Kalitta Motorsports News

Alexis DeJoria: Driver of the Kalitta Motorsports Tequila Patrón Toyota Camry

The Results:

Q1: 4.099 ET at 298.87 MPH

Q2:6.561 ET at 100.85 MPH

*Note: Friday’s two qualifying runs were cancelled due to persistent rain

The Competition:

No. 9 Alexis DeJoria vs. No. 8 Courtney Force


Alexis DeJoria, Driver

“Yesterday was a wash out, so we only had two qualifying sessions to get into the Top 16 field today. We managed to do it in our first run with a really nice 4.099. I had to click the car off a bit early because it was smoking the tires and dropped a cylinder, so it was pretty loose down there, but I legged it as far as possible and still ran a good 4.09. We ended up qualifying in the No. 9 spot and we race Courtney Force in round one of eliminations. Seattle has been good to us so far this weekend, and we’re all really excited about tomorrow.”

Tommy DeLago, Crew Chief

“We’ve been looking forward to running the car since our successful weekend in Sonoma, so we were all happy that we had that chance today. The car seems to have turned a corner as of late. We used the same setup today that we ran on Sunday in Sonoma and the car ran about the same, which was really cool. Obviously, we would’ve liked to run better during Q2 today here in Seattle, but we had to try a different blower since we damaged one in Sonoma last weekend. Unfortunately, that blower just wasn’t as good, and the track conditions were pretty stellar today, so it ended up pulling the tires loose. We’re switching out the blower and replacing it with the one that we ran in E2 and E3 in Sonoma, and we’ll go give ‘em hell tomorrow!”

KENT, Wash. (July 30, 2013)— The Kalitta Motorsports Tequila Patrón Toyota Camry Funny Car team heads to the Pacific Northwest this week for the ­26th annual NHRA Northwest Nationals in Seattle, Wash., the final race of the notorious three-event Western Swing. Coming off of a successful race weekend in Sonoma just days earlier where they raced their way to the semi-finals, Team Patrón will ride the wave of success up the West coast and hope to use that momentum to finish the Swing out strong.

Three races- Seattle, Brainerd, and Indianapolis- stand between Team Patrón and a chance to compete for the NHRA series Championship. They currently sit in the No. 12 spot on the Countdown to the Championship points list, but they’re not out of the hunt yet. Team Green, which has found recent success with a newly implemented clutch setup and chassis, hopes to pick up more valuable points at Pacific Raceways this weekend and inch closer to securing a spot on the coveted ‘Top Ten’ list. 

Team driver Alexis DeJoria has powered her black-and-green hot rod to one final and four semi-final appearances in her two-year Funny Car career, but has yet to hoist her first Funny Car Wally. It was at this very race in 2011 that DeJoria won her first national Top Alcohol Funny Car event, and she’s hoping for a repeat performance this weekend.

SEATTLE, Wash., (Aug. 1, 2013) – Doug Kalitta, driver of the 10,000-horsepower “Big Red” Mac Tools Top Fuel dragster for Kalitta Motorsports, has been feared by opponents all season in the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series. The Mac Tools Top Fueler has been a dominant force in the world’s quickest and fastest racing class all year, and Kalitta sees no reason that won’t continue this weekend during the NHRA Northwest Nationals at Pacific Raceways in Seattle, Wash., the final event of the NHRA’s three-events-in-three-weekends, arduous “Western Swing”.

“Our Mac Tools dragster has been one of the best in 2013, no doubt,” Kalitta, a 48-year old resident of Ann Arbor, Mich., said. “Unfortunately we haven’t been quite able to parlay our performance into a win so far. It’s coming. I’m confident it will happen very soon and so is our team. The competition in Top Fuel this season is incredible, so we’re happy to have had the success we’ve had, but we want a trophy. Hopefully we will take a Wally home with us after Seattle.”

Kalitta has recorded two runner-up finishes in Seattle (1999, 2000). He was the No. 1 qualifier at Pacific Raceways in 2010. So far in the 2013 NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series, Kalitta has raced to three semi-final finishes and one runner-up (Norwalk, Ohio). He has been No. 1 qualifier entering eliminations on five occasions this season. Kalitta is currently in fourth place in Mello Yello Top Fuel championship points.

SEATTLE, Wash., (Aug. 1, 2013) – Del Worsham, driver of the DHL Toyota Camry Funny Car for Kalitta Motorsports, is ready to clear a spot to display another “Wally” trophy from Seattle after this weekend’s annual running of the NHRA Northwest Nationals at Pacific Raceways.

“I’ve had some success in Seattle,” Worsham, a 43-year old resident of Chino Hills, Calif., said. “I’ve been fortunate to win in both nitro classes in Seattle so hopefully our DHL team can join me to get another one this year. Our team has been working so hard all year and they deserve to go to the winner’s circle. It would be great if I can show them where it is in Seattle.”

Worsham has two Seattle “Wally” trophies on his mantle – One in Funny Car in 1999 and the other in Top Fuel in 2011. So far in 2013, Worsham and the DHL “Yella Fellas” have posted three semi-final showings and have raced to one runner-up finish (Gainesville, Fla.). They were the No. 1 qualifiers at the event in Bristol, Tenn., as well. Worsham is currently in ninth place in Mello Yello Funny Car championship points.

SEATTLE, Wash., (Aug. 1, 2013) – Native Australian David Grubnic, driver of the Optima Batteries Top Fuel dragster for Kalitta Motorsports, enters this weekend of 10,000-horsepower, nitro-fueled drag racing at Pacific Raceways in Seattle for the NHRA Northwest Nationals the same way he enters every NHRA national event – He wants to win. However, Grubnic and his team led by team owner and drag racing icon Connie “the Bounty Hunter” Kalitta are hoping to garner every championship point they can in their march to a potential win.

Including the event this weekend in Seattle, Top Fuel drivers have only three events remaining to qualify for NHRA’s six-event “playoff”, the Countdown to the Championship, by being in the top ten in Mello Yello championship points when racing concludes at the famed U.S. Nationals in Indianapolis, Aug. 28-Sept. 2. Grubnic is currently in 11th place, 125 points away from the top ten.

“We have a tough road ahead of us, but we are up to the task,” Grubnic, a 50-year old resident of Bozeman, Mont., said. “We were the No. 1 qualifiers in Sonoma (Calif., previous event) and we got an extra six points for being the quickest of the session twice in qualifying. Every little point is crucial for us to try to get now. Our Optima Batteries dragster performed the best it has all season in Sonoma, so we are hitting our stride right now. I’m confident we can battle for a top ten spot and make the Countdown.”

SONOMA, Calif. (July 28, 2013)— After qualifying in the No. 16 spot at the 26th annual NHRA Sonoma Nationals at Sonoma Raceway, the Kalitta Motorsports Tequila Patrón Toyota Camry Funny Car team knew they were up against tough odds when being paired up against No. 1 qualifier and current NHRA Funny Car series points leader Matt Hagan in round one of eliminations on Sunday. 

The team struggled to get their footing early on in the weekend and after being plagued with a recent string of first round losses, a flash of the win light in Team Green’s lane was a well-deserved and hard-earned reward. Both cars struggled to make a clean pass, but Alexis DeJoria’s veteran-like driving skills prevailed and she was able to drive around the 2011 World Champion, running a 4.705-second pass to his 5.288. According to DeJoria, “That first round matchup against Hagan was a tough one. He was the number one qualifier and his car is always competitive. This was the first time we’d gone to head to head in competition this year.  It had been a while since we’d made it out of first round so to come out on top was a huge confidence booster for all of us.”

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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)