Kalitta Wins in Dallas to Pick Up Emotional First Win of 2013; Vaults Into Share of NHRA Mello Yello Top Fuel Points Lead

DALLAS, (Sept. 22, 2013) – The wait is over. Doug Kalitta, driver of the “Big Red” Mac Tools Top Fuel dragster, is once again in the winner’s circle at an NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series event. Kalitta and his team lead by crew chief Jim Oberhofer were victorious Sunday in eliminations at the annual running of the AAA Texas NHRA FallNationals in Ennis, Texas, just a few miles south of downtown Dallas.

The win marks the first of the season for the 16-year Top Fuel veteran and the 33rd of his illustrious career driving in the world’s quickest and fastest auto racing class. It also ends the longest winless streak of his career at 71 events (Denver, 2010). The victory in Dallas moves Kalitta into a tie for the Mello Yello Top Fuel championship points lead with only four events remaining in the 2013 NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series. Kalitta, who entered the Dallas event in fourth place in points, has not been in or shared the points lead for the class since the season-opening event, the famed Winternationals, in 2009. He is a two-time Top Fuel championship runner-up.

En route to his long overdue win in the Lone Star State, Kalitta, the No. 2 qualifier (3.825 seconds, 318.39 mph), dominated Sunday’s eliminations by posting the quickest run in three of the event’s four rounds of racing (second quickest of the opening round).  He defeated Larry Dixon, Brittany Force, and pre-event points leader Spencer Massey on his way to the 67th final round of his career and his first “money round” since Norwalk (Ohio) in July.

In the final round, Kalitta matched up with No. 1 qualifier Shawn Langdon. Kalitta grabbed a starting line advantage (.074 sec. to .102 sec.) and never trailed in the 1,000-ft. race. At the finish line, the win light flashed in Kalitta’s lane after a 3.842-sec., 320.43-mph to 3.896-sec., 291.32-mph race. Kalitta shares the points lead (2251) with Langdon going into the next event of the Countdown to the Championship “playoffs” in St. Louis next weekend.

“Whew, man, am I glad to get back in the winner’s circle. It’s been way too long,” Kalitta, a 49-year old resident of Ann Arbor, Mich. said. “I can’t say enough about my Mac Tools team. Those guys are the best in the business and deserve all the credit. We’ve had such a great hot rod all year long so I’m glad to see we finally sealed the deal for all my guys. We had everything go right for us today. It was a really good day for the whole team. We’ll be celebrating this win for a while.

“It was also great to get a win for Jim and (daughter) Ashley Oberhofer. We lost Jim’s wife Tammy not too long ago to Cancer. The Oberhofers have been part of our Kalitta Motorsports family for almost 30 years and losing Tammy was a huge blow to all of us. Tammy was also our office manager for many years and a truly wonderful lady. She is dearly missed by everyone, but I’m very glad we were able to get this trophy for Tammy.”

Kalitta’s Mac Tools entry is owned and overseen by his iconic Uncle Connie “the Bounty Hunter” Kalitta. The win for Kalitta Motorsports is the team’s first since the DHL Toyota Camry Funny Car team took home that class’s title trophy in Chicago last July.

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) Full Throttle 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 Toyota Camry Funny Car. David Grubnic drives the OPTIMA Batteries/Advance Auto Parts 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 Toyota Camry Funny Car,  and by Jim Oberhofer on the Mac Tools Top Fuel dragster. Connie serves as crew chief on the Optima Batteries Top Fuel dragster.

Associate sponsors on Kalitta Motorsports’ race cars include Candlewood Suites, Red Line Oil, Technicoat and JEGS.

For more info about Kalitta Motorsports including exclusive content such as videos, photos and more, please visit www.teamkalitta.com. Follow Us on Twitter: www.twitter.com/TeamKalitta. Like Us on Facebook: www.facebook.com/KalittaMotorsports. Check out videos about Team Kalitta on our YouTube Channel: www.youtube.com/user/TeamKalitta. Follow us on Instagram: www.instagram.com/teamkalitta.