YPSILANTI, Mich. (November 22, 2016) – Kalitta Motorsports announces today the departure of 2015 NHRA Funny Car Champion Del Worsham. Worsham will remain a valuable part of the NHRA community as he rejoins his family-owned Funny Car team.
“It was a hard decision to leave a championship-caliber team such as Kalitta Motorsports,” said Worsham. “However, there is so much unfinished business with my family’s team and I felt now is the time to do it. I am excited to see what the future holds. I cannot thank Connie Kalitta enough for giving me a shot in Scott’s car, and helping me achieve one of my ultimate goals: a Funny Car championship. I also want to thank Jim O (Oberhofer), Jon O (Oberhofer), Nicky Boninfante, the ‘YellaFellas’ and my Kalitta Motorsports teammates.”
“I walked away from one of the best rides in 2011 after I won the Top Fuel championship, and I feel the same way now. The time is just right and I know this is the right decision for me and my family.”
After claiming his 2011 Top Fuel Championship with Al-Anabi Racing, Worsham joined Team Kalitta as crew chief for Alexis DeJoria’s rookie NHRA Funny Car season. In 2013, Worsham moved back to the driver’s seat as driver of the DHL Toyota Camry Funny Car. Last season, Worsham delivered Connie Kalitta his first Funny Car championship as an owner. From 2013 through 2016, Worsham claimed six victories, 10 additional final round appearances, eight No.1 qualifiers and 120 round wins.
“Del has been a big part of the Kalitta Motorsports family for many years and we are sad to see him go,” said Jim Oberhofer, Vice President of Operations, Kalitta Motorsports. “He gave Connie his first Funny Car championship and has been a valuable asset for DHL, Toyota and our entire group of supporters. We wish him the best of success in his next endeavors.”
The new driver for the DHL Toyota Camry Funny Car has already been selected and will be announced at a later date.
Photo is courtesy of Gary Nastase.
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 six world championships and over 100 national event titles in five different professional drag racing sanctioning bodies since it was established by Connie in 1959.
Team Kalitta competes in NHRA Top Fuel and Funny Car divisions. In Funny Car, TBA drives the DHL Toyota Camry Funny Car and Alexis DeJoria pilots the Tequila Patrón 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. Kalitta Motorsports also manages the McLeod Racing Toyota Camry Funny Car driven by Paul Lee. 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, Tommy DeLago and Glen Huszar on the Tequila Patrón Toyota Camry Funny Car, Todd Smith on the McLeod Racing Funny Car, Rob Flynn on the SealMaster Top Fuel dragster and Jim Oberhofer on the Mac Tools Top Fuel dragster.
Associate sponsors on Kalitta Motorsports’ race cars include ARP, AutoDesk CAM, Champion, Cogistics, Darton Sleeves, DHL, Justice Brothers, Kalitta Air, Mac Tools, Optima Batteries, Phoenix Fuel Converter, Racing Electronics, Red Line Oil, SealMaster, Technicoat Companies, Tequila Patrón, TMS Titanium, Toyota and Ziebart.