ENGLISHTOWN, NJ (June 7, 2015) – Alexis DeJoria, driver of the Patrón XO Café Incendio Toyota Camry Funny Car,advanced to her first final round of the season earlier today at Old Bridge Raceway Park during the Toyota NHRA Summernationals.
DeJoria started qualifying with a great pass in the warmth of Englishtown, NJ. Tommy DeLago tuned DeJoria down the track in just 4.046 seconds, which placed her fourth after the first session. That run allowed the Patrón XO Café Incendio team to work on the raceday package throughout the final three sessions. DeJoria ended up dropping to tenth, and drew Topeka winner Jack Beckman in round one.
DeJoria had the set-up for race conditions. She was clean right down the track and easily defeated a tire-smoking Beckman. Next up was the Top Fuel driver Dom Lagana, who was making his Funny Car debut. Lagana also had nothing for the DeLago run, as DeJoria screamed down the groove at 4.168 seconds to set-up the all-Team Kalitta funny car semi-final with her teammate Del Worsham. DeJoria was able to earn her first final round appearance and sixth of her career by barely defeating Worsham at the stripe. A great race in the final saw DeJoria take the lead at the 330 mark before coming up just short to Matt Hagan.
It was a successful weekend for DeJoria in the point standings as she was able to move from tenth to eighth overall.
Del Worsham, driver of the DHL Toyota Camry Funny Car, has been the most consistent machine throughout the nitro season, and those great runs continued throughout qualifying. Four straight passes Jon Oberhofer and Nicky Boninfante guided the DHL Toyota Camry down the track with four solid passes, including another three second run in the second round of qualifying, which earned him another bonus point and the third qualifying position. Although that was his best run, perhaps the most impressive run was in the final qualifying round as the DHL team went 4.036, which was the top Funny Car run of the day.
Worsham’s first round competition was Jeff Diehl. Diehl who is searching for his first career round win was eager at the tree and turned the red light on. That round win advanced Worsham to face former champion and fellow Toyota Racing driver Tony Pedregon. Pedregon smoked the tires at the hit, and the DHL group continued their outstanding performance in the heat with another 4.11 pass.
The semi-final round was an intramural battle against teammate Alexis DeJoria. Worsham got her at the tree, but DeJoria was just able to track him down at the stripe to win by a little over one thousandth.
“This is a race the DHL Toyota Camry team really wanted,” said Worsham. “If you have to lose, I guess to your teammate is the best way, but to run this well and come up short again is disappointing.”
Worsham moved back to the top three in the point standings and continues to be the highest ranking nitro driver without a victory this season.
Doug Kalitta, driver of the Mac Tools Top Fuel dragster, started from an unfamiliar place on Sunday; the bottom half of the field. However, the Mac Tools machine was consistent throughout qualifying, never smoking the tires or hurting parts. Four clean passes set up well for Sunday’s action where his first opponent would be Texan Steve Torrence.
Kalitta was not fazed by the upper-half qualifier Torrence. He recorded the best reaction time of any nitro driver in round one (an .048) and beat Torrence easily on a holeshot. Antron Brown, the points leader, was his next opponent. Kalitta was ready again. He best his previous reaction time and led the class again with a .038 and just missed his second holeshot win as Brown defeated him by .004 seconds.
“It was a special weekend for Kalitta Motorsports and we really wanted to win with the Mac Tools team,” said Kalitta.“This one means a lot, and we were close, but just not able to pick-up the trophy.”
Kalitta retained the fifth place in the points.
J.R. Todd, driver of the Kalitta Air Top Fuel dragster, had the best machine throughout qualifying. He earned a nitro-best eight bonus points and was among the best two runs in the Top Fuel class three times out of four passes. That hard work slotted the Kalitta Air/Red Line Oil team in the second position with a first round race against Atlanta semi-finalist Terry McMillen.
Todd and McMillen recorded the same reaction time, and Todd was pulling away till a small bit of tire smoke allowed McMillen to barely drive by.
“Another great Friday and Saturday, but it is extremely disappointing that we were unable to continue that success into raceday,” said Todd. “We lost yet another close race, but maybe the Kalitta Air team’s luck will turn next weekend in Epping.”
Todd sits ninth in the point standings with the Toyota Summernationals results.
After eight races, Team Kalitta nitro race cars have won one event, advanced to five final rounds and earned two no.1 qualifying positions. The NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series will make the short drive to Epping, New Hampshire for the New England Nationals next weekend
Alexis DeJoria – Driver of the Patrón XO Café Incendio Toyota Camry Funny Car:
No. 10 Qualifier (4.046 sec., 302.75 mph)
- E1: DeJoria defeated Beckman – 4.089 sec., 302.96 mph to 4.458 sec., 206.39 mph
- E2: DeJoria defeated Lagana – 4.168 sec., 296.89 mph to 6.863 sec., 93.35 mph
- E3: DeJoria defeated Worsham – 4.120 sec., 297.09 mph to 4.138 sec., 301.00 mph
- Finals: DeJoria defeated by Hagan – 4.138 sec., 298.40 mph to 4.132 sec., 299.53 mph
Del Worsham – Driver of the DHL Toyota Camry Funny Car:
No. 3 Qualifier (3.998 sec., 314.53 mph)
- E1: Worsham defeated Diehl – 4.114 sec., 299.26 mph to 4.321 sec., 271.19 mph
- E2: Worsham defeated T. Pedregon – 4.116 sec., 300.66 mph to 7.046 sec., 121.64 mph
- E3: Worsham defeated by DeJoria – 4.138 sec., 301.00 mph to 4.120 sec., 297.09 mph
Doug Kalitta – Driver of the Mac Tools Top Fuel Dragster:
No. 9 Qualifier (3.766 sec., 322.58 mph)
- E1: Kalitta defeated Torrence – 3.821 sec., 313.58 mph to 3.804 sec., 317.34 mph; (holeshot victory – reaction times .048-Kalitta .098-Torrence)
- E2: Kalitta defeated by Brown – 3.826 sec., 311.85 to 3.799 sec., 318.32 mph
J.R. Todd – Driver of the Kalitta Air Top Fuel Dragster:
No. 2 Qualifier (3.727 sec., 319.52 mph)
- E1: Todd defeated Connolly – 3.739 sec., 326.24 mph to 5.870 sec., 30.19 mph
Mello Yello Championship Points:
Top Fuel (Unofficial)
1. Antron Brown (751)
2. Tony Schumacher (633)
3. Spencer Massey (588)
4. Richie Crampton (579)
5. Doug Kalitta (554)
6. Shawn Langdon (530)
7. Larry Dixon (508)
8. Brittany Force (479)
9. J.R. Todd (456)
10. Clay Millican (427)
Funny Car (Unofficial)
1. Matt Hagan (692)
2. Ron Capps (653)
3. Del Worsham (587)
4. Jack Beckman (567)
5. John Force (533)
6. Tommy Johnson Jr. (513)
7. Robert Hight (492)
8. Alexis DeJoria (487)
9. Tim Wilkerson (480)
10. Cruz Pedregon (458)
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 CaféIncendio Toyota Camry Funny Car. J.R. Todd drives the 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 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.