Seattle, Wash. (Aug 5, 2016) - Del Worsham, driver of the DHL Toyota Camry Funny Car, was simply the car to beat in the first day of qualifying of the Northwest Nationals at Pacific Raceways.
Worsham's tuning duo, Jon Oberhofer and Nicky Boninfante, with the assistance of Toyota and Toyota Racing Development, had a great hold on the Pacific Raceways surface. The next-to-last pair to see the track in the first Funny Car session, Worsham laid down the best time of round one with a 3.922 second, 321.88 MPH pass.
However, Worsham would not stop there. The DHL Toyota Camry earned the right to go last in the second session of qualifying, and Worsham did not disappoint running a track-record 3.886 second pass at 327.98 MPH, which is also a track record. Worsham swept the six bonus points and is provisionally on the pole for second consecutive race. If Worsham holds on to the top spot, it would be the first time in his career to earn consecutive Funny Car no. 1 qualifiers. It would be Worsham's third no.1 qualifier in the last five events.
"What is the best about this is we are doing it in conditions that we will see on raceday. That is what I am most excited about," said Worsham. "The track here in Seattle is great. It has always been great. The surface is everything you can expect. We are making runs on a 120 degree track that twelve months ago no one would expect. I am proud of the efforts and the work of the DHL Toyota Camry team. We have Cameron from Red Line Oil here too, so it is cool to do well in front of him."
The Team Kalitta Top Fuel dragsters driven by Doug Kalitta and J.R. Todd currently rank fifth and 11th, respectively. Worsham's Funny Car teammate, Alexis DeJoria, driver of the Tequila Patrón Toyota Camry, is not entered at the Northwest Nationals due to her injury suffered at the Sonoma Raceway one week ago.
Recent Pacific Raceways winner Kalitta plans to close the Western Swing strong
Seattle Highlights: One win (2014); Three finals (2003, 2000, 1999); One pole (2010)
2015 Seattle Event Recap: Qualified 12th; First round defeat (lost to Larry Dixon in the first round)
Previous Event Recap (Sonoma): Qualified third; Semi-Final finish (defeated Bill Litton in the first round and Brittany Force in the second round, defeated by J.R. Todd in the semi-finals)
Quotable: “Seattle is a great way to end the Western Swing and I am confident in our chances. We chipped away at the points lead at the last race and I would like to continue to do that at the Northwest Nationals.”
Career Stats: 425 starts, 575 round wins (11th all-time), 41 wins (Fourth all-time in Top Fuel), 85 finals, 46 no.1 qualifiers (13th all-time)
2016 Season Stats: Three wins (Houston, Atlanta, Topeka); Three poles (Phoenix, Atlanta, Norwalk), One final (Pomona), 30 round wins
Point Standings: Second (-37); trails first-place Antron Brown by 37 points, leads third-place Steve Torrence by 95 points
Noteworthy: has won his first round pairing in 13 of 15 events this season; 10 semi-final or better finishes in 15 events this season; matched season round win total from 2015
On career-best streak, Todd looks for consecutive wins
Seattle Highlights: One win (2015); one pole (2007)
2015 Seattle Event Recap: Qualified sixth; Race Winner (defeated Clay Millican in the first round, Terry McMillen in the second round, Tony Schumacher in the semi-final and Shawn Langdon in the final)
Previous Event Recap (Sonoma): Qualified seventh; Race Winner (defeated Clay Millican in the first round, Antron Brown in the second round, Doug Kalitta in the semi-final and Richie Crampton in the final)
Quotable: “I am really proud of these SealMaster guys and that we were able to get the victory in Sonoma. Now the goal is to be focused and finish the Western Swing strong in Seattle.”
Career Stats: 139 starts, 134 round wins, 9 wins, 17 finals, 8 no.1 qualifiers
2016 Season Stats: One win (Sonoma); Three finals (Atlanta, Norwalk, Chicago); 22 round wins
Point Standings: Sixth (-307); trails fifth-place Tony Schumacher by 74 points, leads seventh-place Shawn Langdon by 61 points
Noteworthy: Coming off first win of the season; last year’s Seattle victor; Won at least one race on the Western Swing for the third consecutive season; 12 round wins in the last four races; has won more round wins in the first 15 races of 2016 (22) then the entire 2015 season (20)
Last season's finalist, Worsham looks for Seattle trophy
Seattle Highlights: One TF win (2011); One FC win (1999); One FC final (2015)
2015 Seattle Event Recap: Qualified second; Finalist (defeated John Hale in the first round, Tim Wilkerson in the second round and John Force in the semi-final, lost to Tommy Johnson Jr. in the final)
Previous Event Recap (Sonoma): Qualified first (track-record elapsed time; career-best elapsed-time); Semi-Final finish (defeated Tim Gibbons in the first round and Jack Beckman in the second round; defeated by Ron Capps in the semi-finals)
Quotable: “The DHL team was really on their game in Sonoma, and now we head to Seattle and have great notes after our run last season. I feel confident and excited that we are going to have a stout DHL Toyota this weekend.”
Career Stats: 498 starts, 542 round wins, 38 wins (30 in Funny Car, 8 in Top Fuel), 63 finals (52 in Funny Car, 11 in Top Fuel), 19 no.1 qualifiers (12 in Funny Car, 7 in Top Fuel)
2016 Season Stats: Two finals (Pomona, Las Vegas); Four semi-finals (Epping, Englishtown, Denver, Sonoma); Two poles (Norwalk, Sonoma); 20 round wins
Point Standings: Fourth (-254); trails third-place Jack Beckman by 71 points, leads fifth-place John Force by 21 points
Noteworthy: 2015 Funny Car Champion, 2011 Top Fuel Champion; one of three drivers with championships in both nitro classes, second in the Funny Car class with 12 first round wins this season; won pole at most recent series event, reset career-best elapsed time (3.868 sec.)
SONOMA, Calif. (July 31, 2016)— During the first round of eliminations at the Toyota NHRA Sonoma Nationals, Kalitta Motorsports Funny Car pilot Alexis DeJoria experienced an accident that required a trip to the trauma center.
DeJoria, driver of the Tequila Patrón Toyota Camry, was competing in the left lane alongside opponent John Force in the opening round of eliminations on Sunday morning at Sonoma Raceway. The Patrón Toyota Camry lost traction and made a violent turn to the left as soon as DeJoria stepped on the throttle, causing her Camry to make impact with the left retaining wall.
DeJoria exited the vehicle under her own power, but immediately knew something was wrong. Upon a quick evaluation from on-site medical personnel, she was transported via ambulance to Queen of the Valley Medical Center in nearby Napa. After x-rays and a CT scan, doctors diagnosed DeJoria with a high-energy fracture of the left pelvis. The fracture was caused when she struck the wall. The injury does not require immediate surgery, but is extremely painful. DeJoria is in good spirits and was more concerned with the condition of her race car, and if it was ok. She was released from the hospital on Sunday afternoon, and will start intense physical therapy as soon as possible, determined to get back on the track.
DeJoria and the Tequila Patrón Toyota Camry Funny Car team were scheduled to compete next at the NHRA Northwest Nationals in Seattle, Washington, but due to injuries sustained, that race is to be determined.
Todd wins Sonoma
Race Recap: After just missing his third consecutive final in Denver, Todd looked for another solid Sonoma performance. Little did he know, the SealMaster team was about ready for a breakthrough.
Todd set his spot in the field with a solid 3.731 on Friday evening's session and earned the seventh starting spot.
The starting spot did not yield an easy draw for the driver of the SealMaster Toyota. Clay Millican would be in the other lane. The second pair to see the track, and Todd got the advantage on the starting line and took that down the track to the round win. Antron Brown, who eliminated Todd last weekend in Denver, was next up. They were neck-and-neck at the line, and Rob Flynn and Connie Kalitta nailed the tune-up yielding the best winning elapsed time of round two setting up an all-Kalitta semi-final pairing. It would become a pedalfest with both Todd and Kalitta experiencing tire smoke but Todd was able to get to the line first earning his third final round in four events.
His opponent in the final was good friend Richie Crampton. The duo left together but the SealMaster team had the horsepower to get the win at the stripe. It is Todd's first win of the season, ninth of his career. Todd has scored 12 round wins in the last four races.
Qualified: No. 7 (3.731 sec., 324.05 mph)
Final: Todd defeated Crampton - 3.745 sec., 324.83 mph to 3.806 sec., 313.07 mph
Quotable: "It was a great day. Three 3.74s on Sunday in our SealMaster Toyota, that’s pretty stout from Connie (Kalitta) and all of our guys. We’ve been so close so many times this year."
"Eric Medlen's mom gave me a poster of my car with this win is for Eric before the final round and I carried it in my firesuit. He definitely brought me good luck and was watching over that run."
"The crowd here in Sonoma was huge. This is definitely one of the nicer tracks we go to – beautiful country side. We just had a huge crowd all weekend. That’s a testament to Steve Page and his staff here at Sonoma Raceway."
"The last 3 or 4 races, this thing has been digging pretty good. Yesterday I was a little down and out. We weren’t very good on Saturday and I was thinking we were in bad shape for race day. But you never count out Connie Kalitta and the boys. They stepped up to the plate big-time today.”
Point Standings: Sixth (-307); trails fifth-place Tony Schumacher by 74 points, leads seventh-place Shawn Langton by 61 points
Worsham hits career-best numbers in Sonoma
Race Recap: In front of the Toyota executives, Worsham knew that this would be a big weekend and the DHL Toyota Camry team came to perform. With prime conditions on Friday evening, the DHL Toyota team took advantage. They laid down a track record 3.868 second pass, which was also Worsham's career-best. That run gave Worsham his second pole in four races and second at Sonoma Raceway.
Worsham's opponent would be first-time starter Tim Gibbons. Gibbons left a little early giving the win to Worsham despite having troubles downtrack. Next up, would be last year's Sonoma Raceway winner, Jack Beckman. Worsham laid down an awesome reaction time and took that to the line to advance to his second consecutive semi-final. He could not get the win in a close race with Ron Capps there, but another solid weekend for the DHL Toyota team.
Qualified: No. 1 (3.868 sec., 327.43 mph)
***TRACK RECORD and CAREER-BEST ELAPSED TIME***
Quotable: "Disappointing end to a solid weekend for the DHL Toyota team. Keep knocking on the door of that win, and eventually we are going to get it. Looking forward to Seattle and hopefully getting the win there."
Point Standings: Fourth (-54); trails with third-place Jack Beckman by 71 points, leads fifth-place John Force by 23 points
Kalitta advances to another semi-final
Race Recap: Kalitta and the Mac Tools team came to Sonoma Raceway looking for a rebound and this track was a great place to do it. Kalitta is the track leader with five wins, and started strong in qualifying. The Friday evening session was again the one to set Kalitta in the field and he did it well slotting the Mac Tools Toyota dragster into the third position with a 3.711 second pass.
Kalitta's extreme driving skills came into play on Sunday. The Mac Tools team came up to the line against Bill Litton in the first round. Kalitta got ahead at the line, but the machine began to smoke. He pedaled and got the Mac Tools machine to the line first, leading to a second round race with Brittany Force. The driver of the Mac Tools machine got advantage at the starting line and was able to take that to the finish line despite Force running the low number of the round. He came up short in the semi-finals to his teammate J.R. Todd, but it was another solid effort for the Mac Tools team who reached their tenth semi-final or better in just 15 races this season.
Qualified: No. 3 (3.711 sec., 324.28 mph)
Quotable: "Nice rebound and great work from the Mac Tools Toyota guys today. I would have loved to have got back in the Sonoma winner's circle, but we have a great machine and I look forward to next week's Northwest Nationals."
Point Standings: Second (-37); trails first-place Antron Brown by 37 points, leads third-place Steve Torrence by 95 points
Contact with wall ends DeJoria's Sonoma run
Race Recap: After starting qualifying with a solid 3-second pass, DeJoria struggled through qualifying, but was able to hit a solid 3.946 in the final session. Last week's winner, John Force was the first draw. After taking the tree, DeJoria's machine sashayed and tagged the wall in her lane. DeJoria climbed from the machine on her own power, and was transported to the local hospital for pain. She was later released from the hospital diagnosed with high-energy fracture of the left pelvis.
Qualified: No. 11 (3.946 sec., 319.45 mph)
Point Standings: Tenth (-446); trails ninth-place Tim Wilkerson by 63 points, leads 11th-place Chad Head by 150 points
Doug Kalitta, driver of the Mac Tools Top Fuel Dragster
Q1: 3.774 sec. at 325.77 MPH
Q2: 3.711 sec. at 324.98 MPH
Q3: 3.999 sec. at 231.12 MPH
Q4: 3.774 sec. at 327.98 MPH
Bonus Points: 3 pts. (Third best in the first session, second best of the second session)
Starting Position: 3rd
First Round Matchup: Bill Litton
Quotable: "The Mac Tools Toyota team has again done well in qualifying this weekend. Sonoma is a great facility with a lot of Kalitta success, and we hope to add another victory to the tally tomorrow."
J.R. Todd, driver of the SealMaster Top Fuel Dragster
Q1: 3.797 sec. at 319.60 MPH
Q2: 3.731 sec. at 324.05 MPH
Q3: 5.254 sec. at 132.14 MPH
Q4: 3.774 sec. at 318.02 MPH
Starting Position: 7th
First Round Matchup: Clay Millican
Quotable: "Big race tomorrow for our partners at Toyota, and the SealMaster team wants to continue to perform strong like we have here recently. We did not quite get the results we desired today, but we will look to perform stronger on Sunday."
Del Worsham, driver of the DHL Toyota Camry Funny Car
Q1: 3.933 sec. at 320.20 MPH
Q2: 3.868 sec. at 327.43 MPH
Q3: 4.452 sec. at 189.42 MPH
Q4: 3.902 sec. at 322.73 MPH
Bonus Points: 5 pts. (Second best in the first session, best in the second session)
Starting Position: 1st
First Round Matchup: Tim Gibbons
Quotable: "We feel very good about tomorrow. We found our tune up in that last pass and the DHL Toyota Camry is running strong. Proud of the effort of the DHL guys at the track and the guys that put in the work before we left. Lot of incentive to do well tomorrow, and we are confident we are ready to perform."
Notes: Worsham's 3.868 was his career-best elapsed time and reset the Sonoma Raceway track record. It is the fourth quickest pass in NHRA history. The pole is Worsham's second on the season and second in the last four races and second in his career at Sonoma Raceway (2007).
Q1: 3.992 sec. at 313.07 MPH
Q2: 7.904 sec. at 86.89 MPH
Q3: 4.645 sec. at 172.96 MPH
Q4: 3.946 sec. at 319.45 MPH
Starting Position: 11th
First Round Matchup: John Force
#NHRAonFOX Telecast information:
7/30 Qualifying (FS1) - 10:00pm - 11:00pm
7/31 Race (FOX) - 4:00pm - 7:00pm - LIVE
All times are EST.
Alexis DeJoria: Driver of the Kalitta Motorsports Tequila Patrón Toyota Camry Funny Car
No. 11 Alexis DeJoria vs. No. 6 John Force (LC)
Alexis DeJoria, Driver
We made two good runs in qualifying. We’re qualified eleventh, but hey, we’re qualified and again that’s all that matters. We’re going into race day charged and we’ll have a good setup tomorrow. We’re going to dig deep, fight hard and go rounds.
It’s great to have my dad [John Paul DeJoria], Eloise [DeJoria] and Jesse [James] here this weekend. It’s been a while since my dad’s been to a race, so it’s nice to have him out here this weekend. He’s never been out to the Sonoma Raceway track before, and it's just always nice to have the support of family and friends.
Top Fuel (Unofficial)
1. Leah Pritchett (300)
2. Tony Schumacher (279)
3. Antron Brown (243)
4. Doug Kalitta (220)
5. Brittany Force (202)
6. Steve Torrence (185)
7. Troy Coughlin Jr. (143)
8. Shawn Reed (136)
9. Clay Millican (133)
10. Scott Palmer (116)
Funny Car (Unofficial)
1. Matt Hagan (308)
2. John Force (238)
3. Ron Capps (235)
4. Tommy Johnson Jr (209)
5. Courtney Force (177)
6. Robert Hight (150)
7. Jim Campbell (148)
8. Jack Beckman (144)
9. J.R. Todd (138)
10. Robert Hight (117)
12. Alexis DeJoria (101)