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.
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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 100 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 Jimi Hendrix Foundation 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 Jimi Hendrix Foundation 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.