fourth all-time in Top Fuel), 86 finals, 47 no.1 qualifiers (13th all-time)

Countdown Stats: Ninth appearance (Kalitta has appeared in every Countdown for the Championship); 49 overall Countdown starts; 2 wins; 2 No. 1 qualifiers; 43 total Countdown round wins 

2016 Season Stats: Three wins (Houston, Atlanta, Topeka); Four no.1 qualifiers (Phoenix, Atlanta, Norwalk, Charlotte-2); Two finals (Pomona, Charlotte-2); 36 round wins

Point Standings: Second (-42); trails first-place Antron Brown by 42 points, leads third-place Steve Torrence by 58 points

Noteworthy: will campaign the DEWALT FLEXVOLT™ colors for the next two races; has won his first round pairing in 16 of 19 events this season; 12 semi-final or better finishes in 17 events this season; more round wins than season round win total from 2015; clinched his 19th consecutive top ten finish; only driver that has ranked among the top three in the point standings all season

JR Todd

Todd looks to start another streak of success in St. Louis

Highlights: Six semi-finals or better in the last eight races

2015 St. Louis Event Recap: Qualified eighth; First round defeat (lost to Dave Connolly in the first round)

Previous Event Recap (Charlotte): Qualified sixth; First round defeat (lost to Pat Dakin in the first round)

Quotable: “We did not get off to start in the Countdown we were hoping for in Charlotte, but the SealMaster team is still strong. We get another shot it this weekend, and we plan on going rounds this weekend in Gateway."

Career Stats: 143 starts, 139 round wins, 9 wins, 17 finals, 8 no.1 qualifiers

Countdown Stats: Fourth appearance; third consecutive appearance; 19 Countdown starts; 3 finals; 4 No. 1 qualifiers; 20 total Countdown round wins 

2016 Season Stats: One win (Sonoma); Three finals (Atlanta, Norwalk, Chicago); 27 round wins

Point Standings: Sixth (-152); trails fifth-place Tony Schumacher by 25 points, leads seventh-place Shawn Langdon by seven points

Noteworthy: Currently has 27 round wins, which is a career-high (previous high was 25; earned 20 round wins in 2015); qualified top half in every start with Team Kalitta at Gateway

Del Worsham

St. Louis brings back fond memories for Worsham

St. Louis Highlights: Two wins (2015, 2009); 2 finals (2007, 2003); 

2015 St. Louis Event Recap: Qualified second; Winner (Defeated Tony Pedregon in the first round, Tim Wilkerson in the quarter-finals, Cruz Pedregon in the semi-finals and Matt Hagan in the final)

Previous Event Recap (Charlotte): Qualified 12th; Semi-Finalist (Defeated Jack Beckman in the first round and John Bojec in the second round, lost to Tommy Johnson Jr. in the semi-finals)

Quotable: “Last season, Gateway was an awesome race for this DHL Toyota team. After struggling a bit in qualifying, we had a solid race in Charlotte and I am looking for more this weekend." 

Career Stats: 502 starts, 554 round wins, 39 wins (31 in Funny Car, 8 in Top Fuel), 66 finals (55 in Funny Car, 11 in Top Fuel), 20 no.1 qualifiers (13 in Funny Car, 7 in Top Fuel)

Countdown Stats: Seventh appearance (6 in Funny Car, 1 in Top Fuel); Fourth consecutive appearance; 37 overall Countdown starts; eight wins (6 FC, 2 TF); 3 No.1 qualifiers (1 FC, 2 TF); 58 total Countdown round wins (43 FC, 13 TF) 

2016 Season Stats: One win (Brainerd); Four finals (Pomona, Las Vegas, Seattle, Indianapolis); Three poles (Norwalk, Sonoma, Seattle); 32 round wins

Point Standings: Second (-42); trails first-place Ron Capps by 42 points, leads third-place John Force by eight points 

Noteworthy: Six straight semi-finals or better; 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 16 first round wins this season

Alexis DeJoria

DeJoria St. Louis pre-race notes

2015 St. Louis Event Recap: Qualified 12th; Quarter-final finish (Defeated Tommy Johnson Jr. in the first round, lost to Ron Capps in the quarter-finals)

Previous Event Recap (Charlotte): Qualified fourth; First round defeat (Lost to John Bojec in the first round)

Career Stats: 112 starts, 81 round wins, 4 wins, 7 finals, 4 no.1 qualifiers

Countdown Stats: Third consecutive appearance; 13 overall Countdown starts; 2 No.1 qualifiers; 11 total Countdown round wins

2016 Season Stats: One win (Las Vegas); One semi-finals (Bristol); One pole (Charlotte-1); 12 round wins

Point Standings: 10th (-158); trails ninth-place Tim Wilkerson by 31 points

The Dewalt Top Fuel Dragster

ST. LOUIS (September 21, 2016) – For the second consecutive season, NHRA Countdown for the Championship contender Doug Kalitta will showcase the colors of DEWALT. The black and yellow scheme will be campaigned for the next two events: the AAA Midwest Nationals in St. Louis and the NHRA Keystone Nationals in Reading, Penn.

Stanley Black & Decker, the parent company of both Kalitta’s traditional primary sponsor, Mac Tools, and DEWALT, will use the space to promote their new line of DEWALT FLEXVOLT™ products. The DEWALT FLEXVOLT™ line, which includes new battery technology, was launched earlier this season to much acclaim. 

“I am excited to showcase DEWALT’s new FLEXVOLT™ line on my Top Fuel dragster,” said Kalitta, who has clinched his nineteenth consecutive top 10 points finish. “The technology has proven to be a breakthrough for every jobsite and we are proud to utilize both Mac Tools and DEWALT products in our pit area on these 11,000 horsepower machines.” 

DEWALT will utilize the primary placement to educate both consumers and sales representatives on the advantages of the FLEXVOLT™ System, in which a proprietary battery technology platform provides users with multiple voltage outputs from a single DEWALT battery pack – 20V MAX*, 60V MAX*, and 120V MAX* when two 60V MAX* batteries are combined – giving users the power of corded with the freedom of cordless. 

The 2016 season has already been memorable for Kalitta as he scored three consecutive victories earlier this season for the first time of his career. Just days ago, Kalitta recorded a strong performance in the 2016 Countdown for the Championship debut race in Charlotte. He recorded his fourth no.1 qualifier of the season and his fifth final round appearance. Kalitta currently ranks second in the standings. 

“Kalitta Motorsports is pleased to highlight this new line of FLEXVOLT™ products on our 330-mph dragster,” said Jim Oberhofer, Vice President of Operations, Kalitta Motorsports. “Team Kalitta puts our tools through strenuous tests with the engine rebuilds and their reliability is incredible.”

*With respect to 20V MAX* - Maximum initial battery voltage (measured without a workload) is 20 volts. Nominal voltage is 18. With respect to 60V MAX* - Maximum initial battery voltage (measured without a workload) is 60 volts. Nominal voltage is 54. With respect to 120V MAX* - Based on using 2 DEWALT 60V MAX* batteries, combined having a maximum initial battery voltage (measured without a workload) of 120 volts and a nominal voltage of 108.

Doug Kalitta

Kalitta reaches third Charlotte final

Race Recap: Kalitta came into zMax Dragway looking for a solid start to the Countdown. He got it in qualifying for the Carolina Nationals.

Starting with the first pass, Kalitta, crew chief Jim Oberhofer and the Mac Tools team were on it. They scored six bonus points and earned their fourth no.1 qualifying effort of the season with their Friday night 3.721 effort. That gave Kalitta his first career zMax Dragway pole.

And the consistency continued on race day. The first opponent was Ike Maier and the Mac Tools team took him seriously, running a 3.768 second lap to give them lane choice over Countdown for the Championship contender Leah Pritchett.

In the second round, Kalitta was able to get the jump on Pritchett on the line and never looked back running another great 3.817 second pass in the heat of the day. That advanced Kalitta to the semi-finals where the draw would be a new face, Wayne Newby, who advanced to his first semi-final of his NHRA career. Kalitta was again solid on the tree, but the Mac Tools dragster started dropping cylinders almost immediately. Doug held on, and his 3.879 was enough to get the Mac Tools team to their fifth final of the season. The opponent: Antron Brown, the man who sits directly ahead of Kalitta in the point standings.

Doug was ready for the final and was away first on the starting line, but Brown was able to drive around Kalitta for the Charlotte win.

Statistics:

Qualified: No. 1 (3.721 sec., 327.11 mph)

  • E1: Kalitta defeated Maier - 3.768 sec., 324.20 mph to 5.535 sec., 128.37 mph
  • E2: Kalitta defeated Pritchett - 3.817 sec., 320.20 mph to 3.836 sec., 320.13 mph
  • E3: Kalitta defeated Newby - 3.849 sec., 285.83 mph to 4.122 sec., 264.96 mph
  • Final: Kalitta defeated by Brown - 3.811 sec., at 320.28 mph to 3.763 sec., 319.29 mph

Quotable: “Very solid clean weekend for the Mac Tools Toyota team. We definitely wanted to get around Antron there in the final, but that was not in the cards. We are confident in what we learned this weekend and I am looking forward to the Arch and racing in St. Louis next weekend with this Mac Tools, Red Line Oil Toyota team."

Point Standings: Second (-42); trails first-place Antron Brown by 42 points, leads third-place Steve Torrence by 58 points
Worsham advances to another semi-final

Race Recap: With his third straight final on the record in Indianapolis, Worsham turned to the place that got it all started for him last season: zMax Dragway.

Del Worsham

Worsham relished the opportunity to start the Countdown in a place he won just one year ago.

However, qualifying was not what the DHL Toyota team was hoping for as Worsham lit the tires in the evening session, which was the only run that featured prime weather conditions. That meant a season-worst 12th starting spot, and a first round date with Jack Beckman.

Conditions continued to treacherous throughout race day, but Worsham and crew chiefs Jon Oberhofer and Nicky Boninfante were able to get a good tune-up. They raced the race track and that yielded success over Jack Beckman and a first round win. Next up, the upset-minded John Bojec, who took down Worsham's teammate in round one. The DHL team were prepared, however, and made another clean pass to advance to their sixth straight semi-final or better.

The day did end earlier than Worsham would have liked, as pole sitter Tommy Johnson Jr. was able to drive around Worsham in the semi-finals, but with Ron Capps being eliminated just moments later, Worsham was able to keep pace with the championship points leader.

Statistics:

Qualified: No. 12 (3.963 sec., 318.99 mph)

  • E1: Worsham defeated Beckman - 3.976 sec., 321.12 mph to 4.275 sec., 220.37 mph
  • E2: Worsham defeated Richards - 3.986 sec., 321.19 mph to 5.348 sec., 144.06 mph
  • E3: Worsham defeated by Johnson Jr. - 3.990 sec., 322.27 mph to 3.949 sec., 321.19 mph

Quotable: "After struggling a bit in qualifying, it was a solid day for the DHL Toyota team. We want to go as many rounds as we can in these Countdown races, but we did not lose it today. The DHL guys will head to St. Louis, a place that brings fond memories from just one season ago."

Point Standings: Second (-42); trails with first-place Ron Capps by 42 points, leads third-place John Force by eight points

JR Todd

Todd suffers early defeat in Charlotte

Race Recap: Todd and the SealMaster team were prepared to go into the Countdown battle when they hit the zMax Dragway surface earlier this weekend. Two consistent runs on Friday clinched a top half start, which allowed the SealMaster team to test some new ideas on Saturday.

They were looking forward to a long Sunday. The brightly accented SealMaster Toyota Top Fuel dragster was the part of the last pair to see the track with his opponent, Pat Dakin. Unforuntately, it would not be the long day that the SealMaster team set out for as Todd suffered tire smoke early on. It was his first loss in the opening round since Bristol in June.

Statistics:

Qualified: No. 6 (3.741 sec., 325.37 mph)

  • E1: Todd defeated by Dakin - 4.667 sec., 173.85 mph to 3.811 sec., 319.90 mph

Quotable: "Not what the SealMaster Toyota guys were looking for as we began the Countdown for the Championship charge. It is unfortunate, but we are not out of it yet. We will go to Gateway and battle hard to get back into the thick of the chase for the title."

Point Standings: Sixth (-152); trails fifth-place Tony Schumacher by 25 points, leads seventh-place Shawn Langton by seven points

Alexis DeJoria

Stellar qualifying effort doesn't turn into Sunday success for DeJoria

Race Recap: The Countdown kick-off race showed much promise early on for DeJoria. The Tommy DeLago-tuned Tequila Patrón Toyota Camry Funny Car made four clean runs down zMax Dragway in qualifying, including earning a bonus point in the third qualifying pass. However, Sunday, DeJoria saw her first sign of tire smoke on her machine, while her opponent, John Bojec, made a clean pass ending DeJoria's day in the first round.

Statistics:

Qualified: No. 4 (3.887 sec., 324.67 mph)

  • E1: DeJoria defeated by Bojec - DQ (center line) to 4.059 sec., 308.78 mph

Point Standings: 10th (-158); trails ninth-place Tim Wilkerson by 31 points

Doug Kalitta

Doug Kalitta, driver of the Mac Tools Top Fuel Dragster

Q1: 3.786 sec. at 323.19 MPH
Q2: 3.721 sec. at 325.37 MPH
Q3: 3.775 sec. at 322.66 MPH
Q4: 3.774 sec. at 327.11 MPH

Bonus Points: 6 pts. (Third-best of the first session, best of the second session, second-best of the final session)
Starting Position: 1st
First Round Matchup: Ike Maier
Quotable: "Proud of the entire Mac Tools team. Four clean passes in varying conditions is a great way to start this Countdown push. Great crowd here today at zMax Dragway and I am excited to have my first no.1 qualifier here in Charlotte. This is a great facility and I am excited to race here tomorrow."
Notes: This is Kalitta's fourth no.1 qualifying spot of the season (Phoenix, Atlanta, Norwalk) and the first of his career at zMax Dragway. It is the 47th no.1 qualifying position earned by Kalitta which ties him for 12th all-time.

JR Todd

J.R. Todd, driver of the SealMaster Top Fuel Dragster

Q1: 3.822 sec. at 321.65 MPH
Q2: 3.741 sec. at 325.37 MPH
Q3: 7.445 sec. at 87.42 MPH
Q4: 4.197 sec. at 202.09 MPH

Starting Position: 6th
First Round Matchup: Pat Dakin
Quotable: "Great Friday qualifying passes allowed us to test some things with this SealMaster Toyota on Saturday, so we are ready to go racing tomorrow. The weather looks like it will be warm, but I am confident in our tune-up and I look forward to going rounds tomorrow at the Carolina Nationals."

Del Worsham

Del Worsham, driver of the DHL Toyota Camry Funny Car

Q1: 3.963 sec. at 318.99 MPH
Q2: 5.953 sec. at 115.73 MPH
Q3: 11.757 sec. at 78.78 MPH
Q4: 3.971 sec. at 318.02 MPH

Starting Position: 12th
First Round Matchup: Jack Beckman
Quotable: "We have great weather and a great track. A couple glitches the last couple runs, but that is a good way to end qualifying by getting the DHL Toyota Camry down the track. It was exciting to win here last year and that is the plan again this season."

All photos are courtesy of Gary Nastase Photography.

Alexis DeJoria

Alexis DeJoria, driver of the Tequila Patrón Toyota Camry Funny Car

Q1: 3.965 sec. at 322.27 MPH
Q2: 3.887 sec. at 324.67 MPH
Q3: 3.926 sec. at 324.12 MPH
Q4: 3.942 sec. at 324.59 MPH

Bonus Points: 1 pt. (Third-best of the third session)
Starting Position: 4th
First Round Matchup: John Bojec

For further requests for Alexis DeJoria, please contact:

Allison McCormick
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Photo is courtesy of Gary Nastase Photography.

PR Contact:

(Doug Kalitta, Del Worsham, J.R. Todd)
Cody Poor
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

#NHRAonFOX Telecast information:
9/18 Qualifying (FS1) - 11:00am - 12:00pm
9/18 Race (FS1) - 2:30pm - 5:30pm - LIVE

All times are EST.

DougKalitta

(CHARLOTTE) – Doug Kalitta, driver of the Mac Tools Top Fuel Dragster, claimed the provisional pole for the Carolina Nationals held at zMax Dragway in Charlotte earlier today.

The second seed in the Countdown for the Championship was stellar through both qualifying passes. His 3.786 second elapsed time in the first qualifying round placed him third overall heading into the lone evening session of the weekend.

The second-to-last machine to see the track, the Mac Tools team was prepared. With a target of 3.729 seconds ahead of them, Kalitta eclipsed that run in his Mac Tools Toyota, reaching the finish line in 3.721 seconds at 325.77 mph. One machine followed but could not defeat Kalitta and his Jim Oberhofer-tuned Mac Tools Top Fuel dragster.

"That was exactly what we were looking to do," said Kalitta. "It was exciting to wait down there and then be able to hold on to it. Very proud of the work that Jim O, Troy and the team have put into this Mac Tools Toyota. This is exactly the start we were looking for going into this Countdown."

Kalitta earned a total of four bonus points on the day. If his run holds through the two qualifying passes tomorrow, he will earn his first zMax Dragway no.1 qualifier of his career. zMax Dragway is one of only two tracks that Kalitta has yet to claim a no.1 qualifier. It would be his fourth pole position of the season following early season no.1 qualifier wins in Phoenix, Atlanta and Norwalk.

Doug Kallita

Multi-time Charlotte finalist Kalitta desires a win

Charlotte Highlights: Two finals (2010 Charlotte-1, 2010 Charlotte-2)

2015 Charlotte Event Recap: Qualified 10th; Quarter-Final finish (Defeated Dave Connolly in the first round, lost to Tony Schumacher in the quarter-finals)

Previous Event Recap (Indianapolis): Qualified sixth; Semi-Finalist (Defeated Richie Crampton in the first round and Brittany Force in the quarter-finals, lost to Steve Torrence in the semi-finals)

Quotable: “We are excited to get this Countdown for the Championship underway. I am confident in the Mac Tools team and I look forward to these last six races. Every round is important and our goal is to start strong in Charlotte."

Career Stats: 428 starts, 578 round wins (11th all-time), 41 wins (Fourth all-time in Top Fuel), 85 finals, 46 no.1 qualifiers (13th all-time)

Countdown Stats: Ninth appearance (Kalitta has appeared in every Countdown for the Championship); 48 overall Countdown starts; 2 wins; 1 No. 1 qualifier; 40 total Countdown round wins

2016 Season Stats: Three wins (Houston, Atlanta, Topeka); Three no.1 qualifiers (Phoenix, Atlanta, Norwalk); One final (Pomona); 33 round wins

Point Standings: Second (-30); trails first-place Antron Brown by 30 points, leads third-place Steve Torrence by 10 points

Noteworthy: has won his first round pairing in 15 of 18 events this season; 11 semi-final or better finishes in 17 events this season; more round wins than season round win total from 2015; clinched his 19th consecutive top ten finish; Charlotte is one of three tracks that Kalitta does not own a win (Epping, Indianapolis); Charlotte is also one of two tracks that Kalitta does not own a no.1 qualifier (Bristol)

JR Todd

After last season's narrow defeat, Todd looks for first zMax trophy

Charlotte Highlights: One final (2015 Charlotte-2); Two No.1 qualifiers (2014 Charlotte-2, 2015 Charlotte-1)

2015 Charlotte Event Recap: Qualified eighth; Finalist (Defeated Shawn Langdon in the first round, Clay Millican in the quarter-finals and Leah Pritchett in the semi-finals, lost to Antron Brown in the finals)

Previous Event Recap (Indianapolis): Qualified 10th; Semi-Finalist (Defeated Morgan Lucas in the first round and Clay Millican in the quarter-finals, lost to Tony Schumacher in the semi-finals)

Quotable: “We have been able to get a handle on the consistency of the SealMaster Toyota and I am ready for the start of the Countdown. I feel like we have the car where we need it to make moves and have a shot at the title. Charlotte is up first and I would like to go one step further than we did last season."

Career Stats: 142 starts, 139 round wins, 9 wins, 17 finals, 8 no.1 qualifiers

Countdown Stats: Fourth appearance; third consecutive appearance; 18 Countdown starts; 3 finals; 4 No. 1 qualifiers; 20 total Countdown round wins

2016 Season Stats: One win (Sonoma); Three finals (Atlanta, Norwalk, Chicago); 27 round wins

Point Standings: Sixth (-70); trails fifth-place Brittany Force by 10 points, leads seventh-place Shawn Langdon by 10 points

Noteworthy: Currently has 27 round wins, which is a career-high (previous high was 25; earned 20 round wins in 2015); six semi-final or better finishes in the last seven races; seven straight first round wins; earned at least one no. 1 qualifier in Charlotte every season since joining Team Kalitta

Del Worsham

Reigning event champion Worsham plans for a repeat

Charlotte Highlights: Two wins (2015 Charlotte-2 (FC), 2011 Charlotte-1 (TF)); 1 final (2015 Charlotte-1 (FC)); only driver in zMax Dragway history to own a Top Fuel and Funny Car win at the facility

2015 Charlotte Event Recap: Qualified second; Winner (Defeated Dave Richards in the first round, Matt Hagan in the quarter-finals, John Force in the semi-finals and Tommy Johnson Jr. in the final)

Previous Event Recap (Indianapolis): Qualified seventh; Finalist (Defeated Alexis DeJoria in the first round, Dave Richards in the quarter-finals and Ron Capps in the semi-finals, lost to Matt Hagan in the finals)

Quotable: “The DHL Toyota team would like to start the Countdown how we did last season. It set us up for the run we had to the title. This season, the Funny Car class is very strong, so we have to continue to perform."

Career Stats: 501 starts, 552 round wins, 39 wins (31 in Funny Car, 8 in Top Fuel), 66 finals (55 in Funny Car, 11 in Top Fuel), 20 no.1 qualifiers (13 in Funny Car, 7 in Top Fuel)

Countdown Stats: Seventh appearance (6 in Funny Car, 1 in Top Fuel); Fourth consecutive appearance; 36 overall Countdown starts; eight wins (6 FC, 2 TF); 3 No.1 qualifiers (1 FC, 2 TF); 56 total Countdown round wins (43 FC, 13 TF)

2016 Season Stats: One win (Brainerd); Four finals (Pomona, Las Vegas, Seattle, Indianapolis); Three poles (Norwalk, Sonoma, Seattle); 30 round wins

Point Standings: Second (-30); trails first-place Ron Capps by 30 points, leads third-place Matt Hagan by 10 points

Noteworthy: Three straight final round appearances (scored a win in Brainerd); five straight semi-finals or better; only driver with a TF and FC win at zMax Dragway; 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 15 first round wins this season

Alexis DeJoria

DeJoria Charlotte pre-race notes

Charlotte highlights: Two No. 1 qualifiers (2016 Charlotte-1, 2014 Charlotte-2)

2015 Charlotte Event Recap: Qualified 13th; Semi-Finalist (Defeated Tim Wilkerson in the first round and Shane Westerfield in the second round, lost to Tommy Johnson Jr. in the semi-finals)

Previous Event Recap (Indianapolis): Qualified 10th; First round defeat (Lost to Del Worsham in the first round)

Career Stats: 111 starts, 81 round wins, 4 wins, 7 finals, 4 no.1 qualifiers

Countdown Stats: Third consecutive appearance; 12 overall Countdown starts; 2 No.1 qualifiers; 11 total Countdown round wins

2016 Season Stats: One win (Las Vegas); One semi-final (Bristol); One no.1 qualifier (Charlotte); 12 round wins

Point Standings: 10th (-110); trails ninth-place Tim Wilkerson by 10 points

Del Worsham 

Worsham makes the U.S. Nationals final

Race Recap: Coming off of his first win of the season, Worsham was still hungry heading into U.S. Nationals. It had been over a decade since Worsham had scored an U.S. Nationals trophy and he was ready for another.

Campaigning the new look DHL/Mello Yello Toyota Camry Funny Car, Worsham had a lot of pressure in qualifying, but he and the 'Yello Fellos' delivered a consistent machine and a solid top half start. However, the draw was something he would have much rather have seen in the finals: his teammate, Alexis DeJoria.

The seventh pair in the Funny Car class, Worsham and DeJoria were ready for their pair. They left together, but DeJoria smoked the tires immediately allowing Worsham to skate by. The next foe would be the upset-minded Dave Richards, who got by Jack Beckman in round one. Worsham moved first and easily defeated Richards, who shut off early.

The semi-finals draw would be the points leader Ron Capps. Worsham and Capps left together, but the DHL/Mello Yello team had the horsepower to make their third straight final round and fifth on the season. Their draw was Matt Hagan for the second consecutive final round. This time, Hagan would get the win in a very close race.

Worsham still would move up in the standings and claim the second seed overall for the Countdown for the Championship.

Statistics:
Qualified: No. 7 (3.874 sec., 328.86 mph)

  • E1: Worsham defeated DeJoria - 3.897 sec., 325.92 mph to 9.304 sec., 94.02 mph
  • E2: Worsham defeated Richards - 3.986 sec., 321.19 mph to 5.348 sec., 144.06 mph
  • E3: Worsham defeated Capps - 3.976 sec., 321.96 mph to 4.059 sec., 308.71 mph
  • Final: Worsham defeated by Hagan - 3.958 sec., 324.20 mph to 3.964 sec., 327.43 mph

Quotable: "Disappointing end to a solid weekend. We wanted the trophy and we didn't get it. Proud to have been associated with both DHL and Mello Yello this weekend. We made moves in the standings and I am looking forward to the Countdown for the Championship."

Point Standings: Second (-30); trails with first-place Jack Beckman by 30 points, leads third-place Matt Hagan by 10 points

7b92824a-36ad-46ef-bc84-7e29c6e9c62a.jpg

Todd races to best Big Go result

Race Recap: After not seeing the results the team was looking for in Brainerd, the SealMaster team and J.R. Todd spent two days last week preparing for the NHRA's biggest race: the U.S. Nationals. They made several passes to learn and make progress on the tune-up prior to the Countdown for the Championship.

Todd and the SealMaster team used that data to have a solid start in qualifying. They were unable to improve on Sunday and Todd slipped to right below the top half line, starting in ninth.

The first opponent was his former boss Morgan Lucas. Todd drove for MLR in 2008, scoring a win in Dallas. He showed no mercy with a stellar move off of the line, and a wire-to-wire finish to move to the second round where his draw was the no.1 qualifier Clay Millican. Todd again moved first and earned his first U.S. Nationals semi-final. He drew rival Tony Schumacher, and the SealMaster machine smoked the tires early. Todd pedaled masterfully, but was unable to catch Schumacher's machine.

With the result, Todd earned the sixth seed in the Countdown for the Championship. That is his highest starting seed since joining Team Kalitta.

Statistics:
Qualified: No. 7 (3.732 sec., 311.63 mph)

  • E1: Todd defeated Lucas - 3.718 sec., 326.56 mph to 4.373 sec., 181.64 mph
  • E2: Todd defeated Millican - 3.773 sec., 326.40 mph to 4.814 sec., 158.46 mph
  • E3: Todd defeated by Schumacher - 4.174 sec., 298.87 mph to 3.981 sec., 298.87 mph

Quotable: "It was a good day. We made two really good runs in the first two rounds. I really didn’t expect to go out there and smoke the tires like we did in the semi-finals. The track warmed up and it was just some conditions that we hadn’t seen all weekend long. We had a few mechanical issues that we were fighting this weekend and to bounce back like we did today and come out of here like we did is good momentum for the Countdown for the SealMaster Toyota guys. So it was a good weekend overall."

Point Standings: Sixth (-70); trails fifth-place Tony Schumacher by 10 points, leads seventh-place Shawn Langton by 10 points

Doug Kalitta

Kalitta goes rounds at the U.S. Nationals

Race Recap: Kalitta came to the U.S. Nationals focused. After an outstanding test aboard the Mac Tools Top Fuel dragster, Kalitta was ready for battle. The night conditions sealed Kalitta's sixth starting spot, but Kalitta was consistent in the heat of Sunday. He scored four of the possible six bonus points on Sunday to set the Mac Tools team up strong for racing conditions.

Kalitta started his Labor Day Monday with a Morgan Lucas Racing machine for the second consecutive race. This time it would be Austrialian transplant Richie Crampton. Kalitta was off of the line first and led all the way to the stripe, recording a solid 3.745 second pass. His second round pairing against Brittany Force would prove to be more eventful. Kalitta's Mac Tools ride was again off of the line first, but lost a blower belt down track and recorded just a 289MPH pass. However, Force smoked the tires early and Kalitta was able to move back into the semi-finals. Unfortunately, the semi-final is where the run would end as Steve Torrence was able to drive around the Mac Tools driver when the dragster struggled down track.

Kalitta earned the second seed for the Countdown for the Championship.

Statistics:
Qualified: No. 6 (3.726 sec., 321.81 mph)

  • E1: Kalitta defeated Crampton - 3.745 sec., 327.35 mph to 4.351 sec., 223.65 mph
  • E2: Kalitta defeated B. Force - 3.833 sec., 289.26 mph to 4.791 sec., 163.43 mph
  • E3: Kalitta defeated by Torrence - 3.849 sec., 285.83 mph to 4.122 sec., 264.96 mph

Quotable: “Getting beat in the third round sucked. This is a race that we really wanted to win, but we’ll just have to come back out here next year and try again. It’s frustrating. I feel pretty good heading into the playoffs. We have a good hot weather set-up and really the guys have a good handle on the car in all conditions. I think we’re where we need to be at this point of the game. I’m really looking forward to the Countdown.”

Point Standings: Second (-30); trails first-place Antron Brown by 30 points, leads third-place Steve Torrence by 10 points

Alexis DeJoria

Early tire smoke ends DeJoria's hope for another U.S. Nationals win

Race Recap: DeJoria returned to action after two races away due to injury at the site of her biggest race win, the 2014 U.S. Nationals. The Patrón team earned their qualifying spot in the third attempt and finished qualifying with three straight three second passes, earning the 10th starting spot. Unfortunately, her draw was her teammate and reigning Funny Car Champion Del Worsham. Worsham and DeJoria left the line side-by-side, but soon after DeJoria fell to tire smoke yielding the round win to Worsham.

Statistics:
Qualified: No. 10 (3.945 sec., 324.28 mph)

  • E1: DeJoria defeated by Worsham - 9.304 sec., 94.02 mph to 3.897 sec., 325.92 mph

Point Standings: 10th (-110); trails ninth-place Tim Wilkerson by 10 points

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On the Run with Ashley

70

Mello Yello Championship Points

Top Fuel (Unofficial)

1. Leah Pritchett (300)
2. Tony Schumacher (279)
3. Antron Brown (243)
4. Doug Kalitta (220)
5. Brittany Force (202)
6. Steve Torrence (185)
7. Troy Coughlin Jr. (143)
8. Shawn Reed (136)
9. Clay Millican (133)
10. Scott Palmer (116)

Funny Car (Unofficial)

1. Matt Hagan (308)
2. John Force (238)
3. Ron Capps (235)
4. Tommy Johnson Jr (209)
5. Courtney Force (177)
6. Robert Hight (150)
7. Jim Campbell (148)
8. Jack Beckman (144)
9. J.R. Todd (138)
10. Robert Hight (117)
12. Alexis DeJoria (101)

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