COMMERCE, Ga., (May 15, 2014) – This weekend, May 16-18, the four-car, nitro-fueled straight line racers of Kalitta Motorsports, led by drag racing icon and team owner Connie “the Bounty Hunter” Kalitta, will be competing in the 34th annual Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Southern Nationals at Atlanta Dragway in Commerce, Ga., approximately 68 miles northwest of the Atlanta city limits via I-85.
Here’s what to watch for from Team Kalitta at the Southern Nationals –
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: 51 (TF: 11 FC: 40)
CAREER BEST E.T.: 3.999 seconds
CAREER BEST SPEED: 321.42 mph
· Worsham became the youngest driver ever to win a Funny Car event in Atlanta in 1991 at 21 years old
· Worsham raced to a runner-up finish in Funny Car in Atlanta in 1992
· Worsham qualified in the No. 11 position for Funny Car eliminations in Atlanta last year, where he raced to a quarter-final finish
· Worsham has raced to two semi-final finishes so far this season (Pomona, Calif. and Houston)
· Worsham was the No. 1 qualifier for Funny Car eliminations at the previous event in Houston
Doug Kalitta – Driver of the Mac Tools Top Fuel Dragster
HOMETOWN: Ann Arbor, Mich.
CREW CHIEF: Jim Oberhofer
CAREER WINS: 34
CAREER FINAL ROUNDS: 71
CAREER BEST E.T.: 3.713 seconds
CAREER BEST SPEED: 331.45 mph
· Kalitta won the Top Fuel title in Atlanta in 2005 and 2006
· Kalitta raced to a runner-up finish in Atlanta in 1999
· Kalitta holds the track record for speed in Atlanta, 325.61 mph (2013)
· Kalitta has garnered one event wins so far this season (Gainesville, Fla.)
· Kalitta has raced to two runner-up finishes so far this season (Pomona, Calif. and Las Vegas)
· Kalitta was the No. 1 qualifier for Top Fuel eliminations in Pomona and Phoenix earlier this season
Alexis DeJoria – Driver of the Patrón XO Café Toyota Camry Funny Car
HOMETOWN: Venice, Calif.
CREW CHIEF: Tommy DeLago
CAREER WINS: 4 (FC: 2 TAFC: 1 SPORTS: 1)
CAREER FINAL ROUNDS: 7 (FC: 3 TAFC: 3 SPORTS: 1)
CAREER BEST E.T.: 3.997 seconds
CAREER BEST SPEED: 319.07 mph
· DeJoria in line to become the 100th NHRA event winner for a female racer
· DeJoria qualified in the No. 13 position for Funny Car eliminations in Atlanta last year (first round)
· DeJoria has garnered two event wins so far this season (Phoenix and Las Vegas)
J.R. Todd – Driver of the Optima Batteries/Advance Auto Parts Top Fuel Dragster
HOMETOWN: Lawrenceburg, Ind.
CREW CHIEF: Connie Kalitta
CAREER WINS: 6
CAREER FINAL ROUNDS: 8
CAREER BEST E.T.: 3.781 seconds
CAREER BEST SPEED: 325.30 mph
· Todd previously competed in Atlanta in 2012 (first round)
· Todd’s crew chief and team owner Connie Kalitta won the Top Fuel title as a driver in Atlanta in 1994
Mello Yello Championship Points:
1 Antron Brown 580
2 Doug Kalitta 543
3 Steve Torrence 428
4 Shawn Langdon 408
5 Khalid Albalooshi 381
6 Tony Schumacher 353
7 Spencer Massey 342
8 Brittany Force 300
9 Richard Crampton 224
10 J.R. Todd 220
11 Bob Vandergriff Jr 208
1 Robert Hight 609
2 John Force 487
3 Alexis De Joria 431
4 Del Worsham 361
5 Ron Capps 356
6 Jack Beckman 336
7 Tommy Johnson Jr 323
8 Matt Hagan 289
9 Tim Wilkerson 277
10 Courtney Force 275
FRIDAY, May 16
Nitro Qualifying Session (FC-TF) 5:00 PM ET
Nitro Qualifying Session (FC-TF) 7:15 PM ET
SATURDAY, May 17
Nitro Qualifying Session (TF-FC) 1:15 PM ET
Nitro Qualifying Session (TF-FC) 4:00 PM ET
SUNDAY, May 18
Nitro Eliminations – Round 1 11:00 AM ET
Nitro Eliminations – Round 2 1:00 PM ET
Nitro Eliminations – Semi-Finals 2:30 PM ET
Nitro Eliminations – Finals 3:55 PM ET
Times and dates subject to change.
ESPN2 TV Schedule:
05/17 – Qualifying – 6:00 PM – 8:00 PM ET/3:00 PM – 5:00 PM PT
05/18 – Eliminations – 9:00 PM – 12:00 AM ET/6:00 PM – 9:00 PM PT
Times and dates subject to change.
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) Full Throttle 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 five world championships and over 50 national event titles in five different professional drag racing sanctioning bodies since it was established by Connie in 1959.
Del Worsham drives the DHL Toyota Camry Funny Car for Team Kalitta. Alexis DeJoria pilots the Patrón XO Café Toyota Camry Funny Car. J.R. Todd drives the OPTIMA Batteries/Advance Auto Parts 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, by Tommy DeLago and Glen Huszar on the Patrón XO Café Toyota Camry Funny Car, and by Jim Oberhofer on the Mac Tools Top Fuel dragster. Connie serves as crew chief on the OPTIMA Batteries/Advance Auto Parts Top Fuel dragster.
Associate sponsors on Kalitta Motorsports’ race cars include Summit Racing Equipment, Mac Tools, Patrón XO Café, Red Line Oil, and Technicoat.
For more info about Kalitta Motorsports including exclusive content such as videos, photos and more, please visit www.teamkalitta.com. Follow Us on Twitter: www.twitter.com/TeamKalitta. Like Us on Facebook: www.facebook.com/KalittaMotorsports. Check out videos about Team Kalitta on our YouTube Channel: www.youtube.com/user/TeamKalitta. Follow us on Instagram: www.instagram.com/TeamKalitta.