Kalitta Motorsports News

MADISON, Ill. (September 29, 2013)— After making three solid qualifying runs throughout Friday and Saturday at the 2nd annual AAA Insurance NHRA Midwest Nationals at Gateway Motorsports Park, the Kalitta Motorsports Tequila Patrón Toyota Camry Funny Car team faced reigning world champion Jack Beckman in round one of eliminations on Sunday morning.

As the final pair in the competitive Funny Car class to fire up their engines in the first round, No. 9 qualifier Alexis DeJoria and opponent Beckman, who qualified eighth, left the line with identical reaction times. DeJoria powered her black and green Toyota Camry down the drag strip in an exciting ‘nail biter’ of a race. The two cars ran side-by-side down the track, glued together, until just past the 60-foot mark when Beckman started to inch away, eventually setting off the win light with his 4.079-second run to DeJoria’s 4.110-sec pass.

“We ran well in the first round today,” said DeJoria. “Jack and I were neck-and-neck pretty much the whole way down. I didn’t see him at all out of my peripheral, but when I crossed the stripe and my win light didn’t come on, I knew that was the end of our day.”

The Results:

Q1: 4.294 ET at 242.04 MPH
Q2: 4.076 ET at 308.00 MPH
Q3: 4.178 ET at 299.53 MPH
Q4: 4.792 ET at 169.55 MPH

The Competition:

No. 9 Alexis DeJoria vs. No. 8 Jack Beckman


Alexis DeJoria, Driver

“We made it down the track three times out of four during qualifying at Gateway Motorsports Park this weekend, which was good, and I’m happy we qualified. Of course, I wish we could have qualified a little higher up in the field, but we’re in the show and that’s what matters. We face Jack Beckman in round one tomorrow and we’re hoping to come out victors and go rounds.”

Tommy DeLago, Crew Chief

“Our first day of qualifying this weekend was pretty decent. We were fairly conservative with that 4.07 run last night, but it still put us in the quick half of the field going into today’s two sessions. It was pretty warm during Q3 today so we tried to tune the car off of the 4.29 from Q1 and ended up running a 4.17. That run ended up being sixth quickest of the session, but the five cars in front of us went a heck of a lot faster, so it’s clear we left way too much on the table there. Before Q4, the clouds started coming in and the temperatures cooled off a bit, so it was time to stand on it and really see what we could get away with. We tuned it off of that 4.02 from Charlotte, but it was just a tickle too much and unfortunately, the car smoked the tires on that last run. It’s a bummer because we were going to be in the Top 8 with lane choice, but we fell to the No. 9 spot. Regardless, we’ll go out there tomorrow and give ‘em hell and hopefully it will be a successful day for Team Patrón.”


Del Worsham – Driver of the DHL Toyota Camry Funny Car
Q1: 4.593 sec. at 192.30 mph
Q2: 4.041 sec. at 314.46 mph
Q3: 5.062 sec. at 153.39 mph
Q4: 5.480 sec. at 131.20 mph

Qualifies: No. 5

David Grubnic – Driver of the Optima Batteries/Advance Auto Parts Top Fuel Dragster
Q1: 4.500 sec. at 173.34 mph
Q2: 3.818 sec. at 323.58 mph
Q3: 3.848 sec. at 319.75 mph
Q4: 4.968 sec. at 142.97 mph

Qualifies: No. 8

Alexis DeJoria – Driver of the Tequila Patron Toyota Camry Funny Car
Q1: 4.294 sec. at 242.02 mph
Q2: 4.076 sec. at 308.00 mph
Q3: 4.178 sec. at 299.53 mph
Q4: 4.792 sec. at 169.55 mph

Qualifies: No. 9

Doug Kalitta – Driver of the Mac Tools Top Fuel Dragster
Q1: 4.447 sec. at 180.14 mph
Q2: 4.556 sec. at 168.60 mph
Q3: 3.878 sec. at 320.36 mph
Q4: 3.826 sec. at 325.06 mph (One bonus point for third quickest of the session)

Qualifies: No. 10


Top Fuel:
8) David Grubnic vs.9) Steve Torrence
10) Doug Kalitta vs. 7) Morgan Lucas
Funny Car:
5) Del Worsham vs. 12) Johnny Gray
9) Alexis DeJoria vs. 8) Jack Beckman

Eliminations begin at 11:00 a.m. (CT) Sunday.


9/29 - Qualifying
   3:30 AM-5:00 AM (ET) ESPN2
9/29 - Finals
   8:30 PM-11:30 PM (ET) ESPN2
9/29 - Qualifying
   1:00 AM-2:30 AM (ET) ESPN News

Countdown to the Championship, the top two competitors in three of the four categories are separated by less than a dozen points. With just four races left in the 2013 "playoffs," all four categories are still too close to call, and points will likely get even tighter when the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series visits Gateway Motorsports Park near St. Louis, Missouri this weekend, September 27 through 29, for the AAA Insurance NHRA Midwest Nationals Read More

Hope4SudanLogoSt. Louis, MO (September 26, 2013) - announced today that several of NHRA’s top drivers will join the fight to feed, educate and immunize the South Sudanese people.  The campaign will take place at the AAA Insurance NHRA Midwest Nationals on September 27-29, 2013.  Twenty-one teams, including Kalitta Motorsports, have committed to displaying Hope4Sudan decals; in what will prove to be the largest showing of support to date from the drag racing community.

The Hope4Sudan organization was founded in 2008 by one of Drag Racing’s own, Lauren Pickens (former Team Owner of Clay Millican’s Top Fuel Dragster).  “During my first trip to South Sudan, I saw children who were completely naked, sick and hungry. They were so desperate.  I literally didn't know if they would be alive when I returned the next day.  Now, I come back to our compounds and see those same children who were nearly lifeless, now healthy, playing and having fun like a normal child should. I am so humbled and blessed to know I had a part in making a difference in their lives,” Pickens said.  

The 501(c)3 organization operates through donations and volunteerism with 100% of the donation dollars going to the establishment of compounds with deep water wells, schools, medical clinics and churches.  Since its inception, Hope4Sudan has developed several components; each bringing global recognition and support to the cause:  

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Mello Yello Championship Points

Top Fuel (Unofficial)

1. Steve Torrence (2219)
2t. Clay Millican (2169)
2t. Tony Schumacher (2169)
4. Leah Pritchett (2118)
5. Antron Brown (2116)
6. Doug Kalitta (2103)
7. Mike Salinas (2067)
8. Terry McMillen (2062)
9. Scott Palmer (2053)
10. Brittany Force (2052)

Funny Car (Unofficial)

1. J.R. Todd (2166)
2. Robert Hight (2143)
3. Courtney Force (2141)
4. Ron Capps (2137)
5. Matt Hagan (2112)
6. Tim Wilkerson (2101)
7. Tommy Johnson Jr. (2090)
8. Jack Beckman (2080)
9. John Force (2064)
10. Shawn Langdon (2054)