TOPEKA, Kan. (May 24, 2015) – Doug Kalitta, driver of the Mac Tools Top Fuel dragster, and Del Worsham, driver of the DHL Toyota Camry Funny Car, returned to the semi-finals today at the NHRA Kansas Nationals at Heartland Park Topeka.
Worsham’s Toyota Camry was very consistent throughout qualifying, but not just able to break into the three-second bracket. His usually stellar 4.013 second run was only good enough for 10th after qualifying.
After a late start due to some scattered rain in the air, round one was a duel with his teammate, Alexis DeJoria. A fair race, but Worsham was finally able to drop into the three second bracket in a big way. The 3.988 second run was Worsham’s career best elapsed time, but yet was unable to give him lane choice over last week’s winner, Tim Wilkerson in round two.
Lane choice proved not to be an issue, however, as Worsham reset his career best numbers again. A 3.984 second pass proved to be the best for Worsham, who began in NHRA career in 1990. He looked to be headed to another final round appearance, before the car shut off at about 660-feet in the semi-finals in a defeat to Jack Beckman.
“It was great to run good on Sunday,” said Worsham. “and exciting to earn new career best numbers. Disappointed in the way that final run worked out, because it was on another great run. We will look to continue this consistency into the Toyota Summernationals in a couple weeks.”
Worsham retained his top five point position after the NHRA Topeka Nationals.
Friday qualifying was all putting the lowest number on the board possible, and the Mac Tools team almost laid down a great pass. However, the car did not make it under power to 1,000 feet on day one, so Kalitta was forced to start Saturday on the outside of the top 12. The weather tried to wreck havoc on the Saturday sessions, but we were able to get one pass in and the Mac Tools team made it count. A clean 3.786 second run easily placed them among Sunday’s 16 qualifiers.
The first driver on Kalitta’s Sunday drive was the formidable Shawn Langdon from Alan Johnson Racing. Jim Oberhofer put in a great set-up and Kalitta was solid on the tree, which led to a car length victory over Langdon.
The Team Kalitta cars had to face each other in both nitro categories this weekend, and Kalitta was able to earn a victory over his teammate, J.R. Todd, in round two in an even match-up of 3.76 second passes before being defeated by former Top Fuel champion Larry Dixon in the semi-finals.
“Solid weekend for the Mac Tools group,” said Kalitta. “The track was really capable of some great passes, and we kept up with it and came close. We are hungry and are ready to pick up another trophy which we will look to do in Englishtown.”
Doug sits in the fifth position in the point standings.
J.R. Todd, driver of the Kalitta Air Top Fuel dragster, started qualifying off strong for the second consecutive race. The legend Connie Kalitta tuned Todd to a 3.759 second run in the first session. That run ended up being the third best pass of the session which earned Todd yet another bonus point and allowed the team to try different setups in the Kalitta Air dragster throughout the remainder of qualifying. The first pass ended up best and slotted him fourth for Sunday.
Todd’s first round opponent was Top Fuel rookie Dave Connolly. Todd’s run was clean and solid. The 3.739 elapsed time was second best of the session and gave him lane choice over his teammate Doug Kalitta in round 2. In a very equal race, Todd came out on the losing end of 3.761-3.764 decision.
“The Kalitta Air boys were on point this weekend,” said Todd. “Doug was on his game on that last run, and I need to step mine up a little bit.”
It was a successful weekend for Todd in the point standings as he picked up two spots to slot in eighth.
Alexis DeJoria, driver of the Patrón XO Café Incendio Toyota Camry Funny Car, looked past the impeding rain and was focused for Friday’s Funny Car qualifying. Tommy DeLago tuned the Camry Funny Car up with perfect conditions in qualifying round two. The result: Alexis’ career best elapsed time. She ran a 3.994 second run; her fourth career sub-4 second pass. With the record-setting conditions, that was seventh best and forced her to race her teammate, Del Worsham in round one.
Although DeJoria was able to beat her former crew chief off the line, Worsham drove around her with his career best number at the top end.
DeJoria ends the weekend tied with fellow Toyota driver Cruz Pedregon for ninth in points.
After seven races, Team Kalitta nitro race cars have won one event, advanced to four final rounds and earned two no.1 qualifying positions. The NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series has one weekend off before going to the Toyota Summernationals in Englishtown, New Jersey.
Top Fuel (Unofficial)
1. Antron Brown (628)
2. Tony Schumacher (575)
3. Richie Crampton (547)
4. Spencer Massey (530)
5. Doug Kalitta (502)
6. Larry Dixon (481)
7. Shawn Langdon (473)
8. J.R. Todd (411)
9. Clay Millican (395)
10. Steve Torrence (392)
1. Ron Capps (580)
2. Matt Hagan (575)
3. Jack Beckman (531)
4. Del Worsham (507)
5. John Force (502)
6. Robert Hight (460)
7. Tommy Johnson Jr. (456)
8. Tim Wilkerson (447)
9. Alexis DeJoria (395)
9.Cruz Pedregon (395)