Kalitta Motorsports News
INDIANAPOLIS (Sept. 1, 2015) – Through only four seasons as a NHRA professional driver, Alexis DeJoria, driver of the Patrón XO Café Incendio Toyota Camry Funny Car, has had an outstanding start to her career but one of the biggest moments was last season’s running of the U.S. Nationals at Indianapolis Raceway Park.
She qualified 7th for the 60th running of the legendary event. Rain effected the timing of the race, but not Tommy DeLago’s control of the set-up. DeJoria defeated Cruz Pedregon, Blake Alexander and Courtney Force running better that 4.1-seconds each time. However, both driver and crew chief saved their best effort for last. Running 16-time Funny Car Champion John Force in the final, DeJoria turned on a .037 light to earn the advantage at the tree and then ran a 4.038 second pass, her best of the day, to achieve her third career victory.
“This is a very big week,” said DeJoria. “Not only because we are the defending event champion, but because everything else that this weekend entails. I have a great team and we are going to go out there and give it our best shot.”
DeJoria returns to Indianapolis Raceway Park in the tenth position in the points standings with a 73-point advantage over Courtney Force. She will guarantee her second consecutive top ten points finish by returning to the final round.
Del Worsham, driver of the DHL Toyota Camry Funny Car, has his own history in Indianapolis.
In a career that runs multiple decades, one of the best weekends was the 2005 U.S. Nationals weekend. Worsham earned the victory in the speciality non-points event, Skoal Showdown, and then earned his first U.S. Nationals victory to earn the double-up bonus. He followed that with a final round appearance during his Top Fuel championship season in 2011.
Worsham comes into Indianapolis as the only Kalitta Motorsports driver to hold a clinched spot in the Countdown for the Championship. Worsham currently sits fifth in the standings.
“I am excited to get back to Indianapolis,” said Worsham. “It is great to go into the race knowing we can just concentrate on winning the event and not about trying to secure our spot in the championship hunt.”
Last season, Worsham qualified among the top five drivers and earned a round win.
Doug Kalitta, driver of DEWALT Made in the USA with global materials Top Fuel Dragster, returns to the U.S. Nationals striving for his first win. Kalitta started from the top spot on two occasions in 2000 and 2004. The 2004 no.1 lead to Kalitta’s first Indianapolis final round, a record he repeated in 2008, but Kalitta has yet to be able to add a U.S. Nationals Wally to his 37 career wins.
Earlier this season, Kalitta checked off another event, the Summit Racing Equipment Nationals in nearby Norwalk, Ohio, off the list for the first time after several attempts and plans on following that blueprint coming into this historic weekend.
“Indianapolis is a historic event that we have been close at many times,” said Kalitta. “I am looking forward to racing this weekend and hopefully driving this very cool DEWALT scheme to the victory.”
Prior to the special patriotic DEWALT Made in the USA with global materials Top Fuel dragster making its on track debut, Kalitta and DEWALT will unveil a special motorcycle in the Kalitta Motorsports hospitality area at 4pmEST. This motorcycle will be auctioned off at the Barrett Jackson Auction to benefit the Wounded Warriors Project. Media is welcome to attend this unveiling.
Kalitta will also participate in the Traxxas Shootout this weekend. He is one of just three drivers to earn his way into the field in all four seasons. Last season, Kalitta defeated Brittany Force in the first round of the race for $100,000.
Kalitta is also looking to lock his 18th consecutive top ten points finish, which is best among the Top Fuel class. He will clinch that spot by qualifying for the U.S. Nationals.
J.R. Todd, driver of the Optima Batteries Top Fuel Dragster, can also clinch his second consecutive top ten points finish early on in the U.S. Nationals. Todd clinches with a first round victory.
The 2006 AAA Road to the Future winner will also experience the Traxxas Shootout for the first time in his career, and his first non-points bonus style event since the 2007 Technicoat Shootout in Las Vegas. NHRA named Todd to the final berth late Monday due to his victory two races ago in Seattle.
“Indy is our biggest race of the year and draws in tons of fans including a lot of my family and friends since this is my home race,” said Todd. “There is a lot on the line this weekend with points and a half and the $100,000 to win Traxxas Shootout. I think my Optima Batteries guys and Connie Kalitta are up to the challenge.”
Todd is competing in his fourth consecutive U.S. Nationals; a run that includes a holeshot win over Steve Torrence.
Long-time fans will also recognize the return of Optima Batteries scheme on Todd’s machine this weekend. Optima Batteries will be the primary sponsor for Todd in three of the last seven events on the 2015 NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series season.
Fans can meet Team Kalitta drivers throughout the weekend. Our drivers will be signing autographs at the Toyota, SealMaster and Traxxas displays.
GLENDORA, Calif. – NHRA officials announced today that Seattle winner J.R. Todd has been inserted into the Traxxas Nitro Shootout Top Fuel field in place of Spencer Massey, who did not enter the Chevrolet Performance U.S. Nationals prior to today’s deadline.
Todd is placed into the field by virtue of his recent victory at the NHRA Northwest Nationals at Pacific Raceways. Positions 1-7 in the Traxxas Nitro Shootout are earned based on event victories as the primary method, followed by points position as the secondary option.
As a result, Todd is no longer eligible for the ongoing fan vote for position No. 8.
“I am excited that the Optima Batteries team is now locked in to the Traxxas Shootout,” Todd said. “I must also say thank you to my fans and friends who have posted on social media and sent so many votes in on my behalf. My team is honored to participate.”
The updated ladder for the Traxxas Nitro Shootout for Top Fuel is as follows:
TRAXXAS NITRO SHOOTOUT (TOP FUEL)
1. Tony Schumacher vs. No. 8 fan vote/lottery
2. Antron Brown vs. No. 7 J.R. Todd
3. Richie Crampton vs. No. 6 Steve Torrence
4. Doug Kalitta vs. No. 5 Shawn Langdon
The Traxxas Nitro Shootout for Top Fuel will be conducted Saturday, Sept. 5 at Lucas Oil Raceway at Indianapolis, with rounds at 4, 5:25, and 7:45 p.m. The Traxxas Nitro Shootout, which also features a separate $100,000-to-win all-star race for eight Funny Car competitors on Sunday, Sept. 6, will be featured in ESPN and ESPN2's race coverage of the Chevrolet Performance U.S. Nationals.
Tickets are available for the Chevrolet Performance U.S. Nationals by calling (800) 884-NHRA (6472), or online at www.NHRA.com/tickets.
YPSILANTI, Mich. (August 27, 2015) - Kalitta Motorsports, in partnership with DEWALT and Mac Tools, are pleased to announce the extension of the DEWALT Made in the USA with global materials initiative to the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series. Championship contender Doug Kalitta will run the DEWALT Made in the USA with global materials scheme during the biggest event on the NHRA schedule: the U.S. Nationals at Indianapolis Raceway Park.
“I am honored to fly the colors of DEWALT Made in the USA with global materials during NHRA’s biggest weekend,” said Kalitta. “Both DEWALT and Mac Tools do a lot to employ American workers, and it is awesome to be able to highlight this program, especially on Labor Day weekend.”
With the expansion of the nearby Greenfield, Ind. facility, DEWALT now has seven manufacturing facilities across the United States. In 2014, DEWALT made approximately 62 million units of individual products in the United States with global materials. Approximately 500 new jobs have been created to make these products. DEWALT also has a strong connection with the U.S. military; they currently employ over 1,000 former service members.
On Wednesday, September 2nd, the Mac Tools Top Fuel dragster will transform into the DEWALT Made in the USA with Global Materials Top Fuel dragster on the Greenfield, Ind., shop floor starting at 3 pm EST as it’s wrapped with its vinyl design right in the heart of the facility.
The celebration will continue Friday, September 4th, at 4 pm EST, as DEWALT will spotlight its partnership with Wounded Warrior Project® (WWP). With guests of the organization looking on, DEWALT executives will unveil a new Harley-Davidson motorcycle that will be auctioned off later this year at the Barrett-Jackson auction. Proceeds of the auction will be donated to support WWP. Media is again welcome and encouraged to attend the unveiling trackside at Indianapolis Raceway Park within the Mac Tools/Kalitta Hospitality.
Kalitta, who currently holds a top five position in the point standings, will take the DEWALT Made in the USA with Global Materials Top Fuel dragster to the track for the first time on Friday, September 4th, at 7pm EST for the first of five qualifying sessions. Kalitta and his team will also be a part of the Traxxas Shootout which runs on Saturday, September 5th. Final eliminations for the U.S. Nationals begin on Monday, September 7th, at 11:00 am EST.
About Wounded Warrior Project:
The mission of Wounded Warrior Project® (WWP) is to honor and empower Wounded Warriors. WWP’s purpose is to raise awareness and to enlist the public’s aid for the needs of injured service members, to help injured servicemen and women aid and assist each other, and to provide unique, direct programs and services to meet their needs. WWP is a national, nonpartisan organization headquartered in Jacksonville, Florida. To get involved and learn more, visit woundedwarriorproject.org.
DEWALT is a leading manufacturer of industrial corded and cordless power tools, power tool accessories, and hand tools in categories that include Woodworking, Drilling & Fastening, Concrete & Metal Power Tools, as well as Cutting, Abrasive, and IMPACT READY® Impact Driver Power Tool Accessories. Hand Tool categories include Measuring & Layout, Knives & Blades, Mechanics Tools, and Storage Solutions.
With seven manufacturing locations in the USA, DEWALT remains committed to domestic manufacturing and produced approximately 62 million individual units of Power Tools, Hand Tools, and Accessories in the United States with global materials in 2014 alone.
DEWALT tools can be found nationally and internationally, wherever tools are sold. With more than 1,000 factory-owned and authorized locations, DEWALT has one of the most extensive service and repair networks in North America. For more information, visit www.dewalt.com or follow DEWALT on Facebook and Twitter.
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 Optima Batteries Top Fuel dragster while Connie’s nephew, Doug Kalitta, pilots the Mac Tools Top Fuel dragster. Connie serves as the 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 Optima Batteries Top Fuel dragster.
Associate sponsors on Kalitta Motorsports’ race cars include Justice Brothers, Kalitta Air, Optima Batteries, Patrón XO Café Incendio, Phoenix Fuel Converter, Red Line Oil, SealMaster, Summit Racing Equipment, Technicoat Companies, TMS Titanium, Toyota and Ziebart.
BRAINERD, Minn. (August 23, 2015) – Doug Kalitta, driver of the Mac Tools Top Fuel dragster, advanced to the quarterfinals earlier today at the NHRA Nationals in Brainerd, Minn.
Kalitta had a rough Friday qualifying effort, and sat outside of the top twelve heading into Saturday. However, Kalitta stepped up in a big way in what ended up as the final qualifying session. With impending weather, Jim Oberhofer was not shy with the tune-up. He sent Kalitta down the track with a 3.740 second run at nearly 320mph. That moved Kalitta all the way inside the top five and with a final ranking of third heading into Sunday. Kalitta’s first opponent would be Wayne Newby, who was making his first career start for Rapisarda Autosport.
Kalitta beat Newby off of the tree and sent his Mac Tools machine straight down the track, bettering his qualifying time with a 3.734 second pass to gain lane choice over Brittany Force. Kalitta had a stellar light and was ahead early against Force, but the Mac Tools suffered problems down the track to drop the round to her.
“Good to move on out of the first round, but the Mac Tools team was looking for more,” said Kalitta. “We will go into the test for Indy and look to solve these issues we have been having with the Mac Tools car.”
Kalitta sits 192 points ahead of 11th place Millican and just needs to qualify for the U.S. Nationals to earn his latest top ten finish.
J.R. Todd, driver of the Red Line Oil Top Fuel dragster, added another bonus point to his tally in the first round. His 3.780 second pass was third best in the first session. The Red Line Oil team came close, but could not better that time in qualifying which eventually got pushed back to 10th. Todd’s first round pairing was former champion Antron Brown.
The last pair in a weather-plagued first round Top Fuel session Todd ended up on the wrong side of pair for the record books. Todd had a solid light and ran a career-best 3.703 second pass at 330.88 mph. Those times both rank among the top ten ever in NHRA history. However, Brown became the first driver to run in the 3.6 second bracket to defeat Todd. Todd’s run would have defeated any of the other qualified drivers in Brainerd.
“A great run for the Red Line Oil guys, but we just drew the wrong guy in the first round,” said Todd. “We have a solid set-up now, and I am looking forward to running strong in Indy.”
Todd retained his top ten position. Todd will earn his second consecutive top ten points finish with a first round victory in Indianapolis.
Del Worsham, driver of the DHL Toyota Camry Funny Car, clinched his spot in the Countdown to the Championship. He has qualified for the Countdown in all three seasons as the driver of the DHL Toyota Camry.
Worsham was a part of history in multiple ways. His first round matchup with Matt Hagan was the first in Funny Car history that featured two drivers that ran under 4 seconds in qualifying. He reset his career best elapsed time and mph in qualifying when he ran a 3.981 seconds at 323.97 mph.
Worsham was the final pair in the Funny Car and the DHL team fell to early tire smoke, while Hagan ran the quickest elapsed time in history of NHRA.
“After such a great run in Seattle, the DHL Toyota Camry team was looking for more this weekend,” said Worsham. “We will move to the Indy test and try to continue to learn and get better for the Countdown.”
Worsham retained his fifth position in the point standings.
Alexis DeJoria, driver of the Patrón XO Café Incendio Toyota Camry Funny Car, was stout in qualifying. She reset both of her career records in the final qualifying opportunity on Saturday. Tommy DeLago tuned DeJoria to a 3.946 second pass at 321.88 to make her the fourth quickest driver and quickest woman in NHRA history.
DeJoria’s first opponent was Brian Stewart. Stewart, a local driver that campaigns a part-time NHRA schedule, was able to get around DeJoria after her Toyota Camry smoked the tires almost instantly. She drove hard trying to get back around a pedal-smoking Stewart, but the Toyota Camry never did fully get going again.
“We started off the weekend pretty good with our 3.946, which is my personal record and also in the big record books, which is good,” said DeJoria. “Unfortunately the round win that we really needed was first round and it was a wild ride. There was no glue down there. I was trying to keep it in the groove and pedal it. We smoked them at the hit, so it was difficult to rebound from something like that. Courtney went out and did it two cars in front of me, and we went out and got in trouble too. That thing just would not stay straight, and I ended up tagging the wall a little bit and that was the end of our day. Good thing is we are going to stay in the tenth position heading to Indy.”
DeJoria holds 75 points over Courtney Force for the final spot in the Countdown for the Championship heading into the U.S. Nationals, a race she won last season.
After 17 races, Team Kalitta nitro race cars have won three events, advanced to eight final rounds and earned three no.1 qualifying positions. Kalitta Motorsports will make the drive back to Ypsilanti, Mich., prior to heading to Indianapolis to participate in the U.S. Nationals Open Test on Thursday.
Doug Kalitta – Driver of the Mac Tools Top Fuel Dragster:
No. 3 Qualifier (3.740 sec., 319.75 mph)
E1: Kalitta defeated Newby - 3.734 sec., 320.36 mph to 5.323 sec., 137.54 mph
E2: Kalitta defeated by B. Force - 3.917 sec., 281.42 mph to 3.757 sec., 318.17 mph
J.R. Todd – Driver of the Red Line Oil Top Fuel Dragster:
No. 10 Qualifier (3.780 sec., 325.22 mph)
E1: Todd defeated by Brown - 3.703 sec., 330.88 mph to 3.680 sec., 331.12 mph
Del Worsham – Driver of the DHL Toyota Camry Funny Car:
No. 8 Qualifier (3.981 sec., 323.97 mph)
E1: Worsham defeated by Hagan - 5.663 sec., 142.69 mph to 3.879 sec., 329.58 mph
Alexis DeJoria – Driver of the Patrón XO Café Incendio Toyota Camry Funny Car:
No. 3 Qualifier (3.946 sec., 321.88 mph)
E1: DeJoria defeated by Stewart - 8.710 sec., 94.97 mph to 6.487 sec., 168.14 mph