BRAINERD, Minn., (Aug. 14, 2014) – Kalitta Motorsports, the nitro-fueled, four-car NHRA drag racing team based in Ypsilanti, Mich., is ready and eager to race this weekend, Aug. 15-17, in the “Land of 10,000 Lakes” in the 33rd annual NHRA Nationals at Brainerd Int’l Raceway in scenic Brainerd, Minn.
Doug Kalitta, driver of the Mac Tools Top Fuel dragster, is especially anxious to get back to racing this weekend after claiming victory at the previous event in the 2014 Mello Yello Drag Racing Series in Seattle two weeks ago.
Kalitta and the Mac Tools Top Fuel team clinched a berth in the 2014 NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series “Playoffs”, the Countdown to the Championship in Denver last month. The Countdown to the Championship consists of the final six events of the season and begins in Charlotte, Sept. 12-14. Only the top ten in Mello Yello championship points at the conclusion of the event in Indianapolis, Aug. 27 - Sept. 1, are eligible to compete in the Countdown to the Championship and to have a chance to be crowned a 2014 Mello Yello World Champion.
Team Kalitta nitro race cars now have five event wins and have appeared in 16 championship rounds so far in the 24-event 2014 NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series schedule of events this year.
Doug Kalitta – Driver of the Mac Tools Top Fuel Dragster:
HOMETOWN: Ann Arbor, Mich.
CREW CHIEF: Jim Oberhofer
CAREER WINS: 35
CAREER FINAL ROUNDS: 76
CAREER BEST E.T.: 3.713 seconds
CAREER BEST SPEED: 331.45 mph
- Kalitta won the previous event in Seattle, which tied him with NHRA drag racing legend Don Garlits for fifth on the all-time NHRA Top Fuel wins list
- Kalitta won the event in Brainerd in 2005 and 2003
- Kalitta was the runner-up finisher in Brainerd in 2000
- Kalitta was the No. 1 qualifier in Brainerd in 2010, 2004 and 2002
- Kalitta was the No. 11 qualifier in Brainerd last year (quarterfinals)
- Kalitta won the 500th Top Fuel elimination round of his career in Epping in June, a feat accomplished by only 16 professional drivers in NHRA history
- Kalitta has garnered two event wins so far this season (Seattle, Gainesville)
- Kalitta has raced to six runner-up finishes so far this season (Pomona, Las Vegas, Atlanta, Englishtown, Bristol, and Epping)
- Kalitta was the No. 1 qualifier for Top Fuel eliminations in Pomona, Phoenix, Atlanta, Englishtown and Chicago
J.R. Todd – Driver of the Optima Batteries/Advance Auto Parts Top Fuel Dragster:
HOMETOWN: Lawrenceburg, Ind.
CREW CHIEF: Connie Kalitta
CAREER WINS: 7
CAREER FINAL ROUNDS: 10
CAREER BEST E.T.: 3.747 seconds
CAREER BEST SPEED: 325.30 mph
- Todd won the event in Denver last month, his first win of 2014 and his first with Kalitta Motorsports; First win since 2008 in Dallas
- The Optima Batteries/Advance Auto Parts team qualified No. 5 in Brainerd last year (quarterfinals)
- Todd did not compete in Brainerd last year
- Todd has raced to three semi-final finishes so far this season (Charlotte, Topeka, and Chicago)
- Todd set a career-best elapsed time mark in June in Topeka (3.747 sec.)
- Todd joined Team Kalitta in March as the full-time driver of the Optima Batteries/Advance Auto Parts Top Fueler
Alexis DeJoria – Driver of the Patrón XO Café Toyota Camry Funny Car:
HOMETOWN: Austin, Texas
CREW CHIEF: Tommy DeLago
CAREER WINS: 4 (FC: 2 TAFC: 1 SPORTS: 1)
CAREER FINAL ROUNDS: 8 (FC: 4 TAFC: 3 SPORTS: 1)
CAREER BEST E.T.: 3.997 seconds
CAREER BEST SPEED: 319.07 mph
- DeJoria posted semi-final finishes at the previous two events (Sonoma and Seattle)
- DeJoria earned her first No. 1 qualifying position of her career in Atlanta in May
- DeJoria has garnered two event wins so far this season (Phoenix and Las Vegas)
Del Worsham – Driver of the DHL Toyota Camry Funny Car:
HOMETOWN: Chino Hills, Calif.
CREW CHIEFS: Nick Boninfante and Jon Oberhofer
CAREER WINS: 33 (TF: 8 FC: 25)
CAREER FINAL ROUNDS: 52 (TF: 11 FC: 41)
CAREER BEST E.T.: 3.992 seconds
CAREER BEST SPEED: 321.88 mph
- Worsham was the No. 1 qualifier in Brainerd in 1991; First No. 1 of his career
- Worsham was the No. 8 qualifier in Brainerd last year (first round)
- Worsham recorded his career best elapsed time, 3.992 sec., in Bristol in June
- Worsham has raced to one runner-up finish (Englishtown) and two semi-final finishes so far this season (Pomona and Houston)
1 - Doug Kalitta (1345)
2 - Antron Brown (1269)
3 - Shawn Langdon (1146)
4 - Tony Schumacher (999)
5 - Steve Torrence (920)
6 - Spencer Massey (895)
7 - Brittany Force (856)
8 - Khalid alBalooshi (855)
9 - Richie Crampton (808)
10 - J.R. Todd (774)
11 - Bob Vandergriff Jr. (646)
1 - Robert Hight (1271)
2 - John Force (1224)
3 - Ron Capps (989)
4 - Courtney Force (980)
5 - Tommy Johnson Jr. (975)
6 - Alexis DeJoria (961)
7 - Matt Hagan (949)
8 - Cruz Pedregon (894)
9 - Del Worsham (848)
10 - Tim Wilkerson (815)
11 - Jack Beckman (785)
FRIDAY, Aug. 15
Nitro Qualifying Session (FC-TF) 3:30 PM CT
Nitro Qualifying Session (FC-TF) 6:00 PM CT
SATURDAY, Aug. 16
Nitro Qualifying Session (TF-FC) 1:30 PM CT
Nitro Qualifying Session (TF-FC) 4:00 PM CT
SUNDAY, Aug. 17
Nitro Eliminations - Round 1 - 11:00 AM CT
Nitro Eliminations - Round 2 - 1:00 PM CT
Nitro Eliminations - Semifinals - 2:30 PM CT
Nitro Eliminations – Finals - 3:55 PM CT
Times and dates subject to change.
08/16 Qualifying - 11:00 PM - 1:00 AM ET/8:00 PM - 10:00 PM PT (ESPN)
08/17 Eliminations – 9:00 PM - 12:00 AM ET/6:00 PM – 9:00 PM PT (ESPN2)
Times and dates subject to change.
About Kalitta Motorsports:
Based in Ypsilanti, Michigan, Kalitta Motorsports is a Top Fuel and Funny Car nitro drag racing team in the NHRA (National Hot Rod Association) Mello Yello Drag Racing Series. The team was founded by drag racing pioneer and auto racing legend Connie “the Bounty Hunter” Kalitta. For more than half of a century, Kalitta has been involved in the world’s quickest and fastest motor sport as a driver, tuner, and as 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 Kalitta in 1959.
Connie’s nephew, Doug Kalitta, pilots the Mac Tools Top Fuel dragster for Team Kalitta. Former Top Fuel world champion Del Worsham drives the DHL Toyota Camry Funny Car. Alexis DeJoria, the world’s quickest female Funny Car racer, drives the Patrón XO Café Toyota Camry Funny Car, and J.R. Todd, the first African-American to win an NHRA Top Fuel event, drives the OPTIMA Batteries/Advance Auto Parts Top Fuel dragster.
Jim Oberhofer, crew chief, and Troy Fasching, assistant crew chief, guide the Mac Tools Top Fuel dragster team. Crew chief Nick Boninfante and co-crew chief Jon Oberhofer tune the DHL Toyota Camry Funny Car. Tommy DeLago, crew chief, and Glen Huszar, co-crew chief, make the calls on the Patrón XO Café Toyota Camry Funny Car, and Connie Kalitta serves as crew chief on the OPTIMA Batteries/Advance Auto Parts Top Fuel dragster with help from assistant crew chief James Riola.
Valued partners of Kalitta Motorsports include Mac Tools, DHL, Optima Batteries, Patrón XO Café, Red Line Oil, Summit Racing Equipment, Technicoat, and SealMaster.
For more info about Kalitta Motorsports including exclusive content such as videos, photos and more, please visit #KalittaStrong online –