Kalitta Motorsports News

Doug Saturday

Doug Kalitta, driver of the Mac Tools Top Fuel Dragster

Q1: 3.996 sec. at 265.69 MPH
Q2: 3.801 sec. at 320.81 MPH
Q3: 3.828 sec. at 317.34 MPH
Q4: 3.769 sec. at 323.04 MPH

Starting Position: 8th
First Round Matchup: Antron Brown

Quotable: “This Mac Tools team has been extremely consistent this weekend, and we will need another strong showing on Sunday to get some round wins and close in on the top spots in the Top Fuel field.

Richie Saturday

Richie Crampton, driver of the CRAFTSMAN Top Fuel Dragster

Q1: 3.863 sec. at 281.60 MPH
Q2: 3.774 sec. at 320.05 MPH
Q3: 5.311 sec. at 127.63 MPH
Q4: 3.815 sec. at 294.88 MPH

Starting Position:
First Round Matchup: Tony Schumacher

Quotable: "This Craftsman machine is running pretty good, we would have liked to be in the top half of the field but we put some strong runs up this weekend. We've got a good race car going into race day."

Shawn Langdon Sat

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

Q1: 4.026 sec. at 318.24 MPH
Q2: 3.957 sec. at 322.96 MPH
Q3: 3.983 sec. at 321.04 MPH
Q4: 3.943 sec. at 322.81 MPH

Starting Position: 10th
First Round Matchup: J.R. Todd

"I'm still aiming to get progressively in this funny car, and the car has been getting better each event. We're continuously working hard and hoping to get our first win."

JR Saturday

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

Q1: 3.977 sec. at 318.99 MPH
Q2: 3.928 sec. at 323.66 MPH
Q3: 3.939 sec. at 319.90 MPH
Q4: 3.929 sec. at 321.12 MPH

Bonus Points: 1 pts. (Third best of the first session)

Starting Position:
First Round Matchup: Shawn Langdon

 "We ran well, just not as well as we had hoped in the Friday night session, but we are in the top half. Our DHL/Wix Filters Toyota Camry ran pretty well on Saturday and if it is overcast tomorrow, these runs we made today could be a pretty good indicator."

Doug Kalitta

After runner-up finish in 2017, Kalitta looks for 4th career win at Gateway Motorsports Park

St. Louis Highlights: Three wins (2001, 2003, 2004); Two No.1 qualifiers (2005, 2014)

Last Event Recap (NHRA Nationals): Qualified 8th; Quarterfinalist (Defeated Richie Crampton in the first round, Lost to Clay Millican in the quarterfinals)

2017 NHRA Midwest Nationals Recap: Qualified fourth; Finalist (Defeated Scott Palmer in the first round, Brittany Force in the quarterfinals, Dom Lagana in the semifinals, lost to Steve Torrence in the finals)

Quotable: “We didn't get the results we had hoped for in Reading, but this Mac Tools team is looking to get back on track in St. Louis. We've got a great car, and we definitely need to go some rounds this weekend to move up in the Countdown standings.”

Career Stats: 477 starts; 651 round wins (ninth all-time); 44 wins (Fifth all-time in Top Fuel); 96 finals; 49 no.1 qualifiers (tied 14th all-time)

2018 Season: One Win (Pomona-I); Five finals (Pomona I, Charlotte I, Richmond, Denver, Indianapolis); 28 round wins; sixth in the standings

Noteworthy: Kalitta would hit 50 career No. 1 qualifying positions if he takes the top spot in St. Louis.

Richie Crampton

Crampton hopes to bounce back with strong showing in St. Louis

St. Louis Highlights: One No.1 qualifier (2016)

Last Event Recap (NHRA Nationals): Qualified 9th; First round loss (Lost to Doug Kalitta in the first round)

2017 NHRA Midwest Nationals Recap: Qualified 9th, First round loss (Lost to Dom Lagana in the first round)

Quotable: “I'm hoping for a stronger performance this weekend, because we didn't perform very well in Reading. Our goal is to qualify better, and get a few round wins for the Craftsman team."

Career Stats: 98 starts; 86 round wins; Eight wins; 10 finals; Five no.1 qualifiers

2018 Season: One win (Gainesville); 11 round wins; 11th in the standings 

Shawn Langdon

Following difficult start to the Countdown, Langdon hopes for stronger performance at Gateway Motorsports Park

Reading Highlights: One win (2016 - Top Fuel); One No. 1 qualifier (2013 - Top Fuel)

Last Event Recap (NHRA Nationals): Qualified sixth; First round loss (Lost to Robert Hight in the first round)

2017 NHRA Midwest Nationals Recap: Qualified tenth; First round loss (Lost to Steve Torrence in the first round)

Quotable: "We've had some bad luck recently, because we have run really well but lost a few races by extremely small margins. It's a part of drag racing, but we are going to keep trying to improve our car and have some more success going forward.”

Career Stats: 225 starts; 261 round wins; 14 wins; 30 finals; 18 no.1 qualifiers (Funny Car stats: 19 starts; 14 round wins)

2018 Season: 19 starts; 14 round wins; Tenth in the standings

JR Todd 

Coming off back-to-back wins, Todd hopes to extend Funny Car points lead

Last Event Recap (NHRA Nationals): Qualified eighth; Race Winner (Defeated Bob Tasca in the first round, Mike Smith in the quarterfinals, Ron Capps in the semifinals and Tim Wilkerson in the finals)

2017 NHRA Midwest Nationals Recap: Qualified tenth; First round loss (Lost to Courtney Force in the first round)

Quotable: “This DHL/Wix FIlters team has been racing smart, and we are glad to come out of Reading with the points lead. We know we are going to have to win a few more races to win a championship, because the Funny Car category is so tough, so we have to stay focused and keep going rounds.”

Career Stats: 191 starts; 195 round wins; 15 wins; 25 finals; 10 no.1 qualifiers (Funny Car stats: 43 starts; Six wins (2017: Sonoma, Indianapolis, 2018: Las Vegas-I, Houston, Indianapolis, Reading); Six finals (2017: Charlotte-I, Sonoma, Indianapolis, 2018: Las Vegas-I, Houston, Indianapolis, Reading); 46 round wins)

2018 Season: Four wins (Las Vegas-I, Houston, Indianapolis, Reading); 28 round wins; First in the point standings 

Team Kalitta owner Connie Kalitta has decided that effective immediately, Jim Oberhofer has been released from Kalitta Motorsports and his position as crew chief for the Mac Tools Top Fuel dragster team driven by Doug Kalitta.

Oberhofer has been a member of Kalitta Motorsports for over 30 years and has held numerous positions including Vice President of Operations as well as being crew chief on Kalitta’s dragster where he helped secure multiple top-ten point finishes for the veteran driver.

“I want to thank Jim for his years at Kalitta Motorsports and appreciate everything he accomplished here. I wish him the best in the future,” said team owner Kalitta.

Troy Fasching will continue as Crew Chief for the Mac Tools team for the remaining five races of the Countdown to the Championship beginning this weekend in St. Louis.

Kalitta currently sits sixth in the standings, 116 points behind leader Steve Torrence.

JR Sunday.jpg

Todd goes back-to-back and secures the 100th career victory for Kalitta Motorsports

Race Recap: J.R. Todd and the DHL/WIX Filters team decided that the accolades wouldn't stop with back-to-back Indianapolis victories, as they won their second consecutive event of the season and secured the 100th career victory for Kalitta Motorsports in the process.

Unlike in Indianapolis, Todd did not dominate throughout qualifying, as he entered eliminations eighth in the qualifying order after four consistent passes: two passes in the low four-second range and two runs around 3.9.

In the first round of eliminations, Todd lined up against Bob Tasca. The DHL team, led by Jon Oberhofer and Todd Smith, tuned Todd to a 3.982-second pass, which was the fourth-best pass of the entire round to give him the victory against Tasca's red light. 

In the second round, Todd lined up with No. 16 qualifier Mike Smith who had upset the top qualifier in the class, Courtney Force, in round one. Although Smith was quicker on the tree, Todd's 3.996 run turned out to be too much as the DHL team took the round win and head to the semifinals. 

In the semis, Todd matched up with Ron Capps, and this time was able to beat his opponent off the line. The DHL/WIX Filters team powered down the track to a run of 3.975 seconds, which was best of the round and earned the victory against Capps.

That brought Todd back to his second consecutive final and the fourth of the season, as he was slated to face-off against Tim Wilkerson, and Todd was again the stronger of the pair as he brought home his second straight event win and fourth of the season. Todd was first off the tree and held the lead for the entirety of the race. Todd improved to 6-0 in final rounds in his Funny Car career as he took over the points lead with five races remaining on the 2018 schedule. 

Qualified: No. 8 (3.947 sec., 322.50 mph) 

E1: Todd defeated Tasca - 3.982 sec., 321.50 mph to a red light start

E2: Todd defeated Smith - 3.996 sec., 316.82 mph to 10.655 sec., 75.64 mph

E3: Todd defeated Capps - 3.975 sec., 320.28 mph to 4.014 sec., 315.12 mph

E4: Todd defeated Wilkerson - 3.972 sec., 319.90 mph to 4.196 sec., 249.95 mph

Quotable: (Tell us about winning your second event in a row and taking the Countdown points lead.)
“It's awesome to keep the momentum going, but we still have a long road ahead of us. These DHL/Wix Filter Toyota guys know how to win. A lot of them were here when Del Worsham won the title in 2015. I just want to keep winning and keep our foot on their throats. We got some gifts early on today with some of the cars in front of us going out early. It was nice to be able to come out of here with a win and gain on everyone in the Countdown. Now we just need to keep it going through St. Louis.”
(How has the team approached the Countdown?)
“They're racing smart. It goes back to the TRD guys and Chad Head who are checking the track for us and giving us the grip numbers. That's key for us. We're just racing what the track will allow us. We definitely didn't have the best car this weekend, but I felt like we had a really good car and my guys are racing smart and not beating ourselves. You have to go down the track to win these things. This weekend, we murdered a bunch of parts and had a number of dumb things happen that don't normally occur. The guys had some late nights Friday and Saturday and it was nice to be able to pay them back on Sunday with another win.”
(You had four consecutive runs in the three-second range today, talk about that consistency)
“The consistency of this DHL/Wix Filters Toyota has really come around since the semifinals in Brainerd. We struggled throughout the summer and made some changes before Indy that really paid off going to the U.S. Nationals and then coming here. This Camry was really consistent. We made some good runs in qualifying, but we still should have run better than what we did due to the parts breaking, so we knew that we had a car that was capable of running with the top cars out here. We had one qualifying run that would have been in the low 3.90s, but we didn't make it to the finish line under power, so that got our confidence up heading into the day.”
Point Standings: First; leads Robert Hight by 23 points atop the class standings

Doug Sunday.jpg

Kalitta falls in quarterfinals

Race Recap: Despite four consistent runs in qualifying to start off the weekend, Kalitta was unable to build off the momentum of his runner-up finish in Indianapolis.

Three out of four of Kalitta's runs this weekend were under the four-second mark, and he entered Sunday as the No. 8 qualifier matched up against teammate Richie Crampton.

The Mac Tools team was ready for the challenge, and took down Crampton with a 3.805 run as Crampton's car struggled to a 6.883-second pass.

In the quarterfinals, Kalitta faced off with the No. 1 qualifier Clay Millican. Millican continued his strong weekend with a 3.810 run and took down Kalitta, who went into tire smoke and slowed to a 4.475 pass.

Kalitta was aiming for his first win at Maple Grove Raceway since 2002, and now enters the St. Louis event sixth in the points standings.

Qualified: No. 8 (3.790 sec., 326.63 mph)

E1: Kalitta defeated Crampton - 3.805 sec., 323.74 mph to 6.883 sec., 62.61 mph

E2: Kalitta defeated by Millican - 4.475 sec., 183.82 mph to 3.810 sec., 323.27 mph

Quotable: “We had a real consistent car all weekend, but got a tough draw and Clay made a stout run. We will regroup and be ready to pick up some more points next weekend in St. Louis."

Point Standings: Sixth; leads Mike Salinas by 36 points for seventh; trails Antron Brown by 13 points for fifth

Shawn Sunday.jpg

Langdon falls against Hight in first round at Maple Grove

Race Recap: Shawn Langdon's Global Electronic Technology team were unable to get locked in throughout the weekend, and fell in the first round of eliminations on Sunday in Reading.

After a strong run in Q2 on Friday, Langdon was unable to put together another clean pass in Saturday's qualifying. His 3.944 at 327.90 was enough to land in the No. 6 spot in the qualifying order, where he was slated to match-up with Robert Hight in eliminations.

In the first round, Langdon was unable to get off the tree first, as his .049 off the line came up a bit short versus Hight's .026. The Global Electronic Technology team ended up with a 4.015, which was not enough to turn on the win light, as Langdon failed to reach the second round for the first time in the past four events.

He enters the second race of the Countdown 10th in the standings.

Qualified: No. 6 (3.944 sec., 327.90 mph) 

E1: Langdon defeated by Hight - 4.015 sec., 322.50 mph to 3.941 sec., 325.63 mph

Quotable: “We had a tough draw with Robert [Hight], and he made a great run. We were a little slower than we thought we should have been. I was happy with my light, and we would have won a majority of the other rounds but it was just bad luck. Robert had a good guess at the tree and made a great run for low E.T. of the round, so it's just part of drag racing and we will head to the next race and try to keep improving our car."

Point Standings: Tenth; trails John Force by 10 points for ninth

Richie Sunday.jpg

Crampton knocked out in first round at Reading

Race Recap: Richie Crampton and his CRAFTSMAN crew fell in round one at Reading against teammate Doug Kalitta.

Qualifying ended with Crampton in the ninth qualifying spot, as a 3.791 second run was almost enough to move into the top half of the field. 

In his first round matchup with Kalitta, Crampton left first, but smoked the tired and Doug pulled head. Crampton was unable to track down his teammate and will now aim to get back on track in St. Louis next weekend.

Qualified: No. 9 (3.791 sec., 316.30 mph) 

E1: Crampton defeated by Kalitta - 6.883 sec., 62.61 mph to 3.805 sec., 323.74 mph

Quotable: “We had an unfortunate matchup racing our teammate in the first round, and this team was definitely going for it. Something didn't work right and we had to replace our motor before we went out there so it was a bit of a rough day for us. We will get after it again in St. Louis."

Doug Kalitta sat

Doug Kalitta, driver of the Mac Tools Top Fuel Dragster

Q1: 3.863 sec. at 322.42 MPH
Q2: 4.162 sec. at 218.41 MPH
Q3: 3.833 sec. at 325.69 MPH
Q43.790 sec. at 326.63 MPH

Starting Position: 8th
First Round Matchup: Richie Crampton

Quotable: "We have been pretty consistent this weekend, and we are excited by how we ran today. It will be a tough matchup with Richie tomorrow, and we know how important it will be to win a few rounds to start off the Countdown on a strong note."

Richie Crampton sat

Richie Crampton, driver of the CRAFTSMAN Top Fuel Dragster

Q1: 3.791 sec. at 316.30 MPH
Q2: 7.743 sec. at 89.30 MPH
Q3: 3.799 sec. at 307.58 MPH
Q4Shut off on starting line

Starting Position: 9th 
First Round Matchup: Doug Kalitta

Quotable: "I think our car got off to a decent start this weekend with a strong pass in Q1, but it's unfortunate to have to race Doug [Kalitta] in the first round. We are going to just try and go down the racetrack and let the best man win." 

Shawn Langdon sat

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

Q1: 11.039 sec. at 75.12 MPH
Q2: 3.944 sec. at 327.90 MPH
Q3: 6.730 sec. at 98.12 MPH
Q45.082 sec. at 150.65 MPH

Starting Position: 6th
First Round Matchup: Robert Hight

Quotable: "We made a great run during the second qualifying round, but we had some issues on the other passes, but they are fixable problems. We got a tough draw with Robert Hight, but it will be a good race and it is fun to have these matchups with a lot of meaning in the Countdown."

JR Todd sat

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

Q1: 4.015 sec. at 314.83 MPH
Q2: 4.378 sec. at 233.56 MPH
Q3: 3.947 sec. at 322.50 MPH
Q4: 3.970 sec. at 307.72 MPH

Bonus Points: 3 pts. (Best of the third session)
Starting Position: 8th

First Round Matchup: Bob Tasca

Quotable: "We've made some good runs this weekend but we have also had some tough things happen that have affected our performance. We've got lane choice going into race day and we have a tough matchup, so we are going to take it one round at a time and do the best that we can."

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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)