Worsham hits career-best numbers in Seattle
Race Recap: Worsham had simply one incredible weekend. The qualifying portion of the weekend was unbeatable as Worsham laid down the best pass in all four sessions racking up all of the bonus points. He broke the NHRA national record with both of his last two passes; first with a 3.841 second pass in the third qualifying session, and then with an outstanding 3.832 second pass that makes him the quickest NHRA Funny Car driver. His second consecutive pole was also a career-first.
However, Worsham did not stop there. He started the day for with Tim Gibbons for the second straight race. Worsham ran a clean 3.86-second pass to start his day on the right foot. From there, the races got very close. Robert Hight was the second round draw and Worsham got by him by mere inches. With that result, Worsham clinched being the only Funny Car driver on the Swing to reach the semi-finals or better in every race.
Seattle featured another LIVE TV broadcast; so the DHL Yella Fellas were forced into a quick turn-around, but they were ready. Coming back to the line against Hagan, Worsham, Jon Oberhofer and Nicky Boninfante delivered another 3.86-second pass to move Worsham to his third final round of the season, and first since all-Team Kalitta battle in Las Vegas. The Worsham vs. Hagan matchup was the quickest side-by-side Funny Car race ever.
Worsham was prepared to battle Ron Capps in the Seattle final round, but due to inclement weather and darkness, the final round was moved to NHRA's next race in Brainerd, Minn.
Qualified: No. 1 (3.832 sec., 330.88 mph)
***NATIONAL RECORD, TRACK RECORD and CAREER-BEST ELAPSED TIME***
E1: Worsham defeated Gibbons - 3.861 sec., 331.20 mph to 3.894 sec., 323.04 mph
E2: Worsham defeated Hight - 3.881 sec., 328.46 mph to 3.894 sec., 323.04 mph
E3: Worsham defeated Hagan - 3.864 sec., 330.96 mph to 3.887 sec., 326.48 mph
Final: Worsham vs. Capps will be run in Brainerd
Quotable: "I so wanted to finish what we have started here. The DHL Camry has been on a rail all weekend, and now we have to go to a different track two weeks from now to finish this event. However, I have the most confidence in my guys and our team and we will go to Brainerd and plan on scoring the Seattle trophy there."
Point Standings: Fourth (-243); trails with third-place Jack Beckman by 18 points, leads fifth-place Matt Hagan by 69 points
Todd records another solid finish in Western Swing finale
Race Recap: After earning his first win of the season, Todd and the SealMaster headed to another familiar place: Seattle, where Todd recorded the win just one season ago. Early qualifying sessions did not go Todd's way, but Connie Kalitta, Rob Flynn and the SealMaster team got it right in the last session recording a bonus-point earning 3.706 second pass that allowed the SealMaster team to start third.
Todd's draw in round one was Troy Buff. The always tough Bill Miller-led team ran a solid number, but J.R. was away first and led to the stripe to move him to the second round. Don Schumacher Racing's Shawn Langdon was the foe. It was a stellar race stripe-to-stripe, but Todd came out on top with a career-best 3.698 second pass. The run to repeat titles at the Northwest Nationals ended in the semi-finals, but it was a stellar swing for Todd.
He was the only Top Fuel driver to earn a semi-final or better finish in every race on the Swing and led the class with eight round wins. Todd and the SealMaster team are currently on a streak of five straight semi-finals or better with 14 round wins scored in the last five events.
Qualified: No. 3 (3.706 sec., 328.14 mph)
E1: Todd defeated Buff - 3.744 sec., 324.59 mph to 3.831 sec., 308.50 mph
E2: Todd defeated Langdon - 3.698 sec., 327.74 mph to 3.726 sec., 326.63 mph **CAREER-BEST ELAPSED TIME**
E3: Todd defeated by Torrence - 3.753 sec., 316.23 mph to 3.695 sec., 330.47 mph
Quotable: "I am so proud of these SealMaster guys. They did such a kick ass job on the Swing and we are really rounding in to form at the right time in the season as we head towards the Countdown. We have an consistent SealMaster Toyota and I am ready to get after it in Brainerd."
Point Standings: Sixth (-341); trails fifth-place Tony Schumacher by 76 points, leads seventh-place Shawn Langdon by 72 points
Kalitta suffers early defeat
Race Recap: Kalitta and the Mac Tools team looked for Seattle redemption after a solid Sonoma event. The Mac Tools team won the Northwest Nationals in 2014 and was looking for another win.
The team started strong earning a bonus point in the first session of qualifying. On Saturday, the Mac Tools team tried some new parts did not achieve the performance they were used to yielding a four spot drop to the seventh starting spot and a tough first draw with last weekend's finalist, Richie Crampton. Kalitta beat Crampton off of the line, but his opponent ran low elapsed time of the session to move to the second round and deal Kalitta his third first round defeat of the season.
Qualified: No. 7 (3.741 sec., 328.14 mph)
E1: Kalitta defeated by Crampton - 3.755 sec., 323.27 mph to 3.696 sec., 322.88 mph
Quotable: "Not the finish to the Western Swing I was hoping for this Mac Tools team. We are still solid in the standings, and will look for improvement in Brainerd in a couple weeks. Proud of the work my team put in on this west coast journey."
Del Worsham, driver of the DHL Toyota Camry Funny Car
Q1: 3.922 sec. at 321.88 MPH
Q2: 3.886 sec. at 327.98 MPH
Q3: 3.841 sec. at 330.15 MPH
Q4: 3.832 sec. at 330.82 MPH
Bonus Points: 12 pts. (Best in the first session, best in the second session, best of the third session, best of the fourth session)
Starting Position: 1st
First Round Matchup: Tim Gibbons
Quotable: "We just have an incredible team working well together. We have been running this new Bounty Hunter chassis since Denver and these team at the shop built an incredible piece. Nicky and Jon O, and the guys, I cannot say enough about what they are doing. I have to thank Toyota and TRD for their help too. It is an incredible honor to be driving this DHL Toyota Camry for Connie and this entire Kalitta Motorsports team and I am excited. Tomorrow is what matters though, and we look forward to accomplishing more then."
Notes: Worsham's 3.832 is the new NHRA National Funny Car elapsed time record. Worsham last held the national record after the 2015 St. Louis event. It is the first time in Worsham's Funny Car career that he has won back-to-back top qualifiers. It is his third number one qualifier of the season, all of which have occurred in the last five events.
J.R. Todd, driver of the SealMaster Top Fuel Dragster
Q1: 3.816 sec. at 318.69 MPH
Q2: 9.888 sec. at 88.73 MPH
Q3: 3.779 sec. at 280.31 MPH
Q4: 3.706 sec. at 328.14 MPH
Bonus Points: 2 pts. (Second best of the final session)
Starting Position: 3rd
First Round Matchup: Troy Buff
Quotable: "We tuned her up for that last run there and that is what we were looking for. Connie, Rob and the SealMaster boys did a great job with that pass. I have to say thank you to the SealMaster guys from Hawaii that are here in Seattle this weekend to watch us run. That is a long trip and hopefully that pass was worth it."
Doug Kalitta, driver of the Mac Tools Top Fuel Dragster
Q1: 3.781 sec. at 324.98 MPH
Q2: 3.741 sec. at 323.81 MPH
Q3: 8.066 sec. at 113.67 MPH
Q4: 4.485 sec. at 172.12 MPH
Bonus Points: 1 pt. (Third best in the first session)
Starting Position: 7th
First Round Matchup: Richie Crampton
Quotable: "We went for it in the last session and lost some traction. However, Kalitta Motorsports as a whole has been very strong at Pacific Raceways these past couple seasons and we have great notes. Tough first round draw, but I look forward to the challenge ahead."
#NHRAonFOX Telecast information:
8/7 Qualifying (FS1) - 2:00am - 3:00am
8/7 Race (FOX) - 4:00pm - 7:00pm - LIVE
All times are EST.
SEATTLE (August 6, 2016) – Del Worsham, driver of the DHL Toyota Camry Funny Car, continued his qualifying hot streak breaking the national elapsed time record by three hundredths earlier today. He now holds the two quickest runs in NHRA Funny Car history.
Worsham was the provisional number one qualifier coming into the second day of Northwest Nationals qualifying. However, weather gave the Funny Car ideal conditions leading to record-breaking passes. Worsham was a part of the last pair of Funny Cars to see the racetrack, and his 3.886 second pass from Friday had been bumped to fifth. Courtney Force had just ran two pairs before and broke the national record with a 3.855 second pass.
Worsham, Jon Oberhofer, Nicky Boninfante and the DHL team were not to be outdone. Worsham ran a blistering 3.841 second pass outrunning the previous national record by over two hundredths. The previous record was a 3.862 second pass ran by Matt Hagan earlier this season in Topeka.
However, the DHL team saved the best for last. After watching Ron Capps nearly match their pace a pair prior, the DHL leaders Boninfante and Oberhofer made adjustments to the DHL Toyota Camry and it stuck. Worsham scorched the Pacific Raceways surface, reaching the 1,000 ft line in 3.832 seconds at over 330MPH.
"We just have an incredible team working well together," said Worsham. "We have been running this new Bounty Hunter chassis since Denver and these team at the shop built an incredible piece. Nicky and Jon O, and the guys, I cannot say enough about what they are doing. I have to thank Toyota and TRD for their help too. It is an incredible honor to be driving this DHL Toyota Camry for Connie and this entire Kalitta Motorsports team and I am excited. Tomorrow is what matters though, and we look forward to accomplishing more then."
It was a stellar qualifying effort for the DHL team who earned their second consecutive pole, something Worsham had never achieved in his Funny Car career prior. Worsham also swept the Funny Car bonus points for the first time.
SEATTLE (August 6, 2016) – Championship-winning tuner Todd Smith has been named as the crew chief on the McLeod Racing Toyota Camry Funny Car driven by Paul Lee. Smith will lead the third Funny Car team for Kalitta Motorsports that will begin running at the NHRA Keystone Nationals later this fall.
“I am excited to be back with Team Kalitta and to be able to work with Paul and the McLeod team on putting this new operation together,” said Smith. “Lee is a talented driver and with the Kalitta equipment; I am confident in our chances to have success.”
Smith has spent five seasons previously with Kalitta Motorsports working with drivers Connie, Doug and Scott Kalitta throughout the late nineties. After departing, he led Jack Beckman to the 2012 Funny Car Championship. Last season, he worked with Brittany Force and the Monster Energy Top Fuel team.
“I’m excited that Todd Smith has joined our McLeod Racing Kalitta Motorsports Funny Car Team,” said Lee. “Todd is very experienced and is a proven winner. He has won races with many different teams and cars over the years, culminating with the 2012 Funny Car World Championship with driver Jack Beckman. Jim O(berhofer) is assembling an awesome team which will make our Funny Car a contender and capable of winning each time we pull up to the staging beams. I’m looking forward to working with Todd and our Kalitta Motorsports Team!”
Smith will join an elite group of crew chiefs at Kalitta Motorsports including Connie Kalitta, Jim and Jon Oberhofer, Nicky Boninfante, Tommy DeLago, Glen Huzsar and Rob Flynn.
“Todd has been part of the Kalitta Motorsports team in the past and I am excited that he is back with us,” said Jim Oberhofer, Vice President of Operations, Kalitta Motorsports. “He is a championship-caliber crew chief and will not only add a lot to Paul’s McLeod Racing team, but Kalitta Motorsports as a whole.”
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.)
Top Fuel (Unofficial)
1. Leah Pritchett (494)
2. Antron Brown (440)
3. Tony Schumacher (438)
4. Doug Kalitta (358)
5. Steve Torrence (352)
6. Brittany Force (292)
7. Clay Millican (269)
8. Troy Coughlin Jr. (228)
9. Terry McMillen (195)
10. Scott Palmer (180)
17. Shawn Langdon (32)
Funny Car (Unofficial)
1. Matt Hagan (400)
2. Ron Capps (398)
3. John Force (371)
4. Tommy Johnson Jr. (357)
5. Robert Hight (301)
5. Courtney Force (301)
7. Jack Beckman (282)
8. Jonnie Lindberg (235)
9. J.R. Todd (222)
10. Jim Campbell (211)
11. Alexis DeJoria (208)