Pre-Race Report Event 17: Brainerd Nationals Brainerd International Raceway Brainerd, Minn. Aug. 19-21



Kalitta plans to lay down fast times in Brainerd

Brainerd Highlights: Two wins (2005, 2003); Two finals (2014, 2000); Three poles (2010, 2004, 2002)

2015 Brainerd Event Recap: Qualified third; Quarter-Final finish (beat Wayne Newby in the first round, lost to Brittany Force in the quarter-finals)

Previous Event Recap (Seattle): Qualified seventh; First round defeat (lost to Richie Crampton in the first round)

Quotable: “Brainerd was extremely fast last season, and the conditions look like they are going to give us opportunity to go fast again this weekend. I am excited to get back in the seat of the Mac Tools Toyota machine and see what we can do.”

Career Stats: 426 starts, 575 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), 30 round wins

Point Standings: Second (-100); trails first-place Antron Brown by 100 points, leads third-place Steve Torrence by 24 points

Noteworthy: has won his first round pairing in 13 of 16 events this season; 10 semi-final or better finishes in 16 events this season; matched season round win total from 2015; clinched NHRA Countdown for the Championship slot in Sonoma, his 19th consecutive top ten finish
Top Fuel’s best in the last five races.

JR Todd

Todd desires first Brainerd crown

Highlights: Only Top Fuel driver to advance to the semi-finals or better on every Western Swing event; 14 round wins in the last five events to lead the Top Fuel class

2015 Brainerd Event Recap: Qualified tenth; First round defeat (lost to Antron Brown in the first round)

Previous Event Recap (Seattle): Qualified third; Semi-Final finish (Defeated Troy Buff in the first round and Shawn Langdon in the second round, lost to Steve Torrence in the semi-finals)

Quotable: “We had a great Western Swing with this SealMaster team and have a lot of momentum heading into Brainerd. I feel like we have a good handle on the SealMaster dragster and I look forward to run this weekend and hopefully have our consistently strong runs continue.”

Career Stats: 140 starts, 136 round wins, 9 wins, 17 finals, 8 no.1 qualifiers

2016 Season Stats: One win (Sonoma); Three finals (Atlanta, Norwalk, Chicago); 24 round wins

Point Standings: Sixth (-341); trails fifth-place Tony Schumacher by 76 points, leads seventh-place Shawn Langdon by 72 points

Noteworthy: Reset his career-best ET in Seattle with a 3.698 second pass (previous best was set in Brainerd last season); Won at least one race on the Western Swing for the third consecutive season; semi-final finish or better the last five events; has won more round wins in the first 16 races of 2016 (24) then the entire 2015 season (20); clinched NHRA Countdown for the Championship slot in Seattle

Del Worsham

Worsham looks to hit huge milestone

Highlights: One Brainerd pole (1991); upon earning a qualified spot in the field, Worsham will make his 500th career raceday start; reset NHRA National Record Elapsed Time at the last race

2015 Brainerd Event Recap: Qualified eighth; First round defeat (lost to Matt Hagan in the first round)

Previous Event Recap (Seattle): Qualified first (track-record elapsed time; career-best elapsed-time; National Record ET); In finals, to be run in Brainerd (defeated Tim Gibbons in the first round, Robert Hight in the second round and Matt Hagan in the semi-finals, will run Ron Capps in the final)

Quotable: “It’s feels good. When I started, it never entered my mind or was a thought that I could be able to hit 500 career starts and to do it when we are running extremely strong has me even more excited. I am ready to get to Brainerd and hopefully pick up two Wallys this weekend with this DHL Camry.”

Career Stats: 499 starts, 545 round wins, 38 wins (30 in Funny Car, 8 in Top Fuel), 64 finals (53 in Funny Car, 11 in Top Fuel), 20 no.1 qualifiers (13 in Funny Car, 7 in Top Fuel)

2016 Season Stats: Three finals (Pomona, Las Vegas, Seattle – Final will be run in Brainerd); Four semi-finals (Epping, Englishtown, Denver, Sonoma); Three poles (Norwalk, Sonoma, Seattle); 23 round wins

Point Standings: Fourth (-243); trails third-place Jack Beckman by 18 points, leads fifth-place Matt Hagan by 59 points

Noteworthy: 2015 Funny Car Champion, 2011 Top Fuel Champion; one of three drivers with championships in both nitro classes; second in the Funny Car class with 13 first round wins this season; No. 1 qualifiers at the last two events; won consecutive poles for the first time in his Funny Car career; clinched NHRA Countdown for the Championship spot in Seattle

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 Champions, 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. Kalitta Motorsports 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.