Team Kalitta looks to carry success from 2018 season and pre-season test this weekend at the Winternationals for the 2019 season kick off.
J.R. Todd looks to defend 2018 NHRA Funny Car Championship
The NHRA season kicks off this weekend in Pomona, CA. at the same track where J.R. Todd clinched his 2018 Funny Car Championship last November. Todd looks to defend his Funny Car title and become the first driver in this category to do so since 2002. Todd and the rest of his DHL Funny Car team, known as the “Yella Fellas”, plan to contend by approaching this new season the same way they did at the end of last season, where they won three of the last six races. The entire team, including co-crew chiefs Todd Smith and Jon Oberhofer, has returned for the 2019 season.
Two wins (2007-POM I -Top Fuel; 2018-POM II -Funny Car); One runner-up finish (2016-POM II-Top Fuel); One No. 1 qualifier (2016-POM II-Top Fuel)
J.R. Todd on the DHL Toyota Camry Funny Car 2019 goals: “The goal is to keep that number one on the car going into 2020. It’s going to be tough. We have our work cut out for us, but I have a great group of guys behind me with some great sponsors and we’re definitely up to the task.”
200 starts; 211 round wins; 17 wins; 29 finals; 10 no.1 qualifiers
With a win this weekend, Todd would be one of only four drivers to win the Winternationals in both Top Fuel and Funny Car classes.
Doug Kalitta seeks repeat of the 2018 Winternationals
Doug Kalitta began the 2018 season winning the event by defeating four tough opponents on championship Sunday. With a brand-new look from primary sponsor Mac Tools, he looks to duplicate his 2018 results here, which would make it Kalitta’s fourth win at the AutoClub Raceway throughout his career.
Mac Tools Returns
Mac Tools returns with Team Kalitta as primary sponsor of Doug Kalitta’s Top Fuel dragster team for the 19thseason, making the company the longest-standing active primary sponsor within the nitro class.
Tony Merritt, Marketing Director Global Sponsorships and Activations on their extension with Team Kalitta: “Mac Tools is proud to continue our long lasting relationship with Team Kalitta and our driver, Doug Kalitta. We’ve been fortunate enough to evolve together over the last 18 years and continue to build a program that strengthens our business through marketing and business to business channels. Our partnership has provided our Mac Tools Distributors a unique way to gain market share as well as a team to root for on the track. We cannot thank Connie Kalitta, Doug Kalitta and this hard-working team enough. We are looking forward to our best year yet.”
Three wins (2009-POM I, 2016-POM II, 2018-POM I); Seven runner-up finishes (1999-POM II, 2004-POM I, 2010-POM I, 2013-POM II, 2014-POM I, 2016-POM I, 2017-POM I); Six No.1 qualifiers (2001-POM I, 2003-POM I, 2004-POM I, 2004-POM II, 2006-POM II, 2014-POM I)
Doug Kalitta on what it means to get back to racing: “It’s been a short off-season, that’s for sure. Business has been busy, and my kids’ soccer schedule has kept us moving, so time flew by. It was definitely great to be back behind the wheel in testing. I’m looking for big things this year for our Mac Tools team. The guys have worked hard and we are looking for that repeat Wally this weekend.”
489 starts; 652 round wins (ninth all-time); 44 wins (Fifth all-time in Top Fuel); 96 finals; 49 no.1 qualifiers (tied 14th all-time)
Shawn Langdon Ready to Strike in Pomona for Team’s First Win
Shawn Langdon enters his sophomore year in the Funny Car class with new leadership, as the addition of Del Worsham brings his talent to join Nicky Boninfante as co-crew chief. The Global Electronic Technology Funny Car team had a stellar pre-season test session last week in Phoenix, running in the top three in the class both Friday and Saturday, and paired with the knowledge of their DHL Funny Car teammates, this team is poised to take the Wally at the Winternationals.
Three wins (2013-POM I, POM II, 2015-POMI); Three runner-up finishes (2010-POM II, 2011-POM I, 2017-POM II); Two No. 1 qualifiers (2012-POM I, 2015-POM II – Top Fuel)
Langdon on the addition of Del Worsham as co-crew chief: “The addition of Del is monumental for this team because what he brings to the table. He fully understands these cars and can help each individual crew guy to be better in their area. I think for me one of the huge plusses is the fact that Del is a championship driver…we speak that driver language to one another…he understands exactly what I’m saying and he can tell me how to improve.”
232 starts; 263 round wins; 14 wins; 30 finals; 18 no.1 qualifiers (Funny Car stats: 24 starts; 16 round wins)
With a win this weekend, Langdon could be one of only four drivers to win the Winternationals in both Top Fuel and Funny Car classes.
Richie Crampton Expanding DHL Presence with New Look
The 2019 Season will start off for Richie Crampton flying the DHL colors represented on his Top Fuel Dragster, showcasing the strengthening of the business between Kalitta Air and DHL over the past year. Crampton’s DHL Top Fuel Dragster will have team owner Connie Kalitta at the helm as crew chief with assistance from co-crew chief Kurt Elliott. Elliott and Crampton have worked together in the past, and the two, along with Connie and the rest of the DHL dragster team had some of the best numbers at the pre-season test session.
One No. 1 qualifier (2014-POM II)
Crampton on what it means to represent DHL: “To have this new DHL Toyota dragster out here is awesome for me,” Crampton said during the pre-season test session. “To be part of a great brand and be a teammate with the championship-winning DHL Funny Car with J.R. is great and we’re already seeing some of the signs that DHL magic carrying over to our dragster in testing.”
103 starts; 88 round wins; Eight wins; 10 finals; Five no.1 qualifiers