BRAINERD, Minn., (Aug. 15, 2013) – Del Worsham, driver of the DHL Toyota Camry Funny Car for Kalitta Motorsports, entered eliminations at the previous event in Seattle in eighth place in Mello Yello Funny Car championship points, but in a season that the “flopper” class has seen some of the most competitive racing in NHRA history, Worsham and the DHL team left Seattle on the outside looking in to the top ten for the first time since April. This weekend at the annual running of the NHRA Nationals at Brainerd Int’l Raceway in Brainerd, Minn., Worsham is looking to leap back to where he feels his team rightfully belongs.
“Our DHL Toyota Camry has been great all season,” Worsham, a 43-year old resident of Chino Hills, Calif., said. “We stumbled a bit in Seattle, but everyone has a bad race sometimes. We’re not hanging our heads because we fell out of the top ten. Our DHL team is very resilient and we see this as a great challenge. We know we’re up to the task, and I’m excited about the next two races.”
Funny Car drivers now have only two events remaining to qualify for NHRA’s six-event “playoff”, the Countdown to the Championship, by being in the top ten in Mello Yello championship points when racing concludes at the famed U.S. Nationals in Indianapolis, Aug. 28-Sept. 2. Worsham is currently in 11th place, a mere three points away from the top ten.
Brainerd is one of only three tracks on the current NHRA national event schedule that Worsham has not been a finalist (Epping, N.H., Topeka, Kan.).
So far in 2013, Worsham and the DHL “Yella Fellas” have posted three semi-final showings and have raced to one runner-up finish (Gainesville, Fla.). They were the No. 1 qualifiers at the event in Bristol, Tenn., as well. Worsham and the DHL team also joined the elite three-second club in June with a 3.999-second blast in Chicago.
Worsham began his straight-line racing career in the fall of 1990 and has gone on to secure 33 career wins, including 25 in the Funny Car class. After switching Nitro classes and clinching the 2011 Top Fuel NHRA World Championship, the fan-favorite Worsham retired from driving and became crew chief for fellow Kalitta Motorsports teammate Alexis DeJoria. After one season out of the driver’s seat, he returned as a driver this season to take the controls of the DHL Toyota Camry Funny Car.
Follow Del Worsham:
The NHRA Nationals begin Friday for Team Kalitta and all the Nitro-powered pros with two qualifying sessions at 3:30 p.m. and 6:00 p.m. (CT). Two more qualifying sessions follow on Saturday at 12:30 p.m. and 3:00 p.m. The top 16 qualified cars in each Nitro class will race Sunday in final eliminations beginning at 11:00 a.m.
Times and dates subject to change.
ESPN2 TV Schedule:
8/17 – Qualifying
11:00 PM-1:00 AM (ET)
8/18 – Finals
9:00 PM-12:00 AM (ET)
Times and dates subject to change.
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) Full Throttle 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 Toyota Camry Funny Car. David Grubnic drives the OPTIMA Batteries/Advance Auto Parts 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 Toyota Camry Funny Car, and by Jim Oberhofer on the Mac Tools Top Fuel dragster. Connie serves as crew chief on the Optima Batteries Top Fuel dragster.
Associate sponsors on Kalitta Motorsports’ race cars include Candlewood Suites, Red Line Oil, Technicoat and JEGS.
For more info about Kalitta Motorsports including exclusive content such as videos, photos and more, please visit www.teamkalitta.com. Follow Us on Twitter: www.twitter.com/TeamKalitta. Like Us on Facebook: www.facebook.com/KalittaMotorsports. Check out videos about Team Kalitta on our YouTube Channel: www.youtube.com/user/TeamKalitta. Follow us on Instagram: www.instagram.com/teamkalitta.