Worsham advances to semi-finals
Race Recap: As the defending race winner, Worsham was very excited to get back to the Texas Motorplex. Worsham ran well in qualifying with three complete passes. His best, a 3.907 second run, was in the prime conditions on Friday’s evening and that slotted Worsham in the sixth position for Sunday’s eliminations.
Friend Chad Head was the first opponent. Worsham’s DHL Toyota pulled hard towards the wall at the finish line, but he hung onto it and moved past Head with a 3.909 second pass. That run gave him lane choice over Tommy Johnson Jr. in the second round. Johnson Jr. was riding a streak of three consecutive final round appearances, but Worsham and the DHL Yella Fellas were able to put a stop to that. They ran quicker than their opening lap with a 3.907 and moved Worsham to his seventh semi-final in the last nine events.
Points leader Ron Capps was the semi-final draw. Crew chiefs Jon Oberhofer and Nicky Boninfante guided the DHL Toyota Camry to another stellar run, a 3.900, but it was not enough to take out Capps.
Qualified: No. 6 (3.857 sec., 326.95 mph)
E1: Worsham defeated Head – 3.909 sec., 328.14 mph to 3.924 sec., 328.06 mph
E2: Worsham defeated Johnson Jr. – 3.907 sec., 324.75 mph to 4.036 sec., 291.82 mph
E3: Worsham defeated by Capps – 3.900 sec., 327.11 mph to 3.904 sec., 321.35 mph
Quotable: “Not the way we wanted the FallNationals to end for this DHL Toyota team. Our car ran strong all weekend, but it was not our day. Vegas is a big race for Toyota, and we plan to race hard and try to pick up a win there.”
Point Standings: Fifth (-148); trails with fourth-place Jack Beckman by 14 points, leads sixth-place Robert Hight by 42 points
A return to the semi-finals for Todd in Dallas
Race Recap: After a weather-affected Reading race, Todd and the SealMaster team were eager to get to Texas Motorplex and the AAA FallNationals. In qualifying, Todd was stout. They earned bonus points in two of the final three rounds and started a solid fourth overall with a 3.723 second effort.
At his 150th career NHRA Top Fuel event, Todd’s first draw was Texan Troy Buff. Todd was stout on the tree and the tune-up was great down track, and the SealMaster team moved past the first round and earned Todd’s 30th round win of the season.
In the second round, Todd faced fellow Countdown competitor Brittany Force. Todd again left first and pulled ahead early to move back to the semi-finals for the eighth time in the last 11 events. However, Todd’s race would end there. He was ahead of semi-final opponent, Antron Brown, at both of the 60′ and 330′ lines, but the SealMaster ride encountered troubles before the finish yielding the round win to Brown.
Qualified: No. 4 (3.723 sec., 309.27 mph)
E1: Todd defeated Buff – 3.723 sec., 324.36 mph to 3.849 sec., 313.58 mph
E2: Todd defeated B. Force – 3.724 sec., 323.12 mph to 4.181 sec., 245.00 mph
E3: Todd defeated by Brown – 3.849 sec., 279.90 mph to 3.731 sec., 319.52 mph
Quotable: “We had a solid day with this SealMaster Toyota team, but it ended earlier than we would have liked. We had a great run going there in the semis, but it just did not make it to the line. The SealMaster team will regroup and move to Vegas where we have had a lot of success in the past.”
Point Standings: Seventh (-244); trails sixth-place Tony Schumacher by 35 points, leads eighth-place Leah Pritchett by 10 points
Kalitta falls in the quarter-finals
Race Recap: Kalitta returned to his familiar Mac Tools colors in Dallas at Texas Motorplex and the team was ready from the first run. Jim Oberhofer tuned the Mac Tools dragster to the second-best run in the first session earning valuable bonus points. However, that pass would stay as Kalitta’s best run during qualifying, and he eventually got pushed from second to ninth. It was Kalitta’s first time this season starting race day from the bottom half of the field.
Kalitta and his opponent, Richie Crampton, were pair number one on the Texas Motorplex surface after the National Anthem was sung. Kalitta’s Mac Tools ride moved first and steady pulled away from the Crampton machine to move Kalitta to the final eight. In the second round, Kalitta drew the man he is chasing for the title, Antron Brown. Kalitta and Brown left together, but Brown would pull away to take the round win.
Qualified: No. 9 (3.745 sec., 321.04 mph)
E1: Kalitta defeated Crampton – 3.715 sec., 325.30 mph to 4.815 sec., 166.31 mph
E2: Kalitta defeated by Brown – 3.765 sec., 327.19 mph to 3.729 sec., 320.74 mph
Quotable: “We were hoping to go rounds today and that was a tough loss. The Mac Tools team will continue to fight hard at Toyota’s race in Las Vegas.”
Point Standings: Second (-150); trails first-place Antron Brown by 150 points, leads third-place Shawn Langdon by 22 points
(Doug Kalitta, Del Worsham, J.R. Todd)
All photos are courtesy of Gary Nastase Photography.
DeJoria earns Dallas round win
Race Recap: In her adopted hometown, DeJoria was eager to do well among many friends and family that had gathered. DeJoria showed consistency in qualifying with three clean passes. Her best, a 3.911, came in the last qualifying pass, giving DeJoria and the Patrón team confidence heading into raceday. DeJoria’s first opponent was John Force. The last Funny Car duo to see the track, Force moved before the green giving the round win to DeJoria. She had a solid pass with the win, running a 3.922 seconds. DeJoria’s day ended in the second round despite another nice run.
Qualified: No. 9 (3.911 sec., 319.37 mph)
E1: DeJoria defeated J. Force – 3.922 sec., 324.36 mph to Foul
E2: DeJoria defeated by Hight – 3.918 sec., 326.00 mph to 3.885 sec., 329.83 mph
Point Standings: 10th (-314); trails ninth-place Tim Wilkerson by 77 points
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Photo is courtesy of Gary Nastase Photography.
Mello Yello Championship Points:
Top Fuel (Unofficial)
1. Antron Brown (2504)
2. Doug Kalitta (2354)
3. Shawn Langdon (2332)
4. Brittany Force (2313)
5. Steve Torrence (2307)
6. Tony Schumacher (2295)
7. J.R. Todd (2260)
8. Leah Pritchett (2250)
9. Richie Crampton (2195)
10. Clay Millican (2168)
Funny Car (Unofficial)
1. Ron Capps (2465)
2. Tommy Johnson Jr. (2401)
3. Matt Hagan (2377)
4. Jack Beckman (2334)
5. Del Worsham (2320)
6. Robert Hight (2278)
7. John Force (2267)
8. Courtney Force (2238)
9. Tim Wilkerson (2228)
10. Alexis DeJoria (2151)
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. Team Kalitta also manages the McLeod Racing Toyota Camry Funny Car driven by Paul Lee. 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, Todd Smith on the McLeod Racing 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.