LAS VEGAS (April 7, 2015) – The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway has become a second home for Kalitta Motorsports after several rounds of recent success.
Alexis DeJoria, driver of the Patrón XO Café Incendio Toyota Camry Funny Car, is the defending champion of the SummitRacing.com NHRA Nationals. Although she qualified in the bottom half of the field, the Tommy DeLago and Glen Huszar-led crew tuned the Toyota Camry Funny Car to consistent passes to eliminate four former NHRA Funny Car Champions: Matt Hagan, Tony Pedregon, Cruz Pedregon and Robert Hight on the way to her second career victory. DeJoria comes into this Las Vegas event in the top ten in the point standings.
DeJoria’s teammate, Del Worsham, driver of the DHL Toyota Camry Funny Car, won The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway’s fall event, the Toyota Nationals. The win started an incredible run for the DHL team; their round win record stands at 12-5 since picking up the trophy.
After the 4-Wide Nationals in Charlotte, Worsham took over the points’ lead for the first time as the driver of the DHL Toyota Camry Funny Car. This is the first time he has led the point standings since his 2011 Top Fuel Championship season. During that championship season, he also won the Toyota Nationals. Additional, Worsham is a two-time no.1 qualifier in the Funny Car class at the Strip, most recently in 2010.
Worsham is also likely the next driver within the sport to hit the 500 career round win mark. After his runner-up finish in Charlotte, Worsham is just ten rounds from that historic record.
“We are off to a great start. I’ve been most impressed with the consistency of our DHL Toyota Camry Funny Car.With the exception of first roundin Gainesville, our Camryhas performed and responded to everything we’ve asked,” said Worsham. “
I think if we just continue to learn and trust our judgement the DHL teamshould do well all season.”
J.R. Todd, driver of the Red Line Oil/Kalitta Air dragster, is the Top Fuel class’s most recent no. 1 qualifier. Todd picked up the top spot in Charlotte, with a career best 3.713 second pass. Last time he was at the Strip, Todd was also laying down career-best numbers on his way to another no.1 qualifier and a final round appearance. His qualifying effort, a 3.732 second run, stands as the Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway’s track record for the NHRA Mello Yello Top Fuel class.
However, last season’s SummitRacing.com NHRA Nationals will be a great memory for Todd. A surprise phone call from Kalitta Motorsports team owner and NHRA legend Connie Kalitta gave Todd the wheel of the Bounty Hunter Top Fuel Dragster halfway through qualifying. He qualified solidly in the show and picked up a first round win over Richie Crampton. That result led him to a full-time ride, and much success. Since the SummitRacing.com NHRA Nationals, Todd has picked up more than 25 round wins, one victory (Denver), multiple final round appearances and a runner-up position in the standings. Todd will celebrate his anniversary with Kalitta Motorsports by participating in the SkyJump at the Stratosphere Hotel Casino. The SkyJump is a 108-story leap from the top of the hotel that reaches speeds of 40+ mph.
Although Todd is looking for his first win at the Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, he does combine last season’s final round appearance with another. During his historic rookie season in 2006, one of Todd’s four final round appearances was at the fall race in Las Vegas.
“I think the Red Line Oil team is finally on-track,” said Todd. “Although we had some bad luck in the first round in Charlotte, I am confident returning to the Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway with all of Kalitta Motorsports’ recent success.”
Doug Kalitta, driver of the Mac Tools Top Fuel Dragster, continues to be very consistent. The 4-Wide Nationals in Charlotte yielded another round win, while a recent test at the Auto Plus Raceway of Gainesville makes the Jim Oberhofer-led Mac Tools crew excited to return to the Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, especially with the recent team success.
Last season, Kalitta drove to the final round in the SummitRacing.com NHRA Nationals. He picked up round wins over Steve Faria, Bob Vandergriff and Steve Torrence to reach his fourth final round appearance in Las Vegas. Although he is looking for his first win, Kalitta does hold two no. 1 qualifiers which he picked up at the spring event in 2003 and 2005.
“The Mac Tools team is excited to return to Las Vegas,” said Kalitta. “This race is also sponsored by another one of our great partners, Summit Racing Equipment, which makes it even more special to win.”
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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 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 Tequila Patrón XO Café Incendio Toyota Camry Funny Car. J.R. Todd drives the Red Line Oil/Kalitta Air 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 Red Line Oil Top Fuel dragster.
Associate sponsors on Kalitta Motorsports’ race cars include Justice Brothers, Patrón XO Café Incendio, Phoenix Fuel Converter, Red Line Oil, SealMaster, Summit Racing Equipment, Technicoat Companies, TMS Titanium, Toyota and Ziebart.