Todd returns to site of most recent victory Team Kalitta Pre-Race Report – Denver



MORRISON, Colo. – (July 22, 2015) – J.R. Todd, driver of the SealMaster Top Fuel Dragster, has fond memories in the high altitude of Bandimere Speedway. His success combined with Kalitta Motorsports class-leading seven victories on the mountain gives Todd high hopes heading into the first stop of the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series’ annual Western Swing.

Historically, Kalitta Motorsports has been strong at Bandimere Speedway in years that end in 4 or 5. Starting back in 1984 and 1985, NHRA legend and Kalitta Motorsports team owner Connie Kalitta scored wins. Ten years later, the late Scott Kalitta took his turn in the winner’s circle as he was Top Fuel’s victor in 1994 and 1995, and then once again in 2004. Todd continued that tradition last season by winning in 2014, and looks for all the pieces to fall into place to continue that unique statistic in 2015.

Todd came to Kalitta Motorsports last season with his own history in Denver. In just his ninth career NHRA start, Todd defeated champions Larry Dixon and Tony Schumacher to hoist his first Wally. That win solidified his name in NHRA history as the first African-American driver to win in NHRA’s fastest class, Top Fuel Dragster. Todd would pick up two more wins on his way to the 2006 AAA Road to the Future trophy.

Last season in his 12th start for Team Kalitta, Todd qualified 10th and beat Terry McMillen, Steve Torrence, Larry Dixon and Brittany Force on his way to his seventh career victory and first since 2008. Now one year later, Todd wants to return to the peak position as we near the NHRA playoffs, which will be set out of after the historic U.S. Nationals in Indianapolis. Todd sits in the ninth position heading into the Western Swing.

“I am definitely looking forward to getting back on the mountain,” said Todd. “Team Kalitta has always been strong there and I feel like we have a great shot at doing well there again this year.”

Todd welcomes back SealMaster to the primary partner for this weekend’s Mile High Nationals. This is SealMaster’s second event as a primary sponsor after making their debut in Norwalk. Fans can meet Todd and walk Bandimere Speedway’s track surface on Sunday during the SealMaster Track Walk.

Doug Kalitta, driver of Mac Tools Top Fuel dragster, added his name to the Kalitta Motorsports legacy at Bandimere Speedway in 2010.

He qualified second and defeated Terry McMillen, Steve Torrence, Rod Fuller and Brandon Bernstein for his 32nd career win. That was preceded by years of trying to reach the top. He has four other final round appearances (1999, 2001, 2003 and 2009) and was the no.1 qualifier in 2002 and 2006.

Last season, Kalitta’s Mac Tools team struggled in Denver, but finished the Western Swing strong and picked up the victory in Seattle.

“We are ready for the Western Swing,” said Kalitta. “The Mac Tools team has used the week off to prepare and with our recent success I am confident in our set-up heading to Denver.”

Del Worsham, driver of the DHL Toyota Camry Funny Car, is the highest in the points of any Kalitta Motorsports driver as he used a holeshot round win in the first round of Chicago to move into the top three in the point standings.

That round win was even more historic as that gave Worsham his 500th for his career that dates back to 1991. He is just the 17th driver to hit that number, and only the third with round wins in Top Fuel and Funny Car.

Denver was kind to Worsham previously. In 2002, he celebrated the win with his wife, Connie, and young twin daughters, Kate and Maddy. Over a decade later, Worsham is still winning rounds and now celebrating his daughters successes. Kate and Maddy both participated in the Junior Western Finals during the off weekend with Kate advancing to the finals.

The Western Swing was not kind to the DHL “Yella Fellas” last season, but Worsham plans to change that on the first stop.

“The off weekend was a great time for my family, but I am ready to get back at it,” said Worsham. “Hopefully Denver is the start to a great Western Swing run for the DHL team.”

Alexis DeJoria, driver of the Patrón XO Café Incendio Toyota Camry Funny Car, is attempting her fourth career start at Bandimere Speedway.

DeJoria gained five points in Chicago over 11th-place Courtney Force in the point standings, and looks to continue gaining separation in Denver.

DeJoria is searching for her first round win on the mountain. Last season, she qualified in the top ten and fell to championship points leader Matt Hagan in round one.

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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 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 XO Café Incendio 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, by Tommy DeLago and Glen Huszar on the Tequila Patrón XO Café Incendio Toyota Camry Funny Car, and by Jim Oberhofer on the Mac Tools Top Fuel dragster. Connie serves as crew chief on the SealMaster Top Fuel dragster.

Associate sponsors on Kalitta Motorsports’ race cars include Justice Brothers, Patrón XO Café Incendio, Phoenix Fuel Converter, Red Line Oil, SealMaster, Summit Racing Equipment, Technicoat Companies, TMS Titanium, Toyota and Ziebart.