YPSILANTI, Mich. (June 25, 2024) – It’s been quite a season for Kalitta Motorsports. After prolonged on-track struggles, Team Kalitta now has six total wins in the season’s first nine races including last week’s win in Virginia, and its drivers are first, second and fourth in the season point standings. The 2024 NHRA Mission Foods Drag Racing Season resumes June 28-30, 2024 at the Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Nationals in Norwalk, Ohio.

Kalitta’s win was his third of the season in addition to those in Las Vegas and New England. Shawn Langdon, who joined Kalitta in Sunday’s Virginia final round, has wins in Gainesville, Fla., and Phoenix in addition to two other final rounds, and J.R. Todd won the season-opening NHRA Gatornationals joining Langdon in the first double win in Kalitta Motorsports history and two runner-up finishes. Now the team comes off its first-ever double Top Fuel final round. In fact, a Team Kalitta car raced in every Top Fuel final this season except for the March race in Pomona, Calif. It’s another step in Team Kalitta’s return to form.

“It seemed like the first year he (Crew Chief Alan Johnson) was on my car, we changed a lot of things,” Kalitta said. “What we picked up on in the middle of last year carried over into this year, and everybody is doing their job. The consistency of putting that thing together is really good with the guys. They’re all having fun. (Assistant Crew Chief) Mac Savage is keeping an eye on everybody so it’s just a big team effort. I wish it was as easy as we’d like for it to be, but it takes everybody and a good leader like Alan and obviously a good team owner like Connie Kalitta. It’s a real fortunate opportunity for Shawn, J.R. and me right now.”

Sunday’s win was Kalitta’s 55th moving him to fourth on the all-time Top Fuel wins list, and it increased Kalitta’s points lead to 67 points over Langdon. Having the Team Kalitta Top Fuel cars one-two in points is nice, but less than half the season is complete – more work remains.

“Everybody’s working their tail off to make things happen out here, and you just have to stay confident in what you do and stick with your routine,” Kalitta added. “Sometimes you try too hard – it’s just live and learn. Certainly, getting that win (in Virginia) will definitely build the confidence for me, and we’ll definitely hit the ground running in Norwalk.”

Kalitta has one Norwalk win in three final rounds, and he’ll look take the Applied Innovation dragster to the winner’s circle this weekend. Applied was founded as a printer, copier and fax company in 1987. Today, the company is a full-fledged office- technology provider. Applied’s technology services and solutions are designed not only to improve its clients’ business but also the lives of the people working within them.

“Applied Innovation is a vital partner at Kalitta Motorsports and Kalitta Air,” Team Kalitta General Manager Chad Head said. “They manage all our printing needs, but they also cover everything on the networking and IT front for us so the services they provide keep us up and running. The same goes for both Kalitta Air and Kalitta Charters but on a much larger scale. We rely on them literally every day, and we’d really like to get them a win this weekend.”

Races in Norwalk are always special because of the incredible fan base, but for Team Kalitta, it’s also the race closest to Ypsilanti, Mich., the home of both the race team and Kalitta Air.

“Norwalk is close to Ypsilanti where our home base is so we’ll get a few extra people there from the local area down there so it’ll be fun,” Kalitta added. “We just want to keep the momentum going, keep our heads down and get after it there. With it being so close to our home base, it’s the best time for our employees and some of their families to get to a race so we’ll definitely encourage people to come out, support our teams and have some fun with it.”

Race Information:

Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Nationals Summit Racing Equipment Motorsports Park; Norwalk, Ohio

TV Schedule (All times eastern):   

  • Qualifying Show 2-4 p.m. Sunday, June 30 on FS1
  • Finals Round 1: 4-5 p.m. Sunday, June 30 on FS1
  • Finals: 5-7 p.m. Sunday, June 30 on FOX

2023 Summit NHRA Nationals Recap: Qualified No. 4; lost to Dan Mercier. 

Doug Kalitta Career Stats: 596 events, 55 wins, 61 runner-up, 786 round wins, 56 No. 1 qualifiers.

2024 NHRA Mission Foods Drag Racing Series Results To Date (wins in italics):

  • Gatornationals: Qualified No. 7; defeated Clay Millican; lost to Steve Torrence.
  • Pomona: Qualified No. 6; defeated Jasmine Salinas; lost to Billy Torrence.
  • Phoenix: Qualified No. 3; defeated Terry Totten; lost to Justin Ashley.
  • Las Vegas 4W: Qualified No. 1; defeated Shawn Langdon in the first round, Brittany Force and Josh Hart in the semifinals followed by Justin Ashley, Steve Torrence and Tony Stewart in the final round.
  • Charlotte 4W: Qualified No. 1; defeated Shawn Reed and Cody Krohn in the first round, Billy Torrence and Jasmine Salinas in the semifinals before beating Antron Brown but losing to Justin Ashley and Clay Millican in the final round.
  • Chicago: Qualified No. 3; lost to Justin Ashley.
  • Epping: Qualified No. 1; defeated Scott Farley, Tony Stewart, Shawn Langdon and Tony Schumacher.
  • Bristol: Qualified No. 14; defeated Antron Brown, Steve Torrence, Brittany Force; lost to Tony Schumacher.
  • Richmond: Qualified No. 2: after first-round bye, defeated Josh Hart, Tony Stewart and Shawn Langdon.

Kalitta Image Courtesy: Chris Hall