INDIANAPOLIS, (Aug. 26, 2014) – Kalitta Motorsports, the nitro-fueled, four-car NHRA drag racing team based in Ypsilanti, Mich., will be in racing in NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series action this Labor Day weekend, Aug. 29-Sept. 1, at the most prestigious drag racing event in the world, the 60th annual NHRA U.S. Nationals at Lucas Oil Raceway at Indianapolis.
Mello Yello Top Fuel championship points leader Doug Kalitta, driver of the Mac Tools Top Fuel dragster, enters the event in Indy with a 92-point lead over second place. Kalitta clinched a berth in the 2014 NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series “Playoffs”, the Countdown to the Championship in Denver last month. The Countdown to the Championship consists of the final six events of the season and begins in Charlotte, Sept. 12-14. Only the top 10 in Mello Yello championship points at the conclusion of the event in Indy are eligible to compete in the Countdown and to have a chance to be crowned a 2014 Mello Yello World Champion.
Alexis DeJoria and her Patrón XO Café Toyota Camry Funny Car team have also clinched their spot in the Countdown. Del Worsham, driver of the DHL Toyota Camry Funny Car, and J.R. Todd, driver of the Optima Batteries Top Fuel dragster, are currently in 9th place and 10th place respectively in their classes. They both will have to earn their positions in the Countdown in Indy.
Both Kalitta and Dejoria will also be racing in the exclusive Traxxas Nitro Shootouts in their respective classes during qualifying Saturday and Sunday (see schedule below). Worsham and/or Todd may also race in the Traxxas Nitro Shootouts depending on a fan vote and lottery-style drawing, which will be held Wednesday, Aug. 27, during the NHRA Fan Fest in downtown Indy.
Team Kalitta nitro race cars have five event wins and have appeared in 17 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 was the runner-up finisher in Indy in 2008 and 2004
– Kalitta was the No. 1 qualifier in Indy in 2004 and 2000
– Kalitta was the No. 8 qualifier in Indy 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 earlier this month, 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
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 eliminations in Indy last year; He qualified No. 6 in 2012 (quarterfinals)
– 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
– Todd’s crew chief, team owner and drag racing legend Connie “the Bounty Hunter” Kalitta won in Indy in 1994
Alexis DeJoria – Driver of the Patrón XO Café Toyota Camry Funny Car:
HOMETOWN: Austin, Texas
CREW CHIEF: Tommy DeLago
CAREER WINS: 4 (FC: 2 TAFC: 1 SPORTS: 1)
CAREER FINAL ROUNDS: 8 (FC: 4 TAFC: 3 SPORTS: 1)
CAREER BEST E.T.: 3.997 seconds
CAREER BEST SPEED: 319.07 mph
– DeJoria posted semi-final finishes at the previous three events (Sonoma, Seattle and Brainerd)
– DeJoria earned her first No. 1 qualifying position of her career in Atlanta in May
– DeJoria has garnered two event wins so far this season (Phoenix and Las Vegas)
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 in Indy in 2005
– Worsham was a runner-up finisher in Indy in 2011 (TF) and 1992
– Worsham was the No. 3 qualifier in Indy last year (semifinals)
– 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)
1 – Doug Kalitta (1446)*
2 – Antron Brown (1354)*
3 – Shawn Langdon (1204)*
4 – Tony Schumacher (1075)*
5 – Steve Torrence (971)*
6 – Spencer Massey (953)*
7 – Brittany Force (888)*
7 – Khalid alBalooshi (888)*
9 – Richie Crampton (841)*
10 – JR Todd (805)
11 – Bob Vandergriff Jr (675)
1 – John Force (1326 or 1346)**
2 – Robert Hight (1308)*
3 – Ron Capps (1090 or 1110)**
4 – Tommy Johnson Jr. (1052)*
5 – Alexis DeJoria (1035)*
6 – Courtney Force (1015)*
7 – Matt Hagan (1009)*
8 – Cruz Pedregon (929)
9 – Del Worsham (900)
10 – Tim Wilkerson (848)
11 – Jack Beckman (832)
* Clinched Countdown to the Championship berth
** Brainerd final round between Force and Capps to be completed in Indianapolis, so points for Force and Capps are pending. Both have clinched Countdown to the Championship berths.
FRIDAY, Aug. 29
Nitro Qualifying Session (FC-TF) 7:00 PM ET
SATURDAY, Aug. 30
Traxxas TF Shootout Driver Intro (TF) 3:30 PM ET
Traxxas TF Shootout Round 1 (TF) 4:00 PM ET
Nitro Qualifying Session (TF-FC) 4:15 PM ET
Traxxas TF Shootout Round 2 (TF) 5:25 PM ET
Nitro Qualifying Session (TF) 7:00 PM ET
Traxxas TF Shootout Final (TF) 7:45 PM ET
Nitro Qualifying Session (FC) 7:50 PM ET
SUNDAY, Aug. 31
Traxxas FC Shootout Driver Intro (FC) NOON ET
Traxxas FC Shootout Round 1 (FC) 12:30 PM ET
Nitro Qualifying Session (FC-TF) 12:45 PM ET
Traxxas FC Shootout Round 2 (FC) 1:55 PM ET
Nitro Qualifying Session (FC) 3:30 PM ET
Traxxas FC Shootout Final (FC) 4:15 PM ET
Nitro Qualifying Session (TF) 4:20 PM ET
MONDAY, Sept. 1
Nitro Eliminations – Round 1 – 11:00 AM ET
Nitro Eliminations – Round 2 – 1:15 PM ET
Nitro Eliminations – Semifinals – 2:35 PM ET
Nitro Eliminations – Finals – 3:55 PM ET
Times and dates subject to change.
08/31 Qualifying – 11:00 AM – 3:00 PM ET/8:00 AM – NOON PT (ESPN2)
08/31 Qualifying – 5:00 PM – 7:00 PM ET/2:00 PM – 4:00 PM PT (ESPN2)
09/01 Eliminations – NOON – 6:00 PM ET/9:00 AM – 3:00 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 –