Kalitta Motorsports News
EPPING, NH - (June 10, 2015) - Doug Kalitta, driver of the Mac Tools Top Fuel Dragster, plans on adding an Epping trophy to his mantle this weekend after measurable success during the first two NHRA events at New England Dragway.
The inaugural number one qualifier in the Top Fuel class, Kalitta has an average starting position of 1.5 at New England Dragway, while being the only top fuel driver to earn semi-final finishes or better in both races. However, with all that success, Kalitta has yet to claim his own New England Nationals trophy.
“We have done well in Epping,” said Kalitta, “but just not well enough. We plan on making the third time the charm and driving this Mac Tools dragster into the winner’s circle.”
Last weekend in Englishtown, Jim Oberhofer, crew chief, tuned Kalitta to six consistent passes straight down the track. In addition, Kalitta was on point when it comes to reaction time defeating Steve Torrence on a hole-shot in the first round.
Top Fuel is not the only class that Kalitta Motorsports has experienced success. Alexis DeJoria, driver of the Patrón XO Café Incendio Toyota Camry Funny Car, earned her first Epping final round appearance in just her second start at New England Dragway last season.
Starting among the top five qualifiers, DeJoria defeated Tommy Johnson Jr. and former world champions Tony Pedregon and John Force, before coming up just short against Ron Capps.
DeJoria comes into Epping on a hot streak. She earned her first final round appearance last weekend in Englishtown, and moved to eighth in the point standings.
DeJoria’s teammate, Del Worsham, driver of the DHL Toyota Camry Funny Car, might be her biggest competition on Sunday.
Worsham continues to have a very consistent race car, and is a threat to win every weekend. He enters Epping coming off of back-to-back semi-final finishes. In Englishtown, he was the best car on Saturday. Worsham earned three bonus points in the final session by laying down a 4.03 second pass in the New Jersey heat.
Worsham has earned round wins in both of his starts in Epping, and continues to rank as the best nitro driver in the point standings without a win. With his Englishtown result, Worsham moved to third overall.
“I really want to get this DHL Camry team a win,” said Worsham. “We are working really hard, and have been so close, so many times this season, it is bound to happen soon.”
The final member of the Team Kalitta quartet, J.R. Todd, driver of the Kalitta Air Top Fuel dragster, is one of ten drivers to have competed in every Epping event.
Last season, in his first start for Kalitta Motorsports, Todd earned a top five starting position and a first round victory over Bob Vandergriff.
Todd is coming off a great qualifying effort in Englishtown. The Kalitta Air team earned eight bonus points during qualifying, which was best among nitro drivers. In the first round of the Toyota Summernationals, Todd was pulling away from Terry McMillen before a small puff of smoke right before the finish line allowed McMillen to sneak by.
“Epping is a good track surface, and usually produces fast times,” said Todd. “We need to turn our qualifying results into race day results, and Epping is a great place to start.”
Todd, who sits just two rounds from 100 for his career, is in ninth place in the point standings.
Fans can meet Kalitta Motorsports drivers throughout the weekend at the Team Kalitta merchandise trailer.
ENGLISHTOWN, NJ (June 7, 2015) – Alexis DeJoria, driver of the Patrón XO Café Incendio Toyota Camry Funny Car, advanced to her first final round of the season earlier today at Old Bridge Raceway Park during the Toyota NHRA Summernationals.
DeJoria started qualifying with a great pass in the warmth of Englishtown, NJ. Tommy DeLago tuned DeJoria down the track in just 4.046 seconds, which placed her fourth after the first session. That run allowed the Patrón XO Café Incendio team to work on the raceday package throughout the final three sessions. DeJoria ended up dropping to tenth, and drew Topeka winner Jack Beckman in round one.
DeJoria had the set-up for race conditions. She was clean right down the track and easily defeated a tire-smoking Beckman. Next up was the Top Fuel driver Dom Lagana, who was making his Funny Car debut. Lagana also had nothing for the DeLago run, as DeJoria screamed down the groove at 4.168 seconds to set-up the all-Team Kalitta funny car semi-final with her teammate Del Worsham. DeJoria was able to earn her first final round appearance and sixth of her career by barely defeating Worsham at the stripe. A great race in the final saw DeJoria take the lead at the 330 mark before coming up just short to Matt Hagan.
It was a successful weekend for DeJoria in the point standings as she was able to move from tenth to eighth overall.
Del Worsham, driver of the DHL Toyota Camry Funny Car, has been the most consistent machine throughout the nitro season, and those great runs continued throughout qualifying. Four straight passes Jon Oberhofer and Nicky Boninfante guided the DHL Toyota Camry down the track with four solid passes, including another three second run in the second round of qualifying, which earned him another bonus point and the third qualifying position. Although that was his best run, perhaps the most impressive run was in the final qualifying round as the DHL team went 4.036, which was the top Funny Car run of the day.
Worsham’s first round competition was Jeff Diehl. Diehl who is searching for his first career round win was eager at the tree and turned the red light on. That round win advanced Worsham to face former champion and fellow Toyota Racing driver Tony Pedregon. Pedregon smoked the tires at the hit, and the DHL group continued their outstanding performance in the heat with another 4.11 pass.
The semi-final round was an intramural battle against teammate Alexis DeJoria. Worsham got her at the tree, but DeJoria was just able to track him down at the stripe to win by a little over one thousandth.
“This is a race the DHL Toyota Camry team really wanted,” said Worsham. “If you have to lose, I guess to your teammate is the best way, but to run this well and come up short again is disappointing.”
Worsham moved back to the top three in the point standings and continues to be the highest ranking nitro driver without a victory this season.
Doug Kalitta, driver of the Mac Tools Top Fuel dragster, started from an unfamiliar place on Sunday; the bottom half of the field. However, the Mac Tools machine was consistent throughout qualifying, never smoking the tires or hurting parts. Four clean passes set up well for Sunday’s action where his first opponent would be Texan Steve Torrence.
Kalitta was not fazed by the upper-half qualifier Torrence. He recorded the best reaction time of any nitro driver in round one (an .048) and beat Torrence easily on a holeshot. Antron Brown, the points leader, was his next opponent. Kalitta was ready again. He best his previous reaction time and led the class again with a .038 and just missed his second holeshot win as Brown defeated him by .004 seconds.
“It was a special weekend for Kalitta Motorsports and we really wanted to win with the Mac Tools team,” said Kalitta. “This one means a lot, and we were close, but just not able to pick-up the trophy.”
Kalitta retained the fifth place in the points.
J.R. Todd, driver of the Kalitta Air Top Fuel dragster, had the best machine throughout qualifying. He earned a nitro-best eight bonus points and was among the best two runs in the Top Fuel class three times out of four passes. That hard work slotted the Kalitta Air/Red Line Oil team in the second position with a first round race against Atlanta semi-finalist Terry McMillen.
Todd and McMillen recorded the same reaction time, and Todd was pulling away till a small bit of tire smoke allowed McMillen to barely drive by.
“Another great Friday and Saturday, but it is extremely disappointing that we were unable to continue that success into raceday,” said Todd. “We lost yet another close race, but maybe the Kalitta Air team’s luck will turn next weekend in Epping.”
Todd sits ninth in the point standings with the Toyota Summernationals results.
After eight races, Team Kalitta nitro race cars have won one event, advanced to five final rounds and earned two no.1 qualifying positions. The NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series will make the short drive to Epping, New Hampshire for the New England Nationals next weekend
ENGLISHTOWN, NJ - (June 5, 2015) - Kalitta Motorsports, the nitro-fueled, four-car NHRA drag racing team based in Ypsilanti, Mich., has completed qualifying for the Toyota NHRA Summernationals at Old Bridge Township Raceway in Englishtown, NJ.
Results and quotes follow.
J.R. Todd – Driver of the Kalitta Air Top Fuel Dragster:
- Q1: 3.734 sec., 321.27 mph (Three bonus points for the quickest run of the session.)
- Q2: 3.727 sec., 319.52 mph (Two bonus points for the second quickest run of the session.)
- Q3: 5.396 sec., 126.49 mph
- Q4: 3.755 sec., 324.05 mph (Three bonus points for the quickest run of the session.)
No. 2 Qualifier
Doug Kalitta – Driver of the Mac Tools Top Fuel Dragster:
- Q1: 3.816 sec., 320.89 mph
- Q2: 3.766 sec., 322.58 mph
- Q3: 3.776 sec., 319.90 mph
- Q4: 3.797 sec., 322.73 mph
No. 9 Qualifier
Del Worsham – Driver of the DHL Toyota Camry Funny Car:
- Q1: 4.079 sec., 286.50 mph
- Q2: 3.998 sec., 314.53 mph (One bonus point for the third quickest run of the session.)
- Q3: 4.088 sec., 303.57 mph
- Q4: 4.036 sec., 310.20 mph (Three bonus points for the quickest run of the session.)
No. 3 Qualifier
Alexis DeJoria – Driver of the Patrón XO Café Incendio Toyota Camry Funny Car:
- Q1: 4.046 sec., 302.75 mph
- Q2: 9.316 sec., 79.36 mph
- Q3: 10.094 sec., 83.07 mph
- Q4: 4.104 sec., 301.87 mph
No. 10 Qualifier
First Round Competition:
2) J.R. Todd v. 15) Terry McMillen
9) Doug Kalitta v. 8) Steve Torrence
3) Del Worsham v. 14) Jeff Diehl
10) Alexis DeJoria v. 7) Jack Beckman
Doug Kalitta, driver of the Mac Tools Top Fuel Dragster: “We have Steve Torrence tomorrow, looks like it will be first draw. We are really looking forward to kicking everyones’ butt tomorrow with this Mac Tools dragster.”
J.R. Todd, driver of the Kalitta Air Top Fuel Dragster: “We made three out of four runs good this weekend. We were struggling to get it to run on eight cylinders and still are struggling with that a little bit. But that run in Q4 was one of the best runs of the weekend because of the heat. Tomorrow, it should be good in the first round, but after that we are going to have to deal with the sun on the track. If we can repeat what we did in qualifying, this Kalitta Air, Red Line Oil, SealMaster team should be looking good for tomorrow.”
Del Worsham, driver of the DHL Toyota Camry Funny Car: “Outstanding qualifying effort by the DHL Toyota Camry today. We are in Englishtown, we have run well here and want to win here for everything it means for the Kalitta family. It is a very special race for everyone here and based on qualifying we should be good."
ESPN TV Schedule:
- 06/06 Qualifications - 11:00 p.m. - 1:00 a.m. EST (ESPN2)
- 06/07 Eliminations - 11:00 p.m. - 2:00 a.m. EST (ESPN2)
Times and dates subject to change.
Sunday’s eliminations begin at 11:00 a.m. EST.
Times and dates subject to change.
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/TeamKalitta
- Twitter: www.twitter.com/TeamKalitta
- YouTube: www.youtube.com/user/TeamKalitta
- Instagram: www.instagram.com/TeamKalitta
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.
ENGLISHTOWN, NJ - (June 3, 2015) - Kalitta Motorsports drivers look to seal the victory after placing machines in the finals of both nitro classes last season for the Toyota Summernationals at old Bridge Township Raceway.
Doug Kalitta, driver of the Mac Tools Top Fuel Dragster, earned the no.1 qualifying spot last season after running a 3.748 second run. He blew past Clay Millican, Tony Schumacher and Morgan Lucas, before coming up just short in the final to Richie Crampton.
A four-time Englishtown finalist, Kalitta picked a victory in 2000. While starting from the no. 1 spot, he also picked up the Wally in 2003.
Two weeks ago, Kalitta continued his run of success in Topeka. The Mac Tools team braved off-and-on rain conditions throughout the day to earn a semi-final finish and solidify their top five points placement.
“We were close last season,” said Kalitta, “but we really want to pick up the win. Not only for my great sponsor, Mac Tools, but because of all the Kalitta Motorsports history at the track.”
Kalitta is not the only Team Kalitta driver looking to take just one more step into the Englishtown winner’s circle. Del Worsham, driver of the DHL Toyota Camry Funny Car, qualified in the second position with a track record speed of 321.04 mph. On Sunday, Worsham defeated Tim Wilkerson and two former NHRA champions, Tony Pedregon and Robert Hight, before coming up just short in the finals to fellow Toyota Racing driver Cruz Pedregon.
Worsham is coming off the Topeka race where he reset his career best elapsed time twice. In the first round, Worsham faced off against his teammate, Alexis DeJoria. His pass of 3.988 rewrote the record books momentarily, before Jon Oberhofer and Nicky Boninfante tuned Worsham to a even quicker 3.984. He retained his top four points placement; something that he has held after every race this season.
A victory at Englishtown would be his first at this track with Kalitta Motorsports, but he has a long history of success at Old Bridge Township Raceway. His second career victory in 1991 occurred there, along with another win in 2005. He is a six-time finalist; in addition to last season, Worsham advanced to the finals in 1992 and 2010, along with his 2011 Top Fuel championship season.
Fans can meet Del Worsham, along with his funny car teammate Alexis DeJoria, at the Toyota Pit Pass display on Friday and Saturday.
J.R. Todd, driver of the Kalitta Air Top Fuel dragster, looks to earn his 100th career round win this weekend at Old Bridge Township Raceway.
Last season, in his first start in Englishtown since 2008, Todd qualified in the top ten and earned a first round victory over Leah Pritchett.
Todd is coming off his best four-race run of the young season, earning yet another no. 1 qualifying position, his fifth in the past fourteen events, which leads the class, and averaged a round win in every event. He has moved from tenth to eighth in the point standings, which is his season high.
“If the conditions are right, we can make some great runs this weekend,” said Todd. “We look to take this Kalitta Air ride to late rounds and keep gaining more points.”
Alexis DeJoria, driver of the Patrón XO Café Incendio Toyota Camry Funny Car, is looking to start this first race of three straight with a rebound performance after two consecutive first round losses.
Last season, DeJoria qualified among the top ten drivers at Old Bridge Raceway Park, and earned a round win over Jeff Arend.
At the one-third point of the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing season, she sits tied for ninth in the point standings with former champion Cruz Pedregon.