Post-Race Report Event 13: K&N Filters NHRA Route 66 Nationals Route 66 Raceway Chicago July 7-10

JR Todd in finals Joliet

JR Todd in finals Joliet

Todd reaches consecutive finals for the first time

Race Recap: Todd continued his run of success in Chicago. Connie Kalitta, Rob Flynn and the SealMaster team were on their game in qualifying with each pass ranking among the top five of the session. Todd earned the seventh starting spot and a first round date with T.J. Zizzo.

Zizzo, who was running in his first race of the season, came off the truck solid and improved with every pass. However, Todd was ready, beating him off the line and to the stripe by nearly at tenth of a second. Next up, Steve Torrence. Again, Todd’s was focused. He won the race off of the tree and the Kalitta and Flynn tune-up was stellar down track moving Todd back to the semi-finals. Todd recorded the best pass of the session in the second round.

The semi-finals saw Todd face rival Tony Schumacher. With a berth to the finals on the line, Todd again delivered on the tree and extended his lead down the track achieving a final round berth. For the first time in his career, Todd was in back-to-back finals. This time in his way: defending World Champion Antron Brown. Todd and the SealMaster team gave the Route 66 Raceway fans another 3.7 second pass, but it was not enough as Brown grabbed his third win this season.


Qualified: No. 7 (3.748 sec., 320.43 mph)

  • E1: Todd defeated Zizzo – 3.789 sec., 323.66 mph to 3.865 sec., 317.12 mph
  • E2: Todd defeated Torrence – 3.771 sec., 324.28 mph to 3.785 sec., 313.58 mph
  • E3: Todd defeated Schumacher – 3.781 sec., 323.35 mph to 3.815 sec., 315.49 mph
  • Final: Todd defeated by Brown – 3.798 sec., 322.11 mph to 3.777 sec., 321.19 mph

Quotable: “It stings to lose another close final. I want to get these SealMaster guys a win bad, and we have been so close. However, we are running strong and if we can continue to run like this the wins will come soon.”

Point Standings: Seventh (-341); trails sixth-place Shawn Langdon by 21 points, leads eighth-place Clay Millican by 122 points

Doug Kalitta #KalittaStrong

Kalitta dealt a second-round defeat

Race Recap: Kalitta recorded yet another stellar qualifying weekend in Chicago. The Mac Tools team recorded three outstanding passes, each ranking among the top four runs of the session. He picked up another four bonus points and reset his seventh track record this season, when he ran 330.55 MPH in the Friday evening session.

Kalitta’s raceday started as the three seed and a match-up with part-time driver Kyle Wurtzel. Wurtzel performed strong all weekend, and the trends continued. However, his 3.865 could not compete with Kalitta’s 3.805. That moved the Mac Tools driver to the second round for the 12th race out of 13 this season. However, Kalitta could not claim his tenth semi-final or better finish after bowing out in a close race with Tony Schumacher.


Qualified: No. 3 (3.732 sec., 330.75 mph) **TRACK RECORD MPH**

  • E1: Kalitta defeated Wurtzel – 3.805 sec., 325.37 mph to 3.865 sec., 307.30 mph
  • E2: Kalitta defeated by Schumacher – 3.806 sec., 320.05 mph to 3.781 sec., 322.73 mph

Quotable: “Great consistent car; just ran up against the wrong person in the second round. The Mac Tools guys worked hard this weekend and are continuing to be focused on what our goal is. We will go home, get ready for the Western Swing and look to continue to make gains.”

Point Standings: Second (-2); trails first-place Antron Brown by two points, leads third-place Steve Torrence by 143 points

Del Worsham

Worsham endures rough Chicago outing

Race Recap: Worsham began his Chicago efforts with a bang. His first qualifying lap, a 3.930 second pass, was stellar in the heat of the day and earned Worsham two bonus points. However, Worsham’s DHL team had mechanical problems in two of the final three qualifying runs. His 3.930 second lap fell from second to tenth, and meant a tough first round draw: Courtney Force.

The Force/Worsham battle put two of the top four drivers in the standings against each other. Worsham was ready, recording the best reaction time in the round, but his DHL Toyota Camry Funny Car saw tire smoke down track ending his day in the first round for just the third time this season.


Qualified: No. 10 (3.930 sec., 324.20 mph)

  • E1: Worsham defeated by C. Force – 4.566 sec., 184.85 mph to 3.955 sec., 184.85 mph

Quotable: “Rough, rough weekend for this DHL team. Definitely not something we are used to. We have an off week next week, so the guys will work hard and I am confident that we will have it right for the Western Swing.”

Point Standings: Seventh (-272); trails sixth-place Robert Hight by three points, leads eighth-place Tim Wilkerson by 36 points

Mello Yello Championship Points:

Top Fuel (Unofficial)

1. Antron Brown (1056)
2. Doug Kalitta (1054)
3. Steve Torrence (912)
4. Brittany Force (896)
5. Tony Schumacher (803)
6. Shawn Langdon (746)
7. J.R. Todd (725)
8. Clay Millican (603)
8. Richie Crampton (603)
10. Leah Pritchett (521)

Funny Car (Unofficial)

1. Ron Capps (1068)
2. Jack Beckman (942)
3. Courtney Force (892)
4. Tommy Johnson Jr. (823)
5. Matt Hagan (808)
6. Robert Hight (799)
7. Del Worsham (796)
8. Tim Wilkerson (760)
9. John Force (699)
10. Alexis DeJoria (697)

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 Champion, 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.