CHARLOTTE, NC (March 29, 2015) – Del Worsham, driver of the DHL Toyota Camry Funny Car, advanced to his second final round through just four events in the 2015 NHRA Mello Yello Series season today in Charlotte.
Though the DHL team started ninth for Sunday, they were confident that they had a solid car for racing. Del Worsham faced Courtney Force, Chad Head and Dale Creasy in the first session and was an easy victor. His 4.04 second pass put him in the semi-finals, where he again was the quickest of his group with a 4.061 elapsed time.
Worsham drew Jack Beckman, Tommy Johnson Jr. and Chad Head in the finals. Although the Jon Oberhofer and Nicky Boninfante-led crew tuned up Worsham to a 4.01 second run, it was not enough. Beckman earned his first victory in several years with a sub-4.0 second pass.
With his second-place effort, Worsham assumes the Mello Yello Funny Car points lead for the first time with Kalitta Motorsports.
“This DHL Toyota Camry was consistent and fast today,” said Worsham. “Excited to run that well and take the points lead, but we are definitely looking for that first victory of the season. Hopefully we can get that accomplished in Las Vegas.”
Doug Kalitta, driver of the Mac Tools Top Fuel Dragster, drove his way to another top five starting position for the eliminations, and drew Spencer Massey, Steve Torrence and Ike Maier in round one. The Mac Tools Top Fuel Dragster had a quick fire before crossing the finish line, but Kalitta was able to hold it together to finish second in his quad and advance to round two. Round two saw a crazy three-wide pedal fest, and the Mac Tools team came out on the losing end.
“The last session put a little damper on our day,” said Kalitta. “However, the Mac Tools team continues to make gains, and we are happy with our progress. We look forward to continuing this success in Las Vegas and hopefully picking up a trophy.”
Kalitta leaves Charlotte in the top five in the point standings.
J.R. Todd, driver of the Red Line Oil/Kalitta Air Top Fuel dragster, earned Team Kalitta their first no. 1 qualifying position of the season with an outstanding 3.713 second run in the final qualifying session on Saturday. His group for round one included former champions Antron Brown and Shawn Langdon. With special guest Matt Crafton looking on, the Red Line Oil Top Fuel Dragster was unable to advance after the car smoked the tires early.
“With our test in Gainesville, we made some progress especially in qualifying,” said Todd. “Unfortunately, our race day did not go as plan. We are already looking forward to (Las) Vegas and running well there.”
After four races, Todd sits tenth in the NHRA Mello Yello Top Fuel Standings.
Alexis DeJoria, driver of the Patrón XO Café Incendio Toyota Camry Funny Car, struggled with the new track surface and earned the fifteenth starting position for Sunday’s unique race format. The struggles ensued on race day, with DeJoria making a 10.200 second pass, which was not good enough to advance.
DeJoria, who finishes this event in the tenth position in the standings, will return to The Strip in Las Vegas as the defending champion.
After four races, Team Kalitta nitro race cars have advanced to three final rounds and earned one no.1 qualifying position. The teams will take next weekend off for Easter and then return to the SummitRacing.com Nationals in Las Vegas on April 10-12.
Del Worsham – Driver of the DHL Toyota Camry Funny Car:
No. 9 Qualifier (4.101 sec., 305.63 mph)
E1: Worsham defeated Creasy and C. Force – 4.040 sec., 306.26 mph to 7.691 sec., 89.70 mph and 8.579 sec., 80.65 mph
E2: Worsham defeated Hale and C. Pedregon – 4.067 sec., 288.64 mph to 16.578 sec., 50.85 mph and broke.
E3: Worsham defeated by Beckman – 4.012 sec., 314.24 mph to 3.983 sec., 308.78 mph
Doug Kalitta – Driver of the Mac Tools Top Fuel Dragster:
No. 5 Qualifier (3.736 sec., 325.06 mph)
E1: Kalitta defeated Massey and Maier – 3.912 sec., 252.52 mph to 4.101 sec., 313.29 mph and 6.797 sec., 169.25 mph
E2: Kalitta defeated by Brown and Torrence – 7.786 sec., 100.73 mph to 5.817 sec., 185.00 mph and 6.019 sec., 200.95 mph
J.R. Todd – Driver of the Red Line Oi/Kalitta Air Top Fuel Dragster:
No. 1 Qualifier (3.713 sec., 309.84 mph) – Career Best and Track Record Elapsed Time
E1: Todd defeated by Brown and Connolly – 7.389 sec., 84.37 mph to 3.771 sec., 313.58 mph and 3.944 sec., 301.07 mph
Alexis DeJoria – Driver of the Patrón XO Café Incendio Toyota Camry Funny Car:
No. 15 Qualifier (4.839 sec., 218.55mph)
E1: DeJoria defeated by Hight and J. Force – 10.200 sec., 80.97 mph to 4.027 sec., 304.05 mph and 4.250 sec.,278.69 mph
Mello Yello Championship Points:
Top Fuel (Unofficial)
1. Antron Brown (354)
2. Tony Schumacher (328)
3. Shawn Langdon (312)
4. Spencer Massey (286)
5. Doug Kalitta (238)
6. Richie Crampton (232)
7. Steve Torrence (213)
8. Brittany Force (192)
9. Clay Millican (189)
10. J.R. Todd (180)
Funny Car (Unofficial)
1. Del Worsham (305)
2. Matt Hagan (303)
3. Ron Capps (279)
4. Tommy Johnson Jr. (239)
5. Robert Hight (230)
6. John Hale (224)
7. Jack Beckman (208)
8. Cruz Pedregon (206)
9. Courtney Force (198)
10.Alexis DeJoria (193)
Konnekt with Kalitta Motorsports:
For more info about Kalitta Motorsports including exclusive content such as videos, photos and more, please visit #KalittaStrong online –
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 Red Line Oil/Kalitta Air 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 Red Line Oil 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.