Kalitta Motorsports News

Todd Action Denver

Todd Wins Top Fuel Title in Denver; Team Kalitta Eliminations Recap

DENVER, (July 20, 2014) - J.R. Todd, driver of the Optima Batteries/Advance Auto Parts Top Fuel dragster, won his first event of the 2014 Mello Yello Drag Racing Series Sunday in Denver at Bandimere Speedway during eliminations of the 35th annual Mile-High Nationals.

The win for Todd is the seventh of his career and his first since joining Kalitta Motorsports as the full-time driver of the 10,000-horsepower Optima Batteries/Advance Auto Parts Top Fueler in March. It is also his first NHRA event win since 2008 (Dallas). He garnered his first NHRA Top Fuel event win in Denver in 2006, becoming the first African-American to accomplish the feat in the world’s quickest and fastest class of auto racing.

Todd defeated Brittany Force, 3.878 seconds, 317.87 mph to 3.968 seconds, 297.35 mph, in the final round of eliminations to end his nearly six-year drought of visiting the winner’s circle.

“What an amazing day for me, my Optima Batteries/Advance Auto Parts team, and everyone at Kalitta Motorsports,” Todd, a 31-year old native of Lawrenceburg, Ind., said. “I just can’t thank Connie (Kalitta, team owner and crew chief) enough for giving this opportunity to drive such an awesome hot rod.

“Our dragster got better every round today, and I knew we had a good chance to win, but you never know until you see that win light come on in your lane.”

The Optima Batteries/Advance Auto Parts dragster was the quickest Top Fueler in each of the four elimination rounds except for the opening round.

Todd, with his win, moved up from 10th place to eighth in Mello Yello Top Fuel championship points.

Team Kalitta nitro race cars have now appeared in 15 championship rounds through the first 14 NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series events this year.

Doug Kalitta and the Mac Tools Top Fuel dragster team clinched a position in the 2014 NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series “Playoffs”, the Countdown to the Championship in Denver. Kalitta now leads the Mello Yello Top Fuel championship points by 25 points over second place with four events remaining in the “regular season”.

Todd Celebration Denver

OSCODA – Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder is scheduled to be in Oscoda tomorrow, Thursday, July 17 – the first visit by a seated governor to Iosco County in at least 12 years.

The governor will tour Kalitta Air, located at the Oscoda-Wurtsmith Airport, at approximately 3 p.m., with the visit to be hosted by 106th District State Rep. Peter Pettalia (R-Presque Isle).

At Kalitta, Snyder will view the in-progress construction of an 80,000 square foot hangar at the aircraft maintenance facility. The $9.7 million project is being partially funded by a $2 million grant from the Michigan Economic Development Corporation Strategic Fund and is expected to create at least 200 new jobs when it is complete.

Snyder and Pettalia will be joined on the 45-minute tour by Kalitta Air owner Connie Kalitta and his nephew, Doug Kalitta, owner of Kalitta Charters and Kalitta Charters II. The majority of the Kalitta Charters commercial jet maintenance is done in Oscoda.  Also planning to assist with the tour are Kalitta Air officials Don Nolan, Rich Bray and Bob Fabyan. Kalitta Air Vice President Pete Sanderlin may also attend.

Del Worsham – Driver of the DHL Toyota Camry Funny Car:

No. 1 Qualifier (4.000 sec., 321.88 mph (Career best speed))

E1: Worsham defeated Diehl - 4.072 sec., 317.64 mph to 4.295 sec., 282.78 mph
E2: Worsham defeated by Beckman - 4.476 sec., 226.01 mph to 4.181 sec., 305.91 mph

Doug Kalitta – Driver of the Mac Tools Top Fuel Dragster:

No. 2 Qualifier (3.746 sec., 327.82 mph)

E1: Kalitta defeated Crampton - 3.752 sec., 327.51 to 3.779 sec., 323.35 mph
E2: Kalitta defeated by Schumacher - 4.224 sec., 236.26 mph to 3.847 sec., 317.42 mph

Alexis DeJoria – Driver of the Patrón XO Café Toyota Camry Funny Car:

No. 12 Qualifier (4.076 sec., 311.49 mph)

E1: DeJoria defeated by Head - 4.090 sec., 309.77 mph to 4.075 sec., 316.30 mph

J.R. Todd  – Driver of the Optima Batteries/Advance Auto Parts Top Fuel Dragster:

No. 5 Qualifier (3.783 sec., 317.57 mph)

E1: Todd defeated by Buff - 6.795 sec., 96.38 mph to 3.834 sec., 312.50 mph

Mello Yello Championship Points:

Top Fuel

1 - Doug Kalitta (1130)
2 - Antron Brown (1082)
3 - Shawn Langdon (938)
4 - Tony Schumacher (785)
5 - Spencer Massey (780)
6 - Steve Torrence (747)
7 - Brittany Force (690)
8 - Khalid alBalooshi (652)
9 - Richie Crampton (626)
10 - JR Todd (593)
11 - Bob Vandergriff Jr (513)
12 - Clay Millican (510)

Funny Car

1 - Robert Hight (1067)
2 - John Force (889)
3 - Ron Capps (846)
4 - Tommy Johnson Jr. (845)
5 - Alexis DeJoria (779)
6 - Courtney Force (764)
7 - Del Worsham (748)
8 - Matt Hagan (739)
9 - Cruz Pedregon (726)
10 - Jack Beckman (655)

Doug Kalitta 500 Wins!

EPPING, N.H., (June 22, 2014) - Doug Kalitta, driver of the Mac Tools Top Fuel dragster, and Alexis DeJoria, driver of the Patrón XO Café Toyota Camry Funny Car, both raced to runner-up finishes in their respective classes Sunday during eliminations of the 2nd annual NHRA New England Nationals at New England Dragway in Epping, N.H.

The championship round in Epping marked the eighth such feat for Kalitta and the Mac Tools team in 11 events so far in the 24-event 2014 Mello Yello Drag Racing Series. They have one win - Gainesville, Fla. in March. Kalitta, the Mello Yello Top Fuel championship points leader, won his 500th Top Fuel eliminations round of his 17-year career in an opening round defeat of Terry McMillen and also extended his points lead to 157 points over second place.

Dejoria’s march to the championship round in Epping was the fifth such Nitro Funny Car final-round run in her career (including Four-Wide format in Charlotte). She and the Patrón XO Café Toyota Camry Funny Car team have two wins so far in 2014, Phoenix and Las Vegas. DeJoria’s dynamic day in Epping vaulted her to No. 2 in Mello Yello Funny Car points, the highest such placement in her Nitro Funny Car career.

Team Kalitta race cars have been in a remarkable 14 championship rounds in the first 11 events of the 2014 Mello Yello Drag Racing Series.

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Mello Yello Championship Points

Top Fuel (Unofficial)

1. Steve Torrence (2592)
2. Clay Millican (2423)
3. Tony Schumacher (2382)
4. Leah Pritchett (2297)
5. Antron Brown (2253)
6. Brittany Force (2243)
7. Mike Salinas (2228)
8. Doug Kalitta (2225)
9. Terry McMillen (2221)
10. Scott Palmer (2149)

Funny Car (Unofficial)

1. Robert Hight (2445)
2. J.R. Todd (2434)
3. Ron Capps (2336)
4. Tim Wilkerson (2334)
5. Tommy Johnson Jr. (2296)
6. Courtney Force (2264)
7. Matt Hagan (2241)
8. Jack Beckman (2229)
9. John Force (2204)
10. Shawn Langdon (2152)