Kalitta Motorsports News

Doug Kalitta sun

Kalitta scores semi-final finish at Route 66

Race Recap: Doug Kalitta and the Mac Tools team earned a semi-final finish today in Chicago.

The qualifying portion did not go as the Mac Tools group would have liked as Kalitta made just one clean pass, a 3.786 second run on Friday evening. However, that run was good enough for another top half starting spot and a first round draw of Terry McMillen.

Kalitta got the slight advantage on McMIllen on the starting line. The Mac Tools ride continued to struggle down track, but McMillen had bigger issues to deliver a first round win to Kalitta. In the second round, Kalitta again had problems, but his opponent, Luigi Novelli, again suffered bigger woes to move the Mac Tools machine to the semifinals.

In the semifinals, Kalitta faced last race's winner, Clay Millican. Kalitta moved first, but Millican was able to get around the Mac Tools driver. However, Millican's chutes deployed before the finish line. Kalitta closed considerably but came up five thousandths short at the stripe.

Qualified: No. 8 (3.786 sec., 321.96 mph)E1: Kalitta defeated McMillen - 3.978 sec., 281.48 mph to 5.161 sec., 135.73 mphE2: Kalitta defeated Novelli - 3.934 sec., 305.77 mph to 4.081 sec., 253.85 mphE3: Kalitta defeated by Millican - 3.819 sec., 325.53 mph to 3.785 sec., 316.75 mph

Quotable:“Solid day for the Mac Tools team here at Route 66 Raceway. Always looking for wins, but this was a good points day on a tricky track. We will head to Richmond next weekend and try to get the win there."

Point Standings: Fifth; leads Brittany Force by 99 points for sixth; trails Tony Schumacher by eight points for fourth

Shawn Langdon Sun

Langdon claims Chicago round win

Race Recap: Shawn Langdon and the Global Electronic Technology team earned a round win in Chicago today. 

Langdon and the Global Electronic Technology team led by Nicky Boninfante and Kurt Elliott had a great qualifying portion of the weekend. After a sub four second pass on Friday evening, Langdon earned bonus points in both Saturday sessions, closing the qualifying portion of the Route 66 Nationals with another 3.98 second run. 

Langdon earned the seventh starting spot and lane choice over Tommy Johnson Jr. in the first round. Langdon and Johnson Jr. were neck-and-neck early, but by the 330 foot mark, Langdon's Global Electronic Technology Camry had nosed ahead. Despite problems down track, Langdon would keep that advantage all the way to the stripe to score the round win.

In the second round, Langdon faced his second Don Schumacher Racing opponent of the day, Ron Capps. Again, Capps and Langdon were close early before Langdon dropped a cylinder. Langdon was able leg it to the finish line, but Capps was able to get the advantage and the round win.

Qualified: No. 7 (3.980 sec., 326.08 mph) E1: Langdon defeated Johnson Jr. - 4.475 sec., 250.00 mph to 5.874 sec., 97.84 mphE2: Langdon defeated by Capps - 4.154 sec., 307.16 mph to 4.104 sec., 311.77 mph

Quotable: "We did okay today. We dropped a cylinder and still was almost able to outrun Ron Capps. Looking at it, we should have been right at low elapsed time of the round had it not dropped the cylinder. We were able to go a round and maintain our top ten spot, so that is good. We are going to just keep making good runs with this Global Electronic Technology Camry and head to Richmond."

Point Standings: Ninth; leads John Force by 46 points for 10th; trails Cruz Pedregon by four points for eighth

JR Todd Sun

Todd defeated early in the Windy City

Race Recap: J.R. Todd and the DHL/WIX Filters team suffered a rare holeshot loss in the first round of eliminations today at the JEGS Route 66 Nationals. 

The DHL/WIX Filters Camry had a strong qualifying effort with three clean passes out of four attempts. Saturday was particularly solid for the YellaFellas, as Todd recorded low elapsed time of the third qualifying session and then the team hit their best pass of the weekend in the final effort. Todd ended up ninth overall and a first round draw of Bob Tasca III.

Todd and Tasca were the final pair of the first round and both ran stellar passes down the track. However, Tasca left first and that proved to be the difference at the finish line. 

Qualified: No. 9 (4.007 sec., 322.88 mph) E1: Todd defeated by Tasca  - 4.011 sec., 322.50 mph to 4.024 sec., 317.42 mph

Quotable:"Disappointed in myself. There is no excuse for that. Great run for the DHL/WIX Filters guys; I feel bad for letting them down."

Point Standings: Fifth; leads Ron Capps by four points by sixth; trails Matt Hagan by 62 points for fourth

Richie Crampton sun

Crampton suffers first round loss

Race Recap: Richie Crampton fell in the first round today at the JEGS Route 66 Nationals.

Crampton and the Kalitta Air team had two solid qualifying passes with one on each day. Crampton's best came on the final lap on Saturday, which moved the Kalitta Air driver to the 11th position on the grid. That meant a draw of Blake Alexander, who was making his third start of the season.

Alexander and Crampton were the first pair to see the track on Sunday morning. Crampton got the slight advantage at the tree, and despite smoke pouring from the Kalitta Air ride, held that advantage at the 330 mark. However, Crampton's ride was shut off shortly after due to the smoke and Alexander was able to get around him and scored the round win.

Qualified: No. 11 (3.817 sec., 319.52 mph) E1: Crampton defeated by Alexander - 4.272 sec., 194.58 mph to 3.775 sec., 331.69 mph

Quotable:“Tough first round loss for the Kalitta Air team. We had strong early numbers, but it was not our day. I feel like we have our car trending in the right direction, so I am excited to get to Richmond."

Point Standings:10th; leads Mike Salinas by 21 points for 11th; trails Scott Palmer by 21 points for ninth

Dou Kalitta Sat

Doug Kalitta, driver of the Mac Tools Top Fuel Dragster

Q1: 9.069 sec. at 109.56 MPH
Q2: 3.786 sec. at 321.96 MPH
Q3: 4.639 sec. at 163.55 MPH
Q44.239 sec. at 200.02 MPH

Starting Position: 8th
First Round Matchup: Terry McMillen

Quotable: “Tough qualifying portion of our weekend with this Mac Tools team. Different conditions tomorrow and I am confident we will be ready!"

Richie Crampton Sat

Richie Crampton, driver of the Kalitta Air Top Fuel Dragster

Q1: 4.314 sec. at 195.45 MPH
Q2: 3.826 sec. at 296.83 MPH
Q3: 4.989 sec. at 141.25 MPH
Q4:3.817 sec. at 319.52 MPH

Starting Position: 11th
First Round Matchup: Blake Alexander

Quotable: "I am pretty proud of my Kalitta Air team; we had a solid qualifying effort. The outlook for tomorrow is pretty good. My guys are ready and we are focused on going rounds."

Shawn Langdon Sat

Shawn Langdon, driver of the Global Electronic Technology Toyota Camry Funny Car

Q1: 8.323 sec. at 81.13 MPH
Q2: 3.980 sec. at 326.08 MPH
Q3: 4.080 sec. at 316.52 MPH
Q43.982 sec. at 323.58 MPH

Bonus Points: 3 pts. (Third best of the third session, second best of the fourth session)
Starting Position: 7th
First Round Matchup: Tommy Johnson Jr.

Quotable: "We made some great runs. The Global Electronic Technology team continues to improve. We were able to get bonus points, which just shows the progress that we are making. Tough first round with Tommy tomorrow. We will just keep doing what we have been doing."

JR Todd Sat

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

Q1: 4.109 sec. at 310.20 MPH
Q2: 4.402 sec. at 199.73 MPH
Q3: 4.014 sec. at 308.78 MPH
Q44.007 sec. at 322.88 MPH

Bonus Points: 3 pts. (Best of the third session)
Starting Position: 9th
First Round Matchup: Bob Tasca III

Quotable:"We are going down the track, just not with the times we would like to. We are not going to have lane choice going into tomorrow, but I am not sure that matters here at Route 66 Raceway. If we keep going down the track like we did today, this DHL/WIX Filters team will be in really good shape."

Doug Kalitta

Kalitta wants another Chicago win

Chicago Highlights: Three wins (2006, 2004, 2002); Three no. 1 qualifiers (2014, 2003, 1999)

Last Event Recap (Menards NHRA Heartland Nationals): Qualified eighth; Quarterfinalist (Defeated Scott Palmer in the first round, lost to Clay Millican in the quarterfinals)

2017 NHRA Route 66 Nationals Recap: Qualified 10th; First round loss (Lost to Antron Brown in the first round)

Quotable: “Route 66 Raceway is a track we always love going to. It is very close to home. This race starts our longest stretch of consecutive races and my Mac Tools team is ready to have a lot of success on this run.”

Career Stats: 466 starts; 634 round wins (ninth all-time); 44 wins (fifth all-time in Top Fuel); 93 finals; 49 no.1 qualifiers (tied 14th all-time)

2018 Season: One Win (Pomona-I); Two finals (Pomona I, Charlotte I); 11 round wins; fourth in the standings

2017 Season Recap: One win (Charlotte-II); Four finals (Pomona-I, Norwalk, Charlotte-II, St. Louis); Two no.1 qualifiers (Norwalk, Charlotte-II); 34 round wins; third in the standings

Noteworthy: Next no.1 qualifier is 50th of his career; current track MPH record holder (330.55 - set July 2016)

Richie Crampton

Crampton looks for a turnaround this weekend in Windy City

Last Event Recap (Menards NHRA Heartland Nationals): Qualified 10th; First round loss (Lost to Brittany Force in the first round)

2017 NHRA Route 66 Nationals Recap: Did not compete

Quotable: “I cannot wait to get back in the Kalitta Air/DHL Toyota dragster at the legendary Route 66 Raceway on its 20th anniversary. We definitely have our sights set on winning rounds. With this being the first weekend of a four race swing, we are looking to start it out with some success.”  

Career Stats: 86 starts; 80 round wins; Eight wins; 10 finals; Five no.1 qualifiers

2018 Season: One win (Gainesville); Five round wins; ninth in the standings

2017 Season Stats: Seven starts; One final (Charlotte-II); Five round wins

JR Todd.jpg

Todd looks for first Route 66 triumph

Chicago Highlights: One final (2016)

Last Event Recap (Menards NHRA Heartland Nationals Nationals): Qualified fourth; Semifinalist (Defeated Dale Creasy in the first round and Jack Beckman in the quarterfinals, lost to Courtney Force in the semifinals)

2017 NHRA Route 66 Nationals Recap: Qualified 14th; Quarterfinalist (Defeated Courtney Force in the first round, lost to Tommy Johnson Jr. in the quarterfinals)

Quotable: “I am looking forward to getting this four race swing going. Our DHL Camry runs well in the heat and I am hopeful this will play to our advantage.” 

Career Stats: 180 starts; 178 round wins; 13 wins; 23 finals; 9 no.1 qualifiers (Funny Car stats: 32 starts; Four wins (2017: Sonoma, Indianapolis, 2018: Las Vegas-I, Houston); Five finals (2017: Charlotte-I, Sonoma, Indianapolis, 2018: Las Vegas-I, Houston); 29 round wins)

2018 Season: Two wins (Las Vegas-I, Houston); 11 round wins; fifth in the point standings 

2017 Season Stats: 24 starts; Two wins (Sonoma, Indianapolis); Three finals (Charlotte-I, Sonoma, Indianapolis); 18 round wins; ninth in the point standings

Shawn Langdon

Langdon planning for some Chicago success

Last Event Recap (Menards NHRA Heartland Nationals): Qualified 10th; Semifinalist (Defeated Ron Capps in the first round and Jonnie Lindberg in the quarterfinals, lost to Robert Hight in the semifinals)

2017 NHRA Route 66 Nationals (Top Fuel) Recap: Qualified sixth; Quarterfinalist (Defeated Terry McMillen in the first round, lost to Clay Millican in the quarterfinals)

Quotable: “Coming off of the semifinal finish in Topeka, the Global Electronic Technology team has momentum. We have made a lot of changes to the car and have some new things going on with Kurt coming aboard. I am excited to get to Chicago. It is a great facility and the fans are awesome.”

Career Stats: 213 starts; 253 round wins; 14 wins; 30 finals; 18 no.1 qualifiers (Funny Car stats: Eight starts; Six round wins)

2018 Season: Eight starts; Six round wins; ninth in the standings

2017 Season Stats: 20 starts; Two finals (Dallas, Pomona II); 17 round wins; seventh in the point standings

Noteworthy: Kurt Elliott has been named assistant crew chief for Langdon beginning this weekend in Chicago. Elliott will team with crew chief Nicky Boninfante; Langdon won 2005 and 2006 JEGS All-Stars event in the Super Comp class

YPSILANTI, Mich. (May 24, 2018) – Kalitta Motorsports is pleased to announce that Kurt Elliott has joined Team Kalitta, effective immediately. Elliott will join Nicky Boninfante as assistant crew chief on the Global Electronic Technology Toyota Camry Funny Car driven by Shawn Langdon.

“I am really excited to be joining Kalitta Motorsports. To work for Connie is incredible. He is a true legend in this sport,” said Elliott. “Kalitta Motorsports has some great people, which is something I am really big about. I have thought about racing with Nicky for many years, and I think we are a good fit. Shawn is a very talented driver and I have a great relationship with all of the other crew chiefs. I am very excited to get started.”

Elliott began his career working in 1994 for Whit Bazemore as a clutch specialist and earned his first win in 1996 with driver Dale Pulde. He first ascended to the assistant crew chief role in 2004 with Tony Pedregon Racing, and was a part of team that delivered Pedregon the 2007 Funny Car championship. His career also has included multiple seasons with Alan Johnson Racing and drivers Bruce Sarver, Gary Scelzi and Del Worsham. Most recently, Elliott was a part of Bob Vandergriff Racing working with Vandergriff, now Kalitta driver J.R. Todd, Clay Millican and Dave Connolly.

“I am very excited to have Kurt a part of the team,” said Langdon. “I think him and Nicky will make a great team. This has me really pumped for the Global Electronic Technology team and for next weekend’s race in Chicago.”

Langdon and the Global Electronic Technology team are coming off a semi-final finish in Topeka and are ninth in the point standings. Elliott will make his debut as part of the team at NHRA’s next event, the JEGS Route 66 NHRA Nationals in Joliet, Ill. 

JR Todd Sunday


Todd advances to Topeka semifinal

Race Recap: J.R. Todd and the DHL/WIX Filters team earned two round wins at the rain delayed Menards NHRA Heartland Nationals in Topeka. 

Qualifying saw a strong performance from Todd, as the DHL/WIX Filters Camry was one of just four drivers to dip into the three second range. Todd also earned one bonus point in the final session and was seeded fourth overall going into Sunday's eliminations. 

After the lengthy rain delay, Todd was able to finally get on track in the first round against Dale Creasy. Todd got the jump at the line, but the DHL machine begun to smoking tires downtrack. Todd pedaled and was able to keep his Camry ahead of Creasy's ride and scored the round win.

Todd advanced to the quarterfinals with lane choice over Jack Beckman. Todd and Beckman left side-by-side but the DHL/WIX Filters Camry kept inching ahead, and lit up the scoreboard in his lane with the best run of his weekend, a 3.949. That moved Todd to the semifinals, which after weather conditions forced eliminations to cease for the evening, was run on Monday morning.

With new conditions and a new day, Todd lined up against points leader Courtney Force in the delayed semifinals. Todd and Force were together when the DHL ride lost traction. Force laid down low elapsed time of the race in the opposite lane to score the round win.

Statistics: Qualified: No. 4 (3.996 sec., 320.89 mph) E1: Todd defeated Creasy - 4.385 sec., 237.17 mph to 5.347 sec., 155.06 mphE2: Todd defeated Beckman - 3.949 sec., 323.12 mph to 4.058 sec., 310.20 mphE3: Todd defeated by C. Force - 4.495 sec., 188.81 mph to 3.895 sec., 330.39 mph

Quotable:  "It is disappointing to lose after such a marathon race. My entire DHL/WIX Filters team worked so hard this weekend. However, I am very excited about some of the runs we made this weekend and I am looking forward to Chicago." 

Point Standings: Fifth; leads Tommy Johnson Jr. by 14 points by sixth; trails Robert Hight by eight points for fourth

Shawn Langdon Monday 

Langdon earns third semifinal of the season

Race Recap: Shawn Langdon and the Global Electronic Technology team advanced to their third semifinal of the season this weekend at Heartland Motorsports Park. 

Langdon had a consistent machine in qualifying as the Global Electronic Technology Camry made multiple clean passes down the Heartland Motorsports Park surface. Langdon was seeded 10th overall and had a tough draw of former Funny Car champion Ron Capps in the opposite lane.

In the first round, Langdon and Capps both had stellar reaction times. With several other Funny Cars having issues, the Nicky Boninfante-led team had no such problems. Langdon pulled away from the tire smoking Capps to earn the round win. 

Langdon moved on to the quarterfinals with fellow top 10 competitor Jonnie Lindberg in the other lane. Again, Langdon had no issues and got the easy round victory to advance the Global Electronic Technology machine to the semifinals for the third time in eight races.

Unfortunately for Langdon, the race weekend would end there. After the remainder of the eliminations were moved to Monday, Langdon came up against Robert Hight. This time, Langdon's ride smoked the tires and Hight moved to the final.

Statistics: Qualified: No. 10 (4.052 sec., 314.31 mph) E1: Langdon defeated Capps - 4.021 sec., 322.19 mph to 4.322 sec., 315.64 mph

E2: Langdon defeated Lindberg - 4.011 sec., 324.12 mph to 12.378 sec., 75.64 mphE3: Langdon defeated by Hight - 7.038 sec., 97.06 mph to 3.911 sec., 330.55 mph

Quotable: "We are still trying to figure out why we smoked the tires; it looks like it might have broke a clutch arm. We have just had some weird stuff happen this year. We are making good progress though. A lot of things happened this week; changes were made. I am proud of my team and what they were able to fight through and overcome. We came together as a team and they delivered a great car. We were able to deliver a semi-final finish; hopefully we can build on this."

Point Standings: Ninth; leads Jonnie Lindberg by 22 points for 10th; trails Cruz Pedregon by 26 points for eighth

Doug Kalitta Sunday 

Kalitta earns Topeka round win

Race Recap: Doug Kalitta and the Mac Tools team scored a round win in Topeka in the rain delayed Menards NHRA Heartland Nationals. 

Kalitta scored the best qualifying pass of his weekend on Friday night. His 3.798 second pass slotted the Mac Tools team in the third spot and earned Kalitta one bonus point. The team was unable to improve on Saturday and was bumped from third to the eighth starting spot and a first round draw of Scott Palmer.

After a long rain delay, Kalitta and Palmer were the final Top Fuel pair to see the track. It was the best race of the first round in Top Fuel, but Kalitta got Palmer at the line and was able to outrun Palmer by a couple thousandths to score the round win.

In the quarterfinals, Kalitta faced no.1 qualifier, Clay Millican. Kalitta's Mac Tools machine encountered troubles shortly after launching and Millican was able to run clean to move to the semi-finals.

Statistics: Qualified: No. 8 (3.798 sec., 321.81 mph)E1: Kalitta defeated Palmer - 3.774 sec., 326.24 mph to 3.798 sec., 327.90 mphE2: Kalitta defeated by Millican - 7.301 sec., 72.09 mph to 3.724 sec., 334.90 mph

Quotable: “I am so proud of my Mac Tools team for the hours the put in today. It wasn't our day, but the effort was definitely there. We will work hard in the off week and get ready for Chicago."

Point Standings: Fourth; leads Leah Pritchett by eight points for fifth; trails Tony Schumacher by 42 points for third

Richie Crampton Sunday 

Crampton's expert pedaling wasn't enough in first round loss

Race Recap: Richie Crampton was defeated in the first round of the Menards NHRA Heartland Nationals at Heartland Motorsports Park yesterday evening.

Crampton saw some improvement in qualifying with multiple clean runs throughout the weekend. The best for the Kalitta Air driver was a 3.811 second pass that slotted Crampton amongst the top ten qualifiers. For the first time since the second race of the season in February, Crampton did not race his teammate, Doug Kalitta. Instead, he had Brittany Force in the other lane.

The start of eliminations were delayed by eight hours, but after the Topeka surface was dry, Crampton and Force were the first pair to see the track. Force and Crampton left together, but shortly after Crampton was forced to pedal. He got the Kalitta Air machine to cooperate quickly, but Force made the quickest run of her weekend in the other lane to score the round win. 

Statistics: Qualified: No. 10 (3.811 sec., 321.65 mph) E1: Crampton defeated by B. Force - 4.264 sec., 303.98 mph to 3.723 sec., 328.06 mph

Quotable: “After such a long wait, I really wanted to reward my guys with a round win, but it wasn't our day. We will get the Kalitta Air Toyota dragster fixed up and get ready the month of June."

Point Standings: Ninth; leads Mike Salinas by four points for 10th; trails Antron Brown by 111 points for eighth

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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)