Gainesville, Fla., (March 14, 2014) – This weekend, March 14-16, the four-car, nitro-fueled straight line racers of Kalitta Motorsports will be competing in one of the most prestigious events on the 2014 NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series schedule – the 45th annual NHRA Gatornationals at Auto Plus Raceway at Gainesville (formerly Gainesville Raceway) in Gainesville, Fla.
With all four Team Kalitta entries in the top ten in Mello Yello championship points (class respective), the team led by drag racing icon and team owner Connie “the Bounty Hunter” Kalitta looks to add to its stellar credentials in the Sunshine State this weekend.
Here’s what to watch for–
Doug Kalitta – Driver of the Mac Tools Top Fuel Dragster:
- Kalitta is the Mello Yello Top Fuel points leader entering competition in Gainesville
- Kalitta and the Mac Tools team qualified No. 1 at the first two events of the NHRA season (Pomona, Calif. And Phoenix)
- Kalitta posted a runner-up finish in Pomona and a semi-final appearance in Phoenix
- Kalitta is a two-time winner of the famed Gatornationals (2005 and 2000)
- Kalitta was the No. 1 qualifier in Gainesville last year as well as in 2003
Alexis DeJoria – Driver of the Patrón XO Café Toyota Camry Funny Car:
- DeJoria and the Patrón XO Café team picked up an emotional first event win in Phoenix, DeJoria’s fist time visiting the winner’s circle in a Nitro Funny Car
- DeJoria became the quickest female in NHRA Funny Car history in Pomona with an outstanding 3.997-second run in qualifying
- DeJoria picked up first round-win in Gainesville in 2012 against 16-time Funny Car champion John Force
- DeJoria is currently in third place in Mello Yello Funny Car points, a career high
David Grubnic – Driver of the Optima Batteries/Advance Auto Parts Top Fuel Dragster:
- Grubnic and the Optima Batteries/Advance Auto Parts team with Connie at the helm as crew chief won Top Fuel title trophy in Gainesville in 2006
- Grubnic was the No. 1 qualifier for the Gatornationals in 2005 and 2004
- Grubnic is currently tied for ninth place in Mello Yello Top Fuel points
Del Worsham – Driver of the DHL Toyota Camry Funny Car:
- Worsham has hoisted the champions trophy twice in Gainesville, once as the Funny Car winner in 2004 and once as the Top Fuel winner in 2011
- Worsham and the DHL Funny Car team posted a runner-up finish during last year’s running of the Gatornationals
- Worsham and the DHL team are currently in fifth place in Mello Yello Funny Car points
The 45th annual NHRA Gatornationals begin Friday for Team Kalitta and the nitro-powered pros. Two qualifying sessions at 12:45 p.m. and 3:00 p.m. (ET) will take place both Friday and Saturday. The top 16 qualified cars in both Top Fuel and Funny Car will race Sunday in eliminations beginning at 11:00 a.m
Times and dates subject to change.
ESPN2 TV Schedule:
- 03/16/2014 Qualifying 1:00 AM – 3:00 AM ET/10:00 PM – 12:00 AM PT
- 03/16/2014 Qualifying Re-air 7:30 AM – 9:00 AM ET/4:30 AM – 6:00 AM PT
- 03/16/2014 Eliminations 7:00 PM – 9:00 PM ET/4:00 PM – 6:00 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. David Grubnic drives the OPTIMA Batteries 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 Top Fuel dragster.
Associate sponsors on Kalitta Motorsports’ race cars include Patrón XO Café, Red Line Oil, Technicoat Companies and Summit Racing Equipment.
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.