Team Kalitta planning Epping breakthrough



EPPING, New Hampshire (June 1, 2016) – Kalitta Motorsports’ drivers Doug Kalitta, Del Worsham and J.R. Todd preview the New England NHRA Nationals at New England Dragway in Epping, New Hampshire. This is the ninth race of 24 in the 2016 NHRA Mello Yello NHRA season.

On a career-best tear, Kalitta works for first Epping title

Doug Kalitta, driver of the Mac Tools Top Fuel dragster, has done a lot in his nearly 20-year NHRA career. However, he has never been on a run like he is on right now.

On Kalitta’s current three-race winning streak, he has matched or set many records, including the first Top Fuel driver to win back-to-back events in Houston and the first driver to win consecutive NHRA Top Fuel races on holeshots. His most recent win in Topeka was exceptional as well.

At one of Kalitta’s favorite tracks, the Mac Tools dragster was on it from the first pass. The Jim Oberhofer-led team guided Kalitta to his top two quickest runs of his 1,000-foot NHRA career. Kalitta started in the top two for his sixth time in eight events and drove through a gauntlet of three of the current top five in the Top Fuel point standings, Clay Millican, Steve Torrence and Antron Brown, to claim victory. His excellent driving skill again was on display as he laid down the best reaction time in the class, an .023, and scored the win on an incredible pedaling effort in the final to earn the win over Brown.

Now Kalitta heads to New Hampshire looking for history. Only three drivers have ever won four straight Top Fuel events; a list that includes Kalitta’s cousin, Scott. Additionally, no one has won four straight in nearly a decade. Kalitta could also make team history as the New England Nationals, which is only in its fourth running, is the only track that Kalitta Motorsports has yet to claim victory. The track also ranks as one of just three that Kalitta is yet to own a personal wally.

“I am so proud to be a part of this Mac Tools team and Kalitta Motorsports as a whole,” said Kalitta. “My guys are working so hard and are continuing to strive for success. They have not rested and we are focused on just continuing to run our race.”

Kalitta has nearly claimed victory in Epping previously as he was the runner-up in the 2014 edition of the New England Nationals. He was also the inaugural event’s pole winner.

Todd desires to turn improvement into victory

J.R. Todd, driver of the SealMaster Top Fuel dragster, has shown speed and improvement over his early efforts last season.

One-third through the 2016 season, Todd has three more round wins than 2015 and ranks among the top five drivers in the class. However, Todd is not content with just improving, he wants to give the SealMaster team victories.

“This is the longest stretch on the NHRA season and a perfect time to get our consistency down and go for victories,” said Todd. “Several of my SealMaster guys have yet to win, and that is something I want to get them. With the way the car has been running, I feel confident that we will be in the Winner’s Circle soon.”

Topeka did not end the way that Todd would have liked. He ran one of the best times and would have defeated nearly every other Top Fuel competitor in the first round but his foe, Antron Brown. Even with that result, Todd retained his top five points ranking for the second consecutive event.

Todd has competed in all three of the previous Epping events. He replaced injured Brandon Bernstein in the inaugural event for Morgan Lucas Racing and had his best Epping result, a quarterfinal finish, in his first New England Nationals effort for Kalitta Motorsports in 2014.

Worsham looking to cross Epping off his list

Del Worsham, driver of the DHL Toyota Camry Funny Car, is a California native and is switching coasts one week after putting together an outstanding match race event at Barona drags.

Now he returns to his day job; the drivers’ seat of the DHL Toyota Camry Funny Car. Worsham and championship-winning tuners Jon Oberhofer and Nicky Boninfante are ready to back at seat after consecutive quarterfinal finishes to close the first third of the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing season.

Worsham has competed in all three of the previous New England Nationals and is one of only three Funny Car drivers to advance out of the first round in all three races (Courtney Force, John Force)

“I am excited to get back at it,” said Worsham. “The New England Nationals fans always pack the place full and I am ready to get this DHL Toyota Camry back on track for them. This is a race I have yet to win, and one I definitely want to claim.”

Epping is one of just four tracks that Worsham cannot yet claim victory and the 2015 NHRA Funny Car champion has his eyes set on the Wally and claiming that last TRAXXAS Shootout automatic entry spot.

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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 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 Toyota Camry Funny Car. J.R. Todd drives the SealMaster 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, Tommy DeLago and Glen Huszar on the Tequila Patrón Toyota Camry Funny Car, Rob Flynn on the SealMaster Top Fuel dragster and Jim Oberhofer on the Mac Tools Top Fuel dragster.

Associate sponsors on Kalitta Motorsports’ race cars include ARP, AutoDesk CAM, Champion, Cogistics, Darton Sleeves, DHL, Justice Brothers, Kalitta Air, Mac Tools, Optima Batteries, Phoenix Fuel Converter, Red Line Oil, SealMaster, Summit Racing Equipment, Technicoat Companies, Tequila Patrón, TMS Titanium, Toyota and Ziebart.