Outstanding start to the season for Kalitta Motorsports – Team Kalitta Post-Race Report – Pomona

Sealmaster TF Dragster

Sealmaster TF Dragster

POMONA, Calif. (February 14, 2016) – Team Kalitta had an incredible start to the new 2016 NHRA Mello Yello season as they advanced Del Worsham and Doug Kalitta to the final round and moved all four drivers out of the first round of the Circle K Winternationals earlier today.

Del Worsham, driver of the DHL Toyota Camry Funny Car, came off a championship effort last season, and knew every other team would be after him to start the season. Jon Oberhofer and Nicky Boninfante worked tirelessly in the offseason to prepare. It showed. Worsham was one of two machines to earn bonus points in both of the first two qualifying sessions setting up the DHL team to prepare for race conditions on Saturday.

With an unexpected late session, Worsham’s DHL Toyota Camry was able to improve and run their best in the last effort. Their 3.943 second run was good enough for the fifth starting position and a first round date with Cruz Pedregon.

The first round pairing was unexpectedly difficult. Pedregon smoked the tires early, but Worsham also was forced to lift down track leading to a 4.391 second pass. That would give up lane choice to his teammate Alexis DeJoria in the round of eight. However, Worsham and the DHL ‘Yella Fellas’ were back to their traditional passes in round two. Running a 3.981 seconds, Worsham was able to defeat the tire smoking DeJoria, with a class-best reaction time.

That lap gave Worsham lane choice over John Force in the semi-final round. Force had a slight starting line advantage, but Worsham’s DHL Toyota Camry had the finish line advantage. His 3.978 second pass earned him the round win over Force’s 4.033 pass.

That moved Worsham moved to his third Winternationals final round against friend Ron Capps. Capps just edged Worsham at the starting line and was able to hold that advantage down the track.

“Frustrating way to end a solid weekend,” said Worsham. “We definitely wanted that win. However, the DHL Toyota Camry team is strong and we are prepared. This is a long season, and we look forward to the next opportunity in Phoenix.

Worsham sits in second in the standings after one event.

Doug Kalitta, driver of the Mac Tools Top Fuel dragster, was able to achieve a top 12 starting spot on day one, but Jim Oberhofer was not going to stop there. In the late session, Kalitta ran straight from the 11th spot to the top with 3.713 second run. That run stayed at the top spot until a late hero run by Steve Torrence pushed Kalitta to the second starting position for the first round.

Kalitta’s first pairing would put him against the Steve Palmer, who also participates in boat drag racing, in addition to the NHRA variety. Palmer was no match for Kalitta as he drove the Mac Tools machine to a weekend best 328.22 MPH and a round one win. The second round saw the pairings of the tool cars as Antron Brown set in the other lane. Kalitta was prepared and the Mac Tools machine ran better and defeated the Brown’s championship machine in a nail-biting finish setting up an all Team Kalitta match-up in the semi-finals. Kalitta earned lane choice over his teammate J.R. Todd as the Team Kalitta cars were the first pair ever shown live on the new Fox Sports broadcast.

Kalitta had a stellar light and a stellar pass. His 3.731 second run gave him lane choice over the no.1 qualifier Steve Torrence in the final round.

Kalitta moved to his fifth Winternationals final round, already owning one Wally which he picked up in 2009. Despite having the starting line advantage, the Mac Tools team came up just short at the finish line.

“We brought out a new Mac Tools chassis this weekend and we are pleased with the results,” said Kalitta. “However, when you get that close, you always want to win and we came up short today.”

Kalitta is second in the standings leaving the Winternationals.

J.R. Todd, driver of the SealMaster Top Fuel dragster, learned a lot through testing and came to Pomona confident that the team was going to have a good weekend. Friday was a bit of a struggle, but once Saturday hit the SealMaster Top Fuel dragster team was ready to go. The Connie Kalitta and Rob Flynn lead team started Saturday with a clean 3.84 second pass to solidify the team’s spot in the field and then reached the 3.7-second range for the first time in the final qualifying run to move Todd to a near top ten

The first opponent was Brittany Force. Force was stout throughout qualifying and earned lane choice, however, Todd and the entire SealMaster team was unfazed. Although Force was quicker on the track, Todd was several hundredths quicker on the tree earning the first holeshot win of the new NHRA season. His second round opponent was Terry McMillen, who upset Tony Schumacher in the first round. Todd slowly pulled further ahead of McMillen as the drivers moved down the track to move to the final four of Top Fuel for the first time at the Winternationals since his victory in 2007. The semi-finals pairing was an all Team Kalitta pairing as Todd faced his teammate Doug Kalitta. Todd was ready at the tree with a sub .050 light, but tire smoke down track ended the day for the SealMaster team.

“My SealMaster guys worked hard this weekend,” said Todd. “We made large gains and improvements throughout the day and had a successful effort to start the season. The SealMaster Toyota team is pleased but not satisfied and looks forward to our next race in Phoenix.”

Todd leaves Pomona in the fourth position in the standings.

Alexis DeJoria, driver of the Tequila Patrón Toyota Camry Funny Car, celebrated to start the weekend as she hit the milestone 100th career event. That celebration carried over to the track as DeJoria’s new look green Camry was solid throughout qualifying. Her best pass in qualifying was the last one, as Tommy DeLago-tuned the Camry up on mean and gave DeJoria a new career-best elapsed time. The 3.942 second pass reset her best from last season in Brainerd, and was the second consecutive Pomona event where she has reset portions of her career-best records. At the World Finals in November, DeJoria reached new highs in speed, reaching over 325 MPH.

DeJoria faced a new opponent in the first round. Seeded fourth, DeJoria faced newcomer Jim Campbell, who was making his first career start. DeJoria beat Campbell off the line and was strong to finish line running a 3.968 second pass to give her lane choice over her teammate Del Worsham in the second round. In the intermural battle, Worsham reached the finish line first, but DeJoria has a strong start to the new season as she leaves race one in the seventh position in the standings.

After one week off, Team Kalitta returns to Wild Horse Pass in Phoenix for the CarQuest Auto Parts Nationals from February 26-28.

Del Worsham – Driver of the DHL Toyota Camry Funny Car:

No. 5 Qualifier (3.943 sec., 322.27 mph)

E1: Worsham defeated C. Pedregon – 4.391 sec., 213.70 mph to 5.333 sec., 134.97 mph
E2: Worsham defeated DeJoria – 3.981 sec., 322.04 mph to 4.164 sec., 246.93 mph
E3: Worsham defeated J. Force – 3.978 sec., 321.81 mph to 4.033 sec., 315.71 mph
Final: Worsham defeated by Capps – 3.962 sec., 324.36 mph to 3.981 sec., 324.28 mph

Doug Kalitta – Driver of the Mac Tools Top Fuel Dragster:

No. 2 Qualifier (3.713 sec., 324.51 mph)

E1: Kalitta defeated Palmer – 3.724 sec., 328.22 mph to 4.205 sec., 248.29 mph
E2: Kalitta defeated Brown – 3.785 sec., 323.97 mph to 3.803 sec., 317.72 mph
E3: Kalitta defeated Todd – 3.731 sec., 318.77 mph to 4.620 sec., 167.74 mph
Final: Kalitta defeated by Torrence – 3.753 sec., 324.36 mph to 3.735 sec., 326.48 mph

J.R. Todd – Driver of the SealMaster Top Fuel Dragster:

No. 11 Qualifier (3.792 sec., 320.28 mph)

E1: Todd defeated B.Force – 3.766 sec., 325.45 mph to 3.756 sec., 320.05 mph (Holeshot win – Todd .063 light, Force .092 light)
E2: Todd defeated McMillen – 3.797 sec., 323.89 mph to 4.007 sec., 291.13 mph
E3: Todd defeated by Kalitta – 4.620 sec., 167.74 mph to 3.731 sec., 318.77 mph

Alexis DeJoria – Driver of the Tequila Patrón Toyota Camry Funny Car:

No. 4 Qualifier (3.942 sec., 324.59 mph) **NEW CAREER BEST ET**

E1: DeJoria defeated Campbell – 3.968 sec., 323.04 mph to 4.048 sec., 307.09 mph
E2: DeJoria defeated by Worsham – 4.164 sec., 246.93 mph to 3.981 sec., 322.04 mph
Mello Yello Championship Points:

Top Fuel (Unofficial)

1. Steve Torrence (2692)
2. Doug Kalitta (2461)
3. Richie Crampton (77)
4. J.R. Todd (67)
5. Clay Millican (57)
6. Morgan Lucas (52)
7. Antron Brown (48)
8. Terry McMillen (46)
9. Tony Schumacher (42)
10. Brittany Force (37)

Funny Car (Unofficial)

1. Ron Capps (106)
2. Del Worsham (94)
3. Robert Hight (80)
4. John Force (69)
5. Jack Beckman (65)
6. Courtney Force (59)
7. Alexis DeJoria (55)
8. Chad Head (54)
9. Tim Wilkerson (33)
10. Matt Hagan (32)

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 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. 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, Tommy DeLago and Glen Huszar on the Tequila Patrón 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.

Konnekt with Kalitta Motorsports:

For more info about Kalitta Motorsports including exclusive content such as videos, photos and more, please visit #KalittaStrong online –

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