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Kalitta Motorsports News

Doug Kalitta

Kalitta Motorsports, the defending 2015 NHRA Funny Car champions, preview the Circle K Winternationals at Auto Club Raceway in Pomona. This is the first race of 24 in the 2016 NHRA Mello Yello NHRA season.

Worsham relishes opportunity to defend title

Del Worsham, driver of the DHL Toyota Camry Funny Car, returns to Auto Club Raceway for the first time a Funny Car Champion. One of just three drivers to claim a title in both nitro classes, Worsham looks forward to the chance to defend his championship.

His 2015 run to the title was like none other before him. Worsham earned victories in four of the six Countdown for the Championship events, a first for the Funny Car class. In addition, Worsham and his DHL ‘Yella Fellas’ are the only team to run four consecutive three-second passes on raceday. They achieved that distinction in their second of back-to-back wins to start their title surge in St. Louis.

At the last race in Pomona, Worsham ran well throughout qualifying. He once-again reset his career-best elapsed time and MPH in qualifying, running multiple laps below the 3.90 second range. Sunday came and the DHL team defeated their two closest pursuers for the title, Jack Beckman and Tommy Johnson Jr., in the final two rounds to claim the championship and the event victory.

“It has been an incredible off season and we have enjoyed the chance to celebrate the title,” said Worsham. “However, even in celebration, my DHL Toyota guys were hard at work. I am excited for the opportunity to defend this title and look forward to racing in my backyard to start off the new season.”

His four late season victories moved him to 38 overall which places him into the top 20 of NHRA history, while the 30 wins in the Funny Car class puts him in a tie for seventh with one of Worsham’s childhood heroes, Kenny Bernstein.

While Worsham is a three-time Auto Club World Finals winner (2003, 2011, 2015), he is searching for his first Winternationals trophy at the track that is just 30 minutes from his home base. Twice he has come close: coming up just short in finals against John Force in 1993 and 2002. This race is definitely one that Worsham would like to cross off his list and show his competition that he is hungry to defend his title.

Kalitta ready to hit the career pinnacle

Doug Kalitta, driver of the Mac Tools Top Fuel dragster, continued his career resurgence in 2015 and begins the 2016 NHRA Mello Yello season ready for more.

Kalitta, who is coming off his 18th straight top ten points finish, earned his most victories in one year since the 2006 season. The 2015 wins were special. Kalitta stopped Tony Schumacher in Houston to help NHRA start the Top Fuel season with six different drivers winning in the first six events. Next up, a dominant performance at Kalitta Motorsports’ home track in Norwalk, Ohio. Starting from the no.1 spot, Kalitta’s Mac Tools ride was consistent throughout race day and reached the winner’s circle after having to change the engine three times before the last pass during a quick live TV turn-around schedule. The final win of the season, Las Vegas’s fall event, saw Kalitta take the special Breast Cancer Awareness Mac Tools Top Fuel dragster to the finish line. That race was not without its struggles either as a Saturday morning chassis change yielded a bottom-half qualifying effort. Kalitta dug out of that early hole to become the lowest qualifier to win a Top Fuel race last season.

Often regarded as the best Top Fuel driver without a title on his resume, Kalitta has reeled off his best three-season run since the early 2000s with three straight top five points finishes. However, there is only one goal this season and that involves a speech at the championship banquet at the end of the season.

Kalitta’s team received an in-house chassis in the offseason and worked through the new parts at the inaugural Nitro Spring Training in Phoenix. In addition, the Mac Tools team experiences the addition of manufacturer support for the first time with backing from Toyota and Toyota Racing Development (TRD).

“I am excited to get this season started,” said Kalitta. “I think the Mac Tools team has everything in place for a great complete season. I am ready to get to Pomona and see what we have.”

Kalitta is the 2009 Circle K Winternationals winner and has earned the no.1 starting spot at this event four times, most recently in 2014.

Todd has fresh outlook for 2016

For J.R. Todd, driver of the SealMaster Top Fuel dragster, it would probably be easier to talk about what did not change versus what did.

Todd has a new co-crew chief in Rob Flynn. Flynn has tuned drivers to victories in four NHRA classes, and comes over from Dote Racing where he led Leah Pritchett to career-best numbers in the 2015 season.

Todd has a new primary sponsor in SealMaster. After running six different schemes in the 2015 season, Todd will have one for 2016 as Kalitta partner SealMaster jumps from two primary events to entire season in 2016.

He also has new manufacturer support with Toyota and several new crew members. However, even with all the changes, Todd is excited to have stability with Kalitta Motorsports. For the first time in his career, he will begin his third season with the same team.

Since joining Kalitta Motorsports in the 2014 season, Todd has achieved an average of a round win per race but with all of the changes and upgrades in the offseason he is looking for more. He is coming off a season where he earned another victory. The Seattle win completed a personal career Western Swing sweep, but the ninth place points finish was disappointing. The new season gives Todd and the SealMaster team a fresh start and they are ready to take advantage.

“Kalitta Motorsports has really put forth a ton of new resources in the off season to really strength my chances at the title, so to say I am thrilled to start the new season would be an understatement,” said Todd. “The new SealMaster machine looks sharp and fast, and with the Toyota and TRD support, I could not be more confident to head into the new season.”

Todd earned his fourth career victory and his first career points lead at this event in 2007. He is competing in his second Circle K Winternationals with Kalitta Motorsports.

DeJoria’s new look leads kicks off historic race

Alexis DeJoria, driver of the Tequila Patrón Toyota Camry Funny Car, starts 2016 with a huge accomplishment.

DeJoria will earn begin her 100th race weekend in Pomona where she officially shows off her new look. Her first 99 starts, all with Kalitta Motorsports, have yielded three wins, including a coveted U.S. Nationals trophy and two consecutive Countdown for the Championship appearances. In 2015, DeJoria began the countdown in the tenth position and made a two spot improvement achieving her career high in Countdown round wins.

The 2014 Auto Club Finals no. 1 qualifier comes into Pomona looking for her first career Winternationals final round appearance. With family and friends making plans to attend this career weekend, this season’s race in Pomona could prove to be very special for DeJoria.

Konnekt with Kalitta Motorsports: For more info about Kalitta Motorsports including exclusive content such as videos, photos and more, please visit #KalittaStrong online - Website: www.teamkalitta.com Facebook: www.facebook.com/KalittaMotorsports Twitter: www.twitter.com/TeamKalitta YouTube: www.youtube.com/user/TeamKalitta Instagram: www.instagram.com/TeamKalitta

YPSILANTI, Mich. (February 3, 2016) - Kalitta Motorsports is proud to announce a new partnership with Racing Electronics. Racing Electronics joins Kalitta Motorsports as an associate level partner for all four of Kalitta Motorsports’ championship-caliber NHRA teams.

Racing Electronics will provide two-way radio communication equipment and accessories for the Mac Tools and SealMaster Top Fuel dragsters driven by Doug Kalitta and J.R. Todd, in addition, to the DHL Toyota Camry Funny Car driven by Del Worsham and the Tequila Patrón Toyota Camry entry of Alexis DeJoria.

In 1989, Racing Electronics first established their in-car race communications products at the urging of many teams and have become the premier communications supplier for the NHRA, NASCAR and INDYCAR racing series.

“Being involved with NHRA for many years has allowed us the opportunity to develop and test our equipment in some of the harshest environments known to motorsports,” said Kevin Hughes, Director of Motorsports Communications Services, Racing Electronics. “It is truly an honor to now be associated with the Kalitta organization with regard to their legendary status in the industry. We are looking forward to a long term technical partnership, with many wins and championships to come!”

Kalitta Motorsports plans to utilize this new partnership not only to communicate solid lap times, but also to help lessen oil downs and drastic part failures.

“Communication with our drivers is extremely important, but we can use this new Racing Electronic system with so many other facets of our day,” said Jim Oberhofer, crew chief on the Mac Tools Top Fuel dragster driven by Doug Kalitta and Vice President of Operations, Kalitta Motorsports. “We can communicate with our crew that is back in the pit area and with the drivers to let them know if we see problems that could cause oil downs. With the new era of live television on FOX, the less oil downs we can have the better the show is going to be for the fans.”

Kalitta Motorsports will put the Racing Equipment equipment to the test as it starts its chase for a Top Fuel and Funny Car title at the Circle K Winternationals in Pomona, Calif., February 12-14.

Konnekt with Kalitta Motorsports: For more info about Kalitta Motorsports including exclusive content such as videos, photos and more, please visit #KalittaStrong online - Website: www.teamkalitta.com Facebook: www.facebook.com/KalittaMotorsports Twitter: www.twitter.com/TeamKalitta YouTube: www.youtube.com/user/TeamKalitta Instagram: www.instagram.com/TeamKalitta

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SANTA MONICA, Calif. (January 28, 2016)— Alexis DeJoria Racing is going back to its roots for the 2016 NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing season. Operating out of the Kalitta Motorsports camp, The Patrón Spirits Company-backed Toyota Camry Funny Car team will once again sport the iconic ‘Patrón green,’ as they return to the distiller’s signature Patrón Silver label in 2016.

Pilot of the 10,000-horsepower Tequila Patrón Toyota Camry Funny Car, Alexis DeJoria began her NHRA career in 2005 representing the ultra-premium spirits company’s Patrón Silver brand. Making her debut in a black and green Patrón Super Gas Corvette Roadster, Alexis turned heads in the recognizable color scheme as she progressed through the NHRA ranks, eventually making her highly anticipated Funny Car debut in 2011.

DeJoria’s race team became synonymous with the Tequila Patrón brand. After eight years in green, the team shocked the NHRA world by showing up to the 2014 season-opener in Pomona, California in purple and gold. The team represented the Patrón XO Cafe liqueur brand throughout the 2014 season until the final race of the year when they surprised fans yet again with a red, orange and yellow car emblazoned with Patrón’s latest incarnation, Patrón XO Cafe Incendio. While the Incendio brand was originally intended to be a one-race-only look, fan response was so positive that the new colors remained for the 2015 season.

As the Patrón team enters its fifth year of Funny Car racing, they will return to the quintessential green Patrón Silver scheme. 

“Alexis and the entire Patrón team were tremendous partners in helping us launch and generate excitement and awareness for the new Patrón XO Cafe Incendio. However, in 2016, we decided to return to the classic Tequila Patrón livery on Alexis’ Toyota Camry Funny Car for the 2016 season. Additionally, this more closely aligns Alexis DeJoria Racing with our global motorsports marketing platform, including our Tequila Patrón ESM Team, racing in the World Endurance Championship series,” said Lee Applbaum, Chief Marketing Officer at Patrón Spirits. “Though it can sometimes be difficult to see clearly at 300-mph, we couldn’t be more proud to fly our colors, and our iconic Patrón Silver bottle, on Alexis’ incredible 10,000-horsepower race car.”

Three-time Funny Car winner Alexis DeJoria couldn’t be more excited about the decision to return to the classic Tequila Patrón livery.

“We started our first season in Funny Car branded with Patrón Silver. I love the way the green and silver looks on the car, it’s incredibly sharp,” said DeJoria. “It makes sense to represent the company’s flagship spirit on our Toyota Camry. I think the fans will like it too- it’s very recognizable. Everybody knows that label. When you think of Patrón, you automatically think of the Patrón Silver bottle. Over the years, we’ve had a lot of fun with the other Patrón brands on our car, but I’m really happy to get back to our roots for year five.”

Alexis DeJoria and the Tequila Patrón Toyota Camry Funny Car team take to the track on Friday, February 12th in Pomona, California for the first qualifying round of the NHRA season at the 56th annual Circle K NHRA WinterNationals. Fans can get a sneak preview of Team Patrón’s updated look at the NHRA Nitro Spring Training test session in Phoenix, Arizona, February 3-6. For more information, please visit www.alexisdejoria.com, Follow Us on Twitter, Instagram and Periscope @ADRnhra, or Like Us on Facebook Alexis DeJoria  

About Alexis DeJoria

Alexis DeJoria, daughter of John Paul DeJoria, co-founder of John Paul Mitchell Systems and proud owner of The Patrón Spirits Company, is a professional race car driver, competing in the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series. Alexis drives the Tequila Patrón-sponsored 2016 Toyota Camry for the Kalitta Motorsports team. Alexis, who had all the opportunity in the world to pursue any type of career, felt strongly about following her passion, and her need for adrenaline drove her to pursue the unlikely profession of auto-racing. The determination to ‘blaze her own trail’ continues to drive her and push her to higher levels in the sport of drag racing.

About Tequila Patrón

From hand-harvesting the highest-quality 100-percent Weber Blue Agave, to the traditional, time-honored distillation process and individual labeling, number, and inspection of each bottle, Patrón tequila is crafted with meticulous precision and care. Though Patrón has grown to become one of the most-recognized and respected luxury spirits brands in the world, it is still exclusively produced in the Highlands of Jalisco, Mexico, in the same small batches and with the same commitment to quality and craftsmanship. For more information about Patrón tequilas and liqueurs, please visit www.patrontequila.com.

SealMaster Dragster

YPSILANTI, Mich., (January 13, 2016) Kalitta Motorsports and SealMaster are pleased to announce a major expansion of their partnership. SealMaster will become the primary sponsor of the Top Fuel dragster driven by J.R. Todd for the entire NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series season.

SealMaster will also have a role in the remainder of the Team Kalitta’s entries as they return to sponsor Doug Kalitta’s Mac Tools Top Fuel Dragster for the third season, while adding 2015 NHRA Mello Yello Funny Car Champion Del Worsham’s DHL Toyota Camry Funny Car and Alexis DeJoria’s Patrón backed Toyota Camry Funny Car to their sponsorship portfolio.

GN1 3697-1“First, I cannot thank SealMaster and all of their franchisees enough for stepping up in a big way and sponsoring the entire season on my car,” said Todd. “Over the past two years, having SealMaster as an associate partner, I’ve met a lot of their franchise owners and customers and I could not be more thrilled to be the driver to represent them in NHRA action. This announcement makes me even more excited for the new season. I know we are going to take the SealMaster machine to the winner’s circle many times this year.”

SealMaster franchisees manufacture pavement sealer and distribute a full line of pavement maintenance products and equipment throughout the United States, including Puerto Rico. Franchisees serve contractors, public and private road maintenance departments, property managers and others charged with pavement maintenance and preservation. The company’s products and equipment are sold in every state where the NHRA Mello Yello Series races, and SealMaster franchisees and customers have enjoyed Kalitta Motorsports hospitality and winning tradition since 2014.

“After having top-notch experiences with Kalitta Motorsports, the NHRA and their fans for the past two years, we decided to take our partnership to a more prominent level 2016,” says Rick Simon, director of franchise operations. “J.R. Todd is a great driver and a stand-up guy. He represented us in a SealMaster Top Fuel Dragster in Norwalk and Denver last year and the exposure our brand received for both events was quite eye-opening,” he adds. “Our involvement with Kalitta Motorsports and the NHRA gives us a great national platform to share who we are and what we do: We’re the one-stop source for pavement maintenance products and equipment,” Simon adds.

“SealMaster has the same values as Team Kalitta,” said Jim Oberhofer, Vice President of Operations, Kalitta Motorsports. “The growth of this program has been amazing, and we are excited to welcome even more SealMaster franchisees to the race track each week.”

SealMaster will also continue its partnership with the NHRA as is sponsors the SealMaster Track Walk every race weekend. Fans will have the opportunity to meet Team Kalitta personalities all season as they walk the surface they will race on just hours before the race action. In addition, SealMaster’s popular display dragster, the SealMonster, will also make several appearances during the 2016 NHRA Mello Yello Season.

Konnekt with Kalitta Motorsports: For more info about Kalitta Motorsports including exclusive content such as videos, photos and more, please visit #KalittaStrong online - Website: www.teamkalitta.com Facebook: www.facebook.com/KalittaMotorsports Twitter: www.twitter.com/TeamKalitta YouTube: www.youtube.com/user/TeamKalitta Instagram: www.instagram.com/TeamKalitta

About SealMaster:

SealMaster, the One-Stop Source for pavement maintenance products and equipment, is the world’s leading manufacturer of pavement sealer with more than 100 locations in the United States, including Puerto Rico; licensed distributors in Canada, China, Israel, Mexico, Sweden and the United Kingdom; and distribution in more than 50 countries. Pavement maintenance professionals, property managers and owners, municipalities and others charged with pavement maintenance use SealMaster products and equipment to protect, preserve and beautify asphalt and concrete pavement.

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 Champions, Del Worsham. He drives the DHL Toyota Camry Funny Car. Alexis DeJoria pilots the Tequila Patrón XO Café Incendio 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 XO Café Incendio 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 AutoDesk CAM, Justice Brothers, Kalitta Air, Mac Tools, Optima Batteries, Patrón XO Café Incendio, Phoenix Fuel Converter, Red Line Oil, SealMaster, Summit Racing Equipment, Technicoat Companies, TMS Titanium, Toyota and Ziebart.

Kalitta Merchandise

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Funny Car Points

Unofficial NHRA Mello Yello Countdown to the Championship Standings:

Funny Car

1 Jack Beckman 2179
2 John Force 2160
3 Robert Hight 2155
4 Ron Capps 2136
5 Tommy Johnson Jr 2105
6 Matt Hagan 2092
7 J.R. Todd 2089
8 Bob Tasca III 2072
9 Tim Wilkerson 2057
10 Shawn Langdon 2043

Top Fuel Points

Unofficial NHRA Mello Yello Countdown to the Championship Standings:

Top Fuel

1 Doug Kalitta 2180
2 Brittany Force 2147
3 Steve Torrence 2133
4 Antron Brown 2127
5 Richie Crampton 2126
6 Mike Salinas 2104
7 Austin Prock 2094
8 Leah Pritchett 2093
9 Clay Millican 2092
10 Billy Torrence 2032
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