HOUSTON, Texas (April 21, 2015) – After a solid weekend in Las Vegas, Kalitta Motorsports returns to the track this weekend in the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series’ first race of the season in Texas: the Spring Nationals in Houston.
After a quarterfinal finish in Las Vegas, Del Worsham, driver of the DHL Toyota Camry Funny Car, turns to Houston just nine markers out of the points’ lead. Last season, Worsham earned his second career number one qualifier at the track with a 4.051 second run. He then drove the DHL Toyota Camry Funny Car past Courtney Force and Chad Head to a semi-final finish.
Three of Worsham’s 34 career wins have taken place in Houston. Worsham took a number one qualifying effort in 2001 to the trophy, while also picking up the win in 2008. His 2011 Top Fuel World Championship season also saw Worsham finish in the Winner’s Circle in Houston.
Worsham is on his way to join his teammate, Doug Kalitta, and just 15 other drivers with 500 round wins. With his round win in Las Vegas, he is just nine rounds from that distinction.
“The DHL team had a very successful test in Las Vegas,” said Worsham. “The consistency is still there in the Toyota Camry, and we are going into Houston looking for the win.”
Worsham’s Funny Car teammate, Alexis DeJoria, driver of the Patrón XO Café Incendio Toyota Camry Funny Car, drove to her second semi-final finish of the season at the most recent race in Las Vegas. Tommy DeLago and Glen Huszar tuned DeJoria to the best run of the Funny Car class in the heat on Saturday, and then turned that into two round wins on Sunday. DeJoria, who lives in nearby Austin, Texas, evened her round record for the season and moved into seventh in the point standings.
Last season, DeJoria earned a top five qualifying effort and a second round finish in Houston.
Doug Kalitta, driver of the Mac Tools Top Fuel Dragster, looks to bounce back in Houston. Kalitta drove to one of the top five best runs in round one in Las Vegas, but was unable to drive by Spencer Massey. 2003’s Top Fuel winner, Kalitta is also picked up one of his 42 career number one qualifying wins just two years ago.
Houston can prove to be difficult, but Jim Oberhofer returns to the track with good notes from last season as he guided the Mac Tools team to two sub 3.8 second passes.
“Luck was not on our side in Las Vegas,” said Kalitta. “I am extremely confident in our return to Houston and look forward to try and drive the Mac Tools team into the Winner’s Circle.”
J.R. Todd, driver of the Red Line Oil/Kalitta Air Top Fuel dragster, is coming off his best weekend of the young season. Todd, who has earned eight career no. 1 qualifying positions, has earned over half of those in the past eleven races. Those five pole wins are best among all nitro classes. Todd was in front of the Top Fuel field for the second consecutive race in Las Vegas and drove the Red Line Oil/Kalitta Air Top Fuel Dragster past Steve Faria and Dom Lagana to a third place effort.
Todd, who is just four rounds away from 100 career round wins, is a former winner in Houston. He earned his fifth career win in 2007 by defeating Joe Hartley in the final round.
“After a successful test, the Red Line Oil team is hoping to carry our recent performance into Houston,” said Todd. “Houston has been a great race for the Kalitta team in the past and we are looking for the Wally this weekend.”
Team Kalitta will honor the legacy of Steve Byrnes this weekend in Houston. The longtime motorsports reporter lost his courageous battle with cancer on Tuesday. All four Kalitta Motorsports will run the #ByrnesStrong logo.
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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 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/Kalitta Air 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.