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Kalitta Motorsports News

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

Q1: 4.133 seconds, 303.84 mph (Three bonus points for quickest of the session)
Q2: 4.051 seconds, 314.68 mph (Three bonus points for quickest of the session)
Q3: 4.603 seconds, 178.50 mph
Q4: 6.690 seconds, 95.21 mph

No. 1 Qualifier
J.R. Todd  – Driver of the Jesse James Firearms Unlimited Top Fuel Dragster:

Q1: 3.834 seconds, 315.42 mph (Two bonus points for second quickest of the session)
Q2: 7.221 seconds, 94.04 mph
Q3: 3.792 seconds, 321.42 mph (One bonus point for third quickest of the session)
Q4: 3.818 seconds, 305.49 mph

No. 5 Qualifier
Alexis DeJoria – Driver of the Patrón XO Café Toyota Camry Funny Car:

Q1: 6.476 seconds, 104.39 mph
Q2: 6.803 seconds, 98.97 mph
Q3: 4.076 seconds, 311.70 mph (Two bonus points for second quickest of the session)
Q4: 7.249 seconds, 94.18 mph

No. 5 Qualifier
Doug Kalitta – Driver of the Mac Tools Top Fuel Dragster:

Q1: 3.828 seconds, 321.50 mph (Three bonus points for quickest of the session)
Q2: 3.819 seconds, 324.51 mph (One bonus point for third quickest of the session)
Q3: 3.793 seconds, 321.42 mph
Q4: 3.811 seconds, 318.25 mph

No. 6 Qualifier
Competition:

5) Todd vs. 12) Leah Pritchett
6) Kalitta vs. 11) Bob Vandergriff

1) Worsham vs. 16) Courtney Force
5) DeJoria vs. 12) Tony Pedregon

Event Schedule:

  • Sunday’s eliminations begin at 11:00 a.m.
  • Times and dates subject to change.

Konnekt with Kalitta Motorsports:

For more info about Kalitta Motorsports including exclusive content such as videos, photos and more, please visitwww.teamkalitta.com. Follow Us on Twitter: www.twitter.com/TeamKalitta. Like Us on Facebook: www.facebook.com/KalittaMotorsports. Check out videos about Team Kalitta on our YouTube Channel: www.youtube.com/user/TeamKalitta. Follow us on Instagram: www.instagram.com/TeamKalitta.

AUSTIN, Texas (April 18, 2014) – Who else other than Master Fabricator Jesse James to unite the two things Americans love most – guns and racing! Jesse is thrilled to introduce the new Jesse James Firearms Unlimited (JJFU) sponsored Top Fuel dragster at the upcoming 2014 Mello Yello Drag Racing Series event in Houston, Texas, April 25th-27th.

The sponsorship follows the successful launch of James’ signature firearms line, JJFU, announced late last year and combines two of his lifelong passions: fast cars and custom guns.

“My love of the sport along with the relationship I have enjoyed beginning with Scott Kalitta and everyone at Kalitta Motorsports brings this opportunity full circle,” James said. “We had some great wins with the West Coast Choppers dragster and, we’re hoping J.R., Connie (Kalitta team owner and crew chief) and the Firearms Unlimited team can do the same thing.”

Jesse joined the Kalitta Motorsports family for the first time in 2003 with the debut of the West Coast Choppers Top Fuel dragster driven by the late Scott Kalitta.  Jesse has become a steadfast presence in the Kalitta pits, quietly helping tune wife Alexis DeJoria’s Patron XO Café Toyota Camry for the past two years.

The Jesse James Firearms Unlimited Top Fuel dragster will be driven by young and talented, Kalitta Motorsports driver J.R. Todd.  Todd is a six-time NHRA Top Fuel victor and widely considered to be among the best drivers in the world’s quickest and fastest racing class.

“I loved the West Coast Choppers dragster Scott drove and now having the chance to work with Jesse and the “Bounty Hunter” Connie Kalitta, especially in Texas, is something I could only dream about,” Todd said. “Jesse’s passion for the sport and Connie’s legendary status makes me want to win Houston more than ever”.

The design of the JJFU Top Fuel dragster will be characteristic of the Jesse James style, in-your-face and rebellious yet artistic.  According to James, “It’s taboo bringing guns into mainstream motorsports, but the majority of the fans enjoy the outdoors, so it’s part of culture. There are a lot of fans that love fast cars and guns like I do so this is for everyone who isn’t afraid to enjoy life on or off the track.”Event Schedule:

The 27th annual NHRA SpringNationals begin Friday for Team Kalitta and the nitro-powered pros. Two qualifying sessions will take place at 4:30 p.m. and 7:00 p.m. (CT) Friday. Two more qualifying sessions will take place Saturday at 1:00 p.m. and 3:30 p.m. The top 16 qualified cars in both Top Fuel and Funny Car will race Sunday in eliminations beginning at 11:00 a.m.

Times and dates subject to change.

ESPN2 TV Schedule:

04/26/2014 Qualifying 6:00 PM - 8:00 PM ET/3:00 PM - 5:00 PM PT
04/27/2014 Eliminations 7:00 PM - 10:00 PM ET/4:00 PM - 7:00 PM PT

Times and dates subject to change.

About JJFU:

Jesse James is best known as a custom motorcycle builder and the founder of West Coast Choppers, the successful worldwide brand known by bike enthusiasts as an icon of unparalleled quality and style. He has also starred in several television programs over the past 15 years, most of which focused on his signature craftsmanship in building custom choppers and restoring classic cars. After relocating to Austin, Texas in 2010, Jesse was driven to combine his signature work and passion for guns into the manufacturing of his own line of firearms.  In late 2013, he launched Jesse James Firearms Unlimited (JJFU) offering his distinguished “Cisco 1911” and “Nomad AR-15.”  With an intention of creating skillfully crafted and highly customizable guns, Jesse plans to eventually offer a full span of guns that appeal to military and law enforcement as well as the individual gun enthusiast.  JJFU raised the standards by also announcing a commitment to guns and products made in the USA.  Firearms are available for purchase at www.jjfu.com.  For most up to date announcements, follow JJFU on Instagram at www.instagram.com/popeofwelding.

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) Full Throttle 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.

For more info about Kalitta Motorsports including exclusive content such as videos, photos and more, please visit www.teamkalitta.com. Follow Us on Twitter: www.twitter.com/TeamKalitta. Like Us on Facebook: www.facebook.com/KalittaMotorsports. Check out videos about Team Kalitta on our YouTube Channel: www.youtube.com/user/TeamKalitta. Follow us on Instagram: www.instagram.com/TeamKalitta.

RESULTS BY SESSION

Top Fuel:

Doug Kalitta, driver of the Mac Tools Top Fuel dragster

Q1: 4.623 seconds, 165.13 mph
Q2: 3.816 seconds, 322.42 mph
Q3: 3.875 seconds, 319.22 mph
Q4: 3.831 seconds, 322.11 mph

No. 7 qualifier

J.R. Todd, driver of the Optima Batteries/Advance Auto Parts Top Fuel dragster

Q1: 3.781 seconds, 325.06 mph (Three bonus points for quickest of the session)
Q2: 3.963 seconds, 242.89 mph
Q3: 3.860 seconds, 311.94 mph
Q4: 5.268 seconds, 132.52 mph

No. 2 qualifier

Funny Car:

Alexis DeJoria, driver of the Patron XO Cafe Toyota Camry Funny Car

Q1: 4.113 seconds, 308.43 mph (Three bonus points for quickest of the session)
Q2: 6.715 seconds, 76.11 mph
Q3: 4.141 seconds, 307.30 mph (One bonus point for third quickest of the session)
Q4: 4.533 seconds, 190.81 mph

No. 9 qualifier

Del Worsham, driver of the DHL Toyota Camry Funny Car

Q1: 4.766 seconds, 173.18 mph
Q2: 4.097 seconds, 284.56 mph
Q3: 4.204 seconds, 300.80 mph
Q4: 4.435 seconds, 206.61 mph

No. 8 qualifier

JR ToddYPSILANTI, Mich., (April 3, 2014) – Kalitta Motorsports, one of the largest and most successful teams in NHRA (National Hot Rod Association) professional drag racing history, announced today that six-time NHRA Top Fuel event champion J.R. Todd will assume the duties of full-time driver of the Optima Batteries Top Fuel dragster beginning at the next event of the 2014 Mello Yello Drag Racing Series, the 5th Annual NHRA Four-Wide Nationals at zMAX Dragway in Charlotte, N.C., April 11-13.

Team owner, crew chief and drag racing icon Connie “the Bounty Hunter” Kalitta made the decision to change direction with his dragster by tapping Todd to drive his Top Fueler during the previous event, the 15th annual SummitRacing.com NHRA Nationals in Las Vegas.

Todd, a 32 year-old resident of Lawrenceburg, Ind., has accumulated six wins in eight final round appearances in NHRA Top Fuel competition. He began his straight-line racing career in the NHRA Jr. Drag Racing League, where he competed from 1993 until 1998. After serving as a crew member on a Nitro Funny Car team from 2003 until 2005, Todd got his chance to drive at NHRA’s highest level, Top Fuel, in 2006. He earned his first career Top Fuel trophy in 2006 in Denver to become the first African-American to win an NHRA Top Fuel race. His most recent victory in NHRA Top Fuel was in Dallas in 2008.

 “To say I’m excited to be a part of Kalitta Motorsports is a huge understatement,” Todd, who most recently drove a Top Fueler for Bob Vandergriff Racing in Gainesville, Fla. last month, said. “Driving for Connie Kalitta is a great honor. Connie’s commitment to success is one of the big reasons he’s considered one of the best owners to work for. He’s been drag racing for over 50 years so I’m sure I will learn a lot from him, and hopefully drive his car to a lot of winner’s circles for Optima Batteries.”

The Optima Batteries Top Fuel dragster was previously driven by David Grubnic. Native Australian Grubnic, a 51-year old resident of Bozeman, Mont., will remain with Kalitta Motorsports as a technical consultant.

“We knew we were eventually going to move Grubnic into a more technical role,” Jim Oberhofer, vice president of operations for Kalitta Motorsports, said. “It just so happened that the timing was right for Connie and the team to do that now. We are very confident that J.R. will represent our team, Optima Batteries, and all of our sponsors to the utmost of his ability. We’re extremely excited to see what he can do driving for Kalitta Motorsports.”

DeJoria Victorious in Vegas; Top Fuel Points Leader Kalitta Races to Runner-Up

LAS VEGAS, (March 31, 2014) – Kalitta Motorsports’ impressive start to the 2014 Mello Yello Drag Racing Series gained even more momentum Sunday in Las Vegas as the four-car, nitro-fueled contingent picked up its third national event win in the first four events of the season and brought its total to five final round appearances at the 15th annual SummitRacing.com NHRA Nationals at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

Alexis DeJoria, driver of the 10,000-horsepower Kalitta Motorsports Patrón XO Cafe Toyota Camry, defeated Matt Hagan, Tony Pedregon, Cruz Pedregon, and Robert Hight on her way to claim the title of Vegas Funny Car victor. DeJoria and the Patrón XO Café team posted the quickest run of eliminations in a dominating final round performance against Hight - 4.026 seconds, 309.98 mph to 4.083 seconds, 315.42 mph.

“It was definitely a great day at the office to get the win for the Patrón team here in Vegas where they are headquartered. It was huge,” DeJoria said. “We have been in a few semifinals but never made it past that point here at this track. Today we focused on taking it one round at a time, and with each round win, I was just hoping and hoping. And then when we just kept going rounds, I kept my head down and tried to stay focused. Tommy (DeLago, crew chief) and my crew gave me a great car today, and it felt amazing for our team to pick up our second win of our career.”

DeJoria and the Patrón XO Cafe team currently sit in the No. 3 spot in the NHRA Mello Yello Funny Car championship points (299).

Mello Yello Top Fuel championship points leader Doug Kalitta, driver of the “Big Red” Mac Tools Top Fuel dragster, continued his torrid pace to open the 2014 season with his third final round appearance, the 71st of his 17-year Top Fuel career.

Kalitta, the No. 2 qualifier for eliminations, defeated Steve Faria, Bob Vandergriff, and Steve Torrence en route to the final round. In the “money” round, Kalitta and his opponent Tony Schumacher put on a dazzling side-by-side race, but Kalitta barely crossed the finish line second to give Schumacher the win - 3.814 sec., 321.12 mph to 3.797 sec., 326.16 mph. The margin of victory at the stripe was a scant 0.012 seconds.

Kalitta won the event prior to Las Vegas in Gainesville, Fla. He has 34 NHRA national event wins. Kalitta increased his points lead to 73 over second place holder Antron Brown with his runner-up in Vegas.

Del Worsham, driver of the DHL Toyota Camry Funny Car and No. 4 qualifier, was upset in the opening round of Sunday’s Funny Car eliminations by Tony Pedregon. Worsham now sits in fifth place in Mello Yello Funny Car championship points.

Saturday in Las Vegas, team owner and crew chief Connie Kalitta made a decision to change direction with his dragster by tapping J.R. Todd to drive the special edition Bounty Hunter Top Fuel dragster for the remainder of the event. The dragster was previously driven by David Grubnic.

Todd, a 32 year-old resident of Lawrenceburg, Ind., qualified in the No. 11 spot for Sunday’s eliminations, where he raced to the quarterfinals.

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Mello Yello Championship Points

Top Fuel (Unofficial)

1. Steve Torrence (2718)
2. Clay Millican (2487)
3. Tony Schumacher (2454)
4. Leah Pritchett (2394)
5. Brittany Force (2302)
6. Antron Brown (2291)
7t. Mike Salinas (2259)
7t. Doug Kalitta (2259)
9. Terry McMillen (2221)
10. Scott Palmer (2182)

Funny Car (Unofficial)

1. J.R. Todd (2553)
2. Robert Hight (2479)
3. Ron Capps (2388)
4. Tim Wilkerson (2367)
5. Tommy Johnson Jr. (2362)
6. Courtney Force (2324)
7. Matt Hagan (2321)
8. Jack Beckman (2283)
9. John Force (2277)
10. Shawn Langdon (2204)

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