Team Kalitta Returns to Michigan After Successful Outing at U.S. Nationals; Kalitta and Worsham Enter Countdown to the Championship with Momentum

YPSILANTI, Mich., (Sept. 4, 2013) – There are now only six events remaining on the 2013 Mello Yello Drag Racing Series calendar. At the previous event last weekend, the 59th annual running of the world-renowned U.S. Nationals in Indianapolis, the Team Kalitta contingent of Doug Kalitta, Del Worsham, David Grubnic and Alexis DeJoria had mixed results, but all four drivers and teams performed very well and all returned to Kalitta Motorsports headquarters in Ypsilanti, Mich. with heads held high and an even stronger desire to finish this season’s campaign with multiple wins and a points championship or two.

Doug Kalitta, driver of the “Big Red” Mac Tools Top Fuel dragster, enters the NHRA playoffs, the Top Fuel Countdown to the Championship, in the No. 4 position in points, only 50 points away from the top spot. He raced to the semifinals in Indy from the No. 8 qualifying spot. Kalitta knows he has one of the top-performing dragsters in the class, and he is excited about the chance to battle for his first championship in his 16-year Top Fuel career.

“I think we’ve got a really good shot at it,” Kalitta, a 49-year old resident of Ann Arbor, Mich., said., “ Jim (Oberhofer, crew chief) and Troy (Fasching, assistant crew chief) and our entire Mac Tools team have given me a great race car to drive this year. We are going to give it our all and hopefully get that big trophy at the end of the season.”

So far in the 2013 NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series, Kalitta has raced to four semi-final finishes and one runner-up (Norwalk, Ohio). He has been No. 1 qualifier entering eliminations on five occasions this season.

Del Worsham, driver of the DHL Toyota Camry Funny Car, enters the Funny Car Countdown to the Championship, in the No. 10 position in points, 110 points behind the leader. After qualifying in the No. 3 slot for eliminations, he also raced to the semifinals in Indy to climb from 11th to 10th in points to dramatically garner the final position in the Countdown. Worsham is extremely eager to race for the Funny Car championship and add his name to an elite and small list of drivers who have won championships in both of NHRA’s nitro-fueled classes. He won the Top Fuel championship in 2011 driving for Al-Anabi Racing.

“Of course winning the championship in both nitro classes would be great, but winning the Funny Car championship with our DHL team this year would be even more special,” Worsham, a 43-year old resident of Chino Hills, Calif., said. “I’ve spent most of my career racing in Funny Cars, and I would love to get the championship in Funny Car with our team. We’ve fought so hard all year and made improvements all year. Everyone on our DHL team deserves to be where we are and we’re all ready for the challenge.”

So far in 2013, Worsham and the DHL “Yella Fellas” have posted four semi-final showings and have raced to one runner-up finish (Gainesville, Fla.). They were the No. 1 qualifiers at the event in Bristol, Tenn., as well.

Both David Grubnic, driver of the Optima Batteries/Advance Auto Parts Top Fuel dragster, and Alexis DeJoria, driver of the Tequila Patrón Toyota Camry Funny Car, in 11th place and 12th place respectively in their classes, want to play the role of Countdown “spoiler” in their respective classes. Both teams have been posting great performances recently and both plan to gather event wins before the season is over.

The Countdown to the Championship begins in Charlotte, Sept. 13-15, and is followed by three consecutive weekends of racing until the event in Reading, Penn., Oct. 3-6. The Countdown and the season conclude with events in Las Vegas, Oct. 24-27, and Pomona, Calif. Nov. 7-10.

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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) Full Throttle 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 Toyota Camry Funny Car. David Grubnic drives the OPTIMA Batteries/Advance Auto Parts 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 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 Candlewood Suites, Red Line Oil, Technicoat and JEGS.

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