JOLIET, ILL – (July 8, 2015) – After finally mastering Summit Racing Equipment Motorsports Park on Sunday, Doug Kalitta, driver of the Mac Tools Top Fuel Dragster, moves to a track where success has come often: the Route 66 Raceway.
Kalitta’s Mac Tools team was the team to beat all day in Norwalk. In front of many friends and family, Kalitta rewrote the record books in qualifying running a 3.731 second pass in the final session to earn his 43rd no.1 qualifying spot. Jim Oberhofer flexed his tune-up muscle on Sunday with four consistent and strong passes earning lane choice each round and eliminating legend Chris Karamesines and top ten contenders Steve Torrence and Clay Millican, and finally points leader Antron Brown to earn his 37th career win.
Owner of the track MPH record for the past two seasons, Kalitta is trying to join Larry Dixon and Kenny Bernstein with his fourth Route 66 Nationals trophy, which is the most all-time. Kalitta Motorsports was on a tear through 2004-2006 at Route 66 Raceway. Doug picked up the victories in 2004 and 2006, while the late Scott Kalitta earned his only win in Joliet in 2005.
Last season, he was the number one qualifier with a 3.787. That run would not be equaled throughout qualifying and Sunday’s race action. It was his second no.1 in Joliet and first since his second career pole in 1999.
“Kalitta Motorsports has a great track record in Chicago,” said Kalitta. “Coming off such a solid performance in Norwalk, I am more confident then ever in this entire Mac Tools team and their capabilities. We are going to Chicago to win.”
Del Worsham, driver of the DHL Toyota Camry Funny Car, inched ever closer to the winner’s circle and his 500th career round win in Norwalk.
Worsham advanced to his third semi-final round in the past five events at Summit Racing Equipment Motorsports Park defeating Jeff Diehl and his teammate Alexis DeJoria for round wins 498 and 499, before leading Courtney Force prior to some tire smoke in the semi-final round.
Since back-to-back round one losses in Houston and Atlanta, Worsham has advanced out of the first round in five consecutive events and will need to move that to six consecutive to become the 17th driver to have the 500 round win crown.
Worsham is also one of only two drivers to own wins in the Top Fuel and Funny Car classes at Route 66 Raceway (Gary Scelzi). His 503rd round win and first victory of the season would give Worsham his fourth at Joliet tying two-time champion Tony Pedregon for most all-time with four.
The DHL team also owns their own win at Route 66 Raceway, picking up the Wally in 2012.
“I love racing in Chicago,” said Worsham. “It is probably my favorite track. I have a lot of prior success there, the DHL team has a win there, so hopefully we can we finally close the deal and get the victory that this team deserves.”
J.R. Todd, driver of the MAD Creative Concepts Top Fuel Dragster, debuts a new sponsor to NHRA for the second consecutive weekend.
MAD Creative Concepts, based not far from Kalitta Motorsports in Ypsilanti, Mich., handles the wraps, hero cards and many other marketing materials for Team Kalitta, but this is their first primary sponsorship in the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series.
Todd flew the SealMaster colors in Norwalk, and was fast early. In the first session, Todd earned two bonus points as the second fastest run, a number that was only bested by his teammate, Doug Kalitta.
Todd also has good memories of this event last season. At the Route 66 Nationals for the first time with Team Kalitta, Todd beat Alan Johnson Racing’s Khalid alBalooshi and his teammate Doug Kalitta, before being defeated by mere inches in the semi-finals.
“The MAD guys are great people and I am excited to represent them,” said Todd. “Kalitta Motorsports has a ton of great history in Chicago and I plan to add my name to Chicago winner list.”
Alexis DeJoria, driver of the Patrón XO Café Incendio Toyota Camry Funny Car, is coming off breaking her Norwalk curse. DeJoria finally earned her first round win at Summit Motorsports Park this past weekend by defeating Tommy Johnson Jr.
DeJoria has fond memories of the Route 66 Nationals. In her rookie season, DeJoria earned just her second semi-final finish. She defeated long-time Funny Car drivers Ron Capps and John Force to earn two round wins in Chicago.
Last season, she drew John Force once again and gave him a great run with a sub 4.1 second pass.
Konnekt with Kalitta Motorsports:
For more info about Kalitta Motorsports including exclusive content such as videos, photos and more, please visit #KalittaStrong online:
- Website: www.teamkalitta.com
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- Twitter: www.twitter.com/TeamKalitta
- YouTube: www.youtube.com/user/TeamKalitta
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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 MAD Creative Concepts 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 MAD Creative Concepts 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.