Kalitta hits milestone; Worsham returns to the site of first victory Team Kalitta Pre-Race Report – Atlanta

Doug Kalitta Mac Tools Dragster

Doug Kalitta Mac Tools Dragster

COMMERCE, Ga. (May 13, 2015) – Kalitta Motorsports broke into the win column for the first time this year at the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series last event in Houston as Doug Kalitta earned his 36th career win. After two weekends off, Team Kalitta is ready to return to racing at the Summit Racing Equipment Southern Nationals where they were the top qualifier in both nitro classes last season and still hold the Atlanta Dragway track records.

Kalitta, driver of the Mac Tools Top Fuel Dragster, was the sixth driver to earn a victory during this young season. His victory in Houston was his first of the season and moved Kalitta past “Big Daddy” Don Garlits for fifth all-time in the Top Fuel class.

Kalitta will also be achieving another milestone this weekend. In a career that began in 1998, Kalitta hits his 400th career start this weekend in Atlanta. He has earned 17 consecutive top ten championship points finishes. Nearly a quarter of those races have finished final round, and he just gets better with time. Since 2014, Kalitta has been in the final round 11 times in just 31 events.

Kalitta had a strong run in Atlanta last season. He qualified no.1 and set the elapsed time and MPH records in qualifying with a 3.732 second pass at 328.86 MPH and earned one of those 11 final round appearances. Kalitta is a two time victor and five time finalist at the Summit Racing Equipment Southern Nationals as he picked up wins in back-to-back fashion in 2005 and 2006.

“It is stunning to me that it has been 400 races,” said Kalitta. “We have had incredible support throughout my career whether that be from Connie, my team or from the Mac Tools group. We are not finished yet, and still have the ultimate goal to achieve and we look to take another step in Atlanta.”

Kalitta will be celebrating his 400th career start with the fans by leading the SealMaster Track Walk on Sunday. Fans that cannot attend this weekends’ event can send their favorite memories and congratulations via social media with the #Doug400.

Atlanta Dragway and the Summit Racing Equipment Southern Nationals is also a special place for Del Worsham, driver of the DHL Toyota Camry Funny Car. During his AAA Road to the Future winning season in 1991, Worsham picked up his first career victory at the Summit Racing Equipment Southern Nationals. He was just 21 years old and set the record for the youngest driver ever to earn his first Funny Car victory.

24 years later, the 2011 Top Fuel World Champion is still in contention for victories. He sits just a little more than a round out of the top spot in the Funny Car point standings and is chasing that elusive first victory of the season. Atlanta may be a good place to start. Worsham and the DHL team had speed last season as they earned the second starting position.

Worsham is on his way to join his teammate, Doug Kalitta, and just 15 other drivers with 500 round wins. He sits just nine rounds from that accomplishment.

“We have had two weeks to think about the frustration of Houston,” said Worsham. “The entire DHL Toyota team is ready to race again and get past that loss in winner’s circle.”

Fans can meet Del Worsham in Atlanta. He will be signing autographs in the Alexis DeJoria/Kalitta Motorsports autograph trailer on Friday.

J.R. Todd, driver of the Kalitta Air Top Fuel dragster, debuts a new scheme this weekend at the Summit

Racing Equipment Southern Nationals as Kalitta Air takes the primary location for the next few races. Last season, he returned to Atlanta Dragway for the first time since 2012 and earned a top half qualifying result.

Todd, who is an event win from 100 career-round wins, is looking for his first victory at the Summit Racing Equipment Southern Nationals.

“We had a great car in Houston, and our set-up proved to be the winning one for my teammate,” said Todd. “I am excited to run the Kalitta Air colors for the first time and I am planning on taking them straight to victory.”

Todd will be signing autographs in the SealMaster display area on Saturday morning. SealMaster, a valued Team Kalitta partner, will be bringing the SealMonster display dragster to its first race of the 2015 season.

Alexis DeJoria, driver of the Patrón XO Café Incendio Toyota Camry Funny Car, has earned three round wins in the past two events and solidified her spot in the top ten of the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Standings.

Atlanta Dragway was a special moment for her last season as DeJoria earned her first number one qualifier of her career. Her 4.012 second run is the track elapsed time record. DeJoria has been one of the best in the heat and humidity this season and with temperatures expected to reach the upper 80s, DeJoria expects to be in contention.

DeJoria will be signing autographs in the merchandise trailer on both Friday and Saturday.

Konnekt with Kalitta Motorsports:

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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 five world championships and over 50 national event titles in five different professional drag racing sanctioning bodies since it was established by Connie in 1959.

Del Worsham drives the DHL Toyota Camry Funny Car for Team Kalitta. Alexis DeJoria pilots the Tequila Patrón XO Café Incendio Toyota Camry Funny Car. J.R. Todd drives the Kalitta Air 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, by Tommy DeLago and Glen Huszar on the Tequila Patrón XO Café Incendio Toyota Camry Funny Car, and by Jim Oberhofer on the Mac Tools Top Fuel dragster. Connie serves as crew chief on the Kalitta Air Top Fuel dragster.

Associate sponsors on Kalitta Motorsports’ race cars include Justice Brothers, Patrón XO Café Incendio, Phoenix Fuel Converter, Red Line Oil, SealMaster, Summit Racing Equipment, Technicoat Companies, TMS Titanium, Toyota and Ziebart.