Kalitta Motorsports News
CHANDLER,Ariz. (Feb. 22, 2015) – Doug Kalitta, driver of the Mac Tools Top Fuel Dragster, and Del Worsham, driver of the DHL Toyota Camry Funny Car, advanced Kalitta Motorsports to their first final rounds of the 2015 season earlier this evening at Wild Horse Pass Motorsports Park in Chandler, Ariz. Despite solid passes from each driver, neither team was able to pick up their first win of the season.
Kalitta started the day from the number two position and laid down two very fast passes to pick up round wins over Clay Millican and Brittany Force. After the track begin to see shade in the afternoon, Kalitta’s Mac Tools team came up against Shawn Langdon in the semi-finals. The tuneup proved to be too much for the Wild Horse Pass track but Kalitta hung on to defeat Langdon, 4.303 sec. to 4.752 sec.
The final round competition was Tony Schumacher from Don Schumacher Racing. Jim Oberhofer, crew chief for the Mac Tools team, tuned the car up to Kalitta’s quickest pass of the day, a 3.758 second run, but that number was unable to help Kalitta pick up the victory. Kalitta moves inside the top five in points for the first time this season in fourth place, 12 points out of the top two.
“My whole Mac Tools team did a great job this weekend,” said Kalitta. “We are not satisfied with the final result, but have continued to learn how to better handle the Mac Tools dragster and we look forward to Gainesville in a couple of weeks.”
Worsham’s DHL Toyota Camry Funny Car continued its tear of consistent 4.0 second runs. After running a 3.997 sec. in his final qualifying pass on Saturday, Worsham lined up against John Hale in round one. His 4.037 second run bested Hale’s 4.183 second pass to send Worsham to the quarterfinals. Two more great times (4.047 sec. and 4.010 sec.) led the DHL team past foes Chad Head and Robert Hight to set up a final pair of Worsham and Matt Hagan. Unfortunately, another 4.010 second run was not enough to take out the 2014 NHRA Funny Car champion, who won his second Wally of the season. Following Worsham’s finish and a semi-final effort at the season’s first event in Pomona, Worsham moves to the top two in the NHRA Mello Yello Funny Car standings.
Alexis DeJoria, driver of the Patrón XO Café Incendio Toyota Camry Funny Car, started the weekend with her first two round wins of the 2015 campaign. She was able to take two 4.0 second runs to round wins over Tony Pedregon and Tommy Johnson, Jr. DeJoria’s solid afternoon took her back to the top ten in points for the first time this season. She sits seventh after two events.
J.R. Todd, driver of the Red Line Oil/Kalitta Air Top Fuel dragster, earned his first round win of the season in the first round eliminating Terry McMillen. The Red Line Oil/Kalitta Air Top Fuel dragster ran 3.776 in round 2 but it was not enough to take out Antron Brown. Todd, with the round win, moved into a tie for eighth position in the point standings.
“Pushed a sparkplug out in round two, and just ran up against the wrong guy,” said Todd. “We have our hot rod back from last season, and we are going to go work on it in the shop and get ready for Gainesville.”
Team Kalitta nitro race cars advanced to their first two championship rounds at Phoenix, the second event of the 24-race 2015 NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series schedule this season.
CHANDLER, ARIZ., (Feb. 21, 2015) – Kalitta Motorsports, the nitro-fueled, four-car NHRA drag racing team based in Ypsilanti, Mich., has completed qualifying for the CARQUEST Auto Parts NHRA Nationals. Results and quotes follow.
Doug Kalitta – Driver of the Mac Tools Top Fuel Dragster:
Q1: 4.989 sec., 144.86 mph
Q2: 3.733 sec., 329.02 mph (Two bonus points for second quickest run of the session.)
Q3: 6.002 sec., 112.54 mph
Q4: 3.771 sec., 322.88 mph
No. 2 Qualifier
J.R. Todd – Driver of the Red Line Oil/Kalitta Air Top Fuel Dragster:
Q1: 3.766 sec., 323.97 mph (One bonus point for third quickest run of the session.)
Q2: 3.753 sec., 323.12 mph (One bonus point for third quickest run of the session.)
Q3: 5.990 sec., 110.74 mph
Q4: 6.797 sec., 96.07 mph
No. 4 Qualifier
Del Worsham – Driver of the DHL Toyota Camry Funny Car:
Q1: 7.522 sec., 85.31 mph
Q2: 4.005 sec., 318.17 mph (One bonus point for third quickest run of the session.)
Q3: 4.326 sec., 216.69 mph
Q4: 3.997 sec., 319.98 mph (Two bonus points for second quickest run of the session.)
No. 3 Qualifier
Alexis DeJoria – Driver of the Patrón XO Café Incendio Toyota Camry Funny Car:
Q1: 4.069 sec., 306.19 mph
Q2: 4.000 sec., 313.58 mph (Two bonus points for second quickest run of the session.)
Q3: 5.322 sec., 136.72 mph
Q4: 5.228 sec., 142.25 mph
No. 4 Qualifier
First Round Competition:
2) Doug Kalitta v. 15) Clay Millican
4) J.R. Todd v. 13) Terry McMillen
3) Del Worsham v. 14) John Hale
4) Alexis DeJoria v. 13) Tony Pedregon
Doug Kalitta, driver, Mac Tools Top Fuel Dragster: “Excited to qualify second here in Phoenix. We have made some great passes this weekend aboard this Mac Tools dragster and I am ready to see what we can do against Clay (Millican) in round one.”
J.R. Todd, driver, Red Line Oil/Kalitta Air Top Fuel Dragster: “We struggled today. We tried a few things, but I think we got rid of all our Pomona gremlins on Friday. We know what we cannot do for tomorrow, and now we are going to prepare and get ready for the matchup against Terry McMillen.”
Del Worsham, driver, DHL Toyota Camry Funny Car: “Wow, what a great way to finish qualifying. My guys told me the DHL Toyota Camry was set up to run a 3 second run, and it went out there and did just that. We have a tough match-up tomorrow morning against (John) Hale and the Jim Dunn team, but we are going to go out there and do the best we can.”
Pomona, CA – Red Line® Synthetic Oil is proud to announce its primary sponsorship of the Kalitta Motorsports Top Fuel Dragster and driver JR Todd in the NHRA Mello Yellow® Drag Racing Series, beginning with the opening round in Pomona, Calif., Feb 6-8, 2015. Red Line Oil will sponsor the team at selected events throughout the year.
“Red Line’s closest relationship in racing is with the Kalitta organization,” said Cameron Evans, Red Line president. “The opportunity to work even closer with the team came about and we welcomed the opportunity to brand the car. We feel that JR Todd is one of NHRA’s best drivers and to brand the car that Connie Kalitta personally runs is great fun for our customers and employees. We think the fans will love the new livery.”
“We’ve been proud to represent Red Line Oil for close to 15 years,” said Jim Oberhofer, Vice President of Operations at Kalitta Motorsports. “They’ve been one of our most supportive associates through those years and we’re excited to grow the relationship by running the primary colors of Red Line. Connie and JR are ready to get out there and give the fans a good show with the Red Line Oil dragster.”
J.R. Todd, driver of the Red Line Oil dragster added, “I am excited about our new look with Red Line Oil car and look forward to representing Red Line with some great results at the Winternationals. We’re ready to get the season started and we’re thrilled to start the year off with such a great team. We can’t thank Cameron Evans and the entire Red Line family enough for the opportunity.”
Red Line sponsored the Connie Kalitta-tuned Top Fuel car for multiple races in the 2006 NHRA season and has been an associate sponsor of the Kalitta race cars since 2001. The team runs many full-synthetic, ester-based Red Line products, including its 70WT Racing Oil and Heavy Shockproof® Gear Oil, plus 15W40 Motor Oil in its transporters and generators.
Red Line Synthetic Oil manufactures more than 100 quality products for the automotive, motorcycle, marine, motorsport and industrial markets. Our complete line includes a wide variety of motor oils, gear oils, fuel additives, greases and our popular WaterWetter® coolant additive. Visit REDLINEOIL.COM for more detailed information.
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One is a legendary racer and businessman, a bit world weary and rough around the edges, who was portrayed by Beau Bridges in a movie. The other is an enthusiastic journeyman racer whose career started fast, then sputtered.
Together, Connie Kalitta and J.R. Todd are the Felix and Oscar of drag racing.
Kalitta, the 76-year-old Hall of Famer who won 10 events in his career, hired Todd in April to take over one of Kalitta Motorsports' Top Fuel cars. Despite missing the first two events of the season, Todd, a 33-year-old who was drag racing's top rookie in 2006, made a run at the championship, eventually finishing second behind Tony Schumacher.
With Kalitta tuning the car and Todd driving it, the two are expected to contend again for the championship when the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing season opens this weekend with the 55th annual Circle K NHRA Winternationals at Auto Club Raceway in Pomona, Calif.
Theirs is an unlikely story of friendship, rejuvenation and success.
"When I first got the job, everybody on the team was joking about how it was like Connie had a new girlfriend," Todd told USA TODAY Sports. "They were saying they hadn't seen him this happy in a long time. He's definitely enthused about it, and he's the one calling the shots."
Todd broke into drag racing in a large way. He won at Denver in 2006, becoming the first African-American to win in Top Fuel. He added wins at Sonoma, Calif., and Reading, Pa., finished eighth in the final standings and was named the top rookie in Top Fuel. After 2009, though, his career stalled. Until Kalitta called in April, that is.
Immediately, things changed for Todd and his new boss. Read More at USA Today