GAINESVILLE, Fla. (March 10, 2015) – Defending Gatornationals champion Doug Kalitta, driver of the Mac Tools Top Fuel Dragster, along with the rest of Team Kalitta contingent look for Gainesville success to continue a strong start to the season. Currently, Kalitta Motorsports is the only multi-car team in the Top Fuel and Funny Car classes to have every team driver ranked in the top ten in the point standings.
Kalitta, who advanced to his first final round of 2015 at the series’ most recent stop in Phoenix, comes in to Gainesville in fourth place. Kalitta looks to join an elite group of drivers such as Joe Amato and “Big Daddy” Don Garlits with four Gatornationals trophies. Kalitta’s 2014 win put him at three wins total in Gainesville, also winning in 2005 and 2000, while starting no. 1 in 2013 and 2003.
“My Mac Tools group wants to win!” said Kalitta. “Having an owner like Connie and seeing how much fun he continues to have racing breeds success. Gainesville is a track filled with history. Team Kalitta continues to do well there and the fact it’s Big Daddy’s home track makes it special.”
Del Worsham, driver of the DHL Toyota Camry Funny Car, has started the new season right where he finished 2014: fast. He sits second in the standings after his first final round appearance in Phoenix. Worsham has won the Gatornationals in NHRA’s Funny Car and Top Fuel classes. He picked up his first Gainesville trophy in 2004 in Funny Car and followed that up with a victory in his 2011 Top Fuel Championship season. Gainesville was also his first final round appearance for Kalitta Motorsports after returning to the Funny Car driver’s seat in 2013.
“We are excited to get back to the Gatornationals,” said Worsham. “The DHL Toyota Camry team is happy but not satisfied with the start to our season and we look forward to try and pick up our first Wally of the season in Gainesville.”
J.R. Todd, driver of the Red Line Oil/Kalitta Air Top Fuel dragster, picked up his first round win of the season in Phoenix vaulting him into the top ten in the standings. Gainesville will be the last “first time” track for Todd with Team Kalitta, however, before joining Kalitta Motorsports last season at the first Las Vegas event in April, Todd qualified on the bump spot for the 2014 Gatornationals and eliminated no. 1 qualifier Shawn Langdon in the first round.
On Wednesday and Thursday, Todd will be featured at several media markets in Jacksonville and Gainesville before the racing begins on Friday.
“Gainesville is one of those special races that you rank right at the top with Indianapolis and Pomona,” said Todd. “The event holds a lot of history and to be able to win there puts you on the list with some of the greats in our sport. Our Red Line Oil team showed great promise in Phoenix and I’m certain we can build on that in Gainesville.”
Alexis DeJoria, driver of the Patrón XO Café Incendio Toyota Camry Funny Car, currently sits seventh in the point standings after two more round wins in Phoenix. In 2013, DeJoria picked up her first round win of the season in Gainesville and turned that into early season success.
DeJoria will also fly in early to be featured in some pre-race media in Orlando, Fla.
Konnekt with Kalitta Motorsports:
For more info about Kalitta Motorsports including exclusive content such as videos, photos and more, please visit #KalittaStrong online –
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/Kalitta Air 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, Patrón XO Café Incendio, Phoenix Fuel Converter, Red Line Oil, SealMaster, Summit Racing Equipment, Technicoat Companies, TMS Titanium, Toyota and Ziebart.