CONCORD, N.C., (Sept 11, 2014) – Kalitta Motorsports, the nitro-fueled, four-car NHRA drag racing team based in Ypsilanti, Mich., is extremely excited for the beginning of the Countdown to the Championship this weekend in Concord, N.C., just a few miles from downtown Charlotte, at zMAX Dragway at the NHRA Carolina Nationals.
For the first time in the NHRA’s Countdown to the Championship “playoffs” era, all four Team Kalitta drivers and teams will have the opportunity to race for the Mello Yello Drag Racing Series points championship in their respective classes. All four Team Kalitta race cars finished in the top 10 in Mello Yello championship points during the “regular season” to qualify for the Countdown to the Championship.
Team Kalitta nitro race cars have six event wins and have appeared in 18 championship rounds so far in the 24-event 2014 NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series schedule of events this year.
Team Kalitta Drivers At A Glance:
Doug Kalitta – Driver of the Mac Tools Top Fuel Dragster:
HOMETOWN: Ann Arbor, Mich.
CREW CHIEF: Jim Oberhofer
CAREER WINS: 35
CAREER FINAL ROUNDS: 77
CAREER BEST E.T.: 3.713 seconds
CAREER BEST SPEED: 331.45 mph
– Kalitta raced in the championship round in the Charlotte spring event earlier this season
– Kalitta was the runner-up finisher in the spring and fall events in Charlotte in 2010
– Kalitta was the No. 13 qualifier in Charlotte fall last year (semifinals)
– Kalitta has garnered two event wins so far this season (Seattle, Gainesville)
– Kalitta has raced to seven runner-up finishes so far this season (Pomona, Las Vegas, Atlanta, Englishtown, Bristol, Epping and Brainerd)
– Kalitta was the No. 1 qualifier for Top Fuel eliminations in Pomona, Phoenix, Atlanta, Englishtown and Chicago
– Kalitta won the event in Seattle in August, which tied him with NHRA drag racing legend Don Garlits for fifth on the all-time NHRA Top Fuel wins list
– Kalitta won the 500th Top Fuel elimination round of his career in Epping in June, a feat accomplished by only 16 professional drivers in NHRA history
Alexis DeJoria – Driver of the Patrón XO Café Toyota Camry Funny Car:
HOMETOWN: Austin, Texas
CREW CHIEF: Tommy DeLago
CAREER WINS: 3
CAREER FINAL ROUNDS: 5
CAREER BEST E.T.: 3.997 seconds
CAREER BEST SPEED: 319.07 mph
– DeJoria has garnered three event wins so far this season including the previous event in Indianapolis, the U.S. Nationals, the most prestigious drag racing event in the world (Phoenix and Las Vegas)
– DeJoria was the No. 5 qualifier in the Charlotte fall event last year (first round)
– DeJoria’s three NHRA national event wins in 2014 is the most by any female in the Funny Car class in the sport’s history
– DeJoria posted at least semi-final finishes at the previous four events (Sonoma, Seattle, Brainerd and Indy)
– DeJoria earned her first No. 1 qualifying position of her career in Atlanta in May
Del Worsham – Driver of the DHL Toyota Camry Funny Car:
HOMETOWN: Chino Hills, Calif.
CREW CHIEFS: Nick Boninfante and Jon Oberhofer
CAREER WINS: 33 (TF: 8 FC: 25)
CAREER FINAL ROUNDS: 52 (TF: 11 FC: 41)
CAREER BEST E.T.: 3.992 seconds
CAREER BEST SPEED: 321.88 mph
– Worsham won the spring Charlotte event in 2011 (TF)
– Worsham was the No. 6 qualifier in the Charlotte fall event last year (first round)
– Worsham recorded his career best elapsed time, 3.992 sec., in Bristol in June
– Worsham has raced to one runner-up finish (Englishtown) and two semi-final finishes so far this season (Pomona and Houston)
J.R. Todd – Driver of the Optima Batteries/Advance Auto Parts Top Fuel Dragster:
HOMETOWN: Lawrenceburg, Ind.
CREW CHIEF: Connie “the Bounty Hunter” Kalitta
CAREER WINS: 7
CAREER FINAL ROUNDS: 10
CAREER BEST E.T.: 3.747 seconds
CAREER BEST SPEED: 325.30 mph
– The Optima Batteries/Advance Auto Parts team qualified No. 7 in Indy last year (first round)
– Todd did not compete in the fall event in Charlotte last year
– Todd has raced to three semi-final finishes so far this season (Charlotte, Topeka, and Chicago)
– Todd won the event in Denver last month, his first win of 2014 and his first with Kalitta Motorsports; First win since 2008 in Dallas
– Todd set a career-best elapsed time mark in June in Topeka (3.747 sec.)
– Todd joined Team Kalitta in March as the full-time driver of the Optima Batteries/Advance Auto Parts Top Fueler
1 – Doug Kalitta 2110
2 – Antron Brown 2080
3 – Shawn Langdon 2070
4 – Tony Schumacher 2060
5 – Steve Torrence 2050
6 – Spencer Massey 2040
7 – Khalid Albalooshi 2030
8 – Richard Crampton 2020
9 – Brittany Force 2010
10 – J.R. Todd 2000
1 – John Force 2110
2 – Robert Hight 2080
3 – Ron Capps 2070
4 – Alexis DeJoria 2060
5 – Tommy Johnson 2050
6 – Courtney Force 2040
7 – Matt Hagan 2030
8 – Cruz Pedregon 2020
9 – Del Worsham 2010
10 – Tim Wilkerson 2000
FRIDAY, Sept. 12
Nitro Qualifying Session (FC-TF) 1:30 PM ET
Nitro Qualifying Session (FC-TF) 3:30 PM ET
SATURDAY, Sept. 13
Nitro Qualifying Session (TF-FC) 1:30 PM ET
Nitro Qualifying Session (TF-FC) 3:30 PM ET
SUNDAY, Sept. 14
Nitro Eliminations – Round 1 – NOON ET
Nitro Eliminations – Round 2 – 2:00 PM ET
Nitro Eliminations – Semifinals – 3:30 PM ET
Nitro Eliminations – Finals – 4:45 PM ET
Times and dates subject to change.
09/12 Qualifying – 11:00 PM – 12:00 AM ET/8:00 PM – 9:00 PM PT (ESPN2)
09/14 Qualifying – 2:00 AM – 3:30 AM ET/11:00 PM – 12:30 AM PT (ESPN2)
09/14 Eliminations8:30 PM – 11:30 PM ET/5:30 PM – 8:30 PM PT (ESPN2)
Times and dates subject to change.
About Kalitta Motorsports:
Based in Ypsilanti, Michigan, Kalitta Motorsports is a Top Fuel and Funny Car nitro drag racing team in the NHRA (National Hot Rod Association) Mello Yello Drag Racing Series. The team was founded by drag racing pioneer and auto racing legend Connie “the Bounty Hunter” Kalitta. For more than half of a century, Kalitta has been involved in the world’s quickest and fastest motor sport as a driver, tuner, and as an owner. Kalitta Motorsports is one of the most successful teams in the history of auto racing with five world championships and over 50 national event titles in five different professional drag racing sanctioning bodies since it was established by Kalitta in 1959.
Connie’s nephew, Doug Kalitta, pilots the Mac Tools Top Fuel dragster for Team Kalitta. Former Top Fuel world champion Del Worsham drives the DHL Toyota Camry Funny Car. Alexis DeJoria, the world’s quickest female Funny Car racer, drives the Patrón XO Café Toyota Camry Funny Car, and J.R. Todd, the first African-American to win an NHRA Top Fuel event, drives the OPTIMA Batteries/Advance Auto Parts Top Fuel dragster.
Jim Oberhofer, crew chief, and Troy Fasching, assistant crew chief, guide the Mac Tools Top Fuel dragster team. Crew chief Nick Boninfante and co-crew chief Jon Oberhofer tune the DHL Toyota Camry Funny Car. Tommy DeLago, crew chief, and Glen Huszar, co-crew chief, make the calls on the Patrón XO Café Toyota Camry Funny Car, and Connie Kalitta serves as crew chief on the OPTIMA Batteries/Advance Auto Parts Top Fuel dragster with help from assistant crew chief James Riola.
Valued partners of Kalitta Motorsports include Mac Tools, DHL, Optima Batteries, Patrón XO Café, Red Line Oil, Summit Racing Equipment, Technicoat, and SealMaster.
For more info about Kalitta Motorsports including exclusive content such as videos, photos and more, please visit #KalittaStrong online –