Kalitta Motorsports News

Del Worsham

Sonoma, Calif (July 29, 2016) - Del Worsham, driver of the DHL Toyota Camry Funny Car, earned the provisional pole for the Toyota Sonoma Nationals this evening.

Worsham started the Toyota Sonoma Nationals weekend strong, earning two bonus points in the first session with his 3.936 second pass. However, Worsham, and his tuners, Nicky Boninfante and Jon Oberhofer, saved the best for the evening session.

With incredible conditions, the DHL Toyota was ready. Worsham toed the line and ran the 1,000 feet distance in just 3.868 seconds, reseting the Sonoma Raceway track record and Worsham's own career-best. The pass was the fourth-quickest in NHRA history.

"It is a big race for our partners, Toyota, so to do that in front of them, Reg Kenney from DHL and the whole Kalitta Motorsports team is awesome," said Worsham. "We were going up to go faster than we ever have in this DHL Toyota Camry and we definitely accomplished that."

Worsham and the rest of the Funny Car field has two more qualifying attempts tomorrow. If Worsham's DHL Toyota Camry can retain the top spot after the Saturday sessions, it will be Worsham's second no.1 qualifier on the season and second in the last four events. It would also be his second at Sonoma Raceway (2007).

Worsham's Funny Car teammate, Alexis DeJoria, is currently qualified tenth in her Toyota Camry Funny Car. The Team Kalitta Toyota Top Fuel entries of Doug Kalitta and J.R. Todd rank second and fifth, respectively, after day one of the Toyota Sonoma Nationals.

Paul Lee

Sonoma, Calif. (July 29, 2016) - Team Kalitta is pleased to announce the addition of a third Funny Car with driver Paul Lee beginning the NHRA Keystone Nationals at Maple Grove Raceway later this fall. Lee will campaign the McLeod Clutches Toyota Camry Funny Car for Kalitta Motorsports for the last four events on the 2016 NHRA Mello Yello Series schedule. Leading NHRA crew chiefs Jim Oberhofer and Nicky Boninfante will combine for the tuning decisions on Lee’s Funny Car.

“I am beyond excited to be joining Kalitta Motorsports as part of their team,” says Paul Lee, who has been driving Funny Cars for over 25 years. “To be driving for Connie Kalitta and his awesome NHRA drag racing organization is something I’ve worked for and dreamed of my entire career. It will be an honor to drive a car tuned by Jim O and Nicky as well. The Kalitta team will give me a great car; it will be up to me to close the deal on Sunday. I look forward to that challenge and the opportunities that are ahead.”

The expansion will allow Kalitta Motorsports to run a fifth team for the first time in their history. Lee will be campaigning for a multi-car team for the first time as he will join teammates, Doug Kalitta, driver of the Mac Tools Top Fuel Dragster; J.R. Todd, driver of the SealMaster Top Fuel dragster; Del Worsham, driver of the DHL Toyota Camry Funny Car, and Alexis DeJoria, driver of the Tequila Patron Toyota Camry Funny Car in the field for the last four 2016 events. Lee will be piloting Worsham’s 2015 championship car with the DHL team acquiring a new Bounty Hunter chassis for the latter part of the season. He will own the equipment, but it will be run out of the Kalitta Motorsports Ypsilanti, Michigan-based shop.

“We are really pleased to be able to partner with Paul in this capacity,” said Oberhofer, Vice President of Operations, Kalitta Motorsports. “He will be owning equipment that is proven. It is a great way for Team Kalitta expand business and get Paul to the track in a top-notch team at an affordable rate with an experienced crew.”

Lee is the President of McLeod Racing LLC, a global leader in automotive and clutch driveline technology based in Orange County, California. He started drag racing at age 18 in his home state of New Jersey. Lee drove Top Alcohol Funny Cars from 1988 until 2005, and won three NHRA National Event titles and one divisional race. Paul stepped up to the Nitro Funny Cars in 2005 and has one Professional Nitro Funny Car title, winning the IHRA Motor City Nationals in 2008. Today, Paul drives exclusively in the NHRA Nitro Funny Car class, running as quick as 4.007 at nearly 318mph in Chuck & Del Worsham’s Funny Car. Paul resides in Orange County, California.

Doug Kalitta

All-time Sonoma wins leader Kalitta looks to add another victory to his tally

Sonoma Highlights: Five wins (2005, 2004, 2000, 1999, 1998); One final (2002); Four poles (2012, 2004, 2003, 1998)

2015 Sonoma Event Recap: Qualified 11th; First round defeat (lost to Clay Millican in the first round)

Previous Event Recap (Denver): Qualified eighth; First round defeat (lost to Tony Schumacher in the first round)

Quotable: “I am excited to be headed back to Sonoma. I have a lot of great memories at this race, and would love to add another with my Mac Tools team this weekend. The performance is there; just need a little luck to go our way.”

Career Stats: 424 starts, 573 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), 28 round wins

Point Standings: Second (-57); trails first-place Antron Brown by 57 points, leads third-place Steve Torrence by 106 points

Noteworthy: has won his first round pairing in 12 of 14 events this season; all-time Top Fuel wins leader in Sonoma; 2008 Sonoma Raceway Wall of Fame inductee; earned first career win and pole at Sonoma Raceway

JR ToddTodd gaining momentum

Sonoma Highlights: One win (2006); one pole (2009)

2015 Sonoma Event Recap: Qualified third; Semi-Final finish (defeated Jenna Haddock in the first round, Clay Millican in the second round; lost to Dave Connolly in the semi-final)

Previous Event Recap (Denver): Qualified sixth; Semi-Final finish (defeated Scott Palmer in the first round and Richie Crampton in the second round; defeated by Antron Brown in the semi-final)

Quotable: “I am really pleased with the growth and the signs of consistency we have seen with the SealMaster Toyota these past couple races. This is a big race for one of Team Kalitta’s partners, Toyota, and we would love to celebrate with them in the winner’s circle on Sunday.”

Career Stats: 138 starts, 130 round wins, 8 wins, 16 finals, 8 no.1 qualifiers

2016 Season Stats: Three finals (Atlanta, Norwalk, Chicago); Three semi-finals (Pomona, Las Vegas, Denver); 18 round wins

Point Standings: Seventh (-346); trails sixth-place Shawn Langdon by one point, leads eighth-place Clay Millican by 118 points

Noteworthy: Second career win occurred at Sonoma Raceway; won a race on the Western Swing each of the last two seasons; earned eight round wins in the last three races

unnamed-2.jpgAt Toyota's race, Worsham plans to excel

Sonoma Highlights: One win (2001); One final (2007)

2015 Sonoma Event Recap: Qualified ninth; First round defeat (lost to Chad Head in the first round)

Previous Event Recap (Denver): Qualified third; Semi-Final finish (defeated Todd Simpson in the first round and Ron Capps in the second round; defeated by John Force in the semi-finals)

Quotable: “I have won in Sonoma, but it has been a while and we would love to get another this weekend in this DHL Toyota. We made some gains in Denver, and the new chassis performed well. Jon O, Nicky and the DHL team are working hard, and I hope that work is rewarded this weekend.”

Career Stats: 497 starts, 540 round wins, 38 wins (30 in Funny Car, 8 in Top Fuel), 63 finals (52 in Funny Car, 11 in Top Fuel), 18 no.1 qualifiers (11 in Funny Car, 7 in Top Fuel)

2016 Season Stats: Two finals (Pomona, Las Vegas); Three semi-finals (Epping, Englishtown, Denver); One pole (Norwalk); 18 round wins

Point Standings: Sixth (-243); tied with fifth-place Robert Hight, leads seventh-place Tommy Johnson Jr. by 22 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 11 first round wins this season.

DeJoria Sonoma pre-race notes

2015 Sonoma Event Recap: Qualified sixth; First round defeat (Lost to Cruz Pedregon in the first round)

Previous Event Recap (Denver): Qualified fourth; First round defeat (Lost to John Hale in the first round)

Career Stats: 109 Starts, 81 Round Wins, 4 Wins, 7 Final Rounds, 4 No. 1 Qualifiers

2016 Season Stats: One Win (Las Vegas I); One No. 1 Qualifier (Charlotte I); One Final (Las Vegas I); 12 Round Wins

Point Standings: 733 points, ranked 10th

JR Todd

Todd continues recent hot streak

Race Recap: Todd came to the mountain on a roll. With back-to-back final rounds in the last two events, Todd's SealMaster team was performing very strong. The efforts continued in qualifying with Todd running three solid passes in four attempts and a sixth-place starting spot.

Todd's run would continue on Sunday. With a first round draw of Scott Palmer, Todd was prepared. He laid down a class-best .038 reaction time and led start line to finish line with a solid 3.844 second pass. Richie Crampton would be the second opponent. Again, Todd beat the driver in the other lane off of the line and then his SealMaster ride was better on the track to move to his third consecutive semi-final or better. That was the first time that Todd had done that in his three seasons with Kalitta Motorsports.

The semi-final round transitioned to live TV and Todd and his foe, Antron Brown, were the second pair to see the track. Todd recorded the best light of the session again, but the SealMaster ride encountered problems down track to allow Brown to drive by. On the day, Todd recorded the top two reaction times of the class.

Qualified: No. 6 (3.816 sec., 316.38 mph)

E1: Todd defeated Palmer - 3.844 sec., 318.64 mph to 4.019 sec., 282.78 mph

E2: Todd defeated Crampton - 3.841 sec., 322.11 mph to 3.862 sec., 312.57 mph

E3: Todd defeated by Brown - 3.915 sec., 274.05 mph to 3.826 sec., 307.86 mph

Quotable: "We had a good handle on the SealMaster Toyota ride here on the mountain, but it was not our day. I am excited with the consistency we have built into this machine and I look forward to see what else we can do on the Western Swing."

Point Standings: Seventh (-346); trails sixth-place Shawn Langdon by one point, leads eighth-place Clay Millican by 118 points.

Del Worsham

Worsham rebounds at Bandimere

Race Recap: The DHL team and driver Del Worsham looked to rebound at Bandimere Speedway after a tough Chicago outing. With a new Bounty Hunter, the DHL Yella Fellas felt confident about their chances.

They started their strong run in qualifying with Worsham becoming the first driver in the 1,000-ft era to hit 320 mph at Bandimere Speedway, and Worsham would do it twice. The DHL team would earn five bonus points spread across three sessions and start third.

First up, Todd Simpson. Worsham moved first on the line and continued a strong run down the track to advance him out of the first round for the 11th time this season. Next up, the points leader. Worsham was prepared, earning the jump at the line and earning the semi-final spot with a 4.052 second run. Worsham's day did end there with a close defeat to John Force, but it was a solid result for the DHL Toyota team.

Qualified: No. 3 (3.963 sec., 322.34 mph)

E1: Worsham defeated Simpson - 4.024 sec., 317.12 mph to 4.411 sec., 230.57 mph

E2: Worsham defeated Capps - 4.052 sec., 317.42 mph to 4.399 sec., 213.27 mph

E3: Worsham defeated by J. Force - 4.054 sec., 315.78 mph to 4.005 sec., 316.60 mph

Quotable: "We keep knocking on the door of these races. The DHL boys did a great job and this new Bounty Hunter chassis performed very well. Denver is a tough race to compete at and the way we competed this weekend makes me very proud."

Point Standings: Sixth (-243); tied with fifth-place Robert Hight, leads seventh-place Tommy Johnson Jr. by 22 points

Doug Kalitta

Kalitta suffers second first round loss of the season

Race Recap: With the extreme conditions on the mountain at Bandimere Speedway, Kalitta knew this weekend was going to be different than any other this season. Qualifying was clean, but not as strong as the Mac Tools team is used to. They would earn the eighth starting spot and continue their streak of starting in the top half in every race.

However, a top half start did not mean a easy draw in round one, as Kalitta would face Tony Schumacher. Billed as NHRA's Marquee Matchup, Kalitta left first but Schumacher was able to drive back around giving Kalitta just his second first round loss of the season. Kalitta's combined reaction time and elapsed time efforts would have defeated every other Top Fuel competitor in round one.

Qualified: No. 8 (3.835 sec., 290.13 mph)

E1: Kalitta defeated by Schumacher - 3.832 sec., 320.74 mph to 3.788 sec., 321.19 mph

Quotable: "Quick exit today for this Mac Tools team, but the performance was there. I look forward to going to Sonoma, where my team as a ton of history, and have more success there.

Point Standings: Second (-57); trails first-place Antron Brown by 57 points, leads third-place Steve Torrence by 106 points 

Alexis DeJoria

DeJoria endures tough Denver weekend

Race Recap: DeJoria experienced a tough weekend with an early exit on Sunday at the Mile High Nationals. The Tequila Patrón driver was able to start in the fourth position with a good pass in the last qualifying session, but the Camry ended up in the sand at the top end. After repairs, DeJoria's Sunday was much shorter than she would have liked after her machine shut off just past the 660-foot mark yielding the round win to John Hale

Qualified: No. 4 (3.975 sec., 318.69 mph)

E1: DeJoria defeated by Hale - 4.324 sec., 232.71 mph to 4.303 sec., 240.64 mph

Point Standings: Tenth (-387); trails ninth-place Tim Wilkerson by 60 points, leads 11th-place Tim Wilkerson by 171 points


Alexis DeJoria: Driver of the Kalitta Motorsports Tequila Patrón Toyota Camry Funny Car


No. 4: 3.975 E.T. at 318.69 MPH

The Results:

E1: 4.324 E.T. at 232.71 MPH defeated by John Hale 4.303 E.T. at 240.64 MPH


Alexis DeJoria, Driver

It’s been a frustrating weekend for Team Patrón. We ran two good numbers in qualifying, ended up fourth and got a bonus point out of it, but unfortunately, first round of eliminations was a disappointment. We went out there and our car shut off. We have a pan pressure switch that shuts off when it reaches a certain pan pressure, and that’s what happened. We coasted to the finish line, but it just wasn’t enough to get around John Hale’s team, and that’s the end of our day.

We have yet to do well here in Denver, but I love racing up here on the mountain, and I love the Bandimere family. Bandimere Speedway is always a nice venue; just unfortunate we had to go out in the first round. Luckily we have two Kalitta cars still in it, so we’ll be here supporting them. 

This wasn’t the way we wanted to start off the Western Swing, but Sonoma is next, and that’s a place that has been good to us in the past. It’s a Toyota race and we’re looking forward to that.

NHRA Countdown to the Championship Points Standing:

733 points, ranked 10th


Alexis DeJoria: Driver of the Kalitta Motorsports Tequila Patrón Toyota Camry Funny Car

The Results:

  • Q1: 4.684 E.T. at 177.46 MPH
  • Q2: 7.744 E.T. at 87.94 MPH
  • Q3: 4.066 E.T. at 316.30 MPH
  • Q4: 3.975 E.T. at 318.69 MPH (One bonus point for third quickest run of the session)

The Competition:

No. 4 Alexis DeJoria (LC) vs. No. 13 John Hale


Alexis DeJoria, Driver

Well it’s been a very strange weekend, to say the least, but they say everything comes in threes. Going into the sand in Q4, that was our third weird thing. I’ve done it a few times before but it’s been a very long time. Not a great way to end qualifying but we did make a three-second run. Our chassis is going to be all right, but our body needs to be fixed, obviously. We’ll get it done by Sonoma. Luckily, we always have a backup so we’ll be good for tomorrow. It’s been a tough weekend so far up on the mountain, but we’re qualified fourth and in the top half of the field. That’s definitely a plus and Team Patrón has been known to turn things around on race day.


Doug Kalitta, driver of the Mac Tools Top Fuel Dragster

Q1: 3.893 sec. at 313.73 MPH
Q2: 3.959 sec. at 300.20 MPH
Q3: 3.906 sec. at 308.99 MPH
Q4: 3.835 sec. at 290.33 MPH

Bonus Points: 1 pt. (Third best in the first session)

Starting Position: 8th
First Round Matchup: Tony Schumacher

Quotable: "Four passes down Bandimere, but we were looking for more with this Mac Tools machine. Tough first round draw, but I know my guys are working hard and I look forward to Sunday's race."
Notes: Kalitta retook the Top Fuel point standing lead in qualifying.


J.R. Todd, driver of the SealMaster Top Fuel Dragster

Q1: 3.898 sec. at 311.56 MPH
Q2: 7.800 sec. at 89.62 MPH
Q3: 3.878 sec. at 314.71 MPH
Q4: 3.816 sec. at 316.38 MPH

Starting Position: 6th

First Round Matchup: Scott Palmer

Quotable: "The SealMaster team has continued to improve each pass and we made a solid one there late. Tomorrow we are going to see conditions that we have yet to race in all weekend, but I am confident that we will have the setup we will need to do well."


Del Worsham, driver of the DHL Toyota Camry Funny Car

Q1: 4.008 sec. at 317.94 MPH
Q2: 3.963 sec. at 322.34 MPH
Q3: 5.666 sec. at 124.53 MPH
Q4: 3.969 sec. at 322.19 MPH

Bonus Points: 5 pts. (Second best in the first session, third best in the second session, second best in the fourth session)

Starting Position: 3rd

First Round Matchup: Todd Simpson

Quotable: "What a solid weekend for this entire DHL team. They worked hard during the off week on this new Bounty Hunter chassis and it has been consistent and strong. I feel great about our chances tomorrow."

Notes: Worsham is the first driver in the NHRA 1,000-ft. era to go over 320 MPH at Bandimere Speedway. Worsham's 322.34 MPH is the new track record. Worsham was a part of the first side-by-side three second passes at Bandimere Speedway with Jack Beckman in the final qualifying round.
PR Contact:

Q1: 4.684 sec. at 177.46 MPH
Q2: 7.744 sec. at 87.94 MPH
Q3: 4.066 sec. at 316.30 MPH
Q4: 3.975 sec. at 318.69 MPH

Bonus Points: 1 pt. (Third best in the fourth session)

Starting Position: 4th

First Round Matchup: John Hale

#NHRAonFOX Telecast information:
7/24 Race (FOX) - 3:00pm - 6:00pm - LIVE
All times are EST.

kstrong banner

NHRA Next Event


DENSO Spark Plugs NHRA Nationals

The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway

Running a Mac Tools Mobile Franchise is One of the Best Jobs You Can Have.

Top Fuel for Life

Have you got your copy of Top Fuel for Life? Click to purchase!
For any questions, please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Donate to the
Tammy O Foundation


On the Run with Ashley


Mello Yello Championship Points

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)