SONOMA, Calif., (July 24, 2014) – Kalitta Motorsports, the nitro-fueled, four-car NHRA drag racing team based in Ypsilanti, Mich., continues the traditional NHRA Western Swing this weekend, July 25-27, in Sonoma, Calif. at Sonoma Raceway at the 27th annual NHRA Sonoma Nationals. The NHRA Western Swing, consisting of three consecutive event weekends, began last weekend in Denver and ends next weekend in Seattle.
J.R. Todd, driver of the Optima Batteries/Advance Auto Parts Top Fuel dragster, kicked off the Western Swing in grand style by taking home the “Wally” (trophy) from Denver. Todd’s win in Denver was his first with Kalitta Motorsports and his first since 2008 (Dallas). Todd won his first NHRA Top Fuel title in Denver in 2006, becoming the first African-American to accomplish the feat.
Doug Kalitta, driver of the 10,000-horsepower Mac Tools Top Fuel dragster, leads the Mello Yello championship points by 25 over second place. The Mac Tools team clinched a berth in the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series “playoffs”, the Countdown to the Championship, in Denver. The Countdown to the Championship consists of the final six events of the season and begins in Charlotte, Sept. 12-14. Only the top ten in Mello Yello championship points at the conclusion event in Indianapolis, Aug. 27 – Sept. 1, are eligible to participate in the Countdown to the Championship.
Team Kalitta race cars have five event wins and have appeared in 15 championship rounds so far in the 24-event 2014 NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series events this year.
Doug Kalitta – Driver of the Mac Tools Top Fuel Dragster:
- HOMETOWN: Ann Arbor, Mich.
- CREW CHIEF: Jim Oberhofer
- CAREER WINS: 34
- CAREER FINAL ROUNDS: 75
- CAREER BEST E.T.: 3.713 seconds
- CAREER BEST SPEED: 331.45 mph
– Kalitta is the winningest Top Fuel driver in history at Sonoma Raceway with five event wins (2005, 2004, 2000, 1999 and 1998)
– Kalitta was the runner-up finisher in Sonoma in 2002
– Kalitta was the No. 1 qualifier in Sonoma in 2012, 2004, 2003 and 1998
– Kalitta was the No. 3 qualifier in Sonoma last year (quarterfinals)
– Kalitta won the 500th Top Fuel elimination round of his career in Epping in June, a feat accomplished by only 16 professional drivers in NHRA history
– Kalitta has garnered one event wins so far this season (Gainesville)
– Kalitta has raced to six runner-up finishes so far this season (Pomona, Las Vegas, Atlanta, Englishtown, Bristol, and Epping)
– Kalitta was the No. 1 qualifier for Top Fuel eliminations in Pomona, Phoenix, Atlanta, Englishtown and Chicago
J.R. Todd – Driver of the Optima Batteries/Advance Auto Parts Top Fuel Dragster:
- HOMETOWN: Lawrenceburg, Ind.
- CREW CHIEF: Connie Kalitta
- CAREER WINS: 7
- CAREER FINAL ROUNDS: 10
- CAREER BEST E.T.: 3.747 seconds
- CAREER BEST SPEED: 325.30 mph
– Todd won the previous event in Denver, his first win of 2014 and his first with Kalitta Motorsports; First win since 2008 in Dallas
– The Optima Batteries/Advance Auto Parts team qualified No. 1 in Sonoma last year (quarterfinals)
– Todd did not compete in Sonoma last year
– Todd has raced to three semi-final finishes so far this season (Charlotte, Topeka, and Chicago)
– Todd set a career-best elapsed time mark in June in Topeka (3.747 sec.)
– Todd joined Team Kalitta in March as the full-time driver of the Optima Batteries/Advance Auto Parts Top Fueler
Alexis DeJoria – Driver of the Patrón XO Café Toyota Camry Funny Car:
- HOMETOWN: Austin, Texas
- CREW CHIEF: Tommy DeLago
- CAREER WINS: 4 (FC: 2 TAFC: 1 SPORTS: 1)
- CAREER FINAL ROUNDS: 8 (FC: 4 TAFC: 3 SPORTS: 1)
- CAREER BEST E.T.: 3.997 seconds
- CAREER BEST SPEED: 319.07 mph
– DeJoria was a semi-finalist in Sonoma last year from the No. 16 qualifying spot
– DeJoria earned her first No. 1 qualifying position of her career in Atlanta in May
– DeJoria has garnered two event wins so far this season (Phoenix and Las Vegas)
Del Worsham – Driver of the DHL Toyota Camry Funny Car:
- HOMETOWN: Chino Hills, Calif.
- CREW CHIEFS: Nick Boninfante and Jon Oberhofer
- CAREER WINS: 33 (TF: 8 FC: 25)
- CAREER FINAL ROUNDS: 52 (TF: 11 FC: 41)
- CAREER BEST E.T.: 3.992 seconds
- CAREER BEST SPEED: 321.88 mph
– Worsham won the event in Sonoma in 2001
– Worsham was the runner-up finisher in Sonoma in 2007
– Worsham was the No. 14 qualifier in Sonoma last year (first round)
– Worsham recorded his career best elapsed time, 3.992 sec., in Bristol in June
– Worsham has raced to one runner-up finish (Englishtown) and two semi-final finishes so far this season (Pomona and Houston)
1 – Doug Kalitta (1162)
2 – Antron Brown (1137)
3 – Shawn Langdon (973)
4 – Tony Schumacher (830)
5 – Steve Torrence (814)
6 – Spencer Massey (811)
7 – Brittany Force (783)
8 – JR Todd (705)
9 – Khalid alBalooshi (685)
10 – Richie Crampton (678)
1 – Robert Hight (1179)
2 – John Force (998)
3 – Ron Capps (921)
4 – Tommy Johnson Jr. (882)
5 – Courtney Force (817)
6 – Alexis DeJoria (811)
7 – Matt Hagan (794)
8 – Cruz Pedregon (781)
9 – Del Worsham (780)
10 – Tim Wilkerson (711)
FRIDAY, July 25
- Nitro Qualifying Session (FC-TF) 5:00 PM PT
- Nitro Qualifying Session (FC-TF) 7:00 PM PT
SATURDAY, July 26
- Nitro Qualifying Session (TF-FC) 1:30 PM PT
- Nitro Qualifying Session (TF-FC) 4:00 PM PT
SUNDAY, July 27
- Nitro Eliminations – Round 1 – 11:00 AM PT
- Nitro Eliminations – Round 2 – 1:00 PM PT
- Nitro Eliminations – Semifinals – 2:30 PM PT
- Nitro Eliminations – Finals – 3:55 PM PT
Times and dates subject to change.
- 07/26 Qualifying – 7:00 PM – 8:00 PM ET/4:00 PM – 5:00 PM PT (ESPN)
- 07/27 Eliminations – 9:00 PM – 12:00 AM ET/6:00 PM – 9:00 PM PT (ESPN2)
Times and dates subject to change.
About Kalitta Motorsports:
Based in Ypsilanti, Michigan, Kalitta Motorsports is a Top Fuel and Funny Car nitro drag racing team in the NHRA (National Hot Rod Association) Mello Yello Drag Racing Series. The team was founded by drag racing pioneer and auto racing legend Connie “the Bounty Hunter” Kalitta. For more than half of a century, Kalitta has been involved in the world’s quickest and fastest motor sport as a driver, tuner, and as 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 Kalitta in 1959.
Connie’s nephew, Doug Kalitta, pilots the Mac Tools Top Fuel dragster for Team Kalitta. Former Top Fuel world champion Del Worsham drives the DHL Toyota Camry Funny Car. Alexis DeJoria, the world’s quickest female Funny Car racer, drives the Patrón XO Café Toyota Camry Funny Car, and J.R. Todd, the first African-American to win an NHRA Top Fuel event, drives the OPTIMA Batteries/Advance Auto Parts Top Fuel dragster.
Jim Oberhofer, crew chief, and Troy Fasching, assistant crew chief, guide the Mac Tools Top Fuel dragster team. Crew chief Nick Boninfante and co-crew chief Jon Oberhofer tune the DHL Toyota Camry Funny Car. Tommy DeLago, crew chief, and Glen Huszar, co-crew chief, make the calls on the Patrón XO Café Toyota Camry Funny Car, and Connie Kalitta serves as crew chief on the OPTIMA Batteries/Advance Auto Parts Top Fuel dragster with help from assistant crew chief James Riola.
Valued partners of Kalitta Motorsports include Mac Tools, DHL, Optima Batteries, Patrón XO Café, Red Line Oil, Summit Racing Equipment, Technicoat, and SealMaster.
For more info about Kalitta Motorsports including exclusive content such as videos, photos and more, please visit #KalittaStrong online –