Kalitta Motorsports News

JR Todd Topeka

Back-to-back semifinals for Todd

Race Recap: J.R. Todd and the DHL/WIX Filters team scored their third semifinal result in the last four events today at Bristol Dragway.

Todd continued his run of solid qualifying performances. For the 10th time in the first 11 events to start the season, Todd earned bonus points as his 4.072 second pass in the Friday evening session was second-best, and allowed him to tie his career-best start of second. 

For the second straight race, Todd faced friend and former Kalitta Motorsports driver Del Worsham. It was a close race, but Todd's DHL/WIX Filters Camry got the jump at the starting line and extended his advantage slightly all the way down the track to score the round win.

Next up was another former champion, Jack Beckman. Todd again got the jump at the tree, and the Jon Oberhofer and Todd Smith-tuned machine was ready. Todd extended his lead at every increment and earned his 15th round win of the season. 

However, Todd's first Bristol win was not in the cards, despite his efforts at the starting line. At the tree in the semi-finals versus Ron Capps, Todd recorded .034 reaction time to get the early lead. However, the DHL/WIX Filters Camry dropped a cylinder quickly after and Capps was able to drive back around and get the round win.  


  • Qualified: No. 2 (4.072 sec., 313.15 mph) 
  • E1: Todd defeated Worsham - 4.213 sec., 300.26 mph to 4.362 sec., 252.61 mph
  • E2: Todd defeated Beckman - 4.203 sec., 295.92 mph to 4.333 sec., 277.49 mph
  • E3: Todd defeated by Capps - 4.372 sec., 285.65 mph to 4.242 sec., 298.93 mph

Quotable:"It was just a matter of going down the track today. In the semifinals, we dropped a hole right after I hit the gas and we were a sitting duck at that point. It is good to be going rounds and earning points, but it would be nice to be going more rounds and gaining event more points."

Point Standings: Fourth; leads Ron Capps by one point by fifth; trails Robert Hight by 23 points for third

Doug Kalitta Sunday.jpg

Kalitta achieves a Bristol round win

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

Kalitta and the Mac Tools team faced tough conditions due to the heat all weekend long. In qualifying, the Mac Tools ride made their best pass in the final qualifying session as Kalitta went 4.091 seconds to move up a few spots and earn the 12th starting spot.

Kalitta drew defending champion Brittany Force in the first round and he was ready. With an incredible .030 reaction time, the Mac Tools team had a big advantage at the starting line. He made his best pass of the weekend with a sub-four second pass, and thanks to that stellar reaction time, Kalitta scored the round win.

However, that was all for the round wins in Bristol for this season for Kalitta. Kalitta got the jump on his second round opponent, Scott Palmer, at the tree, but a dropped cylinder ended Kalitta's chances and Palmer advanced. 


  • Qualified: No. 12 (4.091 sec., 243.81 mph)
  • E1: Kalitta defeated Force - 3.998 sec., 286.38 mph to 3.942 sec., 307.51 mph
  • E2: Kalitta defeated by Palmer - 4.292 sec., 230.92 mph to 4.067 sec., 302.41 mph

Quotable:“It was a hot weekend for the Mac Tools team. I am really impressed by their effort. This was not our weekend, but I feel confident our second win of the season is coming soon."

Point Standings: Fourth; leads Leah Pritchett by 54 points for fifth; trails Tony Schumacher by 43 points for third

Richie Crampton Sunday.jpg

Crampton fails to advance out of the first round in Bristol

Race Recap: Richie Crampton and the Kalitta Air team lost in the first round at Bristol Dragway today. With the incredible heat, making clean passes down the track proved to be very difficult. Crampton's pass that earned him a spot in the field ended up being his first pass, but at only 169 mph, it was not the clean effort that the Kalitta Air team had desired. Crampton started from the 14th spot and faced Antron Brown in the first round. Crampton got the slight advantage on the starting line and made his quickest pass of the entire weekend, however, Brown made the quickest run of the first round in the lane beside him and was able to advance. 


  • Qualified: No. 14 (4.626 sec., 169.81 mph) 
  • E1: Crampton defeated by Brown - 4.057 sec., 297.22 mph to 3.897 sec., 316.82 mph

Quotable:“I’m proud of my guys this weekend. We went up against a really tricky track, but were not able to get around Antron in the first round. He is a tough competitor. I am looking forward to Norwalk as we continue to figure out these hot race tracks."

Point Standings:11th; trails Mike Salinas by three points for 10th

Shawn Langdon Sun.jpg

Langdon falls early in Bristol

Race Recap: Shawn Langdon and the Global Electronic Technology team lost in the first round of the Thunder Valley Nationals this weekend in Bristol.

With the track tempature nearing 140 degrees, this season's Bristol event proved to be a race of survival. The best run for Langdon and the Global Electronic Technology team proved to be the Friday evening session with temperatures dipping slightly. Langdon was able to score a 4.191 second pass at nearly 300 mph, which secured Langdon a spot in the field and a top ten starting spot. 

The first draw for the Toyota driver was former Funny Car champion Jack Beckman. With the sun beating down on the track, Langdon and Beckman were neck-and-neck early. However, shortly after 200 feet, Langdon's Global Electronic Technology Camry began to haze the tires. He was able to get it to recover, but Beckman made a clean run to score the round win.


  • Qualified: No. 10 (4.191 sec., 299.20 mph) 
  • E1: Langdon defeated by Beckman - 4.569 sec., 266.37 mph to 4.283 sec., 281.30 mph

Quotable: "Tough weekend for the Global Electronic Technology team, and not the result we were hoping for. Looking forward to Norwalk, Kalitta's home track. We are gaining on it, and I am ready for another shot next weekend."

Point Standings: 11th; leads Jonnie Lindberg by 36 points for 12th; trails Bob Tasca III by seven points for 10th

Doug KallitaSat

Doug Kalitta, driver of the Mac Tools Top Fuel Dragster

Q1: 5.704 sec. at 151.80 MPH
Q2: 4.419 sec. at 187.08 MPH
Q3: 5.908 sec. at 29.23 MPH
Q44.091 sec. at 243.81 MPH

Starting Position: 12th
First Round Matchup: Brittany Force
Quotable: “Very tough conditions out here in Bristol this weekend. My Mac Tools guys are working hard and we are ready for race day."

Richie Crampton Sat 

Richie Crampton, driver of the Kalitta Air Top Fuel Dragster

Q1: 4.626 sec. at 169.81 MPH
Q2: 4.891 sec. at 145.77 MPH
Q3: 5.090 sec. at 62.40 MPH
Q4:4.850 sec. at 152.45 MPH

Starting Position: 14th
First Round Matchup: Antron Brown
Quotable: "I have a positive outlook going into tomorrow. I have faith in Connie, Rob and all my DHL/Kalitta Air boys. We have a big first round matchup with Antron, but its anyone's racetrack out there with these conditions and heat we are dealing with."

JR Todd Sat

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

Q1: 9.184 sec. at 81.27 MPH
Q2: 4.072 sec. at 313.15 MPH
Q3: 4.404 sec. at 220.69 MPH
Q44.231 sec. at 292.46 MPH

Bonus Points:2 pts. (Second best of the second session)
Starting Position: 2nd
First Round Matchup: Del Worsham

Quotable: "Good qualifying effort by my DHL boys putting this Toyota Camry into the #2 spot. The track is slick and tricky for everybody and I think tomorrow's going to be a matter of survival depending on who can make it down the track. So far we have made some good consistent runs, and I am looking forward to tomorrow."

Noteworthy:Todd has now earned bonus points in 10 of 11 races thus far this season. He is one of only two Funny Car drivers to have accomplished that (Courtney Force).

Shawn Langdon Sat.jpg

Shawn Langdon, driver of the Global Electronic Technology Toyota Camry Funny Car

Q1: 4.557 sec. at 199.67 MPH
Q2: 4.191 sec. at 299.20 MPH
Q3: 4.358 sec. at 239.40 MPH
Q44.308 sec. at 269.78 MPH

Starting Position: 10th
First Round Matchup: Jack Beckman
Quotable: "We qualified 10th and have to race Jack Beckman. I cannot wait for tomorrow. I am proud of the work my Global Electronic Technology team put in this weekend, and I am glad my teammate J.R. qualified strong as well."

Doug Kalitta

Kalitta looking to add missing stat

Bristol Highlights: Three wins (2006, 2005, 2001); Three finals (2014, 2012, 2009)

Last Event Recap (Virginia NHRA Nationals): Qualified fourth; Finalist (Defeated Dan Mercier in the first round, Leah Pritchett in the quarterfinals and Richie Crampton in the semifinals, lost to Steve Torrence in the finals)

2017 Fitzgerald USA NHRA Thunder Valley Nationals Recap: Qualified second; First round loss (Lost to Shawn Langdon in the first round)

Quotable: “I love going to Bristol. It is such a unique track and the fans are always so excited for us to be there. We ran strong in Richmond with this Mac Tools car, and I am looking forward to the Thunder Valley Nationals and hopefully going one step further.”

Career Stats: 468 starts; 639 round wins (ninth all-time); 44 wins (Fifth all-time in Top Fuel); 93 finals; 49 no.1 qualifiers (tied 14th all-time)

2018 Season: One Win (Pomona-I); Two finals (Pomona I, Charlotte I, Richmond); 16 round wins; third in the standings

2017 Season Recap: One win (Charlotte-II); Four finals (Pomona-I, Norwalk, Charlotte-II, St. Louis); Two no.1 qualifiers (Norwalk, Charlotte-II); 34 round wins; third in the standings

Noteworthy: Next no.1 qualifier is 50th of his career; Bristol is one of only two tracks currently on tour that Kalitta has yet score a no.1 qualifier (Richmond)

Richie Crampton

Crampton ready for Bristol return

Last Event Recap (Virginia NHRA Nationals): Qualified eighth; Semifinalist (Defeated Dom Lagana in the first round and Tony Schumacher in the quarterfinals, lost to Doug Kalitta in the semifinals)

2017 Fitzgerald USA NHRA Thunder Valley Nationals Recap: Did not compete

Quotable: “I’m very excited for our team and the way our race car is performing. I feel like Connie, Rob and my entire team are doing a fantastic job and I am very excited because I know we are going to have a very competitive car in Bristol.”

Career Stats: 88 starts; 82 round wins; Eight wins; 10 finals; Five no.1 qualifiers 

2018 Season: One win (Gainesville); Seven round wins; ninth in the standings

2017 Season Stats: Seven starts; One final (Charlotte-II); Five round wins

Shawn Langdon

Langdon looking for another Bristol trophy

Bristol Highlights: Two wins (2016, 2014)

Last Event Recap (Virginia NHRA Nationals): Qualified ninth; First round loss (Lost to Jim Campbell in the first round)

2017 Fitzgerald USA NHRA Thunder Valley Nationals Recap: Qualified 15th; Semifinalist (Defeated Doug Kalitta in the first round and Antron Brown in the quarterfinals, lost to Leah Pritchett in the semifinals)

Quotable: “Bristol is a great track, but it can be very tricky especially if it gets hot with the elevation. Getting down the track consistently can be key. The forecast says it is going to be hot, so it should be a good race. But it is a great venue; one of my favorite tracks on tour. I really enjoy racing at Bristol, and I look forward to get back on track this weekend with my Global Electronic Technology team.”

Career Stats: 215 starts; 254 round wins; 14 wins; 30 finals; 18 no.1 qualifiers (Funny Car stats: 10 starts; Seven round wins)

2017 Season Stats: 20 starts; Two finals (Dallas, Pomona II); 17 round wins; seventh in the point standings

Noteworthy: Langdon will also compete in Super Comp this weekend

JR Todd

Todd desires some Bristol success

Last Event Recap (Virginia NHRA Nationals): Qualified fourth; Semifinalist (Defeated Bob Tasca III in the first round and Del Worsham in the quarterfinals, lost to Courtney Force in the semifinals)

2017 Fitzgerald USA NHRA Thunder Valley Nationals Recap: Qualified 13th; First round loss (Lost to Courtney Force in the first round)

Quotable: “I am ready to get back behind the wheel of the DHL Toyota. We are going to try to carry this momentum into a win on Father’s Day.”

Career Stats: 182 starts; 180 round wins; 13 wins; 23 finals; 9 no.1 qualifiers (Funny Car stats: 34 starts; Four wins (2017: Sonoma, Indianapolis, 2018: Las Vegas-I, Houston); Five finals (2017: Charlotte-I, Sonoma, Indianapolis, 2018: Las Vegas-I, Houston); 31 round wins)

2018 Season: Two wins (Las Vegas-I, Houston); 13 round wins; fifth in the point standings 

2017 Season Stats: 24 starts; Two wins (Sonoma, Indianapolis); Three finals (Charlotte-I, Sonoma, Indianapolis); 18 round wins; ninth in the point standings

Doug Kalitta Sunday

Kalitta scores another final round appearance

Race Recap: Doug Kalitta and the Mac Tools team earned their third final round appearance at Virginia Motorsports Park this afternoon.

Kalitta did not have the qualifying portion of the weekend he would have liked, but the Mac Tools team made it count on the clean pass they made on Friday evening, which was good enough for fourth overall.

Kalitta drew second time competitor, Canadian Dan Mercier, in the first round. The Mac Tools machine struggled down the track with dropped cylinders, however, Kalitta was able to just hold on for the round win. Next up proved to be Leah Pritchett. The Mac Tools driver got the advantage at the starting line, and never trailed. The Jim Oberhofer-tuned machine made a clean pass down the track and defeated Pritchett, who had problems the whole way.

The semi-final round was another bout with his teammate Richie Crampton; the eighth time the teammates have already faced each other this season. Kalitta moved first and struggled downtrack, but beside him, Crampton was struggling even more, and Kalitta moved to his third final round of the season.

However, a second win this season wasn't in the cards for Kalitta. He moved first, but his opponent, Steve Torrence, was able to get back around him and get the race win.


  • Qualified: No. 4 (3.827 sec., 320.36 mph)
  • E1: Kalitta defeated Mercier - 3.932 sec., 299.60 mph to 3.979 sec., 304.74 mph
  • E2: Kalitta defeated Pritchett - 3.817 sec., 323.89 mph to 4.023 sec., 247.02 mph
  • E3: Kalitta defeated Crampton - 4.009 sec., 274.94 mph to 5.866 sec., 136.06 mph
  • Final: Kalitta defeated by Torrence - 3.844 sec., 309.56 mph to 3.812 sec., 322.96 mph

Quotable:“It was a great weekend for the Mac Tools team. We almost picked up that second win of the season. This track was great all weekend, and I cannot thank the Franklin family enough. I am excited to get to Bristol and see if we can get the win there."

Point Standings: Third; leads Tony Schumacher by 24 points for sixth; trails Clay Millican by 54 points for second

JR Todd Sunday

Todd earns another semi-final finish

Race Recap: J.R. Todd and the DHL/WIX Filters team earned two more round wins today at the Virginia NHRA Nationals outside of Richmond, Va.

Todd had a great qualifying effort with his DHL Camry as Jon Oberhofer and Todd Smith tuned Todd to three clean passes. The final pass earned Todd a bonus point for the ninth race of the first ten to start the season. His best, a 4.042, seeded Todd fourth on the final qualifying sheet and a first round draw of Bob Tasca for the second straight weekend.

This time, Todd got the best of Tasca. It was not a clean pass for the DHL driver, but a 4.428 second run was more than enough to take out Tasca's 10-second pass. 

Todd advanced to the quarterfinals and drew fellow Toyota Racing driver Del Worsham, who was making his return to competition. This time, Todd and the DHL team were able to make a clean pass, and Todd advanced to the semi-finals or better for the fourth time this year. 

In the semi-finals, Todd came up against points leader Courtney Force. It was a close race all the way down the track, but a dropped cylinder proved too much for Todd to overcome, and Force picked up the win.


  • Qualified: No. 4 (4.042 sec., 310.55 mph) 
  • E1: Todd defeated Tasca - 4.428 sec., 216.79 mph to 10.211 sec., 78.20 mph
  • E2: Todd defeated Worsham - 4.074 sec., 317.87 mph to 7.564 sec., 106.24 mph
  • E3: Todd defeated by C. Force - 4.115 sec., 302.28 mph to 4.067 sec., 310.84 mph

Quotable:"Not the end result we wanted, but all-in-all a good weekend for this DHL/WIX Filters team. Going to the semi-final round like that is what it takes to compete for a championship as the year goes on. We are making gains on it; I am happy with the way things are going."

Point Standings: Fifth; leads Ron Capps by 39 points by sixth; trails Matt Hagan by 18 points for fourth

Richie Crampton Sunday

Crampton scores semi-final result

Race Recap: Richie Crampton and the Kalitta Air team advanced to the semi-finals at Crampton's first attempt at the Virginia Motorsports Park.

Crampton and the Kalitta Air dragster made their best qualifying pass on Friday evening. His 3.863 second lap was good enough to keep Crampton inside the top half for the remainder of the weekend, giving the Kalitta Air driver lane choice in the first round over part-time competitor Dom Lagana. 

Crampton and and Lagana were the first pair to see the Virginia Motorsports Park surface on Sunday. The Kalitta Air driver moved first slightly and that proved important in a close race all the way down the track. The Kalitta Air machine outran Lagana's dragster by one thousandth of a second, and coupled with Crampton's slight advantage at the tree was able to score the win by about three feet.

That run moved Crampton to the quarterfinals and a draw of Tony Schumacher, who started from the first spot and had a bye in the first round. Crampton and Schumacher had identical reaction times, but the Kalitta Air tune-up proved critical as the Connie Kalitta and Rob Flynn-led machine slowly pulled away from Schumacher and scored the round win at the stripe.

Crampton returned to the semi-finals for the second time this season, and for the eighth time this year, saw his teammate Doug Kalitta in the lane beside him. Unfortunately for Crampton, the Kalitta Air machine hit near-immediate tire smoke and Kalitta skated away for the win.


  • Qualified: No. 8 (3.863 sec., 314.46 mph) 
  • E1: Crampton defeated Lagana - 3.879 sec., 317.19 mph to 3.880 sec., 322.27 mph
  • E2: Crampton defeated Schumacher - 3.805 sec., 316.01 mph to 3.823 sec., 315.93 mph
  • E3: Crampton defeated by Kalitta - 5.866 sec., 136.06 mph to 4.009 sec., 274.94 mph

Quotable:“I’m pretty pleased with my Kalitta Air/DHL Toyota team. We’re really happy to get some more of those valuable round wins and making some ground back up in the championship. We knew we were going to have a good race on our hands with Tony Schumacher in the second round. It’s never easy to beat DSR, but my guys did an awesome job with the race car and we were able to get that win. That was pretty big and it put a little extra spring in our step. I think it’s going to equate to more round wins in the near future. I’m excited for Bristol where we will likely see some similar conditions – hot with a greasy race track. I’m pretty happy with the outlook for next weekend and can’t wait to get down there."

Shawn Langdon Sun

Langdon falls early in Virginia

Race Recap: Shawn Langdon and the Global Electronic Technology team suffered a first round loss at the return to Virginia Motorsports Park.

Langdon made a good pass in the second qualifying session on Friday evening on the new surface as the Global Electronic Technology Camry blazed the track in 4.080 seconds. That seeded Langdon among the top ten qualifiers for the fourth straight race. The ninth seeded driver took on the eighth seeded Jim Campbell in the first round.The duo was the final pair to see the track in the first round. Langdon and the Global Electronic Technology Camry got a big jump on the starting line, but as Langdon was speeding away, the machine started hazing the tires. Campbell was able to drive around and got to the stripe first. 


  • Qualified: No. 9 (4.080 sec., 315.78 mph) 
  • E1: Langdon defeated by Campbell - 4.461 sec., 230.02 mph to 4.210 sec., 301.40 mph

Quotable: "We were on a good pass and it just smoked the tires. Credit to the Virginia Motorsports Park and their staff; they provided a excellent race surface, a great facility and the fans were awesome. I am looking forward to coming back. It just sucks to lose first round. We will head to Bristol next week and try to improve." 

Point Standings: Ninth; leads Cruz Pedregon by seven points for 10th; trails John Force by seven points for eighth

Doug Kalitta Saturday

Doug Kalitta, driver of the Mac Tools Top Fuel Dragster

Q1: 6.456 sec. at 110.13 MPH
Q2: 3.827 sec. at 320.36 MPH
Q3: 4.814 sec. at 159.32 MPH
Q44.131 sec. at 218.51 MPH

Starting Position: 4th
First Round Matchup: Dan Mercier
Quotable: “It is great to be back in Virginia, and these fans have really packed the place. We were looking for more in qualifying, but still ended up with a solid spot on the ladder. My Mac Tools guys are working hard and we will be ready for tomorrow."

Richie Crampton Saturday

Richie Crampton, driver of the Kalitta Air Top Fuel Dragster

Q1: 5.515 sec. at 119.16 MPH
Q2: 3.863 sec. at 314.46 MPH
Q3: 6.384 sec. at 97.16 MPH
Q45.076 sec. at 137.50 MPH

Starting Position: 8th
First Round Matchup: Dom Lagana

Quotable: "I don't have to race Doug in the first round, which is good. But it is nice to be in the top half. Great job to my Kalitta Air guys. It has been hot and tricky, but the outlook is positive for race day."

JR Todd Saturday

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

Q1: 4.410 sec. at 210.21 MPH
Q2: 4.042 sec. at 310.55 MPH
Q3: 4.187 sec. at 271.13 MPH
Q44.059 sec. at 316.15 MPH

Bonus Points: 1 pt. (Third best of the final session)
Starting Position: 4th
First Round Matchup: Bob Tasca III
Quotable: "Other than Q1, we have made some really good runs with the DHL/WIX Filters Toyota Camry. I feel like if we run like we did in Q4, we definitely have a chance of coming out of here with a Wally."
Noteworthy: Todd has now earned bonus points in nine of ten races thus far this season. He is one of only two Funny Car drivers to have accomplished that (Courtney Force).

Shawn Langdon Saturday

Shawn Langdon, driver of the Global Electronic Technology Toyota Camry Funny Car

Q1: No time; center line violation by competitor
Q2: 4.080 sec. at 315.78 MPH
Q3: 6.909 sec. at 96.69 MPH
Q44.924 sec. at 160.94 MPH

Starting Position: 9th
First Round Matchup: Jim Campbell
Quotable: "We had a decent car in qualifying. We still have some work to do with the Global Electronic Technology Camry. It is a great track; the people with Virginia Motorsports Park did a great job putting the concrete down. It is smooth; its just hot. We have not seen 130-degree track temperatures this year. So we are working on the set-up for it. I feel like we have made progress on it and we can make competitive runs. We will see what we can do for tomorrow

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Mello Yello Championship Points

Top Fuel (Unofficial)

1. Steve Torrence (2592)
2. Clay Millican (2423)
3. Tony Schumacher (2382)
4. Leah Pritchett (2297)
5. Antron Brown (2253)
6. Brittany Force (2243)
7. Mike Salinas (2228)
8. Doug Kalitta (2225)
9. Terry McMillen (2221)
10. Scott Palmer (2149)

Funny Car (Unofficial)

1. Robert Hight (2445)
2. J.R. Todd (2434)
3. Ron Capps (2336)
4. Tim Wilkerson (2334)
5. Tommy Johnson Jr. (2296)
6. Courtney Force (2264)
7. Matt Hagan (2241)
8. Jack Beckman (2229)
9. John Force (2204)
10. Shawn Langdon (2152)