Pre-Race Report Event 13: K&N Filters Route 66 Nationals Route 66 Raceway Chicago


dougchicago-2Doug Kalitta

Chicago Highlights: Three wins (2006, 2004, 2002); Three poles (2014, 2003, 1999)

2015 Chicago Event Recap: Qualified eighth; Quarter-Final finish (defeated Spencer Massey in the first round, lost to Antron Brown in the second round)

Previous Event Recap (Norwalk, Ohio): Qualified first, Track Record ET (3.719); Semi-Final finish (first round bye, defeated Pat Dakin in the second round, lost to J.R. Todd in the semi-finals)

Quotable: “Chicago is a great place to kick off the second half of the NHRA season. I have had some success at Route 66 in the past, but it has been a while. I would love to be able to start the last 12 races with a win in my Mac Tools/Red Line Oil Toyota in Chicago and make a strong run into the Countdown for the Championship.”

Career Stats: 422 starts, 572 round wins (11th all-time), 41 wins (Fourth all-time in Top Fuel), 85 finals, 46 no.1 qualifiers (13th all-time)

2016 Season Stats: Three wins (Houston, Atlanta, Topeka); Three poles (Phoenix, Atlanta, Norwalk); One final (Pomona); 27 round wins

Point Standings: 1st; leads second-place Antron Brown by 69 points

Noteworthy: leads Top Fuel class in semi-final or better finishes (nine) and top two starts (eight); has won his first round pairing in 11 of 12 events this season; Kalitta reset his sixth track record this season in Norwalk

JR ToddJ.R. Todd

Chicago Highlights: Third straight Chicago event with Kalitta Motorsports; earned round win last season

2015 Chicago Event Recap: Qualified seventh; Quarter-Final finish (defeated Leah Pritchett in the first round, lost to Tony Schumacher in the second round)

Previous Event Recap (Norwalk, Ohio): Qualified fifth; Finalist (defeated Terry McMillen in the first round, Leah Pritchett in the second round, Doug Kalitta in the semi-finals, lost to Shawn Langdon in the finals)

Quotable: “The SealMaster team ended the first half of the season very strong. We are building in more and more consistency into our machine, and I am confident in the direction we are going. The plan is to go one round further than we did in Norwalk and I am very optimistic in our chances.”

Career Stats: 136 starts, 125 round wins, 8 wins, 15 finals, 8 no.1 qualifiers

2016 Season Stats: Two finals (Atlanta, Norwalk); Two semi-finals (Pomona, Las Vegas); 13 round wins

Point Standings: Seventh (-364); trails sixth-place Shawn Langdon by 66 points, leads eighth-place Clay Millican by 73 points

Noteworthy: coming off first career Norwalk final round appearance; two final round appearances in last six 2016 events

Del WorshamDel Worsham

Chicago Highlights: Four wins (Top Fuel: 2011; Funny Car: 2004, 2002, 2001)

2015 Chicago Event Recap: Qualified seventh; Quarter-Final finish (defeated Robert Hight in the first round, lost to Tim Wilkerson in the second round); first round win over Robert Hight was 500th round win of his career

Previous Event Recap (Norwalk, Ohio): Qualified first, Career-best and Track Record ET (3.875), Track Record MPH (328.70 MPH); Quarter-Final finish (first round bye, defeated by Tommy Johnson Jr. in the second round)

Quotable: “A lot of things stand out about Chicago. I have won several times with Doug and we had a great time in the winner’s circle. It is a fast track with a great surface. The DHL team has made strides towards getting our performance back and I am looking for the gains to continue at Route 66 this weekend.”

Career Stats: 495 starts, 538 round wins, 38 wins (30 in Funny Car, 8 in Top Fuel), 63 finals (52 in Funny Car, 11 in Top Fuel), 18 no.1 qualifiers (11 in Funny Car, 7 in Top Fuel)

2016 Season Stats: Two finals (Pomona, Las Vegas); Two semi-finals (Epping, Englishtown); One pole (Norwalk); 16 round wins

Point Standings: Fourth (-204); trails third-place Jack Beckman by 61 points, leads fifth-place Tommy Johnson Jr. by 12 points

Noteworthy: 2015 Funny Car Champion, 2011 Top Fuel Champion; one of two drivers to have a Top Fuel and Funny Car win at Route 66 Raceway (Gary Scelzi); second in the Funny Car class with 10 first round wins

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.