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Kalitta Motorsports News

Paul Lee Racing

Funny Car racer Paul Lee, who will make his season debut at the Toyota NHRA Nationals in Las Vegas as part of the Kalitta Motorsports team, visited the Wally Parks NHRA Studio where Amanda Busick spoke with him about his new team and his plans for the future.

Lee will campaign the McLeod Clutches Toyota Camry Funny Car for Kalitta Motorsports for the last two events on the 2016 NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series schedule. Veteran Todd Smith will be tuning the car.

Lee, who resides in Orange County, Calif., is the president of McLeod Racing LLC, a global leader in automotive and clutch driveline technology. He will own the equipment, but it will be run out of the Kalitta Motorsports Ypsilanti, Mich.-based shop.

Lee began drag racing at age 18 in his home state of New Jersey. Lee drove Top Alcohol Funny Cars from 1988 until 2005 and won three NHRA national event titles and one divisional race. Lee stepped up to nitro Funny Cars in 2005 and has run as quick as 4.007 at nearly 318 mph.

Paul Lee Racing

JR TODD

YPSILANTI, Mich. (October 19, 2016) – SealMaster, the one-stop source for pavement maintenance products and equipment, and Kalitta Motorsports are pleased to announce a contract extension for the 2017 season. SealMaster will continue as the primary sponsor on J.R. Todd’s Top Fuel dragster for the entire 2017 24-race NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Season schedule. SealMaster will also be an associate backer on the Top Fuel dragsters driven by Doug Kalitta and Troy Coughlin, Jr. and the Toyota Camry Funny Cars of Alexis DeJoria and Del Worsham.

“It is always exciting to announce a sponsorship renewal, especially with SealMaster. They are truly some of the greatest people to work with,” said Todd. “It has been an awesome season representing all of the incredible SealMaster franchisees and I am thrilled to be able to do the same for the entire 2017 season as well. I have been welcomed into the SealMaster family and they always come out in huge groups to support us on track as well. We did a lot of good this season, but I am ready to see what 2017 will offer in this SealMaster Toyota Top Fuel dragster.”

SealMaster franchisees manufacture pavement sealer and distribute a full line of pavement maintenance products and equipment throughout the United States, including Puerto Rico. Franchisees serve contractors, public and private road maintenance departments, property managers and others charged with pavement maintenance and preservation. They first signed with Kalitta Motorsports in the 2014 season as an associate sponsor on the Top Fuel dragsters driven by Kalitta and Todd. Last season, they expanded that relationship to the primary level for two races with Todd before becoming his title sponsor for the entire 2016 season.

"It’s been a great three seasons with Kalitta Motorsports and we’re looking forward to another in 2017,” says SealMaster Franchise Director Rick Simon. “Our brand is aligned with a talented driver on a highly regarded team, which brings significant visibility to SealMaster. The team is wonderful to work with and very conscientious about delivering value to us as a partner.”

Todd has taken the fan-favorite SealMaster scheme to his career-best season, with a new high in round wins and matching his rookie year total of four final round appearances. He gave SealMaster their first win as a primary sponsor with a victory at the Toyota Sonoma Nationals in July. Todd clinched his third consecutive Countdown for the Championship appearance with a semi-final effort in Seattle and has ranked among the top eight drivers in the Top Fuel standings after every race this season.

“SealMaster has truly embraced this program and it has been great to see,” said Jim Oberhofer, Vice President of Operations, Kalitta Motorsports. “Each week we welcome franchisees and their guests to the track and to see the joy on their face is awesome. SealMaster has become a big part of the Team Kalitta family and we look forward to this relationship continuing for many years to come.”
PR Contact:

(Kalitta Motorsports)
Cody Poor
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Photo is courtesy of Gary Nastase.

Del Worsham

Worsham advances to semi-finals

Race Recap: As the defending race winner, Worsham was very excited to get back to the Texas Motorplex. Worsham ran well in qualifying with three complete passes. His best, a 3.907 second run, was in the prime conditions on Friday's evening and that slotted Worsham in the sixth position for Sunday's eliminations.

Friend Chad Head was the first opponent. Worsham's DHL Toyota pulled hard towards the wall at the finish line, but he hung onto it and moved past Head with a 3.909 second pass. That run gave him lane choice over Tommy Johnson Jr. in the second round. Johnson Jr. was riding a streak of three consecutive final round appearances, but Worsham and the DHL Yella Fellas were able to put a stop to that. They ran quicker than their opening lap with a 3.907 and moved Worsham to his seventh semi-final in the last nine events.

Points leader Ron Capps was the semi-final draw. Crew chiefs Jon Oberhofer and Nicky Boninfante guided the DHL Toyota Camry to another stellar run, a 3.900, but it was not enough to take out Capps.

Statistics:

Qualified: No. 6 (3.857 sec., 326.95 mph)

E1: Worsham defeated Head - 3.909 sec., 328.14 mph to 3.924 sec., 328.06 mph

E2: Worsham defeated Johnson Jr. - 3.907 sec., 324.75 mph to 4.036 sec., 291.82 mph

E3: Worsham defeated by Capps - 3.900 sec., 327.11 mph to 3.904 sec., 321.35 mph

Quotable: "Not the way we wanted the FallNationals to end for this DHL Toyota team. Our car ran strong all weekend, but it was not our day. Vegas is a big race for Toyota, and we plan to race hard and try to pick up a win there."

Point Standings: Fifth (-148); trails with fourth-place Jack Beckman by 14 points, leads sixth-place Robert Hight by 42 points

JR Todd

A return to the semi-finals for Todd in Dallas

Race Recap: After a weather-affected Reading race, Todd and the SealMaster team were eager to get to Texas Motorplex and the AAA FallNationals. In qualifying, Todd was stout. They earned bonus points in two of the final three rounds and started a solid fourth overall with a 3.723 second effort.

At his 150th career NHRA Top Fuel event, Todd's first draw was Texan Troy Buff. Todd was stout on the tree and the tune-up was great down track, and the SealMaster team moved past the first round and earned Todd's 30th round win of the season.

In the second round, Todd faced fellow Countdown competitor Brittany Force. Todd again left first and pulled ahead early to move back to the semi-finals for the eighth time in the last 11 events. However, Todd's race would end there. He was ahead of semi-final opponent, Antron Brown, at both of the 60' and 330' lines, but the SealMaster ride encountered troubles before the finish yielding the round win to Brown.

Statistics:

Qualified: No. 4 (3.723 sec., 309.27 mph)

E1: Todd defeated Buff - 3.723 sec., 324.36 mph to 3.849 sec., 313.58 mph

E2: Todd defeated B. Force - 3.724 sec., 323.12 mph to 4.181 sec., 245.00 mph

E3: Todd defeated by Brown - 3.849 sec., 279.90 mph to 3.731 sec., 319.52 mph

Quotable: "We had a solid day with this SealMaster Toyota team, but it ended earlier than we would have liked. We had a great run going there in the semis, but it just did not make it to the line. The SealMaster team will regroup and move to Vegas where we have had a lot of success in the past."

Point Standings: Seventh (-244); trails sixth-place Tony Schumacher by 35 points, leads eighth-place Leah Pritchett by 10 points

Doug Kalitta

Kalitta falls in the quarter-finals

Race Recap: Kalitta returned to his familiar Mac Tools colors in Dallas at Texas Motorplex and the team was ready from the first run. Jim Oberhofer tuned the Mac Tools dragster to the second-best run in the first session earning valuable bonus points. However, that pass would stay as Kalitta's best run during qualifying, and he eventually got pushed from second to ninth. It was Kalitta's first time this season starting race day from the bottom half of the field.

Kalitta and his opponent, Richie Crampton, were pair number one on the Texas Motorplex surface after the National Anthem was sung. Kalitta's Mac Tools ride moved first and steady pulled away from the Crampton machine to move Kalitta to the final eight. In the second round, Kalitta drew the man he is chasing for the title, Antron Brown. Kalitta and Brown left together, but Brown would pull away to take the round win.

Statistics:

Qualified: No. 9 (3.745 sec., 321.04 mph)

E1: Kalitta defeated Crampton - 3.715 sec., 325.30 mph to 4.815 sec., 166.31 mph

E2: Kalitta defeated by Brown - 3.765 sec., 327.19 mph to 3.729 sec., 320.74 mph

Quotable: “We were hoping to go rounds today and that was a tough loss. The Mac Tools team will continue to fight hard at Toyota's race in Las Vegas."

Point Standings: Second (-150); trails first-place Antron Brown by 150 points, leads third-place Shawn Langdon by 22 points
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.

All photos are courtesy of Gary Nastase Photography.

Alexis DeJoria 

DeJoria earns Dallas round win

Race Recap: In her adopted hometown, DeJoria was eager to do well among many friends and family that had gathered. DeJoria showed consistency in qualifying with three clean passes. Her best, a 3.911, came in the last qualifying pass, giving DeJoria and the Patrón team confidence heading into raceday. DeJoria's first opponent was John Force. The last Funny Car duo to see the track, Force moved before the green giving the round win to DeJoria. She had a solid pass with the win, running a 3.922 seconds. DeJoria's day ended in the second round despite another nice run.

Statistics:

Qualified: No. 9 (3.911 sec., 319.37 mph)

E1: DeJoria defeated J. Force - 3.922 sec., 324.36 mph to Foul

E2: DeJoria defeated by Hight - 3.918 sec., 326.00 mph to 3.885 sec., 329.83 mph

Point Standings: 10th (-314); trails ninth-place Tim Wilkerson by 77 points
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.

JR Todd

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

Q1: 3.787 sec. at 322.96 MPH
Q2: 3.723 sec. at 309.27 MPH
Q3: 3.815 sec. at 273.55 MPH
Q4: 3.731 sec. at 324.90 MPH

Bonus Points: 2 pts (Third-best of the second session, third-best of the final session)
Starting Position: 4th
First Round Matchup: Troy Buff
Quotable: "Really consistent, solid qualifying passes for the SealMaster Toyota team. Connie, Rob and the guys have worked hard this weekend and we have a good handle on the track in the conditions that we are going to see tomorrow. I look forward to Sunday here in Texas and hopefully several rounds of racing in this SealMaster machine."

Doug Kalitta

Doug Kalitta, driver of the Mac Tools Top Fuel Dragster

Q1: 3.745 sec. at 321.04 MPH
Q2: 3.752 sec. at 281.13 MPH
Q3: 4.519 sec. at 168.83 MPH
Q4: 3.773 sec. at 326.00 MPH

Bonus Points: 2 pts (Second-best of the first session)
Starting Position: 9th
First Round Matchup: Richie Crampton
Quotable: "Real proud of the Mac Tools guys. That was a good pass to end qualifying. Plenty of racing still left for the Mac Tools team and we are down for the fight."

Del Worsham

Del Worsham, driver of the DHL Toyota Camry Funny Car

Q1: 3.923 sec. at 322.65 MPH
Q2: 3.857 sec. at 326.95 MPH
Q3: 3.904 sec. at 327.98 MPH
Q4: 6.009 sec. at 112.08 MPH

Starting Position: 6th
First Round Matchup: Chad Head
Quotable: "Solid qualifying effort for the DHL Toyota team. We made several good passes and we feel confident in what we have learned. It is going to be another hot one out there tomorrow, so we are going to race smart and try to repeat what we did here last year."

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.

All photos are courtesy of Gary Nastase Photography.

Alexis DeJoria

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

Q1: 3.961 sec. at 321.96 MPH
Q2: 7.244 sec. at 182.59 MPH
Q3: 3.960 sec. at 322.65 MPH
Q4: 3.911 sec. at 319.37 MPH

Starting Position: 9th
First Round Matchup: John Force
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.

#NHRAonFOX Telecast information:
10/15 Qualifying (FS1) - 1:00am - 2:00am
10/16 Race (FS1) - 2:00pm - 5:00pm - LIVE

All times are EST.

Troy Coughlin Jr.

DALLAS (October 14, 2016) – Kalitta Motorsports is pleased to announce the expansion to a third Top Fuel dragster team driven by Troy Coughlin, Jr. beginning in the 2017 season. This announcement aligns two of the legendary names in the sport, Kalitta and Coughlin, for the first time.

“I am very excited to be competing in the Top Fuel class with Kalitta Motorsports,” said Coughlin, Jr. “Kalitta Motorsports has a lot of history and legacy in NHRA similar to my family. The first time I came to Team Kalitta I noticed the family-type atmosphere and the extreme desire to win and I knew this was the team I wanted to be involved with. I am studying hard and plan to hit the ground running and have a strong start to the 2017 NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing season.”

Coughlin, Jr. is the current points leader in Division 3’s Super Comp division. He previously won the 2013 Super Gas title in Division 3 and is a two-time NHRA U.S. Nationals winner. Last season, he drove in the NHRA J&A Service Pro Mod series and was named Rookie of the Year. In his career, the 26-year-old driver has driven Junior Dragsters, Super Comp, Super Gas, Top Dragster and Pro Mod machines. Earlier this year, he earned his Top Fuel license.

Next season, Coughlin, Jr. is currently scheduled to compete in a limited schedule that may be expanded with additional funding.

Coughlin, Jr. comes from a family with a long line of NHRA success. He will be the first Coughlin to compete in the Top Fuel ranks since his grandfather, Jeg Coughlin, Sr., won races in the late '70s and '80s. His father, Troy Coughlin, Sr., is the reigning NHRA J&A Service Pro Mod Champion, while his uncles, John Coughlin, Mike Coughlin and Jeg Coughlin, Jr. are all multi-time champions. John and Mike earned multiple Division 3 titles, while Jeg Coughlin, Jr. is a five-time Pro Stock champion and current Countdown for the Championship qualifier. All totaled the Coughlin family owns 111 NHRA national event wins.

He is expected to be a strong contender for the 2017 AAA Road to the Future rookie of the year trophy, which is something that his uncle, Jeg Coughlin, Jr., claimed in 1998, and three of his new teammates, Del Worsham (1991), Doug Kalitta (1998) and J.R. Todd (2006), have also earned.

“Kalitta Motorsports is thrilled to have Troy, Jr. join our team,” said Jim Oberhofer, Vice President of Operations, Kalitta Motorsports. “He has a ton of talent and a passion for racing. The Coughlin and Kalitta names have a long track record of success in NHRA drag racing and we know Troy, Jr. is just going to help continue that tradition of success for both families for years to come.”

Founded in 1959, Kalitta Motorsports will expand to a sixth entry for the first time in its history. As the only multi-car nitro team to qualify every team in the Countdown for the Championship for the past three seasons, Team Kalitta has a long history of success. Coughlin, Jr. will have an incredible set of teammates to lean on as he goes through his rookie season. Current Team Kalitta drivers Kalitta, Todd, Worsham, Alexis DeJoria and Paul Lee have nearly 100 combined victories and over 1,000 round wins.

Coughlin, Jr.’s 2017 schedule, sponsorship and crew chief will be announced at a later date.

Doug Kalitta 

Kalitta looks for third Dallas triumph

Dallas Highlights: Two wins (2013, 2002); Three finals (2001, 1999, 1998); One no.1 qualifier (2004)

2015 Dallas Event Recap: Qualified 11th; First round defeat (Lost to Richie Crampton in the first round)

Previous Event Recap (Reading): Qualified fourth; Quarter-final finish (Defeated Ike Maier in the first round, lost to Brittany Force in the quarter-finals)

Quotable: “We lost a little bit of ground in Reading, but I know this Mac Tools team has what it takes to get it done. Dallas has been good for the Kalitta team as a whole recently. We will use that data to hopefully have another solid race this weekend."

Career Stats: 431 starts, 583 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); 51 overall Countdown starts; 2 wins; 2 No. 1 qualifiers; 45 total Countdown round wins

2016 Season Stats: Three wins (Houston, Atlanta, Topeka); Four No.1 qualifiers (Phoenix, Atlanta, Norwalk, Charlotte-II); Two finals (Pomona, Charlotte-II); 38 round wins

Point Standings: Second (-77); trails first-place Antron Brown by 77 points, leads third-place Brittany Force by 41 points

Noteworthy: has won his first round pairing in 18 of 21 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 after every race this season; winner of two of the last three races held in Texas (2015 and 2016 Houston winner)

JR TODD 

Todd desires strong 2016 finish

Dallas Highlights: One win (2008); One final (2014); Two No.1 qualifiers (2014, 2007)

2015 Dallas Event Recap: Qualified 10th; First round defeat (lost to Antron Brown in the first round)

Previous Event Recap (Reading): Qualified 15th; First round defeat (lost to Antron Brown in the first round)

Quotable: “I am excited to get back on track with this SealMaster Toyota team. Reading was a unique event but it did not go our way. However, I know we still have a great car and are ready for this weekend. Couple years back we had a nice Dallas race and I would really like to take that a step further and get the win."

Career Stats: 145 starts, 141 round wins, 9 wins, 17 finals, 8 no.1 qualifiers

Countdown Stats: Fourth appearance; third consecutive appearance; 21 Countdown starts; 3 finals; 4 No. 1 qualifiers; 22 total Countdown round wins

2016 Season Stats: One win (Sonoma); Three finals (Atlanta, Norwalk, Chicago); 29 round wins

Point Standings: Eighth (-194); trails seventh-place Leah Pritchett by five points, leads ninth-place Richie Crampton by 24 points

Noteworthy: Currently has 29 round wins, which is a career-high (previous high was 25; earned 20 round wins in 2015); seven semi-finals or better in the last ten races; Dallas is Todd’s 150th career event

Del Worsham

Last season's Dallas victor, Worsham plans for a repeat

Dallas Highlights: Three wins (2015, 2004, 2002); One final (2014); One No. 1 qualifier (2015)

2015 Dallas Event Recap: Qualified first; Race Winner (Defeated John Hale in the first round, Alexis DeJoria in the quarter-finals, Ron Capps in the semi-finals and Jack Beckman in the final)

Previous Event Recap (Reading): Qualified third; Quarter-final finish (Defeated John Force in the first round, lost to Jack Beckman in the quarter-finals)

Quotable: “Dallas was a lot of fun last season for this DHL Toyota team. We started up front and continued that run throughout Sunday. I would love a repeat this season and another cool Texas Motorplex cowboy hat."

Career Stats: 504 starts, 555 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; 39 overall Countdown starts; eight wins (6 FC, 2 TF); 3 No.1 qualifiers (1 FC, 2 TF); 59 total Countdown round wins (46 FC, 13 TF)

2016 Season Stats: One win (Brainerd); Four finals (Pomona-I, Las Vegas-I, Seattle, Indianapolis); Three No. 1 qualifiers (Norwalk, Sonoma, Seattle); 33 round wins

Point Standings: Fifth (-122); trails fourth-place Matt Hagan by 12 points, leads sixth-place John Force by 16 points

Noteworthy: Reigning Dallas No.1 qualifier and race winner; Six semi-finals or better in the last eight events; 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 17 first round wins this season

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.

lexis Dejoria

DeJoria Dallas pre-race notes

Dallas Highlights: Site of first career professional event (2011)

2015 Dallas Event Recap: Qualified ninth; Quarter-final finish (Defeated Tim Wilkerson in the first round, lost to Del Worsham in the quarter-finals)

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

Career Stats: 114 starts, 81 round wins, 4 wins, 7 finals, 4 No.1 qualifiers

Countdown Stats: Third consecutive appearance; 15 overall Countdown starts; 2 No.1 qualifiers; 11 total Countdown round wins

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

Point Standings: 10th (-269); trails ninth-place Courtney Force by 83 points
For further requests on Alexis DeJoria, please contact:

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

Photos courtesy of Gary Nastase.

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On the Run with Ashley

70

Mello Yello Championship Points

Top Fuel (Unofficial)

1. Leah Pritchett (494)
2. Antron Brown (440)
3. Tony Schumacher (438)
4. Doug Kalitta (358)
5. Steve Torrence (352) 
6. Brittany Force (292)
7. Clay Millican (269)
8. Troy Coughlin Jr. (228)
9. Terry McMillen (195)
10. Scott Palmer (180)
17. Shawn Langdon (32)
 

Funny Car (Unofficial)

1. Matt Hagan (400)
2. Ron Capps (398)
3. John Force (371)
4. Tommy Johnson Jr. (357)
5. Robert Hight (301)
5. Courtney Force (301)
7. Jack Beckman (282)
8. Jonnie Lindberg (235)
9. J.R. Todd (222)
10. Jim Campbell (211)
11. Alexis DeJoria (208)

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