Kalitta Motorsports News
ENNIS, Texas (Oct. 14, 2015) – Last season, Kalitta Motorsports put a machine in the Top Fuel and Funny Car finals at the AAA Texas Nationals. That was one of 12 events in the past two seasons Team Kalitta was able to complete that feat through tough competition. However, this weekend the team plans to take that next step and finish in the winner’s circle.
Del Worsham, driver of the DHL Toyota Camry Funny Car, was the Team Kalitta Funny Car representative in the final round last year. He faced tough competition and close races throughout the day but was able to advance past Chad Head, teammate Alexis DeJoria and Tim Wilkerson to earn his final round appearance. This year, the Funny Car points leader wants to get back on track after a rough Reading weekend.
“I think we should go back to the mind set of going into Charlotte,” said Worsham. “We need points.”
Worsham has led the point standings for the past three events, which is his longest consecutive streak in the Funny Car class since 2004. With just three events remaining in the season, Worsham knows he has a tough road ahead but is looking forward to the challenge.
Worsham is looking for his third career Dallas event win. He previously earned victories in 2002 and 2004.
J.R. Todd, driver of the Red Line Oil Top Fuel Dragster, joined Worsham in the final round last season. He started the weekend strong in qualifying earning his second career no.1 qualifier in Dallas with a track record run in the evening session. He guided his Kalitta Motorsports machine down the track in 3.761 seconds to earn the pole.
On Sunday, Todd beat Morgan Lucas, Spencer Massey and Shawn Langdon in the first three rounds to set up a showdown with Tony Schumacher in the final round. This was the second time that Todd had faced Schumacher in the final round in Dallas, as Todd was able to end Schumacher’s win streak in this race in 2008. Todd came up just short in this final, however, and is looking for a return to the Dallas Winner’s Circle.
For the tenth and final time on the season, Todd returns to the Red Line Oil colors. He earned Red Line Oil their first NHRA win as a primary sponsor earlier this season in Seattle. Although Jimi Hendrix Foundation colors have finished their primary run, fans can continue to support the cause by buying t-shirts trackside or online at nitromall.com or teamkalitta.com.
“We ran well there last year so hopefully we can get another win for Cameron Evans and Red Line Oil this weekend,” said Todd. “A win would also help us gain some points on those that are in front of us.”
Todd comes into the weekend in the sixth place in the standings, less than one round out of the top five.
Doug Kalitta continues his run in the pink Wrenching for a Cure Mac Tools Top Fuel dragster and is planning on achieving a Texas sweep this season.
Earlier this year, Kalitta started in the fourth position and defeated several Texas based drivers, including Tony Schumacher in the final round to earn his first Houston win since 2003. A Dallas victory would complete the sweep of the state and give Kalitta momentum into the remainder of the season.
Kalitta has had much success on the Texas Motorplex surface. He has advanced to five final rounds and earned two career victories, including ending a long winless streak just two years ago in 2013.
“The Mac Tools team is definitely looking for a better weekend here in Dallas,” said Kalitta. “We have this great Wrenching for a Cure scheme and it would look great in the winner’s circle.”
He begins the weekend in the eighth place in the standings, however, the Mac Tools team is just one good race from the top five.
Kalitta’s crew chief, Jim Oberhofer, also has a big week ahead. He has completed work on his book, Top Fuel for Life, and will be celebrating with press and a small party on Saturday. Books are now available on amazon.com and fans can purchase books at the Alexis DeJoria/Team Kalitta merchandise trailer onsite at the AAA Texas Nationals and at the remainder of the season.
Alexis DeJoria, driver of the Patrón XO Café Incendio Toyota Camry Funny Car, also has a new program beginning this week. For another season, the Alexis DeJoria Racing team has worked to bring the Free Mammograms for the Fans program to the fall Vegas event. However, this season, the ADR team has expanded the program to include the Dallas event for the first time.
Patrón XO Café, Toyota and Kalitta Motorsports are supporters of this program which provides mammograms for fans regardless of insurance status free of charge.
The event in Dallas has always been special for DeJoria, who now resides in The Lone Star State. She made her first pro attempt in 2011 at the Texas Motorplex. Last season was DeJoria’s best race yet. She just missed the top spot in qualifying and earned a round win over Jeff Diehl.
DeJoria slipped to ninth in the standings after Reading, but is less than two rounds from seventh.
Fans can meet Team Kalitta drivers throughout the weekend. DeJoria, Kalitta and Todd will spend time and the Kalitta Motorsports merchandise hauler, while DeJoria and Worsham will sign for Toyota at their PitPass display.
INDIANAPOLIS (September 7, 2015) – Team Kalitta started the U.S. Nationals with only one driver with a clinched spot for the NHRA Countdown for the Championship. Doug Kalitta and J.R. Todd added two more in qualifying and Alexis DeJoria earned her spot on raceday making Team Kalitta a perfect 4-for-4 in Countdown for the Championship standings.
Del Worsham, driver of the DHL Toyota Camry Funny Car, who started the weekend as the only clinched Team Kalitta driver, had a great effort in qualifying. In the lone evening session, Worsham reset his career best elapsed time for the second consecutive weekend. The 3.978 second pass earned him the fourth starting position and another pairing with friend Chad Head.
The first round was a interesting run, but Worsham did a masterful driving job. He had a great reaction time at the tree, and then down track the DHL Toyota Camry began smoking the tires. Worsham kept it off the center line and moved on to round two. Tim Wilkerson was his next opponent. Worsham was again on the tree, earning the best reaction time of any Funny Car driver, and was able to sneak out a narrow round win before coming up just short against Jack Beckman in the semi-finals.
Worsham has now earned the same amount of round wins as he did for the entire season one year ago, and has the top seed of any Team Kalitta driver as he is in fourth.
“I really wanted to win the U.S. Nationals for DHL and Toyota,” said Worsham. “But we moved up as high as we could in the Countdown order and I am excited to have a legitimate shot at the trophy.”
Doug Kalitta, driver of the DEWALT Made in the USA Top Fuel dragster, started the weekend with a strong effort in the Traxxas Shootout making the final round. He defeated a tire-smoking Shawn Langdon in round one and eliminated the fan vote winner, Clay Millican, in round 2. The DEWALT team came up just short in the final round against Antron Brown, but earned $15,000 for their runner-up effort.
However, Saturday was a struggle for Kalitta. Two sub-par runs barely allowed the DEWALT team to sneak in the field on the bump spot. He drew no.1 qualified Larry Dixon in the first round. But Jim Oberhofer and the entire DEWALT team, who won NHRA’s Best Appearing Crew, put the part failures behind them and earned the round victory. A great light by Kalitta made it an easy win at the stripe, and he moved on to face Langdon for the second time this weekend. Langdon won the revenge match after Kalitta smoked the tires before half-track.
“Did not get the result we wanted, but now we can turn to the Countdown,” said Kalitta. “It was great to have so many people out from DEWALT this weekend.”
Kalitta will be the seven seed in this year’s Countdown to the Championship.
Alexis DeJoria, driver of the Patrón XO Café Incendio Toyota Camry Funny Car, came into the weekend as the defending event champion. Last season, she defeated John Force in the final round to win the 60th U.S. Nationals. This weekend, she had another battle in mind. With just a three round advantage over Courtney Force for the final Countdown to the Championship spot, DeJoria was focused on going rounds and earning that spot.
A great evening effort for Tommy DeLago and DeJoria yielded a 4.000 second run and a top half starting spot. In their third first round match-up in just the last five races, DeJoria drew Courtney Force. DeJoria won the first two races, and had lane choice in this ESPN Marquee Matchup.
DeJoria came to the line with a great reaction time effort and a solid 4.08 second run, but Force was able to just get around her. However, DeJoria earned the final spot when Force was defeated by Tommy Johnson, Jr. in the quarter-finals.
“Well, this weekend did not go as planned. We were hoping to double-up,” said DeJoria. “We were hoping to at least go a few rounds and clinch our spot in the Countdown. Luckily, we got that last spot. It was stressful day of racing, but it went in our favor. We made some good runs in qualifying, but on raceday it was not enough. However, we did make it into the Countdown. I am looking at these next races with fire in my eyes and I am going to be fighting to the end.”
J.R. Todd, driver of the Optima Batteries Top Fuel dragster, earned his way into his first Traxxas Shootout and drew Antron Brown in the first round. A close race did not fall Todd’s way, but the Optima Batteries team did come back to make a great run in the evening session to earn another great starting position. However, luck was not on his side. The 5th qualifying spot gave him yet another match-up with Antron Brown.
Another very common pairing this season for Todd, he chose the right lane on the track. A stellar .052 light was not enough as the Optima Batteries Top Fuel Dragster smoked the tires right before the finish line.
“The Optima Batteries team just struggled in the heat this weekend,” said Todd. “Thankful to clinch our Countdown spot, and we will look forward to a better effort in Indianapolis.”
Todd will be the 8th seed in the Countdown for the Championship.
INDIANAPOLIS (Sept. 6, 2015) – Kalitta Motorsports, the nitro-fueled, four-car NHRA drag racing team based in Ypsilanti, Mich., has completed qualifying for the U.S. Nationals at Indianapolis Raceway Park in Indianapolis. Results and quotes follow. The first qualifying session on Friday was cancelled due to weather.
J.R. Todd – Driver of the Optima Batteries Top Fuel Dragster:
- Q2: 4.462 sec., 188.83 mph
- Q3: 3.795 sec., 323.53 mph
- Q4: 5.743 sec., 118.11 mph
- Q5: 4.400 sec., 189.12 mph
No. 5 Qualifier
Note: On Saturday, J.R. Todd competed in his first Traxxas Shootout. He was defeated in the first round by Antron Brown, who was the eventual winner.
J.R. Todd clinched his spot in the Countdown for the Championship on Sunday.
Doug Kalitta – Driver of the DEWALT Made in the USA Top Fuel Dragster:
Q2: 8.139 sec., 93.14 mph
Q3: 6.588 sec., 86.46 mph
Q4: 4.002 sec., 266.42 mph
Q5: 3.995 sec., 290.63 mph
No. 16 Qualifier
Note: On Saturday, Doug Kalitta competed in the Traxxas Shootout. He advanced to the finals by defeating Shawn Langdon in the first round and Clay Millican in the semi-finals. He was defeated by Antron Brown in the final round.
Doug Kalitta also clinched his spot in the Countdown for the Championship on Sunday.
Del Worsham – Driver of the DHL Toyota Camry Funny Car:
Q2: 4.125 sec., 305.22 mph
Q3: 3.978 sec., 322.11 mph
Q4: 4.847 sec., 162.68 mph
Q5: 4.102 sec., 305.49 mph (Earned two bonus points for the second quickest run of the session.)
No. 4 Qualifier
Note: The third round qualifying pass for Del Worsham reset his career-best elapsed time at 3.978. This is the second consecutive weekend that Worsham has reset his career-best elapsed time.
Alexis DeJoria – Driver of the Patrón XO Café Incendio Toyota Camry Funny Car:
Q2: 4.998 sec., 155.63 mph
Q3: 4.000 sec., 314.97 mph
Q4: 4.125 sec., 308.50 mph
Q5: 4.324 sec., 221.34 mph
No. 6 Qualifier
First Round Competition:
5) J.R. Todd v. 12) Antron Brown
16) Doug Kalitta v. 1) Larry Dixon
4) Del Worsham v. 13) Chad Head
6) Alexis DeJoria v. 11) Courtney Force
Doug Kalitta, driver of the DEWALT Made in the USA Top Fuel Dragster: “Tough conditions out there. We got behind it and should have gotten bumped out, and we didn’t. That is probably a good sign for the DEWALT team tomorrow that we have that luck on our side.”
J.R. Todd, driver of the Optima Batteries Top Fuel Dragster: “We got a night run to get a good qualifying spot, but once again, we do not get a good draw. We struggled in the heat, so we have our work cut out for us tomorrow. I have faith in these Optima Batteries guys and we will try to turn on four win lights tomorrow.”
Alexis DeJoria, driver of the Patrón XO Café Incendio Toyota Camry Funny Car: “Well, there is no time like the present. We are going to get this figured out right away in the first round. Courtney and I, duking it out for that last spot in the countdown. Hot conditions, we have made it down the track almost every time. I feel pretty good about our chances, but you never know. This is NHRA drag racing, but I hope things are in our favor.”
Del Worsham, driver of the DHL Toyota Camry Funny Car: “The DHL team really stepped it up today, and I am confident in our hot weather set-up. Conditions should be similar tomorrow as they were today, so we should be good. Unfortunately drew Chad again, but that’s racing and we will go up and try to get around him.”