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Kalitta Motorsports News

Team Kalitta Sonoma

SONOMA, Calif., (July 24, 2014) – Kalitta Motorsports, the nitro-fueled, four-car NHRA drag racing team based in Ypsilanti, Mich., continues the traditional NHRA Western Swing this weekend, July 25-27, in Sonoma, Calif. at Sonoma Raceway at the 27th annual NHRA Sonoma Nationals. The NHRA Western Swing, consisting of three consecutive event weekends, began last weekend in Denver and ends next weekend in Seattle.

J.R. Todd, driver of the Optima Batteries/Advance Auto Parts Top Fuel dragster, kicked off the Western Swing in grand style by taking home the “Wally” (trophy) from Denver. Todd’s win in Denver was his first with Kalitta Motorsports and his first since 2008 (Dallas). Todd won his first NHRA Top Fuel title in Denver in 2006, becoming the first African-American to accomplish the feat.

Doug Kalitta, driver of the 10,000-horsepower Mac Tools Top Fuel dragster, leads the Mello Yello championship points by 25 over second place. The Mac Tools team clinched a berth in the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series “playoffs”, the Countdown to the Championship, in Denver. The Countdown to the Championship consists of the final six events of the season and begins in Charlotte, Sept. 12-14. Only the top ten in Mello Yello championship points at the conclusion event in Indianapolis, Aug. 27 - Sept. 1, are eligible to participate in the Countdown to the Championship. 

Team Kalitta race cars have five event wins and have appeared in 15 championship rounds so far in the 24-event 2014 NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series events this year.

Doug Kalitta

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

  • HOMETOWN: Ann Arbor, Mich.
  • CREW CHIEF: Jim Oberhofer
  • CAREER WINS: 34
  • CAREER FINAL ROUNDS: 75
  • CAREER BEST E.T.: 3.713 seconds
  • CAREER BEST SPEED: 331.45 mph

- Kalitta is the winningest Top Fuel driver in history at Sonoma Raceway with five event wins (2005, 2004, 2000, 1999 and 1998)
- Kalitta was the runner-up finisher in Sonoma in 2002
- Kalitta was the No. 1 qualifier in Sonoma in 2012, 2004, 2003 and 1998
- Kalitta was the No. 3 qualifier in Sonoma last year (quarterfinals)
- Kalitta won the 500th Top Fuel elimination round of his career in Epping in June, a feat accomplished by only 16 professional drivers in NHRA history
- Kalitta has garnered one event wins so far this season (Gainesville)
- Kalitta has raced to six runner-up finishes so far this season (Pomona, Las Vegas, Atlanta, Englishtown, Bristol, and Epping)
- Kalitta was the No. 1 qualifier for Top Fuel eliminations in Pomona, Phoenix, Atlanta, Englishtown and Chicago

JR Todd

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

  • HOMETOWN: Lawrenceburg, Ind.
  • CREW CHIEF: Connie Kalitta
  • CAREER WINS: 7
  • CAREER FINAL ROUNDS: 10
  • CAREER BEST E.T.: 3.747 seconds
  • CAREER BEST SPEED: 325.30 mph

- Todd won the previous event in Denver, his first win of 2014 and his first with Kalitta Motorsports; First win since 2008 in Dallas
- The Optima Batteries/Advance Auto Parts team qualified No. 1 in Sonoma last year (quarterfinals)
- Todd did not compete in Sonoma last year 
- Todd has raced to three semi-final finishes so far this season (Charlotte, Topeka, and Chicago)
- Todd set a career-best elapsed time mark in June in Topeka (3.747 sec.)
- Todd joined Team Kalitta in March as the full-time driver of the Optima Batteries/Advance Auto Parts Top Fueler

Alexis DeJoria

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

  • HOMETOWN: Austin, Texas
  • CREW CHIEF: Tommy DeLago
  • CAREER WINS: 4 (FC: 2 TAFC: 1 SPORTS: 1)
  • CAREER FINAL ROUNDS: 8 (FC: 4 TAFC: 3 SPORTS: 1)
  • CAREER BEST E.T.: 3.997 seconds
  • CAREER BEST SPEED: 319.07 mph

- DeJoria was a semi-finalist in Sonoma last year from the No. 16 qualifying spot
- DeJoria earned her first No. 1 qualifying position of her career in Atlanta in May
- DeJoria has garnered two event wins so far this season (Phoenix and Las Vegas)

Del Worsham

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

  • HOMETOWN: Chino Hills, Calif.
  • CREW CHIEFS: Nick Boninfante and Jon Oberhofer
  • CAREER WINS: 33 (TF: 8 FC: 25)
  • CAREER FINAL ROUNDS: 52 (TF: 11 FC: 41)
  • CAREER BEST E.T.: 3.992 seconds
  • CAREER BEST SPEED: 321.88 mph

- Worsham won the event in Sonoma in 2001
- Worsham was the runner-up finisher in Sonoma in 2007
- Worsham was the No. 14 qualifier in Sonoma last year (first round)
- Worsham recorded his career best elapsed time, 3.992 sec., in Bristol in June
- Worsham has raced to one runner-up finish (Englishtown) and two semi-final finishes so far this season (Pomona and Houston)

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)

Kalitta Merchandise

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Funny Car Points

Unofficial NHRA Mello Yello Countdown to the Championship Standings:

POSITION DRIVER POINTS
1 Robert Hight 663
2 Matt Hagan 472
3 John Force 470
4 JR Todd 456
5 Tommy Johnson Jr. 445
6 Tim Wilkerson 436
7 Ron Capps 430
8 Jack Beckman 425
9 Shawn Langdon 365
10 Bob Tasca 338
11 Cruz Pedregon 274
12 Terry Haddock 219
13 Jim Campbell 188
14 Jeff Diehl 160
15 Blake Alexander 116
16 Jonnie Lindberg 101
17 Dave Richards 94
18 Phil Burkart Jr. 88
19 Gary Densham 73
20 Paul Lee 52
21 Frank Pedregon 32
22 John Smith 31
23 Dale Creasy 10
24 Bob Bode 5

 

Top Fuel Points

Unofficial NHRA Mello Yello Countdown to the Championship Standings:

POSITION DRIVER POINTS
1 Steve Torrence 579
2 Brittany Force 483
3 Doug Kalitta 464
4 Leah Pritchett 433
5 Clay Millican 427
6 Mike Salinas 384
7 Antron Brown 373
8 Richie Crampton 329
9 Terry McMillen 319
10 Austin Prock 288
11 Scott Palmer 287
12 Billy Torrence 265
13 Jordan Vandergriff 240
14 Cameron Ferre 197
15 Dom Lagana 136
16 Shawn Reed 102
17 Terry Totten 77
18 TJ Zizzo 76
19 Pat Dakin 63
20 Jim Maroney 44
21 Lex Joon 36
22 Steve Faria 31
23 Karamesines 31
24 Steve Chrisman 31
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