ENGLISHTOWN, New Jersey (June 7, 2016) – Kalitta Motorsports drivers’ Doug Kalitta, J.R. Todd and Del Worsham preview the NHRA Summernationals at Old Bridge Township Raceway in Englishtown, New Jersey. This is the tenth race of 24 in the 2016 NHRA Mello Yello NHRA season.
Kalitta desires a return to the winner’s circle
Series’ points leader, Doug Kalitta, driver of the Mac Tools Top Fuel dragster, knows he has one of the cars to beat in the ultra-competitive Top Fuel class. However, after being stopped at New England Nationals for the first time in fifteen consecutive rounds of racing, Kalitta is ready for a return to the winner’s circle.
Kalitta scored his seventh semi-final or better finish in just nine 2016 events in New Hampshire, but saw his closest rival in the standings go two rounds further and claim the trophy. With his points lead now cut in half, Kalitta is motivated on the quick turn for a shot at earning his fourth win of the season.
Just two seasons ago, Kalitta was close to his third Englishtown victory. He claimed his second track No. 1 qualifier and defeated Clay Millican, Tony Schumacher and Morgan Lucas, before falling to defeat against then first-time winner Richie Crampton.
To earn his first Summernationals trophy in more than a decade, Kalitta knows he needs to be on his game all weekend.
“The Top Fuel field is very tough with so many cars capable of winning each week,” said Kalitta. “My Mac Tools ride is one of the most consistent and we have a good handle on what we want to do. We just have to buckle down and get everything out of the track we can.”
Todd plans to halt recent streak of early defeats
J.R. Todd, driver of the SealMaster Top Fuel dragster, is tired of his race day ending early. After suffering just one first round loss in the first five events, Todd has experienced three in the last four despite his consistent contributions on the tree and solid elapsed times. Epping was a step in the right direction despite the first round loss. With three steady qualifying passes, Connie Kalitta and Rob Flynn are getting a handle on the Bounty Hunter chassis.
Todd has yet to experience a final in Englishtown but has earned varying moments of success in his previous two Summernationals events with Team Kalitta.
He earned a round win over Leah Pritchett in his Englishtown debut for Kalitta Motorsports and last season began the race from the no. 2 position.
“My SealMaster team has definitely turned the corner and we can contend for the win,” said Todd. “Once we start getting these first rounds to go our way, I am confident we will be around for the later stages of every event.”
Todd, who currently is seventh in the series’ points standings, is just one round from rejoining the top five points earners.
Worsham wants to deliver special victory
Del Worsham, driver of the DHL Toyota Camry Funny Car, has seen much success at Englishtown since taking over Scott’s car in 2013, but wants to turn that success into a win this weekend.
Since his Team Kalitta debut, Worsham has earned top-three starting spots and has advanced to the semi-finals or better in every race.
In his Summernationals debut for Team Kalitta in 2013, Worsham began the race in second spot and made his way past both Paul Lee and John Force. In 2014, Worsham again qualified second, reset the track’s MPH record and defeated Tony Pedregon, Tim Wilkerson, Robert Hight before just missing the win against Cruz Pedregon. Then last season, Worsham earned the third starting spot and got by Jeff Diehl and Tony Pedregon before falling to his teammate, Alexis DeJoria, in the semis.
Worsham, whose second career win came at Old Bridge Township Raceway, knows that a win this weekend would mean more than just hoisting a Wally.
“We have come so close to winning this race every time since I joined Kalitta Motorsports,” said Worsham, who reclaimed a top five points ranking leaving Epping. “I know how special it would be to deliver this trophy to Connie, and my DHL team is up to the challenge.”
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 Champion, 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, Racing Electronics, Red Line Oil, SealMaster, Summit Racing Equipment, Technicoat Companies, Tequila Patrón, TMS Titanium, Toyota and Ziebar