Kalitta Motorsports News
TOPEKA, Kan. (May 20, 2015) – Kalitta Motorsports has made the drive to Topeka for this weekend’s 27th annual NHRA Kansas Nationals. Historically, Heartland Park Topeka is Team Kalitta’s best track. Kalitta Motorsports owns 10 Top Fuel wins in Topeka, which is best among the class, including six earned by the late Scott Kalitta.
Doug Kalitta, driver of the Mac Tools Top Fuel Dragster, earned one of his 36 career wins at the NHRA Kansas Nationals in 2006. One of just three drivers to earn top-half starting positions in every race this season, the 2005 Topeka no.1 qualifier earned yet another round win in Atlanta this past weekend to hit 525 for his career.
Kalitta has three other final round appearances and comes into Kansas after picking up one spot in the point standings to sit fourth after seven races.
“Heartland Park Topeka has had several highlights for Team Kalitta thought the years,” said Kalitta. “The Mac Tools team looks to make new memories this weekend.”
Local fans can see a feature on Kalitta in this week’s Topeka Capital-Journal.
J.R. Todd, driver of the Kalitta Air Top Fuel dragster, looks to add his name to the list of Kalitta Motorsports victors this weekend at Heartland Park Topeka. Todd has reached the final round once prior in 2007, where he was defeated by friend Brandon Bernstein in the final round.
Atlanta started well for the Kalitta Air team as Connie Kalitta tuned Todd to two bonus points in the first qualifying session and a quarter-final finish that grew Todd’s lead over 11th position in the point standings to nearly three rounds. With his Atlanta round win, Todd moves within just three for the century mark for his career.
Heartland Park Topeka was kind to Todd last season as he earned the second starting position and advanced to the semi-finals.
“We ran really well here last year,” said Todd. “The Kalitta Air team is looking to pick up that same performance this time.”
Todd can be heard across several Kansas area radio stations this week as a preview for the Kansas Nationals.
Del Worsham, driver of the DHL Toyota Camry Funny Car, has had a successful multi-decade career. However, the 2011 Top Fuel World Champion has not been able to add a “Wally” from Heartland Park Topeka to his more than 30 career wins.
Both of his starts at Heartland Park Topeka for Kalitta Motorsports have resulted in top half starts. His first effort resulted in a quarter-final finish as he was able to defeat Chad Head in round one.
“I have never won there so it would be awesome to add that to my other wins,” said Worsham. “The DHL team learned some things in the heat in Atlanta and we’re looking forward to our first back-to-back race of the season.”
Fans can meet Del Worsham in Kansas. He will be signing autographs in the Alexis DeJoria/Kalitta Motorsports autograph trailer on Friday.
Alexis DeJoria, driver of the Patrón XO Café Incendio Toyota Camry Funny Car, heads to Kansas for the fourth time in her young career, looking to pick up her elusive first round win in Topeka. She earned her best qualifying effort last season as she lined up among the top five going into raceday.
Atlanta featured another top half starting position for DeJoria and team, while she maintained her top ten points position she has held since the second race of the season.
DeJoria will be signing autographs in the merchandise trailer on both Friday and Saturday.
COMMERCE, Ga (May 17, 2015) – Doug Kalitta, driver of the Mac Tools Top Fuel dragster, and J.R. Todd, driver of the Kalitta Air Top Fuel dragster, advanced past the first round today at the Summit Racing Equipment Southern Nationals.
The track for Kalitta’s 400th career race proved to be tricky throughout qualifying as many team succumbed to tire shake on Atlanta Dragway’s 120 degree track. However, Jim Oberhofer nailed the setup in round four. Kalitta earned 2 bonus points for his efforts and another top-half qualifying position. He faced another top team in the sport, Don Schumacher Racing’s Spencer Massey in the first round.
They were the final pair to come up to the line in the first round filled with upsets. However, Kalitta’s Mac Tools team would not be stopped. A stellar reaction time plus a 3.805 second run equaled a first round win.
Kalitta drew no.1 qualifier Antron Brown in round 2 and despite solid early numbers lit up the tires down the track to end his day.
“The entire Mac Tools team did a good job this weekend,” said Kalitta. “We look forward to one of our best tracks (Topeka) next weekend and seeing what kinda of number we can lay down there.”
Todd started off the weekend right. The legendary Connie Kalitta laid down a 3.807 second pass in the first session to earn two bonus points and set up the weekend well for the Kalitta Air team. Boasting new paint colors, the team learned from the Atlanta heat and track temperatures on Saturday and felt prepared their first round opponent: team owner and now part-time driver Morgan Lucas.
A long tree tried to put an end to the weekend for Todd, but he stayed poised and drove the Kalitta Air team past Morgan Lucas running what was the top speed of the weekend.
Todd faced another part-time opponent in Leah Pritchett in round 2, but Pritchett, who was having a career-best weekend, laid down another consistent pass. Todd tried to pedal the Kalitta Air Top Fuel dragster, but it was not enough as he was defeated in round 2.
“It was good to get past round one in the Kalitta Air ride,” said Todd. “but we are looking for more. I am excited to go to Kansas, a track where Kalitta Motorsports has so much historical success, and see if I can have my chance to add to that legacy.”
Del Worsham, driver of the DHL Toyota Camry Funny Car, struggled in the Atlanta heat and humidity on Friday failing to record a pass that would earn them placement inside the top 12. However, Jon Oberhofer and Nicky Boninfante quickly figured out the tricky Atlanta Dragway recording two of the best passes on Saturday, earning two bonus points and moving into the 11th position. His draw was probably the most consistent ride among the Funny Car ranks this weekend, Tim Wilkerson.
Del was the sixth pair down the track, but the DHL Toyota Camry Funny Car just did not have enough, as Wilkerson laid down the best run of the entire first session. This is the first time this season that Worsham has lost in the first round in back-to-back races.
“It really stings to go out in the first round,” said Worsham. “We were good, but not good enough. Luckily we are racing next weekend and we look to rebound with this entire DHL team in Topeka.”
Alexis DeJoria, driver of the Patrón XO Café Incendio Toyota Camry Funny Car, was on a great pass Friday evening before it shut off before the finish line. The Tommy DeLago tune-up still was able to record a 4.064 second run at only 284 mph. The team worked on their race set-up on the heat of Saturday, mastering it in the final session.
DeJoria drew surprise bottom-half qualifier Ron Capps, who is the point standings’ leader. DeJoria made a solid pass but Capps was just a tick quicker and was able to move on to round 2.
All four Kalitta Motorsports teams retained their top ten points placements after the Summit Racing Equipment Southern Nationals.
After seven races, Team Kalitta nitro race cars have won one event, advanced to four final rounds and earned two no.1 qualifying positions. The NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series heads to Heartland Park Topeka next weekend for the Topeka Nationals.
COMMERCE, Ga. (May 16, 2015) – Kalitta Motorsports, the nitro-fueled, four-car NHRA drag racing team based in Ypsilanti, Mich., has completed qualifying for the Summit Racing Equipment Southern Nationals at Atlanta Dragway. Results and quotes follow.
J.R. Todd – Driver of the Kalitta Air Top Fuel Dragster:
- Q1: 3.807 sec., 321.35 mph (Two bonus points for the second quickest run of the session.)
- Q2: 7.562 sec., 80.91 mph
- Q3: 6.253 sec., 321.50 mph
- Q4: 3.944 sec., 310.91 mph
No. 6 Qualifier
Doug Kalitta – Driver of the Mac Tools Top Fuel Dragster:
- Q1: 5.035 sec., 141.91 mph
- Q2: 4.914 sec., 148.31 mph
- Q3: 4.693 sec., 323.58 mph
- Q4: 3.863 sec., 319.60 mph (Two bonus points for the second quickest run of the session.)
No. 8 Qualifier
Alexis DeJoria – Driver of the Patrón XO Café Incendio Toyota Camry Funny Car:
- Q1: 4.399 sec., 219.08 mph
- Q2: 4.064 sec., 284.81 mph
- Q3: 13.095 sec., 75.95 mph
- Q4: 4.106 sec., 304.64 mph
No. 8 Qualifier
Del Worsham – Driver of the DHL Toyota Camry Funny Car:
- Q1: 5.931 sec., 114.73 mph
- Q2: 7.461 sec., 92.36 mph
- Q3: 4.192 sec., 299.40 mph (Two bonus points for the second quickest run of the session.)
- Q4: 4.139 sec., 307.30 mph
No. 11 Qualifier
First Round Competition:
6) J.R. Todd v. 11) Morgan Lucas
8) Doug Kalitta v. 9) Spencer Massey
8) Alexis DeJoria v. 9) Ron Capps
11) Del Worsham v. 6) Tim Wilkerson
Doug Kalitta, driver of the Mac Tools Top Fuel Dragster: “That fourth run gives us the tune up for the tomorrow, which promises to be another tough session. We have a tough first round opponent, but I am confident in my Mac Tools team.”
J.R. Todd, driver of the Kalitta Air Top Fuel Dragster: “Atlanta Dragway was very hot and tricky today, but we were on a good run on the final pass. Connie (Kalitta) has the tune-up and the entire Kalitta Air/Red Line Oil team will be prepared for to run four rounds tomorrow.”
Del Worsham, driver of the DHL Toyota Camry Funny Car: “The DHL team made good runs today in the heat, but the guy I am racing ran just a little bit better. To win this race tomorrow, you have to beat everyone. We are just going to start at the top and work our way down. I believe Wilkerson has had the best car this weekend, and we have made some great runs ourself and it is going to be one heck of a drag race.”
COMMERCE, Ga. (May 13, 2015) – Kalitta Motorsports broke into the win column for the first time this year at the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series last event in Houston as Doug Kalitta earned his 36th career win. After two weekends off, Team Kalitta is ready to return to racing at the Summit Racing Equipment Southern Nationals where they were the top qualifier in both nitro classes last season and still hold the Atlanta Dragway track records.
Kalitta, driver of the Mac Tools Top Fuel Dragster, was the sixth driver to earn a victory during this young season. His victory in Houston was his first of the season and moved Kalitta past “Big Daddy” Don Garlits for fifth all-time in the Top Fuel class.
Kalitta will also be achieving another milestone this weekend. In a career that began in 1998, Kalitta hits his 400th career start this weekend in Atlanta. He has earned 17 consecutive top ten championship points finishes. Nearly a quarter of those races have finished final round, and he just gets better with time. Since 2014, Kalitta has been in the final round 11 times in just 31 events.
Kalitta had a strong run in Atlanta last season. He qualified no.1 and set the elapsed time and MPH records in qualifying with a 3.732 second pass at 328.86 MPH and earned one of those 11 final round appearances. Kalitta is a two time victor and five time finalist at the Summit Racing Equipment Southern Nationals as he picked up wins in back-to-back fashion in 2005 and 2006.
“It is stunning to me that it has been 400 races,” said Kalitta. “We have had incredible support throughout my career whether that be from Connie, my team or from the Mac Tools group. We are not finished yet, and still have the ultimate goal to achieve and we look to take another step in Atlanta.”
Kalitta will be celebrating his 400th career start with the fans by leading the SealMaster Track Walk on Sunday. Fans that cannot attend this weekends’ event can send their favorite memories and congratulations via social media with the #Doug400.
Atlanta Dragway and the Summit Racing Equipment Southern Nationals is also a special place for Del Worsham, driver of the DHL Toyota Camry Funny Car. During his AAA Road to the Future winning season in 1991, Worsham picked up his first career victory at the Summit Racing Equipment Southern Nationals. He was just 21 years old and set the record for the youngest driver ever to earn his first Funny Car victory.
24 years later, the 2011 Top Fuel World Champion is still in contention for victories. He sits just a little more than a round out of the top spot in the Funny Car point standings and is chasing that elusive first victory of the season. Atlanta may be a good place to start. Worsham and the DHL team had speed last season as they earned the second starting position.
Worsham is on his way to join his teammate, Doug Kalitta, and just 15 other drivers with 500 round wins. He sits just nine rounds from that accomplishment.
“We have had two weeks to think about the frustration of Houston,” said Worsham. “The entire DHL Toyota team is ready to race again and get past that loss in winner’s circle.”
Fans can meet Del Worsham in Atlanta. He will be signing autographs in the Alexis DeJoria/Kalitta Motorsports autograph trailer on Friday.
J.R. Todd, driver of the Kalitta Air Top Fuel dragster, debuts a new scheme this weekend at the Summit
Racing Equipment Southern Nationals as Kalitta Air takes the primary location for the next few races. Last season, he returned to Atlanta Dragway for the first time since 2012 and earned a top half qualifying result.
Todd, who is an event win from 100 career-round wins, is looking for his first victory at the Summit Racing Equipment Southern Nationals.
“We had a great car in Houston, and our set-up proved to be the winning one for my teammate,” said Todd. “I am excited to run the Kalitta Air colors for the first time and I am planning on taking them straight to victory.”
Todd will be signing autographs in the SealMaster display area on Saturday morning. SealMaster, a valued Team Kalitta partner, will be bringing the SealMonster display dragster to its first race of the 2015 season.
Alexis DeJoria, driver of the Patrón XO Café Incendio Toyota Camry Funny Car, has earned three round wins in the past two events and solidified her spot in the top ten of the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Standings.
Atlanta Dragway was a special moment for her last season as DeJoria earned her first number one qualifier of her career. Her 4.012 second run is the track elapsed time record. DeJoria has been one of the best in the heat and humidity this season and with temperatures expected to reach the upper 80s, DeJoria expects to be in contention.
DeJoria will be signing autographs in the merchandise trailer on both Friday and Saturday.
Konnekt with Kalitta Motorsports:
For more info about Kalitta Motorsports including exclusive content such as videos, photos and more, please visit #KalittaStrong online:
- Website: www.teamkalitta.com
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- Twitter: www.twitter.com/TeamKalitta
- YouTube: www.youtube.com/user/TeamKalitta
- Instagram: www.instagram.com/TeamKalitta
About Kalitta Motorsports:
Based in Ypsilanti, Mich., Kalitta Motorsports is a Top Fuel and Funny Car drag racing team in the NHRA (National Hot Rod Association) Mello Yello Drag Racing Series. The team was founded and is owned by drag racing icon Connie “the Bounty Hunter” Kalitta. For more than 50 years, Connie has been involved in the sport as a driver, tuner, and an owner. Kalitta Motorsports is one of the most successful teams in the history of auto racing with five world championships and over 50 national event titles in five different professional drag racing sanctioning bodies since it was established by Connie in 1959.
Del Worsham drives the DHL Toyota Camry Funny Car for Team Kalitta. Alexis DeJoria pilots the Tequila Patrón XO Café Incendio Toyota Camry Funny Car. J.R. Todd drives the Kalitta Air Top Fuel dragster while Connie’s nephew, Doug Kalitta, pilots the Mac Tools Top Fuel dragster. Connie serves as head tuner for all Team Kalitta entries. He is assisted by co-crew chiefs Jon Oberhofer and Nick Boninfante on the DHL Toyota Camry Funny Car, by Tommy DeLago and Glen Huszar on the Tequila Patrón XO Café Incendio Toyota Camry Funny Car, and by Jim Oberhofer on the Mac Tools Top Fuel dragster. Connie serves as crew chief on the Kalitta Air Top Fuel dragster.
Associate sponsors on Kalitta Motorsports’ race cars include Justice Brothers, Patrón XO Café Incendio, Phoenix Fuel Converter, Red Line Oil, SealMaster, Summit Racing Equipment, Technicoat Companies, TMS Titanium, Toyota and Ziebart.