SEATTLE (Aug. 5, 2015) – Doug Kalitta, driver of Mac Tools Top Fuel Dragster, returns to the Pacific Raceways as the defending champion.
After years of trying, Kalitta finally picked up his first Seattle Wally last season. He qualified 2nd and defeated Mike Salinas, Troy Buff, Shawn Langdon and Antron Brown to check Pacific Raceways of his list.
Although last season was the first victory for the Mac Tools team, Kalitta had experienced years of success at the final stop of the Western Swing. He had been in the final round in three prior races and earned a no.1 qualifier in 2010. Coming off of back-to-back first round losses for the first time this season, Kalitta is ready to return to Seattle and pick up where he left off.
“It was awesome to win in Seattle last season,” said Kalitta. “It is always difficult to defend, but I am confident in my Mac Tools team and look forward in taking on that challenge this weekend.”
J.R. Todd, driver of the Red Line Oil Top Fuel Dragster, made the drive to Seattle coming off his third semi-final finish of the season.
After earning three bonus points in qualifying, Todd laid down three solid reaction times and defeated Jenna Haddock and Clay Millican, before leading against Dave Connolly until dropping a cylinder.
Todd picked up one spot in the point standings and looks to continue to expand his advantage over 11th this weekend. Todd hit a milestone in 2007 at Pacific Raceway when he earned his first career no.1 qualifier. Todd has further expanded those numbers with Team Kalitta as he has earned five additional top qualifying spots since joining the team early last season.
Todd sits just 12 points out of seventh in the standings and sees this weekend as an opportunity to get that first race win of the season.
“The Red Line Oil team is in a tight points battle and it is important for us to try and gain points in qualifying and then go rounds on Sunday,” said Todd.
Alexis DeJoria, driver of the Patrón XO Café Incendio Toyota Camry Funny Car, has a special place in her mind for Pacific Raceways as well. In 2011, DeJoria won in the Top Alcohol Funny Car class.
Beginning in 2012, DeJoria has driven for Kalitta Motorsports in the Funny Car class. Her Toyota Camry has been consistent throughout Seattle qualifying. She has qualified in the top ten in all three events, but last season was her best yet.
DeJoria qualified fourth and got past former Funny Car world champions Tony Pedregon and Jack Beckman before coming up just short against John Force.
After falling to tenth in the standings after Sonoma’s results, DeJoria is ready for a rebound event at the Northwest Nationals.
“Heading into Seattle, I know it is another good race for us,” said DeJoria. “We can be confident because we do have a lot of good information for that track.”
Del Worsham, driver of the DHL Toyota Camry Funny Car, is the only driver in Seattle history with both Top Fuel and Funny Car wins at the Northwest Nationals. Both of the wins hold special significance for Worsham.
The 1999 Funny Car triumph ended an eight-year struggle to get back to the top of the Funny Car class. After two early wins, Worsham had not won since 1991. His win in Seattle ended that long streak and set-up him for much future success which included his 2011 Seattle win and Top Fuel World Championship.
After back-to-back first round losses, Worsham and the DHL team are looking to finally pick up a win on the Western Swing. Despite running some of the quickest times in the first round in Denver and Sonoma, Worsham has been unable to earn a first round victory. Those losses have dropped him to sixth place in the point standings.
“We are looking to finally get this off our backs and pick up a round win for DHL, Toyota and this entire team,” said Worsham. “These guys have been running well, and hopefully the match-up will be in our favor this time.”
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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 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 Red Line Oil 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 Red Line Oil Top Fuel dragster.
Associate sponsors on Kalitta Motorsports’ race cars include Justice Brothers, Kalitta Air, Patrón XO Café Incendio, Phoenix Fuel Converter, Red Line Oil, SealMaster, Summit Racing Equipment, Technicoat Companies, TMS Titanium, Toyota and Ziebart.