Kalitta Motorsports News
LAS VEGAS (March 24, 2015) – The SummitRacing.com NHRA Nationals marks a big anniversary for J.R. Todd, driver of the Red Line Oil Top Fuel Dragster, and Kalitta Motorsports. One year ago, Todd took a leap of faith and flew cross-country to drive for Team Kalitta. To celebrate that anniversary, Todd will take another leap of faith: a 108-story jump from the top of the Stratosphere.
Since joining Team Kalitta, Todd’s career has been rejuvenated. Despite not running full-time since 2008, Todd jumped into the Kalitta seat in 2014 and has earned more than 25 round wins and reset his career best numbers multiple times. Todd reached Victory Lane in Denver, and multiple other final round appearances including the series’ most recent event in Las Vegas last fall. Even though he missed the first two races of last season, Todd made the Mello Yello Countdown for the Championship in tenth place and moved all the way to the runner-up position by seasons’ end.
“After last weekend’s qualifying effort, we are definitely on the right track,” said Todd. “The SkyJump is a cool way to start the weekend and hopefully we finish it with the Wally in Victory Lane!”
To celebrate his time with Kalitta Motorsports, Todd will be making the SkyJump from the top of the Stratosphere Hotel Casino on the evening of April ninth. The SkyJump consists of a leap from 108-stories or nearly 1,000 feet at speeds over 40 mph. Although the seventeen seconds he will be in the air maybe longer than Todd normally experiences 1,000 feet, the exhilarating feeling and exceptional views of the Las Vegas Strip make this a perfect way to honor the moment.
"We are excited that J.R. Todd is celebrating his one year anniversary with Kalitta Motorsports by braving Stratosphere’s SkyJump,” said the Stratosphere’s Director of Marketing, Todd Ford. “This exhilarating 108-story plunge is the ultimate leap of faith for any thrill seeker… or NHRA driver."
CHARLOTTE, NC (March 29, 2015) – Del Worsham, driver of the DHL Toyota Camry Funny Car, advanced to his second final round through just four events in the 2015 NHRA Mello Yello Series season today in Charlotte.
Though the DHL team started ninth for Sunday, they were confident that they had a solid car for racing. Del Worsham faced Courtney Force, Chad Head and Dale Creasy in the first session and was an easy victor. His 4.04 second pass put him in the semi-finals, where he again was the quickest of his group with a 4.061 elapsed time.
Worsham drew Jack Beckman, Tommy Johnson Jr. and Chad Head in the finals. Although the Jon Oberhofer and Nicky Boninfante-led crew tuned up Worsham to a 4.01 second run, it was not enough. Beckman earned his first victory in several years with a sub-4.0 second pass.
With his second-place effort, Worsham assumes the Mello Yello Funny Car points lead for the first time with Kalitta Motorsports.
“This DHL Toyota Camry was consistent and fast today,” said Worsham. “Excited to run that well and take the points lead, but we are definitely looking for that first victory of the season. Hopefully we can get that accomplished in Las Vegas.”
Doug Kalitta, driver of the Mac Tools Top Fuel Dragster, drove his way to another top five starting position for the eliminations, and drew Spencer Massey, Steve Torrence and Ike Maier in round one. The Mac Tools Top Fuel Dragster had a quick fire before crossing the finish line, but Kalitta was able to hold it together to finish second in his quad and advance to round two. Round two saw a crazy three-wide pedal fest, and the Mac Tools team came out on the losing end.
“The last session put a little damper on our day,” said Kalitta. “However, the Mac Tools team continues to make gains, and we are happy with our progress. We look forward to continuing this success in Las Vegas and hopefully picking up a trophy.”
Kalitta leaves Charlotte in the top five in the point standings.
J.R. Todd, driver of the Red Line Oil/Kalitta Air Top Fuel dragster, earned Team Kalitta their first no. 1 qualifying position of the season with an outstanding 3.713 second run in the final qualifying session on Saturday. His group for round one included former champions Antron Brown and Shawn Langdon. With special guest Matt Crafton looking on, the Red Line Oil Top Fuel Dragster was unable to advance after the car smoked the tires early.
“With our test in Gainesville, we made some progress especially in qualifying,” said Todd. “Unfortunately, our race day did not go as plan. We are already looking forward to (Las) Vegas and running well there.”
After four races, Todd sits tenth in the NHRA Mello Yello Top Fuel Standings.
Alexis DeJoria, driver of the Patrón XO Café Incendio Toyota Camry Funny Car, struggled with the new track surface and earned the fifteenth starting position for Sunday’s unique race format. The struggles ensued on race day, with DeJoria making a 10.200 second pass, which was not good enough to advance.
DeJoria, who finishes this event in the tenth position in the standings, will return to The Strip in Las Vegas as the defending champion.
After four races, Team Kalitta nitro race cars have advanced to three final rounds and earned one no.1 qualifying position. The teams will take next weekend off for Easter and then return to the SummitRacing.com Nationals in Las Vegas on April 10-12.
Charlotte, NC, (March 28, 2015) – Kalitta Motorsports, the nitro-fueled, four-car NHRA drag racing team based in Ypsilanti, Mich., has completed qualifying for the NHRA 4-Wide Nationals. Results and quotes follow. Please note Friday’s qualifying sessions were cancelled due to weather.
J.R. Todd – Driver of the Red Line Oil/Kalitta Air Top Fuel Dragster:
Q1: 3.841 sec., 309.84 mph
Q2:3.713 sec., 309.63 mph (Earned three bonus points for the quickest run of the session.)
No. 1 Qualifier
This is J.R. Todd’s and Team Kalitta’s first number one qualifier of the season. The 3.713 second pass is J.R. Todd’s career best and is also the new track record. This is Todd’s seventh career number one qualifier and his second consecutive at the zMax Dragway.
Doug Kalitta – Driver of the Mac Tools Top Fuel Dragster:
Q1: 8.842 sec., 80.70 mph
Q2:3.736 sec., 325.06 mph
No. 5 Qualifier
Del Worsham – Driver of the DHL Toyota Camry Funny Car:
Q1: 4.101 sec., 305.63 mph
Q2:8.793 sec., 78.85 mph
No. 9 Qualifier
Alexis DeJoria – Driver of the Patrón XO Café Incendio Toyota Camry Funny Car:
Q1: 4.839 sec., 218.55 mph
Q2:11.764 sec., 81.25 mph
No. 15 Qualifier
First Round Competition:
1) J.R. Todd v. 8) Antron Brown, 9) Dave Connolly and 16) Shawn Langdon
5) Doug Kalitta v. 4) Spencer Massey, 12) Steve Torrence and 13) Ike Maier
9) Del Worsham v. 1) Courtney Force, 8) Chad Head and 16) Dale Creasy Jr.
15) Alexis DeJoria v. 2) John Force, 7) Robert Hight and 10) Tony Pedregon
J.R. Todd, driver, Red Line Oil/Kalitta Air Top Fuel Dragster: “I am really excited that the work of the Red Line Oil guys went for good. That pass gave up right before the finish line and we still ran a 3.71. It was on track for a 3.70 or maybe even a 3.69. Although we drew a tough quad, the performance of the Red Line Oi team has proven that we will be ready for tomorrow.”
Doug Kalitta, driver, Mac Tools Top Fuel Dragster: “I think the number five spot is a good place to be on Sunday. We had a solid pass in qualifying round two and the Mac Tools team is looking for more of the same come raceday.”
Del Worsham, driver, DHL Toyota Camry Funny Car: “We started with a solid pass and just went for it in second round, and it just didn't stick. The DHL Toyota Camry is ready to tackle this unique format tomorrow.”
CHARLOTTE, NC. (March 24, 2015) – After a great post-race test in Gainesville, Kalitta Motorsports looks to rebound at a race that they put three cars in the finals last season: the NHRA 4-Wide Nationals.
The team also welcomes two-time and defending NASCAR Camping World Truck Series champion Matt Crafton to the NHRA family on Sunday.
Doug Kalitta, driver of the Mac Tools Top Fuel dragster, returns to the zMax Dragway in the top five of the standings. Last season, he was a final round qualifier, and in 2010, he was the runner-up, but is looking for his first win at the unique race.
J.R. Todd, driver of the Red Line Oil/Kalitta Air Top Fuel dragster, is attending his second 4-Wide Nationals with the Kalitta Motorsports team. The 2014 event saw Todd take the early no. 1 lead and earn his first final round appearance with the team, as he finished in the third position. That finish returned him to the top ten in the point standings for the first time since 2008.
“We are very happy with the results that we saw during our Monday test in Gainesville,” said Todd. “With the gains the Red Line Oil/Kalitta Air team made there, we are excited to return to the Charlotte track and build on our 2014 performance.”
Todd will help welcome Crafton to the zMax Dragway. On Sunday, they will participate in the SealMaster Track Walk.
Del Worsham, driver of the DHL Toyota Camry Funny Car, also had a great test on Monday and looks to regain the consistency the team saw in the NHRA Mello Yello series’ first two events. Worsham, the winner of the 4-Wide Nationals during his Top Fuel Championship season in 2011, looks to become the first driver to win the race in the sport’s top two classes.
“It is always exciting to go back to the 4-Wides,” said Worsham. “When you face three cars versus one, there is always more excitement in the shut down area. After our test, the DHL Toyota Camry team looks to bounce back this weekend.”
Alexis DeJoria, driver of the Patrón XO Café Incendio Toyota Camry Funny Car, was the third member of the Kalitta Motorsports team to make the final round in 2014. Coming off of a great test and first round victory over defending Funny Car Champion Matt Hagan in Gainesville, DeJoria looks to pick up her first Wally of the new Mello Yello NHRA Series season.
The 4-Wide Nationals are the first race of the NHRA Mello Yello Series season that will be showcased live on ESPN. Sunday’s telecast starts at 2 PM/ET.