Atlanta, September 2, 2016 – For the first time in nearly 40 years, The Coca-Cola Company’s popular citrus-flavored soft drink brand, Mello Yello, will appear on a NHRA Funny Car. To celebrate Funny Car’s half-century of racing, Mello Yello is partnering with Kalitta Motorsports to co-brand the team’s DHL-sponsored Toyota Camry Funny Car at the U.S. Nationals held Labor Day weekend in Indianapolis, Indiana. The one-time custom-wrapped car will be driven by the reigning NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series Funny Car Champion, Del Worsham.
“We’ve been steadfast supporters of NHRA’s Funny Car racing, and we wanted to do something special to celebrate its momentous 50th anniversary,” says Bobby Oliver, director, sparkling citrus brands, Coca-Cola North America. “When the Kalitta team takes to the track on Labor Day weekend, we’ll all be cheering for a great performance from the DHL/Mello Yello car.”
The NHRA is the largest motorsports sanctioning body in the world, and The Coca-Cola Company has been a proud sponsor of the NHRA for 15 years.
“We are thrilled to see Mello Yello and The Coca-Cola Company take this step to race a DHL/Mello Yello Funny Car at the historic U.S. Nationals,” said NHRA President, Peter Clifford. “The car gets your attention immediately and to have Mello Yello on the racetrack this week with the defending Funny Car champion Del Worsham makes it even better.”
Worsham, driver of the DHL/Mello Yello Toyota Camry Funny Car, has been on a hot streak recently. The two-time NHRA champion has earned semi-final finishes or better at the last four races culminating in his first race win of the season at the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series’ last event in Brainerd, Minn.
“It is an honor to have Mello Yello and The Coca-Cola Company join DHL on our Toyota Camry for this weekend’s event,” said Worsham, who also competed in his 500th career start in Brainerd, Minn. “The U.S. Nationals is an iconic event, and to be able to carry Mello Yello for our biggest race of the season is very exciting. Our DHL Camry has been running very strong recently, and I plan on doing well for DHL, Mello Yello and all of the great guests at the race track this weekend.”
Worsham will make his first pass aboard the DHL/Mello Yello Toyota Camry Funny Car in Friday’s lone qualifying attempt. Qualifying continues on Saturday and Sunday with eliminations beginning at 11am EST on Monday, September 5. Eliminations will be broadcast live on FS1 beginning at 11am EST, before transitioning to FOX at 1pm EST.
About The Coca-Cola Company
The Coca-Cola Company (NYSE: KO) is the world’s largest beverage company, refreshing consumers with more than 500 sparkling and still brands and more than 3,800 beverage choices. Led by Coca-Cola, one of the world’s most valuable and recognizable brands, our company’s portfolio features 20 billion-dollar brands, 18 of which are available in reduced-, low- or no-calorie options. Our billion-dollar brands include Diet Coke, Coca-Cola Zero, Fanta, Sprite, Dasani, vitaminwater, Powerade, Minute Maid, Simply, Del Valle, Georgia and Gold Peak. Through the world’s largest beverage distribution system, we are the No. 1 provider of both sparkling and still beverages. More than 1.9 billion servings of our beverages are enjoyed by consumers in more than 200 countries each day. With an enduring commitment to building sustainable communities, our company is focused on initiatives that reduce our environmental footprint, create a safe, inclusive work environment for our associates, and enhance the economic development of the communities where we operate. Together with our bottling partners, we rank among the world’s top 10 private employers with more than 700,000 system associates. For more information, visit Coca-Cola Journey at www.coca-colacompany.com, follow us on Twitter at twitter.com/CocaColaCo, visit our blog, Coca-Cola Unbottled, at www.coca-colablog.com or find us on LinkedIn at www.linkedin.com/company/the-coca-cola-company.
About DHL – The logistics company for the world
DHL is the leading global brand in the logistics industry. Our DHL family of divisions offer an unrivalled portfolio of logistics services ranging from national and international parcel delivery, e-commerce shipping and fulfillment solutions, international express, road, air and ocean transport to industrial supply chain management. With about 340,000 employees in more than 220 countries and territories worldwide, DHL connects people and businesses securely and reliably, enabling global trade flows. With specialized solutions for growth markets and industries including technology, life sciences and healthcare, energy, automotive and retail, a proven commitment to corporate responsibility and an unrivalled presence in developing markets, DHL is decisively positioned as “The logistics company for the world”.
DHL is part of Deutsche Post DHL Group. The Group generated revenues of more than 59 billion euros in 2015.
Headquartered in Glendora, Calif., NHRA is the primary sanctioning body for the sport of drag racing in the United States. NHRA presents 24 national events featuring the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series, NHRA Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series and NHRA J&A Service Pro Mod Drag Racing Series. NHRA provides competition opportunities for drivers of all levels in the NHRA Summit Racing Series and the NHRA Drags: Street Legal Style presented by AAA. NHRA also offers NHRA Jr. Street program for teens and the Summit Racing Jr. Drag Racing League for youth ages 5 to 17. In addition, NHRA owns and operates five racing facilities: Atlanta Dragway in Georgia; Gainesville Raceway in Florida; National Trail Raceway in Ohio; Lucas Oil Raceway at Indianapolis; and Auto Club Raceway at Pomona in Southern California. For more information, log on to NHRA.com, or visit the official NHRA pages on Facebook, YouTube, Instagram and Twitter.
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 six world championships and over 100 national event titles in five different professional drag racing sanctioning bodies since it was established by Connie in 1959.
Team Kalitta is the home of the 2015 NHRA Mello Yello Funny Car World Champions, Del Worsham. He drives the DHL/Mello Yello Toyota Camry Funny Car. Alexis DeJoria pilots the Tequila Patrón Toyota Camry Funny Car. J.R. Todd drives the SealMaster Top Fuel dragster while Connie’s nephew, Doug Kalitta, pilots the Mac Tools Top Fuel dragster. Kalitta Motorsports also manages the McLeod Racing Toyota Camry Funny Car driven by Paul Lee. 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/Mello Yello Toyota Camry Funny Car, Tommy DeLago and Glen Huszar on the Tequila Patrón Toyota Camry Funny Car, Todd Smith on the McLeod Racing Toyota Camry Funny Car, Rob Flynn on the SealMaster Top Fuel dragster and Jim Oberhofer on the Mac Tools Top Fuel dragster.
Associate sponsors on Kalitta Motorsports’ race cars include ARP, AutoDesk CAM, Champion, Cogistics, Darton Sleeves, DHL, Justice Brothers, Kalitta Air, Mac Tools, Optima Batteries, Phoenix Fuel Converter, Racing Electronics, Red Line Oil, SealMaster, Summit Racing Equipment, Technicoat Companies, Tequila Patrón, TMS Titanium, Toyota and Ziebart.