Kalitta Motorsports News

Doug Kalitta Maple Grove

Points leader Kalitta rides wave of momentum into Reading

Reading Highlights: One win (2002); One no. 1 qualifier (2004)

Last Event Recap (Charlotte): Qualified first; Race Winner (Defeated Chris Karamesines in the first round, Tony Schumacher in the quarterfinals, Clay Millican in the semifinals and Richie Crampton in the final)

2016 Reading Recap: Qualified fourth; Quarterfinal finish (Defeated Ike Maier in the first round, lost to Brittany Force in the quarterfinals)

Quotable: “It was great to pick up the first win of the season in Charlotte, and now the Mac Tools team is ready to continue the charge into Reading and hopefully keep this momentum rolling. Reading conditions are going to be much different than last season, and we feel confident we had a great set-up for them.”

Career Stats: 453 starts; 615 round wins (ninth all-time); 43 wins (Fifth all-time in Top Fuel); 90 finals; 49 no.1 qualifiers (tied 14th all-time)

2017 Season Stats: One win (Charlotte-II); Three finals (Pomona-I, Norwalk, Charlotte-II); Two no.1 qualifiers (Norwalk, Charlotte-II); 26 round wins; first in the standings

Noteworthy: Kalitta is coming off his first win of the season in Charlotte; he took the points lead for the first time this year; he has now led the Top Fuel points at least one week in four of the last five seasons; after no wins in the first 14 events of the 2017 season, Kalitta Motorsports has now claimed one win in the last three events and four of the last five (J.R. Todd - Sonoma, Indianapolis; Alexis DeJoria - Brainerd; Doug Kalitta - Charlotte-II)

Shawn Langdon Maple Grove

Langdon looks to rebound in Reading 

Reading Highlights: One win (2013); Track MPH record holder (334.15 MPH - 2012)

Last Event Recap (Charlotte): Qualified eighth; First round loss (Lost to Tony Schumacher in the first round)

2016 Reading Recap (w/ DSR): Qualified third; Semifinalist (Defeated Smax Smith in the first round and Dom Lagana in the quarterfinals, lost to Antron Brown in the semifinals)

Quotable: “Hopefully, Reading will be a race we can turn it around. We have a great opportunity to still make a run at the championship but Reading will be a great race to get that started.” 

Career Stats: 200 starts; 239 round wins; 14 wins; 28 finals; 18 no.1 qualifiers

2017 Season Stats: 15 starts; Nine round wins; 10th in the point standings

Noteworthy: Langdon recorded the 334.15 MPH pass five years ago in Reading; that still ranks as the fastest Top Fuel pass in NHRA history

Richie Crampton Maple Grove

After great Charlotte event, Crampton wants to go one round further in Reading

Reading Highlights: One no.1 qualifier (2014)

Last Event Recap (Charlotte): Qualified seventh; Finalist (Defeated Scott Palmer in the first round, Steve Torrence in the quarterfinals and Brittany Force in the semifinals, lost to Doug Kalitta in the final)

2016 Reading Recap (w/ MLR): Qualified 11th; First round loss (Lost to Dom Lagana in the first round)

Quotable: “I am really looking forward to Reading this weekend after the success we had last weekend with the SealMaster team. We are going to do everything we can to continue to help our teammates and hopefully score some more round wins.” 

Career Stats: 74 starts; 73 round wins; Seven wins; Nine finals; Five no.1 qualifiers

2017 Season Stats: Two starts; One final (Charlotte-II); Three round wins

Noteworthy: Joined Kalitta Motorsports prior to the U.S. Nationals to drive for SealMaster Top Fuel dragster for the remainder of the season; Crampton is the 2014 NHRA Auto Club Road to the Future winner; In 2015, Crampton earned five wins and finished third in the final point standings

JR Todd Maple Grove

Predicted Reading hot weather suits Todd’s team well

Reading Highlights: One win (2006)

Last Event Recap (Charlotte): Qualified second; Semifinalist (Defeated Jeff Diehl in the first round and Ron Capps in the quarterfinals, lost to Robert Hight in the semifinals)

2016 Reading Recap (Top Fuel): Qualified 15th; First round loss (Lost to Antron Brown the first round)

Quotable: “I’m hoping the wether stays warm and sunny this weekend and that we can keep riding this wave of momentum through the Countdown.” 

Career Stats: 167 starts; 167 round wins; 11 wins; 21 finals; 9 no.1 qualifiers (Funny Car stats: 19 starts; Two wins (Sonoma, Indianapolis); Three finals (Charlotte-I, Sonoma, Indianapolis); 18 round wins)

2017 Season Stats: 19 starts; Two wins (Sonoma, Indianapolis); Three finals (Charlotte-I, Sonoma, Indianapolis); 18 round wins; fifth in the point standings

Noteworthy: Todd is sitting in his highest position in the standings this season (fifth); earned his career-best Funny Car start (second) in Charlotte

Alexis DeJoria Maple Grove

DeJoria Reading pre-race notes

Last Event Recap (Charlotte): Qualified fifth; Semifinalist (Defeated Jonnie Lindberg in the first round and Jim Campbell in the quarterfinals, lost to Courtney Force in the semifinals)

2016 Reading Recap: Qualified 13th; First round loss (Lost to Ron Capps in the first round)

Career Stats: 129 starts; 94 round wins; Five wins; Eight finals; Four no.1 qualifiers

2017 Season Stats: 15 starts; One win (Brainerd); 12 round wins; 11th in the point standings


Doug Kalitta Wins Charlotte 2017.jpg

Kalitta wins first career race at Charlotte, takes points lead

Race Recap: Doug Kalitta claimed victory today in his Mac Tools Toyota, his first career win in Charlotte.

Kalitta was on point the entire weekend. He earned five bonus points in qualifying and his second straight Carolina Nationals no.1 qualifier with a Friday evening 3.723 second effort. It was Kalitta's second no.1 qualifier of the season and 49th of his career.

That had the Mac Tools team excited for eliminations. In the first round, they were able to overcome a dropped cylinder which led to a subpar elapsed time. However, the Jim Oberhofer-led team never looked back from that moment.

Kalitta moved to the quarterfinals and another matchup with Tony Schumacher. This time, it went Kalitta's way. The Mac Tools driver was away first and never trailed his opponent. He would drive the Mac Tools ride straight to the semi-finals.

The semi-final opponent was Clay Millican and Millican had lane choice. The Mac Tools driver showed his driving excellence by getting the jump on the line and continued that lead to the finish line to move to his third final of the season. 

But he was on the search for this first win, and he would get it. Racing his new teammate, Richie Crampton, in the third all-Team Kalitta Top Fuel final in the last two seasons, Kalitta would move first with his Mac Tools machine. He had issues, but so did Crampton, and Kalitta would hold on for his first win of the season, first of his career at Charlotte and 43rd of his incredible career.

With the win, Kalitta took the points lead for the first time this season. 

Qualified: No. 1 (3.723 sec., 329.50 mph)

E1: Kalitta defeated Karamesines - 3.857 sec., 314.31 mph to 6.627 sec., 88.00 mph

E2: Kalitta defeated Schumacher - 3.775 sec., 325.53 mph to 3.791 sec., 325.61 mph

E3: Kalitta defeated Millican - 3.784 sec., 322.50 mph to 3.804 sec., 313.73 mph

Final: Kalitta defeated Crampton - 3.775 sec., 318.39 mph to 3.876 sec., 306.40 mph

Quotable: “Getting the first win here at a this great facility is huge for me and Mac Tools and all of our partners. It is nice to get a Charlotte win. We have been coming here a lot of years. It is a great day for sure."

"All my Mac Tools distributors have been wondering what we are doing. They support us so much. We are so proud to bring this win to them. It is great day for Connie and the team as well."  

Point Standings: First; leads Steve Torrence by 14 points for second

Crampton Makes Charlotte Final 2017.jpg

Crampton drives the SealMaster Toyota to the final

Race Recap: In just his second start with Kalitta Motorsports, Richie Crampton drove the SealMaster Toyota to the final round. 

The SealMaster team had a very strong effort in qualifying. In the evening session on Friday, Crampton was on a stellar pass before losing the blower belt. It still ran 3.749 seconds and easily allowed the SealMaster team to claim a spot in the top half of the field.

Crampton immediately helped his teammate, Shawn Langdon, with his first round win. Crampton took out Scott Palmer, the man directly in front of Langdon in the standings, with a stellar 3.755 second pass, which was the second best run of the entire session.

Crampton would not stop there. Next up, he picked his lane against the points leader coming into the race, Steve Torrence. Crampton got the jump at the tree and never trailed. His 3.768 second elapsed time was again the second-best pass of the session.

The SealMaster team would move on to the semi-finals and a date with Brittany Force. For the third time today, Crampton got the starting line advantage. Force never caught up and Crampton was on to his first final round appearance in just his second race of the season. 

Ironically, it was Crampton's first final round appearance since Sonoma in 2016 when he lost to now-teammate J.R. Todd, who was driving the SealMaster car.

In the all-Team Kalitta final, Crampton encountered problems. He legged the SealMaster machine down the track, but was unable to pick up the win over his teammate Doug Kalitta.

Qualified: No. 7 (3.749 sec., 284.33 mph) 

E1: Crampton defeated Palmer - 3.755 sec., 311.85 mph to 3.837 sec., 322.81 mph

E2: Crampton defeated Torrence - 3.768 sec., 319.67 mph to 3.782 sec., 325.30 mph

E3: Crampton defeated B. Force - 3.809 sec., 308.28 mph to 3.859 sec., 312.71 mph 

Final: Crampton defeated by Kalitta - 3.876 sec., 306.40 mph to 3.775 sec., 318.39 mph

Quotable: “It was huge to be able to go to the final round. Most importantly, it was a big day for the SealMaster team and Toyota. Everyone on this team works hard and they’ve had a rough year, so it is a lot of fun to go rounds with this team. What a day. And in the big picture it was a great day for Kalitta Motorsports.  Now, let’s see what we can do the rest of the year.”

JR Todd Charlotte.jpg

Todd starts Countdown with strong effort

Race Recap: J.R. Todd and the DHL/WIX Filters team continued his strong recent performance with a semi-final effort at the Carolina Nationals earlier today.

Todd started the run with his best qualifying effort of his season. Todd started qualifying by running low elapsed time of the first session, and backed that up with the second best run of the evening session. He would earn the second starting position, which is a new career-best in Funny Car.

He started eliminations strong as well. In the first round against Jeff Diehl, Todd got a great jump at the line and the Todd Smith and Jon Oberhofer tuneup was on point with a stellar 3.954 second pass that gave him lane choice in the second round.

The opponent in the second round: the defending champion Ron Capps. Todd was again off the line first and it mattered. Capps closed, but Todd would hold on for the holeshot win to move back to the semi-finals. 

Against the new points leader, Robert Hight, Todd got the starting line advantage and was ahead at 660 before his Camry encountered issues. He still ran a 3.999, but Hight was able to drive around to move to the final and the eventual race win.

Qualified: No. 2 (3.954 sec., 327.19 mph) 

E1: Todd defeated Diehl - 3.954 sec., 327.19 mph to 4.829 sec., 177.49 mph

E2: Todd defeated Capps - 3.975 sec., 321.81 mph to 3.968 sec., 323.50 mph

E3: Todd defeated by Hight - 3.999 sec., 315.19 mph to 3.985 sec., 325.14 mph

Quotable: “All-in-all it was a good weekend for the DHL/WIX Filters team. We had those guys covered in the semis and it burned a cylinder out of it by half track. It is bittersweet to know we had a shot at winning this thing and moving up even higher in the standings. But I can't complain coming out of here fifth in points. The car is coming around at the right time of the year, and I hope it stays hot these next few races."

Point Standings: Fifth; tied with Hagan 

Langdon Charlotte.jpg

Langdon loses early in Charlotte

Race Recap: Shawn Langdon flew different colors this weekend as WIX Filters took the primary position aboard his dragster. Unfortunately, despite a stellar Saturday qualifying effort, Langdon was defeated in the first round.

Friday did not yield the results that the Connie Kalitta and Rob Flynn-tuned machine would have liked, but Saturday was a different story for the WIX Filters team. Langdon started with a solid 3.831 second pass which earned the team a bonus point. The final lap was even better as the WIX Filters team recorded a 3.778. That pass moved them to the top half of the field and gave Langdon two more valuable bonus points.

The WIX Filters team would be seeded eighth and have a first round draw of Tony Schumacher. With the sun beating down on zMax Dragway, Langdon and Schumacher were pushed to the final pair of the round. Langdon was stellar on the tree, recording a .043 light, but it was not a clean round WIX Filters machine, and Schumacher was able to drive around for the round win. 

Qualified: No. 8 (3.778 sec., 318.84 mph) 

E1: Langdon defeated by Schumacher - 4.073 sec., 286.62v mph to 3.765 sec., 325.45 mph 

Quotable: "It just sucks. With it being the first race of the Countdown, we needed to make moves. We had a good qualifying effort on Saturday, and felt good coming into today. Running Schumacher, you have to make a good run against him. It stings a little bit, but we still have five races to make a comeback. Fortunately the guys at the top did not go a lot of rounds, so we still have an opportunity. We just have to make the best of it."

Point Standings: 10th; trails Scott Palmer by six points for ninth

Alexis DeJoria Charlotte.jpg


Race Recap: Alexis DeJoria and the Tequila Patrón Toyota Camry Funny Car team had one of the strongest performing cars at zMAX Dragway throughout the NHRA Carolina Nationals.
Three out of DeJoria’s four qualifying passes were ‘Top Three’ runs, earning her a qualifying spot in the top half of the field going into race day.
DeJoria’s first round opponent was No. 12 qualifier Jonnie Lindberg. The NHRA Brainerd winner piloted her Patrón Toyota Camry down the track in 3.980-seconds, easily defeating Lindberg’s tire smoking pass.
Second round found DeJoria squaring off against Jim Campbell and once again, DeJoria’s crew chiefs Nicky Boninfante and Tommy DeLago were ready with the hot track tune-up. Unfortunately for Campbell, the race was over before it even started when he jumped the gun and set off the red light.
In the semifinal round, DeJoria drew Courtney Force. Both women made solid runs, but Force’s 3.957-sec pass edged out DeJoria’s 3.976, ending Team Patrón’s day at the semis.
DeJoria and her team leave zMAX Dragway with the bragging rights of being the only Funny Car team to run in the three-second zone all weekend. They look to carry the momentum into the NHRA Nationals in Reading, Penn., kicking off in five days. 

Qualified: No. 9 (3.910 sec., 324.51 mph)

E1: DeJoria defeated Lindberg - 3.980 sec., 319.45 mph to 7.831 sec., 103.88 mph

E2: DeJoria defeated Campbell - 3.979 sec., 320.05 mph to Foul

E3: DeJoria defeated by C. Force - 3.976 sec., 322.04 mph to 3.957 sec., 325.06 mph 



By: Ryan Fagan CONCORD, N.C. — It's a beautiful Friday afternoon just outside of Charlotte, but I'm not thinking much about the weather. I’m standing at the starting line at the zMAX Dragway, slightly terrified but mostly exhilarated by what will happen in a matter of seconds. 

To my left is the NHRA Funny Car driven by J.R. Todd. On my right is the car driven by drag racing legend John Force. I’m sandwiched in the middle, with both incredibly powerful vehicles maybe 15 feet away on either side. Have to admit, this is not at all how I originally expected my Friday afternoon to play out. 

See, Todd and I were supposed to jump out of a perfectly good airplane on Thursday. As writing assignments go, this was pretty exciting. Todd, who drives for drag-racing powerhouse Kalitta Motorsports, had never jumped out of a plane, and writing about a speed professional experiencing a completely different type of speed would make for a compelling story, right?  Full Story


Doug Kalitta Charlotte Sat.jpg

Doug Kalitta, driver of the Mac Tools Top Fuel Dragster

Q1: 3.783 sec. at 329.18 MPH
Q2: 3.723 sec. at 329.50 MPH
Q3: 4.338 sec. at 187.70 MPH
Q4: 3.834 sec. at 319.29 MPH

Bonus Points: 5 pts. (Second best of the first session, best of the second session)
Starting Position: 1st
First Round Matchup: Chris Karamesines

Quotable: “I am so excited to start the Countdown with a no.1 qualifying spot with my Mac Tools team. They have worked so hard this whole season, and with our car running this strong, I know we have a shot at getting our first win of the season and our first in Charlotte tomorrow." 
Note: This is Kalitta's second no.1 qualifier of the season (Norwalk), second straight at the Carolina Nationals and 49th of his career.

Richie Crampton Charlotte Sat.jpg

Richie Crampton, driver of the SealMaster Top Fuel Dragster

Q1: 6.272 sec. at 107.70 MPH
Q2: 3.749 sec. at 284.33 MPH
Q3: 4.848 sec. at 151.29 MPH
Q4: 4.379 sec. at 182.77 MPH

Starting Position: 7th
First Round Matchup: Scott Palmer

Quotable: "I am super proud of this SealMaster team. I think we have smoked the tires once since I started driving it. The SealMaster machine is making good runs and they are making good progress with the tune-up. To be in the top half is awesome. Hopefully we can go out and have a strong run and take out some of these cars for my teammates."

Shawn Langdon Charlotte Sat.jpg

Shawn Langdon, driver of the WIX Filters/Global Electronic Technology Top Fuel Dragster

Q1: 3.861 sec. at 314.75 MPH
Q2: 4.638 sec. at 160.86 MPH
Q3: 3.831 sec. at 320.97 MPH
Q4: 3.778 sec. at 318.84 MPH

Bonus Points: 3 pts. (Third best of the third session, second best of the fourth session)
Starting Position: 8th
First Round Matchup: Tony Schumacher

Quotable: "We really made some great runs today. We were third quick on the third session and second quick the last session. It is very encouraging going into tomorrow. We have a tough side of the ladder; we are just going to have to continue to run strong. The WIX Filters/Global Electronic Technology team is pleased with today and we are focused on making four good runs tomorrow."

JR Todd Charlotte Sat.jpg

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

Q1: 3.937 sec. at 322.73 MPH
Q2: 3.898 sec. at 329.18 MPH
Q3: 5.881 sec. at 115.28 MPH
Q4: 4.037 sec. at 300.53 MPH

Bonus Points: 5 pts. (Best of the first session, second best of the second session)
Starting Position: 2nd

First Round Matchup: Jeff Diehl

Quotable: "We are definitely keeping the momentum going. The DHL Toyota ran really strong in qualifying on Friday going into Sunday. Today the track was hotter and we were trying some different things, so now we know what to do and what not to do for raceday. Excited for the bonus points we got; we were able to gain on the guys in front of us and just need to go out and race smart tomorrow and hopefully turn on four win lights."
Note: Second is Todd's career-best start in the Funny Car class.

Alexis DeJoria Charlotte Sat.jpg

Alexis DeJoria, driver of the Tequila Patrón Toyota Camry Funny Car

Q1: 3.952 sec. at 320.51 MPH 
Q2: 3.910 sec. at 324.51 MPH
Q3: 3.992 sec. at 318.32 MPH
Q4: 3.964 sec. at 320.13 MPH

Bonus Points: 5 pts. (Second best of the first session, second best of the third session, third best of the fourth session)
Starting Position: 5th

First Round Matchup: Jonnie Lindberg


Doug Kalitta no1.jpg

CONCORD, NC (September 15, 2017) – Mac Tools Top Fuel driver Doug Kalitta is the provisional no.1 qualifier at the Carolina Nationals.

In the first session of qualifying, the Jim Oberhofer-tuned Mac Tools machine started strong with a 3.783 second pass which earned Kalitta a valuable two bonus points. 

The second pass was even better. The next-to-last pair of Top Fuelers included Kalitta's Mac Tools dragster and it blazed down zMax Dragway in 3.723 seconds to bump Kalitta to the top spot. He had to make it through one more pair of qualifying, but it held out and Kalitta became the provisional no.1 qualifier for the second consecutive Carolina Nationals. 

"It is a good day to be no.1 qualifier with this Mac Tools team," said Kalitta. "This facility speaks for itself, and they did a great job with both lanes. I am just really happy that we were able to pull it off so far. With this being the first race of the last six, I feel like my car is running strong. We haven't got the Wally yet this season, but hopefully we are saving it for these last six races."

Kalitta wasn't the only Team Kalitta machine to run strong on Friday at the Carolina Nationals. J.R. Todd earned a class-best five bonus points and is currently sitting in a career-best Funny Car starting position of second, with teammate Alexis DeJoria in fifth. Richie Crampton and the SealMaster machine currently rank in sixth and Shawn Langdon's special WIX Filters machine is 13th.

Saturday nitro qualifying starts at 1:30pm tomorrow at zMax Dragway. Final eliminations will begin at noon on Sunday.

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Mello Yello Championship Points

Top Fuel (Unofficial)

1. Steve Torrence (664)
2. Clay Millican (569)
3. Tony Schumacher (539)
4. Doug Kalitta (497)
5. Leah Pritchett (489)
6. Terry McMillen (432)
7. Brittany Force (428)
8. Antron Brown (423)
9. Richie Crampton (312)
10. Mike Salinas (308)

Funny Car (Unofficial)

1. Courtney Force (670)
2. Jack Beckman (590)
3. Matt Hagan (540)
4. Robert Hight (512)
5. J.R. Todd (504)
6. Tommy Johnson Jr. (490)
7. Ron Capps (440)
8. Cruz Pedregon (399)
9. Shawn Langdon (373)
10. Jonnie Lindberg (351)