Kalitta Motorsports News

Doug Kalitta Seattle Sunday.jpg

Kalitta clinches Countdown spot; claims Seattle round win

Race Recap: Doug Kalitta clinched his 20th straight top ten points finish this weekend in Seattle.

The driver of the Mac Tools Top Fuel Dragster clinched his spot in the NHRA Countdown by qualifying for the Northwest Nationals, however, qualifying was a struggle for the Mac Tools team as the first three passes failed to yield a number that pleased them. They got it figured out for the final round of qualifying as they moved from the 15th spot to second with a 3.744 second pass. 

Kalitta drew Terry Haddock in the first round, but by the time Kalitta took the tree he was on his own as Haddock was shut off on the line. The Mac Tools team ran strong to the stripe recording a 3.768 second elapsed time. Next up for Kalitta was Terry McMillen. Unfortunately, the Mac Tools machine suffered a dropped cylinder which yielded a subpar run. McMillen was able to make it clean to the line to score the quarterfinal victory. 

Qualified: No. 2 (3.744 sec., 326.48 mph) E1: Kalitta defeated Haddock - 3.768 sec., 329.75 mph to No run E2: Kalitta defeated by McMillen - 3.900 sec., 309.27 mph to 3.804 sec., 317.49 mph

Quotable: "Tough way to end the Western Swing, but I know the time is coming soon for the Mac Tools team. We will go home, recoup and get ready for Brainerd."

Point Standings: Sixth; trails Brittany Force by 15 points for fifth; leads Clay Millican by 40 points for seventh

Shawn Langdon Seattle Sunday.jpg

Shredded blower belt ends Langdon's day early

Race Recap: A unfortunate mechanical woe ended Shawn Langdon's Western Swing earlier than the Global Electronic Technology team would have liked.

The Connie Kalitta and Rob Flynn-tuned machine was stout in qualifying. In the first session of qualifying, Langdon would score two bonus points as the second best run of the session. He would add another point with his third session efforts, and seed the Global Electronic Technology machine in the eighth position. 

For the second straight weekend, Langdon would draw Mike Salinas in the first round. Salinas and Langdon would score the two best reaction times of the entire class, but Langdon was edging ahead when the blower belt shredded allowing Salinas to edge back ahead and score the round win. 

Qualified: No. 8 (3.797 sec., 322.81 mph)  E1: Langdon defeated by Salinas - 3.821 sec., 271.35 mph to 3.821 sec., 282.19 mph

Quotable: "Just bad luck. The guy took a shot at the tree last week and goes red, and this week, he does the same thing and goes green. To have the second best light of the round and lose on a holeshot is a tough pill to swallow as a driver. We were making a great run and it shreds the blower belt. Not sure why as the motor was clean, but it shreds the blower at 800 feet and shuts off. Just bad luck. The Global Electronic Technology guys are doing a great job, we have a good car and we make good qualifying runs, but something just goes wrong on raceday. Cannot dwell on it. We will go to Brainerd and keep making good runs, and hopefully things start going our way because we have a car capable of winning." 

Point Standings: 11th; trails Troy Coughlin Jr. by 24 points for 10th

Troy Coughlin Seattle Sunday.jpg

Coughlin Jr.'s SealMaster team continues to gel

Race Recap: Coughlin Jr. and the SealMaster team closed their first Western Swing at the Northwest Nationals at Pacific Raceways.

Coughlin Jr. made a good qualifying pass in the evening session on Friday that bumped him among the top half qualifiers going into Saturday. He would not improve on Saturday, but the SealMaster machine was still qualified solidly in the 11th position.

In the first round, Coughlin Jr. drew Tony Schumacher for the first time. Coughlin Jr.'s early numbers were strong, but the SealMaster ride fell quickly to tire smoke and Schumacher was able to score the round win.

Qualified: No. 11 (3.854 sec., 320.43 mph)  E1: Coughlin Jr. defeated by Schumacher - 4.615 sec., 169.83 mph to 3.741 sec., 328.94 mph

Quotable: "We are going to go to Brainerd and start from square one. I need to reset my mind mentally; I did not hit the tree very well at all. We have a great program; the guys are growing as a group. We have great leadership. The SealMaster Toyota guys are working hard and are a great group. I cannot wait till Brainerd."

Point Standings: 10th; trails Scott Palmer by 46 points for ninth; leads Shawn Langdon by 24 points for 11th

JR TODD Seattle Sunday.jpg

Todd falls in the first round

Race Recap: The DHL team and driver J.R. Todd were unable to earn their second straight win earlier today in Seattle. 

The DHL team, led by Jon Oberhofer and Todd Smith, were very strong in qualifying with three consecutive clean passes to start their Northwest Nationals efforts, just missing bonus points in both of the early sessions on Friday and Saturday. They went for it in the final qualifying session and suffered tire smoke. Still, they earned a top ten starting spot and a first round draw of John Force.

Todd and Force were the last nitro pair on track. Todd got the jump on Force on the starting line, but soon after hit tire smoke. Todd pedaled, but Force made a clean run to score the round win. 

Qualified: No. 9 (3.981 sec., 325.22 mph)  E1: Todd defeated by J. Force  - 4.884 sec., 193.60 mph to 3.939 sec., 327.03 mph

Quotable: "We smoked the tires in the first round. Not what we had in mind with the DHL Toyota Camry. We found some issues in the bellhousing that we are trying to work out, so we go back to the shop, get things worked out and get ready for Brainerd."

Point Standings: Ninth; trails Tim Wilkerson by three points for eighth; leads Cruz Pedregon by 155 points for 10th

Alexis DeJoria Seattle Sunday.jpg

DeJoria closes the gap on the top ten

Qualified: No. 7 (3.963 sec., 324.05 mph)E1: DeJoria defeated Lindberg - 3.931 sec., 327.90 mph to 3.999 sec., 322.81 mphE2: DeJoria defeated by Hagan - 3.956 sec., 324.12 mph to 3.958 sec., 326.71 mph

Point Standings: 14th; trails Cruz Pedregon by 49 points for 10th

Doug Kalitta Sat Seattle

Doug Kalitta, driver of the Mac Tools Top Fuel Dragster

Q1: 4.658 sec. at 161.77 MPH
Q2: 4.763 sec. at 157.06 MPH
Q3: 6.525 sec. at 104.48 MPH
Q4: 3.744 sec. at 326.48 MPH

Bonus Points: 2 pts. (Second best in the last session)
Starting Position: 2nd
First Round Matchup: Terry Haddock
Quotable: “That run was a great way to end qualifying for the Mac Tools team. We have hit on a great tuneup and I hope that translates to four win lights tomorrow here in Seattle."
Note: Doug Kalitta clinched his spot in the NHRA Countdown for the Championship by qualifying for the NHRA Northwest Nationals.

Shawn Langdon Sat seattle

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

Q1: 3.845 sec. at 314.46 MPH
Q2: 4.676 sec. at 158.99 MPH
Q3: 3.797 sec. at 322.81 MPH
Q4: 4.090 sec. at 214.93 MPH

Bonus Points: 3 pts. (Second best in the first session, third best in the third session.)
Starting Position: 8th
First Round Matchup: Mike Salinas
Quotable: "We picked up a couple points in qualifying. We were hoping to pick up a couple more spots on the last run but it started burning the head gasket out of it so it shut itself off. Ended up 8th and we have lane choice, which is good. We have Salinas; he has been making good runs, so it will not be an easy round, which is okay. The Global Electronic Technology car has been running strong lately; we need to pick up a couple rounds tomorrow. That is going to be our focal point." 

Troy Coughlin Jr Sat Seattle

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

Q1: 4.706 sec. at 160.50 MPH
Q2: 3.854 sec. at 320.43 MPH
Q3: 4.616 sec. at 164.15 MPH
Q4: 5.915 sec. at 114.94 MPH

Starting Position: 11th
First Round Matchup: Tony Schumacher

Quotable: "Tons of optimism in the SealMaster Toyota pits. We are learning a ton. We will take it up for E1, put our best cards down and see what she has." 

JR Todd Sat Seattle

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

Q1: 4.015 sec. at 318.39 MPH
Q2: 4.009 sec. at 322.88 MPH
Q3: 3.981 sec. at 325.22 MPH
Q4: 5.412 sec. at 133.66 MPH

Starting Position: 9th

First Round Matchup: John Force
Quotable: "We made three really good runs here in qualifying with the DHL Toyota Camry. We tried to step it up there in Q4 and it spun the tires. We just need to keep going rounds on Sunday and gain as many points as we can going into the Countdown."

Alexis DeJoria Sat Seattle

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

Q1: 4.046 sec. at 316.60 MPH 
Q2: 3.975 sec. at 321.04 MPH
Q3: 3.963 sec. at 322.19 MPH
Q4: 3.963 sec. at 324.05 MPH

Bonus Points: 2 pts. (Third best of the second session, third best of the third session)
Starting Position: 7th

First Round Matchup: Jonnie Lindberg

Doug Kalitta

Kalitta looks to close Western Swing on strong note

Last Event Recap (Sonoma): Qualified third; Quarterfinalist (Defeated Shawn Reed in the first round, lost to Steve Torrence in the quarterfinals)

2016 Seattle Recap: Qualified seventh; First round loss (Lost to Richie Crampton in the first round)

Quotable: “My Mac Tools team is working so hard, and I know a win is coming soon. We would love to finish the Western Swing strong with a race win and that is our focus coming into the Northwest Nationals this weekend."

Career Stats: 449 starts, 608 round wins (ninth all-time), 42 wins (Fifth all-time in Top Fuel), 89 finals, 47 no.1 qualifiers (13th all-time)

2017 Season Stats: Two finals (Pomona-I, Norwalk); One no.1 qualifier (Norwalk); 19 round wins; sixth in the standings

Noteworthy: Kalitta continues to rank as the top driver in the point standings without a win; currently he is just two points from the top five in the standings

Shawn Langdon

Langdon nearing top ten goal

Last Event Recap (Sonoma): Qualified seventh; Quarterfinalist (Defeated Mike Salinas in the first round, lost to Brittany Force in the quarterfinals)

2016 Seattle Recap (w/ DSR): Qualified 11th; Quarterfinalist (Defeated Brittany Force in the first round, lost to J.R. Todd in the quarterfinals)

Quotable: “Our goal is to keep chopping away at the points, and we have done a good job of it during the Western Swing. Hopefully we can have a good weekend; our goal is to leave Seattle in the top ten. The way the weather looks it is going to be a warm event and the track temperature will be up there as well. We need to qualify well and get down the hot track. I have confidence in my Global Electronic Technology team as we have been able to make some good runs in the heat thus far, so I know we have the data to go some rounds and get into the top ten leaving Seattle.”

Career Stats: 196 starts, 238 round wins, 14 wins, 28 finals, 18 no.1 qualifiers

2017 Season Stats: 11 starts; Eight round wins; 11th in the point standings

Noteworthy: Joined Kalitta Motorsports from Don Schumacher Racing after Las Vegas in a full-time third Top Fuel entry; First national event win was here in 2002 in Super Comp; Seattle is Langdon’s 200th career Top Fuel race

Troy Coughlin JR

Coughlin Jr. plans for successful Seattle pro debut

Noteworthy: 16th 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 114 career wins

Last Event Recap (Sonoma): Qualified 11th; First round loss (Lost to Steve Torrence in the first round)

Quotable: “The SealMaster Toyota team is working hard and is all set for Seattle. We are working through the issues of this car and feel we are getting somewhere. With the leadership of Jim O, Nick, Glen and Donnie, we are going to be just fine. I am going to be as focused as I can be and strive to turn on some win lights for my team.”

2017 Season Stats: 15 starts; Four round wins; 10th 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 wins Sonoma

Coming off monument win, Todd desires to make more history

Seattle Highlights: One win (2015); One No. 1 qualifier (2007)

Last Event Recap (Sonoma): Qualified 10th; Race Winner (Defeated Alexis DeJoria in the first round, John Force in the quarterfinals, Jack Beckman in the semifinals and Tim Wilkerson in the final)

2016 Seattle Recap (Top Fuel): Qualified third; Semifinalist (Defeated Troy Buff in the first round and Shawn Langdon in the quarterfinals, lost to Steve Torrence in the semifinals)

Quotable: “It’s great to head into Seattle coming off a win with a team that has had success there in the past. We hope to keep the momentum going and finish off the swing on a high note.”

Career Stats: 163 starts, 161 round wins, 10 wins, 20 finals, 9 no.1 qualifiers (Funny Car stats: 15 starts; One win (Sonoma); Two finals (Charlotte-I, Sonoma); 12 round wins)

2017 Season Stats: 15 starts; One win (Sonoma); Two finals (Charlotte-I, Sonoma); 12 round wins; ninth in the point standings

Noteworthy: With Sonoma win, became the 16th driver in NHRA history to have a Top Fuel and Funny Car win; became first former Junior Dragster competitor to win in Funny Car and first African-American to win in Funny Car; first driver to have earned a Traxxas Shootout spot in both Top Fuel (2015) and Funny Car (2017); second driver in NHRA history to claim wins at one track in back-to-back seasons in different nitro classes; Todd tied team owner Connie Kalitta with 10 career NHRA wins; won on the Western Swing for the fourth consecutive season

Alexis DeJoria

DeJoria Seattle pre-race notes

Last Event Recap (Sonoma): Qualified seventh; First round loss (Lost to J.R. Todd in the first round)

2016 Seattle Recap: Did not compete due to injury

Career Stats: 127 starts; 87 round wins; Four wins; Seven finals; Four no.1 qualifiers

2017 Season Stats: 12 starts; Five round wins; 14th in the point standings

JR Todd

Race Recap: After a second straight first round win in Denver, J.R. Todd and the DHL Toyota team were looking for even more success in Sonoma, where Todd was the reigning Top Fuel winner.

Todd and the DHL Toyota team, led by Jon Oberhofer and Todd Smith, were solid in qualifying with three clean passes including two passes in the three-second range at the warm Sonoma Raceway. 

Todd would earn the 10th starting spot. Unfortunately, his teammate, Alexis DeJoria, was the seventh seed leading to a first round matchup of the two Toyota Racing Camrys. Todd got the advantage over DeJoria at the starting line and was able to take that advantage to the stripe, earning the holeshot round win.

That advanced him to the quarterfinals where he faced John Force for the first time. Todd was away first again, and his crew chiefs, Jon Oberhofer and Todd Smith, were on it with the best run of the session, a 3.973, giving Todd the round win to move to the semi-finals. 

His semi-final draw was Jack Beckman. Todd's DHL Toyota Camry had immediate issues, but never gave up. Beckman was ahead but broke and was idling down the track. Todd pedaled and pedaled, got the DHL Toyota to cooperate, and he was able to just drive by Beckman at the stripe moving Todd to the final round for the first time in since Charlotte and the second time in his short Funny Car career.

In the final, Todd drew Tim Wilkerson. Todd was away first and drove his DHL Toyota straight down the track to defeate a tire-smoking Tim Wilkerson. 

Todd scored many records in victory including becoming the first African-American Funny Car winner, first former Junior Dragster competitor to win in Funny Car and the 16th driver in NHRA history to win both nitro classes. He becomes the first driver in Traxxas Shootout history to compete in both classes. 

Qualified: No. 10 (3.947 sec., 329.50 mph)

  • E1: Todd defeated DeJoria  - 3.953 sec., 326.08 mph to 3.950 sec., 309.84 mph
  • E2: Todd defeated J. Force - 3.973 sec., 324.90 mph to 4.030 sec., 323.50 mph
  • E3: Todd defeated Beckman - 5.741 sec., 283.73 mph to 5.920 sec., 118.43 mph
  • Final: Todd defeated Wilkerson - 4.049 sec., 323.27 mph to 6.823 sec., 100.26 mph

Quotable: "I was able to win here last year in Top Fuel and to be able to do it this year in a Funny Car is pretty special. I love this track. This place is magical."

"It’s cool. To me, it doesn’t matter if you’re black, white, purple, guy or girl, you go out there and race as hard as you can. People don’t know what I look like when I’ve got the helmet on. It was cool when I did it in Denver and they told me about it after I won there. I had no idea. I was just happy to win my first Top Fuel event and I feel the same way now. I’m just happy to win a Funny Car event."

"It’s always special to come back here with the history of Eric winning here and we won here together in 2006. They honor him every year. His mom, Mimi, came up to me yesterday with a picture from (artist) Kenny Youngblood just like she did last year, but this year it’s our DHL Toyota Funny Car. So I had that with me every round today and it worked out again. It’s pretty awesome to come back here and win in Funny Car because Eric was extremely passionate about Funny Cars. I think he’d be pretty happy about that.”

Point Standings: Ninth; trails Tim Wilkerson by three points for eighth; leads Cruz Pedregon by 154 points for 10th

Doug Kalitta

Kalitta claims round win

Race Recap: Sonoma Raceway will always have a special place in the memory banks for Doug Kalitta. The Mac Tools driver scored his first No.1 qualifier and race win here in 1998 and is the all-time winner in Top Fuel with five victories. 

Kalitta had another strong performance in qualifying. The Mac Tools Toyota scored bonus points in three of the four qualifying sessions. He earned the third starting spot with a 3.694 second effort in the Friday evening session.

In the first round, Kalitta faced rookie contender Shawn Reed. They were identical off of the line, but the Mac Tools machine was rolling away quickly. Reed suffered problems, and Kalitta was clean to the stripe to score the round win. 

In the second round, Kalitta just missed scoring lane choice against the points leader Steve Torrence. Unfortunately, Kalitta had near immediate tire smoke. He pedaled but Torrence was on a solid lap to score the round win.

Qualified: No. 3 (3.694 sec., 331.28 mph)

  • E1: Kalitta defeated Reed - 3.751 sec., 330.07 mph to 8.466 sec., 79.16 mph
  • E2: Kalitta defeated by Torrence - 7.030 sec., 106.28 mph to 3.760 sec., 327.90 mph

Quotable: “The Mac Tools team is running strong; just too much power in the second round. I am proud of my guys and know we will have a car to contend next weekend in Seattle.

Point Standings: Sixth; trails Brittany Force by two points for fifth; leads Clay Millican by 72 points for seventh.

Shawn Langdon

Langdon continues run of early round success

Race Recap: The Global Electronic Technology team and driver Shawn Langdon focused on their goal of continued to gain on the top ten in the point standings.

They helped their case with a good showing in Toyota Sonoma Nationals qualifying. The Global Electronic Technology Toyota machine was solid in both evening qualifying sessions including earning a bonus point in the final qualifying effort on Saturday. Langdon would be seeded seventh with his 3.722 second pass that was recorded on Friday evening.

In the first round, Langdon faced formidable newcomer Mike Salinas. However, Salinas left before the tree was activated giving the round win to Langdon immediately. Langdon would score low reaction time of the session and run a solid 3.763.

In the quarterfinals, Langdon got the jump on Brittany Force, before Langdon faced tire smoke. Force was also struggling and the drivers pedaled before Langdon shredded a blower belt giving the round win to Force.  

Qualified: No. 7 (3.722 sec., 327.59 mph) 

  • E1: Langdon defeated Salinas - 3.763 sec., 323.66 mph to no time
  • E2: Langdon defeated by B. Force - 4.110 sec., 271.46 mph to 4.071 sec., 264.75 mph

Quotable: “We made up a little ground on the top ten and that is our primary focus right now. I had that race in the second round against Brittany (Force). She made a great run in the first round and that put us in a position where e needed to step our car up a little bit. We did a little too much and we both smoked the tires. I was coming on her strong and it broke the blower belt about 100 feet before the finish line. I am excited to get to Seattle. We are close."

Point Standings: 11th; trails Troy Coughlin Jr. by 28 points for 10th

Troy Coughlin JR

Coughlin Jr. takes positives from first round loss

Race Recap: Coughlin Jr. continued to gain confidence and the SealMaster team was excited to head to beautiful Sonoma Raceway for the Toyota Sonoma Nationals.

Qualifying did not go as planned, but the SealMaster team got a great hold on it in the final pass to run a 3.824 second pass at only 296mph. That moved Coughlin Jr. solidly into the field in the 11th starting spot.

Coughlin Jr. faced a tough draw in the first round with points leader Steve Torrence in the other lane. Torrence got the early edge, and the SealMaster machine was trying to gain ground when it suffered problems ending Coughlin's day in round one.

Qualified: No. 11 (3.824 sec., 296.18 mph) 

E1: Coughlin Jr. defeated by Torrence - 4.401 sec., 208.97 mph to 3.750 sec., 327.59 mph

Quotable: “The SealMaster Toyota team is learning a lot and really gaining. Our confidence is up. I need to get off the line a little better and I am looking forward to Seattle."

Point Standings: 10th; trails Scott Palmer by 47 points for ninth; leads Shawn Langdon by 28 points for 11th

Alexis DeJoria

DeJoria's falls to teammate in first round

Race Recap: For the fourth time in the past five events, Alexis DeJoria raced her way to a top-half qualifying spot at the Toyota NHRA Sonoma Nationals.
As the No. 7 qualifier, DeJoria was positioned to race her 10th qualified teammate, J.R. Todd, in the first round of eliminations on race day.
In the battle of the Kalitta Motorsports Toyota Camrys, both cars made respectable runs in the three-second zone, but unfortunately, Todd was able to power his Camry across the finish line first, ending DeJoria’s day. 

Qualified: No. 7 (3.926 sec., 331.20 mph)

  • E1: DeJoria defeated by Todd - 3.950 sec., 309.84 mph to 3.953 sec., 326.08 mph

Point Standings: 14th; trails Cruz Pedregon by 73 points for 10th

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On the Run with Ashley


Mello Yello Championship Points

Top Fuel (Unofficial)

1. Brittany Force (2690)
2. Steve Torrence (2609)
3. Doug Kalitta (2553)
4. Antron Brown (2508)
5. Leah Pritchett (2452) 
6. Clay Millican (2419)
7. Shawn Langdon (2406)
8. Tony Schumacher (2395)
9. Terry McMillen (2310)
10. Scott Palmer (2218)


Funny Car (Unofficial)

1. Robert Hight (2686)
2. Ron Capps (2588)
3. Courtney Force (2543)
4. Jack Beckman (2519)
5. Matt Hagan (2470)
6. Tommy Johnson Jr. (2452)
7. John Force (2388)
8. Tim Wilkerson (2296)
9. J.R. Todd (2282)
10. Cruz Pedregon (2178)