Worsham hits career-best numbers in Seattle
Race Recap: Worsham had simply one incredible weekend. The qualifying portion of the weekend was unbeatable as Worsham laid down the best pass in all four sessions racking up all of the bonus points. He broke the NHRA national record with both of his last two passes; first with a 3.841 second pass in the third qualifying session, and then with an outstanding 3.832 second pass that makes him the quickest NHRA Funny Car driver. His second consecutive pole was also a career-first.
However, Worsham did not stop there. He started the day for with Tim Gibbons for the second straight race. Worsham ran a clean 3.86-second pass to start his day on the right foot. From there, the races got very close. Robert Hight was the second round draw and Worsham got by him by mere inches. With that result, Worsham clinched being the only Funny Car driver on the Swing to reach the semi-finals or better in every race.
Seattle featured another LIVE TV broadcast; so the DHL Yella Fellas were forced into a quick turn-around, but they were ready. Coming back to the line against Hagan, Worsham, Jon Oberhofer and Nicky Boninfante delivered another 3.86-second pass to move Worsham to his third final round of the season, and first since all-Team Kalitta battle in Las Vegas. The Worsham vs. Hagan matchup was the quickest side-by-side Funny Car race ever.
Worsham was prepared to battle Ron Capps in the Seattle final round, but due to inclement weather and darkness, the final round was moved to NHRA’s next race in Brainerd, Minn.
Qualified: No. 1 (3.832 sec., 330.88 mph)
***NATIONAL RECORD, TRACK RECORD and CAREER-BEST ELAPSED TIME***
E1: Worsham defeated Gibbons – 3.861 sec., 331.20 mph to 3.894 sec., 323.04 mph
E2: Worsham defeated Hight – 3.881 sec., 328.46 mph to 3.894 sec., 323.04 mph
E3: Worsham defeated Hagan – 3.864 sec., 330.96 mph to 3.887 sec., 326.48 mph
Final: Worsham vs. Capps will be run in Brainerd
Quotable: “I so wanted to finish what we have started here. The DHL Camry has been on a rail all weekend, and now we have to go to a different track two weeks from now to finish this event. However, I have the most confidence in my guys and our team and we will go to Brainerd and plan on scoring the Seattle trophy there.”
Point Standings: Fourth (-243); trails with third-place Jack Beckman by 18 points, leads fifth-place Matt Hagan by 69 points
Todd records another solid finish in Western Swing finale
Race Recap: After earning his first win of the season, Todd and the SealMaster headed to another familiar place: Seattle, where Todd recorded the win just one season ago. Early qualifying sessions did not go Todd’s way, but Connie Kalitta, Rob Flynn and the SealMaster team got it right in the last session recording a bonus-point earning 3.706 second pass that allowed the SealMaster team to start third.
Todd’s draw in round one was Troy Buff. The always tough Bill Miller-led team ran a solid number, but J.R. was away first and led to the stripe to move him to the second round. Don Schumacher Racing’s Shawn Langdon was the foe. It was a stellar race stripe-to-stripe, but Todd came out on top with a career-best 3.698 second pass. The run to repeat titles at the Northwest Nationals ended in the semi-finals, but it was a stellar swing for Todd.
He was the only Top Fuel driver to earn a semi-final or better finish in every race on the Swing and led the class with eight round wins. Todd and the SealMaster team are currently on a streak of five straight semi-finals or better with 14 round wins scored in the last five events.
Qualified: No. 3 (3.706 sec., 328.14 mph)
E1: Todd defeated Buff – 3.744 sec., 324.59 mph to 3.831 sec., 308.50 mph
E2: Todd defeated Langdon – 3.698 sec., 327.74 mph to 3.726 sec., 326.63 mph **CAREER-BEST ELAPSED TIME**
E3: Todd defeated by Torrence – 3.753 sec., 316.23 mph to 3.695 sec., 330.47 mph
Quotable: “I am so proud of these SealMaster guys. They did such a kick ass job on the Swing and we are really rounding in to form at the right time in the season as we head towards the Countdown. We have an consistent SealMaster Toyota and I am ready to get after it in Brainerd.”
Point Standings: Sixth (-341); trails fifth-place Tony Schumacher by 76 points, leads seventh-place Shawn Langdon by 72 points
Kalitta suffers early defeat
Race Recap: Kalitta and the Mac Tools team looked for Seattle redemption after a solid Sonoma event. The Mac Tools team won the Northwest Nationals in 2014 and was looking for another win.
The team started strong earning a bonus point in the first session of qualifying. On Saturday, the Mac Tools team tried some new parts did not achieve the performance they were used to yielding a four spot drop to the seventh starting spot and a tough first draw with last weekend’s finalist, Richie Crampton. Kalitta beat Crampton off of the line, but his opponent ran low elapsed time of the session to move to the second round and deal Kalitta his third first round defeat of the season.
Qualified: No. 7 (3.741 sec., 328.14 mph)
E1: Kalitta defeated by Crampton – 3.755 sec., 323.27 mph to 3.696 sec., 322.88 mph
Quotable: “Not the finish to the Western Swing I was hoping for this Mac Tools team. We are still solid in the standings, and will look for improvement in Brainerd in a couple weeks. Proud of the work my team put in on this west coast journey.”
Point Standings: Second (-100); trails first-place Antron Brown by 100 points, leads third-place Steve Torrence by 24 points
Mello Yello Championship Points:
Top Fuel (Unofficial)
1. Antron Brown (1301)
2. Doug Kalitta (1201)
3. Steve Torrence (1177)
4. Brittany Force (1044)
5. Tony Schumacher (1036)
6. J.R. Todd (960)
7. Shawn Langdon (888)
8. Richie Crampton (806)
8. Clay Millican (770)
10. Leah Pritchett (604)
Funny Car (Unofficial)
1. Ron Capps (1313)
2. Courtney Force (1124)
3. Jack Beckman (1088)
4. Del Worsham (1070)
5. Matt Hagan (1011)
6. Robert Hight (988)
7. John Force (970)
8. Tommy Johnson Jr. (940)
9. Tim Wilkerson (862)
10. Alexis DeJoria (765)
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.