Kalitta back in the Bristol semis



BRISTOL, Tennessee (June 19, 2016) – Doug Kalitta, driver of the Mac Tools Top Fuel dragster, returned to the semi-finals in Bristol, his eighth semi-final or better in 11 events this season.

For the first time since Topeka, Kalitta reached the top two in qualifying, earning his seventh such start of the young season. His 3.767 was recorded early in the Bristol evening session and it held on top till the last pair hit the track, when Steve Torrence was able to just sneak by.

Kalitta’s second starting postition gave him the 15th qualified Kyle Wurtzel as his first opponent. Kalitta hit the throttle first and was able to guide his Mac Tools machine down the track to an outstanding run. His 3.783 second pass was low of the round, while his 329.34 MPH was a new Bristol Dragway track record.

The pass moved him to round two where he would come up against the upset-minded Pat Dakin. Dakin, who defeated Clay Millican in the first round, lit the tires almost instantly giving the round win to the Mac Tools driver.

Kalitta’s eighth semi-final of the season dealt him a foe of Shawn Langdon. The Mac Tools dragster smoked the tires very quickly on the run. Kalitta pedaled, but could not catch back up to Langdon ending his Father’s Day early.

“My Mac Tools guys worked very hard this weekend and we nearly came out on top,” said Kalitta. “We wanted the win, but we will head to Norwalk and look to defend our title at the Summit Nationals next weekend.

Kalitta retains the top spot in the standings.

Del Worsham, driver of the DHL Toyota Camry Funny Car, was the man to beat in qualifying. In the first pass, Worsham was a tearing down the track before becoming a victim of a NHRA timing malfunction. However, Worsham and the DHL team did not get down. They drove down the track with force laying down a new Bristol Dragway MPH record at more than 329 mph. His elapsed time, 3.888, gave him the second starting spot. His combined weekend qualifying efforts yielded five bonus points.

Worsham’s first foe was John Hale. Worsham was on it on the starting line and continued to stretch the lead all the way down the track to move out of the first round for the ninth time in 11 events.

Next up, an intramural battle with his teammate Alexis DeJoria. Worsham and DeJoria were close at the tree, but the DHL Toyota was up in smoke almost immediately yielding the round win to his teammate.

“After our Friday and Saturday success, we were looking for more than just a second round defeat,” said Worsham. “We have another shot at it next weekend, and the DHL team looks forward to the challenge.”

Worsham retains his top five points placement.

J.R. Todd, driver of the SealMaster Top Fuel dragster, started and closed the qualifying portion of his weekend with good runs. The first pass, a 3.852, ranked among the top five, but the SealMaster crew saved the best for last. The tuning duo of Connie Kalitta and Rob Flynn guided Todd to a 3.825 second pass. That gave Todd two bonus points and the ninth starting spot.

Todd and his opponent, Tony Schumacher, were the last to see the tree in Top Fuel, but Todd was prepared. Flynn guided Todd to the line and Todd delivered an .047 light, which ranked first among full-time Top Fuel competitors in round one and easily better than his opponent. However, the SealMaster dragster dropped a cylinder almost immediately which ended his Bristol weekend much too early.

“We have made some serious progress on our hot weather setup,” said Todd. “Never like to lose early in the day, but we are excited to be headed to Norwalk, which means a lot to the Kalitta team, and where SealMaster is based.”

Todd slips one spot to seventh in the point standings.

Through eleven events on the 2016 NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series season, Team Kalitta owns four wins, nine final round appearances and three no.1 qualifiers. Next weekend, Team Kalitta heads to our home race, the Summit Racing Equipment Nationals in Norwalk, Ohio.

Event Stats:

Doug Kalitta – Driver of the Mac Tools Top Fuel Dragster:

No. 2 Qualifier (3.767 sec., 323.97 mph)

  • E1: Kalitta defeated Wurtzel – 3.783 sec., 329.34 mph to 3.917 sec., 300.46 mph **TRACK RECORD MPH**
  • E2: Kalitta defeated Dakin – 3.821 sec., 323.89 mph to 8.486 sec., 71.22 mph
  • E3: Kalitta defeated by Langdon – 5.350 sec., 188.52 mph to 4.454 sec., 256.53 mph

Del Worsham – Driver of the DHL Toyota Camry Funny Car:

No. 2 Qualifier (3.888 sec., 329.42 mph) **TRACK RECORD MPH***

  • E1: Worsham defeated Hale – 3.961 sec., 323.04 mph to 4.186 sec., 255.34 MPH
  • E2: Worsham defeated by DeJoria – 8.397 sec., 80.47 mph to 4.012 sec., 314.53 mph

J.R. Todd – Driver of the SealMaster Top Fuel Dragster:

No. 9 Qualifier (3.825 sec., 319.60 mph)

  • E1: Todd defeated by Schumacher – 3.873 sec., 314.61 mph to 3.794 sec., 324.90 mph

Mello Yello Championship Points:

Top Fuel (Unofficial)

1. Doug Kalitta (926)
2. Antron Brown (873)
3. Steve Torrence (846)
4. Brittany Force (754)
5. Tony Schumacher (695)
6. Shawn Langdon (575)
7. J.R. Todd (562)
8. Clay Millican (540)
9. Richie Crampton (535)
10. Leah Pritchett (412)

Funny Car (Unofficial)

1. Ron Capps (841)
2. Jack Beckman (786)
3. Courtney Force (741)
4. Matt Hagan (730)
5. Del Worsham (701)
6. Tim Wilkerson (691)
7. Tommy Johnson Jr. (655)
8. Robert Hight (643)
9. John Force (615)
10. Alexis DeJoria (588)

About Kalitta Motorsports:

Based in Ypsilanti, Mich., Kalitta Motorsports is a Top Fuel and Funny Car drag racing team in the NHRA (National Hot Rod Association) Mello Yello Drag Racing Series. The team was founded and is owned by drag racing icon Connie “the Bounty Hunter” Kalitta. For more than 50 years, Connie has been involved in the sport as a driver, tuner, and an owner. Kalitta Motorsports is one of the most successful teams in the history of auto racing with six world championships and over 100 national event titles in five different professional drag racing sanctioning bodies since it was established by Connie in 1959.

Team Kalitta is the home of the 2015 NHRA Mello Yello Funny Car World Champion, Del Worsham. He drives the DHL Toyota Camry Funny Car. Alexis DeJoria pilots the Tequila Patrón Toyota Camry Funny Car. J.R. Todd drives the SealMaster Top Fuel dragster while Connie’s nephew, Doug Kalitta, pilots the Mac Tools Top Fuel dragster. Connie serves as head tuner for all Team Kalitta entries. He is assisted by co-crew chiefs Jon Oberhofer and Nick Boninfante on the DHL Toyota Camry Funny Car, Tommy DeLago and Glen Huszar on the Tequila Patrón Toyota Camry Funny Car, Rob Flynn on the SealMaster Top Fuel dragster and Jim Oberhofer on the Mac Tools Top Fuel dragster.

Associate sponsors on Kalitta Motorsports’ race cars include ARP, AutoDesk CAM, Champion, Cogistics, Darton Sleeves, DHL, Justice Brothers, Kalitta Air, Mac Tools, Optima Batteries, Phoenix Fuel Converter, Racing Electronics, Red Line Oil, SealMaster, Summit Racing Equipment, Technicoat Companies, Tequila Patrón, TMS Titanium, Toyota and Ziebart.