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Kalitta Motorsports News

Doug Kalitta Zmax.jpg

Kalitta focused on first Charlotte win

Charlotte Highlights: Three finals (Fall 2016, Fall 2010, Spring 2010); One No.1 qualifier (Fall 2016)

Last Event Recap (Indianapolis): Qualified fifth; Quarterfinalist (Defeated Richie Crampton in the first round, lost to Tony Schumacher in the quarterfinals)

2016 Carolina Nationals Recap: Qualified first; Finalist (Defeated Ike Maier in the first round, Leah Pritchett in the quarterfinals and Wayne Newby in the semifinals, lost to Antron Brown in the final)

Quotable: “The Mac Tools team is excited to get the Countdown rolling. I know we are capable of running for the title. We are focused on starting the last six races strong with a great effort this weekend in Charlotte for the Carolina Nationals.”

Career Stats: 452 starts; 611 round wins (ninth all-time); 42 wins (Fifth all-time in Top Fuel); 89 finals; 48 no.1 qualifiers (13th all-time)

2017 Season Stats: Two finals (Pomona-I, Norwalk); One no.1 qualifier (Norwalk); 22 round wins; fifth in the standings

Noteworthy: Kalitta is looking for his first Charlotte win, one of three tracks he has yet to win at (Epping, Indianapolis); Kalitta has clinched his 20th straight top ten points finish, he has never finished outside of the top ten in the standings

Wix Racing at Carolina Nationals.JPG

Langdon hits milestone with WIX Filters as primary sponsor

Charlotte Highlights: One win (Fall 2012); Two finals (Spring 2014, Fall 2009); Three No.1 qualifiers (Spring 2014, Spring 2013, Fall 2012)

Last Event Recap (Indianapolis): Qualified ninth; Quarterfinalist (Defeated Brittany Force in the first round, lost to Kebin Kinsley in the quarterfinals)

2016 Carolina Nationals Recap (w/ DSR): Qualified fifth; First round loss (Lost to Wayne Newby in the first round)

Quotable: “It is a big weekend going into Charlotte, the first race of the Countdown. We have a good opportunity to turn the car around. We have had a good car the last couple races, and now it is time to show it. It will be exciting to have WIX Filters on the side, especially since it is their home race. We are focused on putting on a good showing for WIX and Global Electronic Technology and starting the Countdown strong.”

Career Stats: 199 starts; 239 round wins; 14 wins; 28 finals; 18 no.1 qualifiers

2017 Season Stats: 14 starts; Nine round wins; 10th in the point standings

Noteworthy: By qualifying for the Carolina Nationals, Langdon will make his 200th career raceday start; Despite missing four races, Langdon clinched a Countdown for the Championship spot in Indianapolis; Langdon will campaign the colors of WIX Filters this weekend before returning to the Global Electronic Technology scheme in Reading; Langdon scored his first Top Fuel win Charlotte five years ago

Richie Crampton Zmax

Crampton planning on scoring wins

Last Event Recap (Indianapolis): Qualified 12th; First round loss (Lost to Doug Kalitta in the first round)

2016 Carolina Nationals Recap (w/ MLR): Qualified eighth; First round loss (Lost to Leah Pritchett in the first round)

Quotable: “The SealMaster Toyota team had a solid start in the U.S. Nationals and I really look forward to getting back into the seat in Charlotte. I know we have a great machine that will be really competitive at the Carolina Nationals this weekend.”

Career Stats: 73 starts; 70 round wins; Seven wins; Eight finals; Five no.1 qualifiers

2017 Season Stats: One start

Noteworthy: Joined Kalitta Motorsports prior to the U.S. Nationals to drive for SealMaster Top Fuel dragster for the remainder of the season; Crampton is the 2014 NHRA Auto Club Road to the Future winner; In 2015, Crampton earned five wins and finished third in the final point standings

JR Todd Zmax

Todd looks to continue recent hot streak in Charlotte

Charlotte Highlights: Two finals (Spring 2017 - FC, Fall 2015 - TF); Two no. 1 qualifiers (Spring 2015, Fall 2014)

Last Event Recap (Indianapolis): Qualified sixth; Race Winner (Defeated Brian Stewart in the first round, Cruz Pedregon in the quarterfinals, Tim Wilkerson in the semifinals and Ron Capps in the final)

2016 Carolina Nationals Recap (Top Fuel): Qualified sixth; First round loss (Lost to Pat Dakin the first round)

Quotable: “We’re excited to get the Countdown to the Championship started this weekend in Charlotte. The DHL guys have won this event in the past and I’d love to go there and kick off the playoff with a win.”

Career Stats: 166 starts, 165 round wins, 11 wins, 21 finals, 9 no.1 qualifiers (Funny Car stats: 18 starts; Two wins (Sonoma, Indianapolis); Two finals (Charlotte-I, Sonoma, Indianapolis); 16 round wins)

2017 Season Stats: 18 starts; Two wins (Sonoma, Indianapolis); Two finals (Charlotte-I, Sonoma, Indianapolis); 16 round wins; eighth in the point standings

Noteworthy: Todd could hold both the Top Fuel and Funny Car track records by the end of the weekend; he set the zMax Dragway Top Fuel Track Record in 2015 (3.713 seconds); Todd’s DHL team scored the Carolina Nationals win in 2015 en route to the Funny Car title; Kalitta Motorsports has won three of the last four Funny Car races (Todd - Sonoma and Indianapolis, DeJoria - Brainerd)

Alexis DeJoria Zmax

DeJoria Charlotte pre-race notes

Charlotte Highlights: Two no. 1 qualifiers (Spring 2016, Fall 2014)

Last Event Recap (Indianapolis): Qualified ninth; First round loss (Lost to Ron Capps in the first round)

2016 Carolina Nationals Recap: Qualified fourth; First round loss (Lost to John Bojec in the first round)

Career Stats: 131 starts; 92 round wins; Five wins; Eight finals; Four no.1 qualifiers

2017 Season Stats: 14 starts; One win (Brainerd); 10 round wins; 11th in the point standings 

CHARLOTTE (September 6, 2017) – WIX® Filters, a global manufacturer of filtration products, will grow their relationship with Kalitta Motorsports as they take the primary position on the Top Fuel dragster driven by former Top Fuel Champion Shawn Langdon for the NHRA Carolina Nationals at zMax Dragway in Charlotte.

“It is very exciting to be involved in this program with WIX Filters,” said Shawn Langdon, driver of the WIX Filters Top Fuel dragster. “There is a lot of hype with this race being the Countdown opener and to represent WIX at their home track makes it even more special. I have been involved with Team Kalitta for a short time, but the whole WIX family has welcomed me with open arms. I am excited to have all of their employees, customers and guests at the track in Charlotte and I look forward to sharing their commitment to Kalitta Motorsports all weekend.”

WIX Filters, celebrating their 50th year in racing, will debut its primary paint scheme in front of hundreds of local employees on Wednesday, September 13 in nearby Gastonia, NC with Langdon and J.R. Todd in attendance. Many employees will then make the short drive this weekend to root on Langdon and his WIX Filters team as they try to start the Countdown for the Championship strong in Charlotte.

Todd Wins Nationals.jpg

Todd wins the U.S. Nationals

Race Recap: J.R. Todd and the DHL/WIX Filters team claimed the U.S. Nationals win today. 

After an outstanding test session where a lot was learned, co-crew chiefs Jon Oberhofer and Todd Smith had a great handle on the DHL Toyota in the opening qualifying session as they just missed bonus points with a career-best 3.865 second elapsed time. That run would keep Todd in the top half of the show all weekend, and eventually seeded him sixth.

In the first round, Todd faced Brian Stewart. Todd got a jump at the starting line, and never looked back as the DHL Toyota led from the starting line to the finish line. That moved Todd to the final eight and a quarterfinal draw of Cruz Pedregon. 

Todd was simply stellar on the tree in the quarterfinals against Pedregon. Recording a .046 reaction time, Todd scored not only the best reaction time of the round; he scored the best reaction time of day. Todd took that advantage and went straight to the finish line and into the semi-finals with a close win over Pedregon.

The semi-finals proved to be wild for Todd. For the third time of the day, Todd got a jump on the starting line over his foe Tim Wilkerson. Todd was pulling away before the DHL Toyota suffered tire smoke. Wilkerson got ahead, but was struggling with his Funny Car. He eventually would drive it over the center line and hit two cones. That resulted in a DNQ, and a trip to the finals for Todd and the DHL team. 

Todd's final round opponent was defending NHRA Champion Ron Capps. Todd got out ahead and never looked back. With a 3.923 second pass, Todd scored his first U.S. Nationals trophy and second win of the year. It is the 11th of his career and his first at Indianapolis.

Statistics:
Qualified: No. 6 (3.939 sec., 326.00 mph) 

  • E1: Todd defeated Stewart  - 3.914 sec., 329.02 mph to 4.641 sec., 174.55 mph
  • E2: Todd defeated Pedregon - 3.949 sec., 326.00 mph to 3.970 sec., 325.30 mph
  • E3: Todd defeated Wilkerson - No time to DNQ (center line violation) 
  • E4: Todd defeated Capps - 3.923 sec., 325.61 mph to 3.949 sec., 325.53 mph

Quotable: “I’ve been coming here since I was a kid, watching all these guys. This is where it all started for me. I grew up racing here. We got a junior dragster at the end of 1992. In 1993 it was my first season and we would pit right behind the Top Eliminators Club. I grew up racing here weekly and almost won the track championship.  I remember coming here as a kid and watching Ron Capps and to be racing him in the final round at Indy – it’s too surreal.  This is the one you always dream of winning. I’ve been coming here since 2006 and to finally win in Funny Car, which I think is the toughest of all the Mello Yello Series classes, is just unreal.

In Denver, we switched up what we were doing and knew we were on the right path, then we took it into Sonoma and started chipping away at it.  It really showed that the performance of the car was coming around. We really messed up at Seattle. What helped us the most was the test session here last week. We tried some new things and ran really well on Thursday evening. That helped produce that 3.86 in qualifying on Friday night, which was huge for us because it got us the top. That’s where we’ve been struggling all year and getting some bad draws in the first round.  It helped us get in the top half and get lane choice. 
 
We knew we had something to work with in the first round and the DHL Toyota team plugged it in and those guys are (really good) on race day. They showed they’ve got what it takes to come out and compete with the best.  If you win Indy, you know you’ve beaten the best in the sport.  

 "Everybody gets so tensed up for this race. It’s like walking through eggshells throughout the entire pit area. It draws in all kinds of people. For me, living five minutes away from here. I can hear when guys are testing here when nobody knows about it and come watch and report back to Michigan (where Kalitta team is based).  I have a lot of family and friends here. It can be distracting, but you try to treat it like any other race, but it’s not like any other race. When it comes to race day, you’ve got to be on your game.”

 "We have a shot in the Countdown. We’re starting eighth after a little battle with Tim Wilkerson. You want to be as close as you can entering the Countdown, so one spot closer is always good. These DHL Toyota guys showed in 2015, you’ve just got to get hot at the right time.  If we can get on a terror like those guys did in 2015 – and I feel we can compete with these guys out here.  When it comes to the cool conditions in qualifying, the guys at JFR and DSR can throw down those big numbers and we aren’t quite there yet. On raceday they’ve shown it’s a different story, especially when the sun comes out and it gets hot. I knew it was going to be hot today and I was excited about it. I thought it played into our hands because you can’t throw out those 3.79s or 3.80s in conditions like today. So if the Countdown is in conditions like this the rest of the year – and I hope that it is – I really think we can run with these guys.  I think our DHL Toyota Camry is going in the right direction at the right time of year – and now it’s time to let it all hang out for the next six races."

“It feels awesome to hold this Wally. I think anyone in the pit area would tell you if they haven’t won Indy that they’d give up any win to get this one trophy. There are guys out here who have won championships, but have never won Indy and I think that weighs on them. A lot of my heroes, especially in Funny Cars, have won Indy and to be on the list with them feels awesome. We’ve checked it off the list and now the goal is to win that championship.”

Point Standings: Eighth; trails John Force by 10 points for seventh; leads Tim Wilkerson by 10 points for ninth

Doug Indy Monday.jpg

Kalitta defeated in close quarterfinal race

Race Recap: Doug Kalitta and the Mac Tools team earned a round win earlier today at the U.S. Nationals.

The Mac Tools team were extremely solid in qualifying as Kalitta claimed seven bonus points in the first three sessions. Kalitta would eventually earn the fifth starting spot and a first round draw of his new teammate, Richie Crampton.

In the first round, Kalitta and Crampton would leave side-by-side, but Kalitta's Mac Tools machine dropped a cylinder early on. However, Crampton encountered issues, and Kalitta was able to drive back around and claim the round win.

However, Kalitta would earn only one round win at this edition of the U.S. Nationals. He got the jump on Tony Schumacher in the second round, but Schumacher was able to drive back around and earn the round win. 

Statistics:
Qualified: No. 5 (3.682 sec., 329.42 mph)

  • E1: Kalitta defeated Crampton - 3.874 sec., 315.56 mph to 4.084 sec., 207.75 mph
  • E2: Kalitta defeated by Schumacher - 3.757 sec., 325.30 mph to 3.734 sec., 328.78 mph

Quotable: “Very frustrating to end our U.S. Nationals with a early loss. However, we did move up in the standings which was a goal. We have a great Mac Tools machine for the Countdown and I know we will be one to watch for this title."

Point Standings: Fifth; trails Tony Schumacher by 10 points for fourth; leads Brittany Force by 10 points for sixth

Shawn Langdon Monday Indy.jpg

Langdon takes first round with stellar reaction time

Race Recap: Shawn Langdon claimed his spot in the run for the championship earlier today in Indianapolis.

Langdon and the Global Electronic Technology team were solid in early runs of qualifying before pushing the limits to two tire smoking runs on Sunday. However, Langdon celebrated his birthday with a top ten starting spot as the Global Electronic Technology machine was seeded ninth. 

Langdon and his first round foe, Brittany Force, were the final pair of Top Fuel eliminations and Langdon was focused as he was able get over three hundredths of a second advantage on the starting line. Force closed, but she was unable to make up the distance and Langdon and the Global Electronic Technology team scored the holeshot round win.  

Unfortunately for Langdon, his U.S. Nationals run would end in the quarterfinals. Langdon was neck-and-neck with his opponent, Kebin Kinsley, before hitting tire smoke and Kinsley was able to drive to round win. 

Statistics:
Qualified: No. 9 (3.748 sec., 265.43 mph) 

  • E1: Langdon defeated Force - 3.756 sec., 325.69 mph to 3.724 sec., 329.02 mph (Holeshot win)
  • E2: Langdon defeated by Kinsley - 4.238 sec., 229.47 mph to 3.757 sec., 322.96 mph

Quotable: "We just didn't do a good job in the second round. We had a good Global Electronic Technology machine. We went through qualifying with some motor issues, but we made a good run in the first round and won a great race against Brittany Force. In the second round, we had a good opportunity to move on, but didn't do it. It is a bummer; this is the biggest race of the year. We wanted to do better, but I still feel very confident we have a good race car for the Countdown." 

Point Standings: 10th; trails Scott Palmer by 10 points for ninth

Richie Crampton Monday Indy 2017.jpg

Crampton pleased with debut weekend with the SealMaster team

Race Recap: After joining the SealMaster team at the beginning of the week, the U.S. Nationals has been quite the whirlwind for Richie Crampton.

After getting Crampton fitted for the seat on Tuesday, the SealMaster team arrived to Indianapolis focused on starting his tenure with Kalitta strong.

They ran well in qualifying as Crampton set his new career-best MPH just two laps into the weekend at nearly 330 mph. At the close of five qualifying passes, Crampton and the SealMaster team were seeded 12th with a first round draw of his teammate, Doug Kalitta.

Kalitta and Crampton left together, but Crampton was able to nose ahead before encountering problems past half track and yielding the round win to Kalitta. 

Statistics:
Qualified: No. 12 (3.756 sec., 329.91 mph) 

  • E1: Crampton defeated by Kalitta - 4.084 sec., 207.75 mph to 3.874 sec., 315.56 mph

Quotable: “It felt great to be back driving for the legend Connie Kalitta, Toyota and SealMaster.  To drive again is once thing, but to get the call to drive for such a high-caliber team is icing on the cake. It’s pretty cool to get things rolling here at Indy and, hopefully, we can finish out the year strong for everybody. I’m extremely comfortable in the car. These guys build great stuff. Their Bounty Hunter chassis are fantastic. The young team we have is doing a great job. I think the performance is right there and any weekend we are ready to turn the corner and really show them just how good this SealMaster/Toyota car run. I’m pretty excited for Charlotte. Hopefully, these fall races where it’s getting cooler will show how fast this team can run.”

Alexis Monday Indy.jpg

DeJoria falls in the first round, fails to make Countdown

Race Recap: After making four solid runs throughout qualifying, two of them bonus point- worthy, Alexis DeJoria and her Tequila Patrón Toyota Camry Funny Car team qualified ninth for the prestigious NHRA U.S. Nationals.
 
While they successfully maintained their 10th ranked position in NHRA’s Countdown to the Championship going into race day, a mere 15 points separated DeJoria and 11th ranked Countdown hopeful Cruz Pedregon. The 12th - 14th ranked drivers, although less of a threat, also had an outside chance of bumping DeJoria out. Securing the coveted 10th spot and having an opportunity to race for the 2017 NHRA Funny Car championship would come down to Monday’s elimination rounds.
 
DeJoria and her Patrón team were the final pair to run in the opening round of eliminations. While they waited for their matchup with Ron Capps, Team Patrón watched as three out of the four Countdown aspirants hungry for that final tenth spot, including Pedregon, defeated their opponents.  
 
With Pedregon’s round win, he moved up to the No. 10 spot and bumped DeJoria back to 11th. Team Patrón’s matchup with Capps was now a must-win round in order for DeJoria to still have a shot at qualifying for the Countdown. 
 
DeJoria powered her Patrón Camry down the Indianapolis strip in 3.901-seconds at 331.94-mph. Despite having the fourth best run of the round, it wasn’t enough to stave off Capps’ 3.880, and Team Patrón would not advance to round two. The loss also meant DeJoria and the Patrón team would not qualify for the 2017 NHRA Countdown to the Championship. While they will not chase a Championship this year, DeJoria and Team Patrón look forward to playing spoiler, and more round wins before the conclusion of the season. 

Statistics:
Qualified: No. 9 (3.881 sec., 332.02 mph)

  • E1: DeJoria defeated by Capps - 3.901 sec., 331.94 mph to 3.880 sec., 328.54 mph

Doug Kalitta Sunday Indy

Doug Kalitta, driver of the Mac Tools Top Fuel Dragster

Q1: 3.682 sec. at 329.42 MPH
Q2: 3.730 sec. at 329.26 MPH
Q3: 3.693 sec. at 329.58 MPH
Q4: 4.224 sec. at 196.82 MPH
Q5: 3.853 sec. at 254.62 MPH

Bonus Points: 7 pts. (Second best of the first session, second best of the second session, fourth best of the third session)
Starting Position: 5th
First Round Matchup: Richie Crampton
Quotable: “The Mac Tools team had a very solid qualifying portion to our Indianapolis weekend. I know we have a car that can compete with the field; we just have to go out, run our race and hopefully pickup four win lights."
Note: The 3.682 second elapsed time reset Kalitta's career-best elapsed time.

Shawn Langdon Sunday Indy

Shawn Langdon, driver of the Global Electronic Technology Top Fuel Dragster

Q1: 8.087 sec. at 87.02 MPH
Q2: 3.778 sec. at 289.82 MPH
Q3: 3.748 sec. at 274.00 MPH
Q4: 4.968 sec. at 140.52 MPH
Q5: 5.011 sec. at 138.67 MPH

Starting Position: 9th
First Round Matchup: Brittany Force
Quotable: "We have a tough draw in round one, but mission accomplished, we made the Countdown. We made some good runs in qualifying; some good early numbers. Today, we were not able to capitalize, but we will get it fixed and give it a good run against Brittany in round one."
Note: Shawn clinched his spot in the NHRA Countdown for the Championship

Richie Crampton Sunday Indy

Richie Crampton, driver of the SealMaster Top Fuel Dragster

Q1: 4.109 sec. at 227.50 MPH
Q2: 3.756 sec. at 329.91 MPH
Q3: 3.769 sec. at 287.05 MPH
Q4: 4.656 sec. at 155.76 MPH
Q5: No run; set out due to mechanical malfunction

Starting Position: 12th
First Round Matchup: Doug Kalitta

Quotable: "I am pretty excited to be back racing; especially racing for Connie Kalitta here in Indy with this SealMaster Toyota. We are qualified to race on Monday, which is huge. Hopefully, we will have all of our stuff in line and ready for raceday tomorrow." 
Note: The 329.91 MPH from the second qualifying pass reset Crampton's career-best MPH. 

JR Todd Indy Sunday

J.R. Todd, driver of the DHL Toyota Camry Funny Car

Q1: 3.865 sec. at 332.34 MPH
Q2: 5.281 sec. at 137.11 MPH
Q3: 4.899 sec. at 159.04 MPH
Q4: 3.956 sec. at 316.60 MPH
Q5: 3.989 sec. at 279.56 MPH

Starting Position: 6th

First Round Matchup: Brian Stewart
Quotable: "The performance of the car has definitely improved through testing. That really helped us get to this point. Our run on Friday night set us up good on the ladder."

"It is nice to clinch the Countdown before raceday, so hopefully we can get after it. It is going to be hot tomorrow, so that will definitely be the equalizer that hopefully will play into our hand." 
Note: The 3.865 second elapsed time reset Todd's career-best elapsed time. Todd has clinched a spot in the NHRA Countdown for the Championship.

Alexis Dejora INDY Sunday

Alexis DeJoria, driver of the Tequila Patrón Toyota Camry Funny Car

Q1: 3.881 sec. at 332.34 MPH 
Q2: 3.940 sec. at 323.50 MPH
Q3: 5.293 sec. at 159.04 MPH
Q4: 3.923 sec. at 325.61 MPH
Q5: 3.906 sec. at 325.06 MPH

Bonus Points: 2 pts. (Fourth best of the second session, Fourth best of the fifth session)
Starting Position: 9th

First Round Matchup: Ron Capps

Global Electronic Technology announces 2018 sponsorship renewal with LangdonINDIANAPOLIS (September 1st, 2017) – Kalitta Motorsports is pleased to announce an extension with Global Electronic Technology, the fastest name in credit card processing. Former Top Fuel Champion Shawn Langdon will continue to drive the Global Electronic Technology Top Fuel dragster for the 2018 NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series season. 

“It is great to be associated with Global Electronic Technology. Steve and Samantha Bryson have shown so much dedication to me, Team Kalitta and the NHRA as a whole,” said Shawn Langdon, driver of the Global Electronic Technology Top Fuel Dragster. “They are always at the track cheering us on and as a driver you cannot really ask for more than that. It is incredible that we are just six months into their time with Team Kalitta and they are already ready to resign. I am excited to see what we can do with the whole season next year. To have everything locked up and to not be involved in silly season this offseason is awesome, and I look forward to 2018 as Global Electronic Technology’s driver.”Based in Torrance, CA, Global Electronic Technology has over a quarter century of expertise in the payment processing industry. The Global Electronic Technology team is committed to setting the standard by delivering the most advanced technological packages in the payment processing industry, which makes their team one of the most knowledgeable in the world. 2018 will be Global Electronic Technology’s second season with Team Kalitta. They began the 2017 season as an associate partner on Doug Kalitta’s Top Fuel dragster, before adding primary sponsorship on Langdon’s machine beginning at the series’ fifth event of the season in Houston. 

"Our brand is built on family values and integrity,” said Steve Bryson, Founder and CEO of Global Electronic Technology. “Joining Team Kalitta headed by Conrad Kalitta, Rob Flynn and a world champion driver, Shawn Langdon, makes it a perfect fit. This is a great partnership for us at Global Electronic Technology, both sides of our team operate towards one goal – success.   We field a world class team that Samantha and I are proud to be a part of on and off the track. To do business with people who exemplify the same values as we do takes this to a whole new level and we just cannot seem to stay away.  I am excited to commit to another year for Team Global for the 2018 season.  I know there will be much success to come."

In 2018, Global Electronic Technology will continue sponsoring Langdon’s Top Fuel dragster and will be an associate partner on the remainder of the Team Kalitta entries, including a major role on Doug Kalitta’s Mac Tools Top Fuel dragster.

“Great news for Team Kalitta and exciting news for the sport of NHRA drag racing that Global Electronic Technology and Steve & Samantha Bryson thought enough of our sport to get involved and continue to grow,” said Jim Oberhofer, Vice President of Operations, Kalitta Motorsports. “It has been an awesome relationship and friendship with Steve and Samantha and to be able to see it grow the way it has in such a short period of time has been nothing short of amazing. Although it has been great to see them as part of the Kalitta family, it has been even better that they have been able to meet with so many people involved in NHRA that can utilize their service.”

Despite missing the first four events of the season, Langdon is closing in on a NHRA Countdown for the Championship berth. His Connie Kalitta and Rob Flynn-tuned Global Electronic Technology Top Fuel dragster will begin qualifying for the historic U.S. Nationals this evening with final eliminations beginning on Monday, September 4th. 

Doug Kalitta

Kalitta looks for two Indy trophies

Indianapolis Highlights: Two finals (2008, 2004); Two No.1 qualifiers (2004, 2000)

Last Event Recap (Brainerd): Qualified third; Quarterfinalist (Defeated Terry Haddock in the first round, lost to Steve Torrence in the quarterfinals)

2016 Indianapolis Recap: Qualified sixth; Semifinalist (Defeated Richie Crampton in the first round and Brittany Force in the quarterfinals, lost to Steve Torrence in the semi-finals)

Quotable: “I am excited to get to Indianapolis for the U.S. Nationals! The Mac Tools team has been working hard, and I know we will have a car that contend for both the Traxxas Shootout and race titles.”

Career Stats: 451 starts, 610 round wins (ninth all-time), 42 wins (Fifth all-time in Top Fuel), 89 finals, 48 no.1 qualifiers (13th all-time)

2017 Season Stats: Two finals (Pomona-I, Norwalk); One no.1 qualifier (Norwalk); 21 round wins; sixth in the standings

Noteworthy: Kalitta is the only driver in Top Fuel to ever earn a Traxxas Shootout spot by his point standing, which he has done twice; Kalitta is looking for his first Indianapolis win, one of three tracks he has yet to win at (Epping, Charlotte)

Shawn Langdon

Former U.S. Nationals champion Langdon makes plans for third crown

Indianapolis Highlights: One Top Fuel win (2013); One Top Fuel No.1 qualifier (2012); One Super Gas win (2010)

Last Event Recap (Brainerd): Qualified tenth; First round loss (Lost to Antron Brown in the first round)

2016 Indianapolis Recap (w/ DSR): Qualified seventh; Quarterfinalist (Defeated Leah Pritchett in the first round, lost to Steve Torrence in the quarterfinals)

Quotable: “We made some good runs in testing with the Global Electronic Technology car. Coming off of Brainerd, we had a tough race out there with some gremlins in the car. The guys got all that fixed, so we were able to focus on the car and get it back to its form. We made some great runs, and are looking forward Q1 on Friday night."

Career Stats: 198 starts, 238 round wins, 14 wins, 28 finals, 18 no.1 qualifiers

2017 Season Stats: 13 starts; Eight round wins; 11th in the point standings

Noteworthy: Joined Kalitta Motorsports from Don Schumacher Racing after Las Vegas in a full-time third Top Fuel entry; Langdon will clinch a spot in the Countdown for the Championship by qualifying for the U.S. Nationals; Langdon will be a part of Kalitta Motorsports press conference at 6pmEST on Friday evening

Richie Crampton

Crampton makes Kalitta debut

Indianapolis Highlights: One win (2014)

Last Event Recap (Fall Pomona 2016 w/Morgan Lucas Racing [MLR]): Qualified ninth; Quarterfinalist (Defeated Brittany Force in the first round, lost to J.R. Todd in the quarterfinals)

2016 Indianapolis Recap (w/ MLR): Qualified 11th; First round loss (Lost to Doug Kalitta in the first round)

Quotable: “It is definitely exciting to be racing a Top Fuel dragster in Indianapolis for Connie and SealMaster. To be racing with a top notch team like this one gives me a great amount of confidence going into my first race weekend of the year. The goal is to go some rounds and have a good race.”

Career Stats: 72 starts, 70 round wins, Seven wins, Eight finals, Five no.1 qualifiers

2017 Season Stats: Season debut

Noteworthy: Joined Kalitta Motorsports on Monday to drive for SealMaster Top Fuel dragster; Crampton will compete in the final seven events of the season for Kalitta Motorsports; Crampton is the 2014 NHRA Auto Club Road to the Future winner; in 2015, Crampton earned five wins and finished third in the final point standings.

JR Todd

Record-breaking Todd desires Indianapolis success

Last Event Recap (Brainerd): Qualified ninth; First round loss (Lost to Ron Capps in the first round)

2016 Indianapolis Recap (Top Fuel): Qualified ninth; Semifinalist (Defeated Morgan Lucas in the first round and Clay Millican in the quarterfinals, lost to Tony Schumacher in the semifinals)

Quotable: “After the way we ran last weekend in testing, I am really excited to get back on track on Friday night. I know the track conditions will be different, but still we learned a lot with the DHL Toyota Camry that has excited for the weekend. Hopefully, we can move up some spots in the Countdown and get the win on Monday.” 

Career Stats: 165 starts, 161 round wins, 10 wins, 20 finals, 9 no.1 qualifiers (Funny Car stats: 17 starts; One win (Sonoma); Two finals (Charlotte-I, Sonoma); 12 round wins)

2017 Season Stats: 17 starts; One win (Sonoma); Two finals (Charlotte-I, Sonoma); 12 round wins; ninth in the point standings

Noteworthy: Todd is the first driver in NHRA history to have qualified for the Traxxas Shootout in both Top Fuel (2015) and Funny Car (2017); Todd is an Indiana native (grew up in Lawrenceburg, Ind.); Todd is currently 136 points ahead of 11th-place Cruz Pedregon in the point standings; he will clinch his spot in the standings by holding a 126 point lead ahead of Pedregon at the close of qualifying

Alexis DeJoria

DeJoria Indianapolis pre-race notes

Indianapolis Highlights: One win (2014)

Last Event Recap (Brainerd): Qualified 10th; Race Winner (Defeated Tim Wilkerson in the first round, Cruz Pedregon in the quarterfinals, John Force in the semi-finals and Tommy Johnson Jr. in the final)

2016 Indianapolis Recap: Qualified 10th; First round loss (Lost to Del Worsham in the first round)

Career Stats: 128 starts; 92 round wins; Five wins; Eight finals, Four no.1 qualifiers

2017 Season Stats: 14 starts; One win (Brainerd); 10 round wins; 10th in the point standings

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On the Run with Ashley

70

Mello Yello Championship Points

Top Fuel (Unofficial)

1. Brittany Force (2690)
2. Steve Torrence (2609)
3. Doug Kalitta (2553)
4. Antron Brown (2508)
5. Leah Pritchett (2452) 
6. Clay Millican (2419)
7. Shawn Langdon (2406)
8. Tony Schumacher (2395)
9. Terry McMillen (2310)
10. Scott Palmer (2218)

 

Funny Car (Unofficial)

1. Robert Hight (2686)
2. Ron Capps (2588)
3. Courtney Force (2543)
4. Jack Beckman (2519)
5. Matt Hagan (2470)
6. Tommy Johnson Jr. (2452)
7. John Force (2388)
8. Tim Wilkerson (2296)
9. J.R. Todd (2282)
10. Cruz Pedregon (2178)

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