LAS VEGAS, (Nov. 2, 2014) – Del Worsham and the DHL team debuted the new 2015 Toyota Camry Funny Car in spectacular style by winning the 14th Annual NHRA Toyota Nationals at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway Sunday in Las Vegas.
The win for Worsham, a 44-year old resident of Villa Park, Calif., is the 26th of his storied career in a nitro-fueled Funny Car and the 34th “Wally” of his career, including the eight he won in his World Championship-winning season behind the wheel of a Top Fuel dragster for the Al-Anabi Racing team in 2011.
Worsham’s win in Las Vegas is his first in Funny Car since the Richmond event (no longer competed) in 2009. The win Sunday came in his third final round appearance of the 2014 NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series (Dallas and Englishtown, N.J.). He has raced in 54 final rounds in his career which began in 1990.
Sunday’s victory was Worsham’s first since joining Kalitta Motorsports as the driver of the DHL Toyota Camry Funny Car in 2013. “I think we’ve been to probably four finals and this is the first time we’ve won with Kalitta Motorsports,” said Worsham. “We’ve almost had lane choice and low elapsed time in all those finals and we didn’t bring out a big enough stick. Today, the big bat was out. This was all about the crew chief and the crew and the job they did today.”
Worsham defeated 16-time NHRA Funny Car World Champion in the final round – 4.064 sec., 318.39 mph to 4.104 sec., 321.42 mph. “I want everyone to remember I’m driving Scott’s (Kalitta, who died in a racing accident in 2008) car. He was a good friend of mine and the DHL car will always be Scott’s car. I can’t thank Connie (Kalitta, team owner, drag racing legend and Scott’s father) enough for letting me be a part of his team and having this opportunity to drive for Kalitta Motorsports.”
dWith his win, Worsham became the first driver to win the fall event in Las Vegas in both nitro-fueled classes.
J.R. Todd, driver of the Optima Batteries/Advance Auto Parts Top Fuel dragster, raced to a runner-up finish in the class. It was Todd’s third trip to the “money round” of 2014 and the 11th of his career. In the previous five NHRA national events, Todd has leaped from 10th place to 3rd place in Mello Yello championship points.
For the first time in the NHRA’s Countdown to the Championship “playoffs” era, all four Team Kalitta drivers and teams finished in the top 10 in Mello Yello championship points during the “regular season” to qualify for the six-event Countdown to the Championship, which began in Charlotte in September.
Team Kalitta nitro race cars now have seven event wins and have appeared in a team-record 22 championship rounds so far in the 24-event 2014 NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series schedule of events this year.
Team Kalitta Eliminations Recap:
Del Worsham – Driver of the DHL Toyota Camry Funny Car:
No. 12 Qualifier (4.090 sec., 311.13 mph)
E1: Worsham defeated Arend – 4.110 sec., 309.63 mph to 12.355 sec., 71.81 mph
E2: Worsham defeated Capps – 4.092 sec., 315.19 mph to 4.138 sec., 315.71 mph
E3: Worsham defeated Hagan – 4.059 sec., 315.71 mph to 4.091 sec., 315.71 mph
E4: Worsham defeated J. Force – 4.064 sec., 318.39 mph to 4.104 sec., 321.42 mph
J.R. Todd – Driver of the Optima Batteries/Advance Auto Parts Top Fuel Dragster:
No. 1 Qualifier (3.732 sec., 327.43 mph)
E1: Todd defeated Zizzo – 3.816 sec., 290.82 mph to 3.811 sec., 322.88 mph
E2: Todd defeated alBalooshi – 3.777 sec., 321.19 mph to 3.781 sec., 319.37 mph
E3: Todd defeated B. Torrence – 3.781 sec., 323.43 mph to 3.796 sec., 325.45 mph
E4: Todd defeated by Massey – 7.375 sec., 87.51 mph to 3.756 sec., 330.88 mph
Doug Kalitta – Driver of the Mac Tools Top Fuel Dragster:
No. 3 Qualifier (3.747 sec., 317.34 mph)
E1: Kalitta defeated by B. Force – 4.121 sec., 251.63 mph to 3.789 sec., 325.69 mph
Alexis DeJoria – Driver of the Patrón XO Café Toyota Camry Funny Car:
No. 9 Qualifier (4.076 sec., 308.35 mph)
E1: DeJoria defeated by Johnson Jr. – 4.088 sec., 303.98 mph to 4.104 sec., 310.70 mph
Mello Yello Countdown to the Championship Points:
1 – Tony Schumacher (2501)
2 – Spencer Massey (2392)
3 – J.R. Todd (2389)
4 – Shawn Langdon (2367)
5 – Doug Kalitta (2366)
6 – Steve Torrence (2355)
7 – Antron Brown (2324)*
8 – Khalid alBalooshi (2292)*
9 – Brittany Force (2239)*
10 – Richie Crampton (2238)*
* Eliminated from championship contention
1 – Matt Hagan (2510)
2 – John Force (2489)
3 – Courtney Force (2389)
4 – Tommy Johnson Jr. (2362)
5 – Robert Hight (2360)
6 – Del Worsham (2341)*
7 – Ron Capps (2313)*
8 – Alexis DeJoria (2300)*
9 – Tim Wilkerson (2259)*
10 – Cruz Pedregon (2206)*
* Eliminated from championship contention
Konnekt with Kalitta Motorsports:
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