Pomona Highlights: Two wins (Fall 2016, Spring 2009); Six finals (Spring 2016, Spring 2014, Fall 2013, Spring 2010, Spring 2004, Fall 1999); Six no.1 qualifiers (Spring 2014, Fall 2006, Fall 2004, Spring 2004, Spring 2003, Spring 2001)
2016 Winternationals Event Recap: Qualified second; Finalist (Defeated Scott Palmer in the first round, Antron Brown in the quarter-finals, J.R. Todd in the semi-finals, lost to Steve Torrence in the finals.)
2016 Auto Club Finals Event Recap: Qualified second; Race Winner (Defeated Shawn Reed in the first round, Tony Schumacher in the quarter-finals, Shawn Langdon in the semi-finals and J.R. Todd in the final)
Quotable: “We had a great test with this Mac Tools Toyota Top Fuel machine and Pomona was great to us last season! The Mac Tools team is really focused on making each race count and we cannot wait to get back to racing this weekend at historic Auto Club Raceway, especially after winning here last fall.”
Career Stats: 434 starts, 589 round wins (10th all-time), 42 wins (Fifth all-time in Top Fuel), 87 finals, 47 no.1 qualifiers (13th all-time)
2016 Season Stats: Four wins (Houston, Atlanta, Topeka, Pomona-II); Four no.1 qualifiers (Phoenix, Atlanta, Norwalk, Charlotte-II); Two finals (Pomona-I, Charlotte-II); 44 round wins; second in the final standings
Noteworthy: could become the ninth driver to hit 600 round wins this season; also will reach 1,000 career rounds competed early this year; uncle Connie Kalitta scored first NHRA win at the Winternationals in 1967
Rookie Coughlin Jr. desires solid debut
Noteworthy: First career pro event; a leading candidate for Auto Club Road to Future trophy (best rookie driver); father is former Pro Mod champion (Troy Coughlin Sr.); uncle is former Pro Stock champion (Jeg Coughlin Jr.)
Quotable: “The test session was very valuable to me and the SealMaster Toyota guys as they worked so hard having this car ready 13 times in four days. It is such a learning curve from the seat that it is humbling in many ways. I cannot thank Connie (Kalitta), Rob (Flynn) and my SealMaster team enough for having patience with me. The car is so much faster and different than anything I have ever driven. We are as ready as we can be for Pomona. I am taking it one lap at a time as the learning never stops in the sport of drag racing.”
Career Info: Five national event wins (Three in Super Gas, Two in Super Comp); 2013 Division III Super Gas Champion; 2015 NHRA Pro Mod Rookie of the Year
Todd, former Winternationals champ, looks forward to new challenge
Pomona Highlights: One win (Spring 2007-TF); One final (Fall 2016-TF); One No.1 qualifiers (Fall 2016-TF); Auto Club Raceway Track Elapsed Time Record Holder (Top Fuel)
2016 Winternationals Event Recap: Qualified 11th; Semi-finalist (Defeated Brittany Force in the first round and Terry McMillen in the quarter-finals, lost to Doug Kalitta in the semi-finals)
2016 Auto Club Finals Event Recap: Qualified first; Finalist (Defeated Troy Buff in the first round, Richie Crampton in the quarter-finals and Antron Brown in the semi-finals, lost to Doug Kalitta in the finals)
Quotable: “It was good to be able to get some full runs under my belt in this DHL Toyota. Each time it seemed like I was getting more and more comfortable but that just comes with time. Now it is time to go to Pomona and have some fun.”
Career Stats: 148 starts, 149 round wins, 9 wins, 19 finals, 9 no.1 qualifiers
2016 Season Stats: One win (Sonoma); Three finals (Atlanta, Norwalk, Chicago); One no.1 qualifier (Pomona-II); 37 round wins; fourth in the finals standings
Noteworthy: Debut Funny Car event; Track record Top Fuel run was the fifth quickest in NHRA history (3.680); next round win will give Todd 150 round wins for career; attempting to become the 16th driver in NHRA history with a Top Fuel and Funny Car win; Todd Smith joins Jon Oberhofer as co-crew chiefs on the DHL Toyota Camry; DHL celebrating 10th year of NHRA sponsorship
(Doug Kalitta, Troy Coughlin Jr., J.R. Todd)
All photos are courtesy of Gary Nastase Photography.
DeJoria Pomona pre-race notes
2016 Winternationals Event Recap: Qualified fourth; Quarter-final finish (Defeated James Campbell in the first round, lost to Del Worsham in the quarter-finals)
Career Stats: 116 starts, 82 round wins, 4 wins, 7 finals, 4 no.1 qualifiers
2016 Season Stats: One win (Las Vegas-I); One semi-final (Bristol); One No. 1 qualifier (Charlotte-I); 13 round wins; 10th in the final standings
Noteworthy: Tommy DeLago is joined by Nicky Boninfante as co-crew chiefs on the Tequila Patrón Toyota Camry Funny Car
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Photo is courtesy of Gary Nastase.
About Kalitta Motorsports:
Based in Ypsilanti, Mich., Kalitta Motorsports is a Top Fuel and Funny Car drag racing team that competes 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, Kalitta 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 Kalitta in 1959.
Team Kalitta fields four full-time entries in the NHRA Mello Yello nitro classes. Connie Kalitta’s nephew, Doug Kalitta, pilots the Mac Tools Top Fuel dragster; Auto Club Road to the Future candidate Troy Coughlin, Jr. drives the SealMaster Top Fuel dragster; J.R. Todd is the driver of the DHL Toyota Camry Funny Car and Alexis DeJoria pilots the Tequila Patrón Toyota Camry Funny Car. Kalitta Motorsports also manages the McLeod Racing Toyota Camry Funny Car driven by Paul Lee. Connie Kalitta serves as head tuner for all Team Kalitta entries. He is assisted by co-crew chiefs Jon Oberhofer and Todd Smith on the DHL Toyota Camry Funny Car, Nicky Boninfante and Tommy DeLago on the Tequila Patrón Toyota Camry Funny Car, Glen Huszar on the McLeod Racing 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, Global Electronic Technology, JEGS, Justice Brothers, Kalitta Air, Mac Tools, Racing Electronics, Red Line Oil, SealMaster, Technicoat Companies, Tequila Patrón, TMS Titanium, Toyota, WIX Filters and Ziebart.