YPSILANTI, Mich. (November 30, 2015) – 2015 was a memorable and record-breaking season for Team Kalitta.
The 2015 Mello Yello Drag Racing Season yielded eight wins, which ties for the most wins ever in one year for Team Kalitta, matching the 1994 and 2005 seasons. Kalitta Motorsports’ 15 wins in the last two seasons is the team’s best two season run in our more than six decades. For just the second time in team history, Team Kalitta had victories in five of the last six events of the season and take a three-race winning streak into 2016.
Del Worsham, driver of the DHL Toyota Camry Funny Car, helped Kalitta Motorsports add to those successful stats while resetting many more records.
Driving the car with the late Scott Kalitta’s name, Worsham drove Kalitta Motorsports to their first Funny Car championship and sixth overall. It was the first since Scott Kalitta drove to back-to-back Top Fuel titles in the 1994 and 1995 seasons. It was also Team Kalitta’s first top five points finish in the Funny Car class. Worsham and his teammate, Alexis DeJoria, came close in the previous season, finishing sixth and seventh.
Worsham is now one of three drivers to own Top Fuel and Funny Car titles, following Kenny Bernstein and Gary Scelzi. He is the first Funny Car driver with four wins in the Countdown for the Championship in one season. He now owns 30 career Funny Car wins which ties him with Bernstein for seventh all-time. His 38 overall victories ties him with his teammate, Doug Kalitta, and ranks them both among the top 20 all-time.
Worsham also earned his 500th round win earlier this season in Chicago. He now has 522 round wins, which rank among the top 15 all-time. He had an incredible 18-2 round winning streak in the Countdown, winning 90% of his rounds. His 20 round wins in the last seven races accounted for half of his 39 round wins on the season, which are the most for him in a Funny Car season since 2004.
Doug Kalitta, driver of the Mac Tools Top Fuel Dragster, had his first three-win season since 2006 as he picked up victories in Houston, Norwalk and the fall Las Vegas event. His Norwalk win was his first at the Summit Racing Equipment Motorsports Park.
Kalitta finished fifth in the standings, his third consecutive top five points finish. In his 18-year NHRA career, Kalitta has never finished outside of the top ten in the point standings, which is best among Top Fuel drivers.
He will go into the 2016 season with six round wins in the last two events. His 545 career round wins rank top-15 in NHRA history.
Kalitta, a former USAC Champion, ran his 400th career NHRA event this season and made his 81st career final round. Nearly 20% of Kalitta’s career events have ended up in the final round.
He also earned his 43rd career No. 1 qualifier, which moves him just one behind 14th all-time.
J.R. Todd, driver of the Optima Batteries/Red Line Oil/SealMaster Top Fuel Dragster, earned his second consecutive top-ten finish in his two seasons with Kalitta Motorsports.
In 45 career starts with Team Kalitta, he has 45 round wins. He earned his eighth career win in Seattle as he took Red Line Oil to the winner’s circle for the first time as a primary partner in their long-running NHRA sponsorship run.
The Seattle win completes Todd’s personal Western Swing sweep. He earned his first two career victories in Denver and Sonoma in 2006, while matching the Denver victory last season in his first win for Team Kalitta.
He earned his 100th career round win earlier this season in Bristol and added 12 more throughout the remainder of the season to have 112 for his career, while resetting his career best elapsed time in Brainerd and his career best MPH in Pomona.
Alexis DeJoria, driver of the Tequila Patrón XO Café Incendio Toyota Camry Funny Car, also earned back-to-back top ten points finishes for the first time in her career, while earning her first career final round at the Englishtown event.
She improved on her Countdown for the Championship performance by one round win on the season, and ranked as the top driver in the Funny Car class without a victory and outranked one driver with a victory.
DeJoria earned 10 three-second passes this season, including ending the season with two consecutive. She reset her career best MPH in Pomona by reaching over 325mph, and also earned a new career-best elapsed time in Brainerd.
She ended the season on a hot streak with round wins in five of the last six events, which was her best run on the season. DeJoria’s 100th career race will be at the 2016 season’s first event.
Overall Team Kalitta drivers completed the season with a 109-88 round win record with eight wins, 14 final round appearances and four no.1 qualifiers.
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) Mello Yello 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 six world championships and over 100 national event titles in five different professional drag racing sanctioning bodies since it was established by Connie in 1959.
Team Kalitta is the home of the 2015 NHRA Mello Yello Funny Car World Champions, Del Worsham. He drives the DHL Toyota Camry Funny Car. Alexis DeJoria pilots the Tequila Patrón XO Café Incendio Toyota Camry Funny Car. J.R. Todd 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 Tequila Patrón XO Café Incendio 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 Justice Brothers, Kalitta Air, Optima Batteries, Patrón XO Café Incendio, Phoenix Fuel Converter, Red Line Oil, SealMaster, Summit Racing Equipment, Technicoat Companies, TMS Titanium, Toyota and Ziebart.
Konnekt with Kalitta Motorsports: For more info about Kalitta Motorsports including exclusive content such as videos, photos and more, please visit #KalittaStrong online – Website: www.teamkalitta.com Facebook: www.facebook.com/TeamKalitta Twitter: www.twitter.com/TeamKalitta YouTube: www.youtube.com/user/TeamKalitta Instagram: www.instagram.com/TeamKalitta