Team Kalitta At A Glance – Dallas; Two Events in One and Driver Milestones Highlight Kalitta Motorsports’ Trip to the Lone Star State

Team Kalitta At A Glance – Pomona 2; Kalitta Motorsports Hopes to Put Winning Cap on Stellar 2014 NHRA Season

POMONA, Calif., (Nov. 13, 2014) – Going into this weekend’s, Nov. 14-16, final event of the 2014 NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series, the four-car, Connie “the Bounty Hunter” Kalitta-led, nitro-fueled NHRA drag racing team is looking to end one of the team’s most successful season’s on winning notes at the 50th Annual Auto Club NHRA Finals at Auto Club Raceway at Pomona (Calif.).

Team Kalitta nitro race cars have seven event wins and have appeared in a team-record 22 championship rounds so far in the 24-event 2014 NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series schedule of events this year.

For the first time in the NHRA’s Countdown to the Championship “playoffs” era, all four Team Kalitta drivers and teams had 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 six-event Countdown to the Championship, which began in Charlotte in September.

All four Team Kalitta racers are currently in the top eight in Mello Yello Countdown to the Championship points in their respective classes with J.R. Todd, driver of the Optima Batteries/Advance Auto Parts Top Fuel dragster, leading the charge for Kalitta Motorsports in the No. 3 points position in Top Fuel, 112 points behind the leader.

Team Kalitta Drivers At A Glance:

Photo courtesy of NHRA

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 BEST E.T.: 3.732 seconds

– Todd has jumped from 10th place in points to 3rd place in the first five events of the Countdown to the Championship; He raced to a runner-up finish at the previous event in Las Vegas
– Todd won the event in Denver in July, his first win of 2014 and his first with Kalitta Motorsports; First win in six years
– Todd raced to a runner-up finish in Dallas in September
– Todd has raced to three semi-final finishes so far this season (Charlotte 1, Topeka, and Chicago)
– Todd set a career-best elapsed time mark at the previous event in Las Vegas (3.732 sec.)
– Todd joined Team Kalitta in March as the full-time driver of the Optima Batteries/Advance Auto Parts Top Fueler

​Photo courtesy of NHRA

Doug Kalitta – Driver of the Mac Tools Top Fuel Dragster:

HOMETOWN: Ann Arbor, Mich.
CREW CHIEF: Jim Oberhofer
CAREER BEST E.T.: 3.713 seconds

– Kalitta has garnered two event wins so far this season (Seattle and 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, Chicago and St. Louis
– 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 (35)
– 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
– Kalitta is the nephew of team owner and drag racing legend Connie Kalitta

Photo by Gary Nastase

Del Worsham – Driver of the DHL Toyota Camry Funny Car:

HOMETOWN: Chino Hills, Calif.
CREW CHIEFS: Nick Boninfante and Jon Oberhofer
CAREER WINS: 34 (TF: 8 FC: 26)
CAREER BEST E.T.: 3.992 seconds

– Worsham and the DHL team (#yellafellas) introduced the new-look 2015 DHL Toyota Camry Funny Car in grand style at the previous event in Las Vegas – The DHL team won the Funny Car title trophy, their first win of the season
– Worsham defeated 16-time NHRA Funny Car World Champion in the Vegas final round – 4.064 sec., 318.39 mph to 4.104 sec., 321.42 mph. “I want everyone to remember I’m driving Scott’s (Kalitta, who died in a racing accident in 2008) car. He was a good friend of mine and the DHL car will always be Scott’s car. I can’t thank Connie (Kalitta, team owner, drag racing legend and Scott’s father) enough for letting me be a part of his team and having this opportunity to drive for Kalitta Motorsports.”
– With his Vegas win, Worsham became the first driver to win the fall event in Las Vegas in both nitro-fueled classes (Top Fuel in 2011)
– Worsham has been No. 1 qualifier three times this year so far (Norwalk, Bristol and Houston)
– Worsham recorded his career best elapsed time, 3.992 sec., in Bristol in June
– Worsham has raced to two runner-up finishes (Dallas and Englishtown) and two semi-final finishes so far this season (Pomona 1 and Houston)

​Photo courtesy of NHRA

Alexis DeJoria – Driver of the Patrón XO Café Toyota Camry Funny Car:

HOMETOWN: Austin, Texas
CREW CHIEF: Tommy DeLago
CAREER BEST E.T.: 3.997 seconds

– DeJoria and her team will debut a new-look Toyota Camry Funny Car for the NHRA Finals on Friday, Nov. 14.
– DeJoria has garnered three event wins so far in her breakthrough season, including the U.S. Nationals in Indianapolis, the most prestigious drag racing event in the world (Phoenix and Las Vegas 1)
– DeJoria posted at least semi-final finishes at four consecutive events (Sonoma, Seattle, Brainerd and Indy); She also reached the semi-final round at the previous event in Reading
– DeJoria earned her first No. 1 qualifying position of her career in Atlanta in May; She also qualified No. 1 for the Charlotte 2 event

Mello Yello Countdown to the Championship Points:

Top Fuel

1 – Tony Schumacher (2501)
2 – Spencer Massey (2392)
3 – J.R. Todd (2389)
4 – Shawn Langdon (2367)
5 – Doug Kalitta (2366)
6 – Steve Torrence (2355)
7 – Antron Brown (2324)*
8 – Khalid alBalooshi (2292)*
9 – Brittany Force (2239)*
10 – Richie Crampton (2238)*

* Eliminated from championship contention

Funny Car

1 – Matt Hagan (2510)
2 – John Force (2489)
3 – Courtney Force (2389)
4 – Tommy Johnson Jr. (2362)
5 – Robert Hight (2360)
6 – Del Worsham (2341)*
7 – Ron Capps (2313)*
8 – Alexis DeJoria (2300)*
9 – Tim Wilkerson (2259)*
10 – Cruz Pedregon (2206)*

* Eliminated from championship contention

Event Schedule

Friday, Nov. 14

Nitro Qualifying Session 1 (FC-TF) – 12:30 PM (PT)
Nitro Qualifying Session 2 (FC-TF) – 3:30 PM (PT)

Saturday, Nov. 15

Nitro Qualifying Session 3 (TF-FC) – 12:30 PM (PT)
Nitro Qualifying Session 4 (TF-FC) – 3:30 PM (PT)

Sunday, Nov. 16

Nitro Eliminations Round 1 (TF-FC) – 11:00 AM (PT)
Nitro Eliminations Quarterfinals (TF-FC) – 1:00 PM (PT)
Nitro Eliminations Semifinals (TF-FC) – 2:30 PM (PT)
Nitro Eliminations Final Rounds (FC-TF) – 3:45 PM (PT)

ESPN TV Schedule:

11/16/2014 – Qualifying – 3:00 AM – 5:00 AM ET/12:00 AM – 2:00 AM PT (ESPN2)
11/16/2014 – Qualifying Re-air – 3:00 PM – 4:30 PM ET/12:00 PM – 1:30 PM PT (ESPN2)
11/16/2014 – Eliminations – 7:30 PM – 10:30 PM ET/4:30 PM – 7:30 PM PT (ESPN2)

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 –