Todd continues recent hot streak
Race Recap: Todd came to the mountain on a roll. With back-to-back final rounds in the last two events, Todd’s SealMaster team was performing very strong. The efforts continued in qualifying with Todd running three solid passes in four attempts and a sixth-place starting spot.
Todd’s run would continue on Sunday. With a first round draw of Scott Palmer, Todd was prepared. He laid down a class-best .038 reaction time and led start line to finish line with a solid 3.844 second pass. Richie Crampton would be the second opponent. Again, Todd beat the driver in the other lane off of the line and then his SealMaster ride was better on the track to move to his third consecutive semi-final or better. That was the first time that Todd had done that in his three seasons with Kalitta Motorsports.
The semi-final round transitioned to live TV and Todd and his foe, Antron Brown, were the second pair to see the track. Todd recorded the best light of the session again, but the SealMaster ride encountered problems down track to allow Brown to drive by. On the day, Todd recorded the top two reaction times of the class.
Qualified: No. 6 (3.816 sec., 316.38 mph)
E1: Todd defeated Palmer – 3.844 sec., 318.64 mph to 4.019 sec., 282.78 mph
E2: Todd defeated Crampton – 3.841 sec., 322.11 mph to 3.862 sec., 312.57 mph
E3: Todd defeated by Brown – 3.915 sec., 274.05 mph to 3.826 sec., 307.86 mph
Quotable: “We had a good handle on the SealMaster Toyota ride here on the mountain, but it was not our day. I am excited with the consistency we have built into this machine and I look forward to see what else we can do on the Western Swing.”
Point Standings: Seventh (-346); trails sixth-place Shawn Langdon by one point, leads eighth-place Clay Millican by 118 points.
Worsham rebounds at Bandimere
Race Recap: The DHL team and driver Del Worsham looked to rebound at Bandimere Speedway after a tough Chicago outing. With a new Bounty Hunter, the DHL Yella Fellas felt confident about their chances.
They started their strong run in qualifying with Worsham becoming the first driver in the 1,000-ft era to hit 320 mph at Bandimere Speedway, and Worsham would do it twice. The DHL team would earn five bonus points spread across three sessions and start third.
First up, Todd Simpson. Worsham moved first on the line and continued a strong run down the track to advance him out of the first round for the 11th time this season. Next up, the points leader. Worsham was prepared, earning the jump at the line and earning the semi-final spot with a 4.052 second run. Worsham’s day did end there with a close defeat to John Force, but it was a solid result for the DHL Toyota team.
Qualified: No. 3 (3.963 sec., 322.34 mph)
E1: Worsham defeated Simpson – 4.024 sec., 317.12 mph to 4.411 sec., 230.57 mph
E2: Worsham defeated Capps – 4.052 sec., 317.42 mph to 4.399 sec., 213.27 mph
E3: Worsham defeated by J. Force – 4.054 sec., 315.78 mph to 4.005 sec., 316.60 mph
Quotable: “We keep knocking on the door of these races. The DHL boys did a great job and this new Bounty Hunter chassis performed very well. Denver is a tough race to compete at and the way we competed this weekend makes me very proud.”
Point Standings: Sixth (-243); tied with fifth-place Robert Hight, leads seventh-place Tommy Johnson Jr. by 22 points
Kalitta suffers second first round loss of the season
Race Recap: With the extreme conditions on the mountain at Bandimere Speedway, Kalitta knew this weekend was going to be different than any other this season. Qualifying was clean, but not as strong as the Mac Tools team is used to. They would earn the eighth starting spot and continue their streak of starting in the top half in every race.
However, a top half start did not mean a easy draw in round one, as Kalitta would face Tony Schumacher. Billed as NHRA’s Marquee Matchup, Kalitta left first but Schumacher was able to drive back around giving Kalitta just his second first round loss of the season. Kalitta’s combined reaction time and elapsed time efforts would have defeated every other Top Fuel competitor in round one.
Qualified: No. 8 (3.835 sec., 290.13 mph)
E1: Kalitta defeated by Schumacher – 3.832 sec., 320.74 mph to 3.788 sec., 321.19 mph
Quotable: “Quick exit today for this Mac Tools team, but the performance was there. I look forward to going to Sonoma, where my team as a ton of history, and have more success there.
Point Standings: Second (-57); trails first-place Antron Brown by 57 points, leads third-place Steve Torrence by 106 points
DeJoria endures tough Denver weekend
Race Recap: DeJoria experienced a tough weekend with an early exit on Sunday at the Mile High Nationals. The Tequila Patrón driver was able to start in the fourth position with a good pass in the last qualifying session, but the Camry ended up in the sand at the top end. After repairs, DeJoria’s Sunday was much shorter than she would have liked after her machine shut off just past the 660-foot mark yielding the round win to John Hale
Qualified: No. 4 (3.975 sec., 318.69 mph)
E1: DeJoria defeated by Hale – 4.324 sec., 232.71 mph to 4.303 sec., 240.64 mph
Point Standings: Tenth (-387); trails ninth-place Tim Wilkerson by 60 points, leads 11th-place Tim Wilkerson by 171 points
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.