Kalitta Motorsports News

Doug Kalitta Wins Winternationals.JPG

Kalitta wins Winternationals

Race Recap: Doug Kalitta and the Mac Tools team scored an opening race win this evening at the NHRA Winternationals at the Auto Club Raceway in Pomona. 

In qualifying, Kalitta earned bonus points in three of the four sessions, and was consistent throughout. He was able to earn the fifth starting spot, which meant his teammate, Richie Crampton, in the first round.

Kalitta and Crampton were both stellar on the tree, as they recorded the top two reaction times of the session. Crampton had issues nearly immediately, and Kalitta was skating away before a big blowup before the finish line. Kalitta was able to still score the win, but it left a lot of work for the Mac Tools team.

He moved on to the second round. This time it was clean. Kalitta earned the best reaction time of the round, and led from the start to the finish as the Mac Tools ride got to the finish line in 3.760 seconds, which was enough to defeat Scott Palmer. 

Kalitta moved to the semi-finals, and his foe was the new national record holder Clay Millican. Kalitta again got a solid advantage at the starting line. However, the Mac Tools machine quickly dropped a cylinder. Kalitta stayed with it and was able to score the round win to move to his third straight Winternationals final round. It was his fourth final in Pomona in the last five events and tenth final at Auto Club Raceway of Pomona.

His opponent for the 17th time in the final round was Tony Schumacher. Doug was unfazed, and crew chief Jim Oberhofer proved to have the right tune up as Schumacher had issues, and Kalitta's Mac Tools machine was clean to the finish line.

It was Doug Kalitta's 44th career win in his 92nd final. It allows Kalitta to start the season atop of the point standings, and give the Mac Tools driver his second Winternationals win. 

Qualified: No. 5  (3.703 sec., 330.15 mph)

E1: Kalitta defeated Crampton - 4.121 sec., 217.56 mph to 4.234 sec., no speed given

E2: Kalitta defeated Palmer - 3.760 sec., 329.18 mph to 3.832 sec., 323.27 mph

E3: Kalitta defeated Millican - 3.866 sec., 307.58 mph to 4.860 sec., 145.02 mph

Final: Kalitta defeated Schumacher - 3.779 sec., 324.28 mph to 4.715 sec., 145.93 mph 

Quotable: “To get the first win of the season and get that monkey off your back is huge. It was kind of a lucky day. Our Mac Tools Toyota dragster coasted across the finish line twice, but we were still getting the win light. It was one of those crazy days and we went through a lot of parts, but we got it done."
"I can’t give enough credit to, not only the guys on my car, but to the entire team. The Kalitta Air guys all pitched in and we needed them. It was a thrash to make to at least three of the four rounds. It was just a great team effort."
"We love coming here to Pomona with all of the history of this place growing up with Connie. This was a big deal. It’s just a great place to run."
"My guys have a lot of work to do to prepare for Phoenix. We blew up a lot of stuff. They’ll be working right up until Phoenix, to get everything fresh again. But we’ll be ready. We’ll go there and see if we can qualify upfront and get another win.”

Point Standings: First, leads Tony Schumacher by 17

JR Todd Pomona .JPG

Todd's season starts with a consistent race car and a first round win

Race Recap: J.R. Todd and the DHL Toyota Camry was very consistent in the first race weekend of the year.

They started their race season with three solid passes out of four possible in qualifying. The best, a 3.908, came in the final qualifying session and scored Todd his first bonus point of the season. The run moved the DHL team inside the top half of the field and into the seventh starting spot. The first round draw was John Force.

What proved to be a long nitro session forced co-crew chiefs Jon Oberhofer and Todd Smith to keep reconsidering strategies. The ended up choosing the correct one. Todd got the jump at the tree and steadily pulled away from Force to score the round win. 

It advanced Todd to the quarterfinals where he drew reigning Funny Car champion Robert Hight. Todd again moved first, but Hight was able to get ahead and won by less than a car length. 

Qualified: No. 7 (3.908 sec., 326.79 mph) 

E1: Todd defeated J.Force - 3.997 sec., 323.58 mph to 4.465 sec., 202.76 mph

E2: Todd defeated by Hight - 3.969 sec., 324.36 mph to 3.937 sec., 329.10 mph

Quotable: "All in all a good weekend with the DHL Toyota. We went down the track five out of six runs. We definitely started off in a better direction than we ended last year. Not having lane choice in the second round played a little bit of a factor, but we still should have run better than that. Now we have something to build off of for Phoenix.”

Point Standings: Tied for sixth with Tim Wilkerson

Richie Cranpton Rob Flynn.JPG

Crampton's strong on the tree in his full-time Kalitta debut

Race Recap: Richie Crampton, driver of the Kalitta Air Top Fuel Dragster, was defeated by his teammate, Doug Kalitta, in the first round despite a class-best .033 reaction time.

Crew chiefs Connie Kalitta and Rob Flynn never got a qualifying pass that they were fully happy with. Crampton's best was a 3.782 at only 314.75 mph. That seeded Crampton in the 10th position and with a short field, lined him up against his teammate, Doug Kalitta.

Crampton and Kalitta were part of a marathon Top Fuel session. However, they were still focused once they reached the starting line. Crampton destroyed the tree with a .033 reaction time, but shortly after his Kalitta Air Top Fuel dragster encountered tire smoke. Crampton pedaled but was unable to catch up to Kalitta despite his eventual troubles before the finish line. 

Qualified: No. 10 (3.782 sec., 314.75 mph) 

E1: Crampton defeated by Kalitta - 4.121 sec., 217.56 mph to 4.234 sec., no speed recorded

Quotable: “It was good start simply to be here running the full 2018 season. We’re still battling consistency.  It wasn’t the ideal situation to have to run our teammate in the first round. We knew we had to go for it because Doug Kalitta and that Mac Tools Toyota team are among the best out here. Unfortunately, we didn’t quite hit our marks and fell to Doug. That’s ok.  We’ll regroup.  I’m looking forward to when we get to Phoenix. We tested pretty well there.  I think that’s going to be pretty valuable for us to get dialed in when we get over there to qualify. I think we’re going to have a good race there in the Kalitta Air DHL Toyota team.”

Point Standings: 13th; trails Terry McMillen by one point for 12th

First Funny Car Race Shawn Langdon.JPG

Langdon's Funny Car debut ends early

Race Recap: Shawn Langdon and the Global Electronic Technology Toyota Camry Funny Car turned a lot of heads this weekend with its flashy new scheme, but it was an early finish to Langdon's first official Funny Car run as he was defeated in the first round by Ron Capps.

Langdon started the weekend with a solid 3.949 second pass. With stellar reaction times all weekend, Langdon was impressive all weekend in his Global Electronic Technology Toyota Camry Funny Car. With 20 cars in the property, Langdon qualified right in the middle of field in the 12th spot. His first Funny Car opponent was the 2016 Funny Car champion Ron Capps. 

Langdon got the jump at the tree, but shortly after hit tire smoke. He pedaled his Global Electronic Technology Toyota Camry Funny Car, but Capps sped away and scored the round win.

Qualified: No. 12 (3.949 sec., 328.06 mph) 

E1: Langdon defeated by Capps - 10.060 sec., 79.68 mph to 4.833 sec., 167.53 mph 

Quotable: “It was difficult. We sat out there a long time. There was a lot of things going on with the Top Fuel cars in front.  The air was making some moves and it was drying out and we should have adjusted a little more for it.  The first race out, I’m not disappointed. I feel I could have done a better job pedaling our Global Electronic Technology Camry. I knew what my mistakes were. There was just so much going on in my first race out. I wasn’t patient enough with it. I’m happy with the overall team effort and I’m happy with my reaction time (fourth-quickest in the round). We’re learning. We’re going to have a good year. I feel it and I’m excited for it.” 

Point Standings: Tied for 10th with Del Worsham and Tommy Johnson Jr.

Doug Kalitta

Doug Kalitta, driver of the Mac Tools Top Fuel Dragster

Q1: 3.729 sec. at 328.06 MPH
Q2: 5.584 sec. at 109.86 MPH
Q3: 3.703 sec. at 330.15 MPH
Q4: 3.723 sec. at 326.95 MPH

Bonus Points: 3 pts. (Third best of the first session, third best of the third session, third best of the final session)
Starting Position: 5th
First Round Matchup: Richie Crampton
Quotable: “Solid qualifying effort to start the season for the Mac Tools team. We didn't want to race Richie in the first round; we know what the Kalitta Air car is capable of. We will get our Mac Tools team ready, and try to go several rounds tomorrow." 

Richie Crampton

Richie Crampton, driver of the Kalitta Air Top Fuel Dragster

Q1: 3.903 sec. at 287.60 MPH
Q2: 4.956 sec. at 146.46 MPH
Q3: 3.782 sec. at 314.75 MPH
Q4: 3.815 sec. at 286.68 MPH

Starting Position: 10th
First Round Matchup: Doug Kalitta 
Quotable: "I think we are a little better than what our qualifying result would show. Unfortunately, we have to race Doug, but I know it will still be a great drag race. Bright side of that is we know a Kalitta machine will be in the second round, which is good for all of our partners: Mac Tools, Kalitta Air, DHL, Toyota, WIX Filters and Red Line Oil. My guys are working hard, and I am confident we will make a good run tomorrow."

JR Todd

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

Q1: 3.953 sec. at 322.04 MPH
Q2: 3.961 sec. at 319.29 MPH
Q3: 8.303 sec. at 85.59 MPH
Q4: 3.908 sec. at 326.79 MPH

Bonus Points: 1 pt. (Third best in the final session)
Starting Position: 7th
First Round Matchup: John Force
Quotable: "It was great to move into the top half that last qualifying session. We were trying to run that earlier in the day, and didn't get down the track. But it was a good way to start the season, getting down the track three out of the four runs. I am hoping we can do it four times tomorrow."

Shawn Langdon

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

Q1: 3.949 sec. at 328.06 MPH
Q2: No time; competitor hit timing block into Langdon's lane
Q3: 8.442 sec. at 79.31 MPH
Q4: 4.454 sec. at 194.58 MPH

Starting Position: 12th
First Round Matchup: Ron Capps
Quotable: "It is a whole new set of drivers I am facing tomorrow, so it is pretty cool that I get to race Ron Capps first. I followed his career for a long time, so I am excited to race him. I feel good. We would have liked to have the Global Electronic Technology Toyota to be a little better in qualifying, but we are learning as a group. We are just going to give it our best shot. I feel good on the tree. This team is going to be dangerous this season."

Doug Kalitta Pomona 2018

After solid test session, Kalitta looks to start season strong

Pomona Highlights: Two wins (Fall 2016, Spring 2009); Seven finals (Spring 2017, Spring 2016, Spring 2014, Fall 2013, Spring 2010, Spring 2004, Fall 1999); Six no. 1 qualifiers (Spring 2014, Fall 2006, Spring 2004, Fall 2004, Spring 2003, Spring 2001)

Last Event Recap (2017 Auto Club Finals): Qualified seventh; Semifinalist (Defeated Wayne Newby in the first round and Clay Millican in the quarterfinals, lost to Shawn Langdon in the semifinals)

2017 NHRA Winternationals Recap: Qualified second; Finalist (Defeated Steve Faria in the first round, Terry McMillen in the quarterfinals and Antron Brown in the semifinals, lost to Leah Pritchett in the final round)

Quotable: “We just had a very successful test with the Mac Tools team. I am excited for the new season. Pomona has always been a good track for me, and I hope that run of success continues this weekend.”

Career Stats: 458 starts; 623 round wins (ninth all-time); 43 wins (fifth all-time in Top Fuel); 91 finals; 49 no.1 qualifiers (tied 14th all-time)

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

Richie Crampton 2018 Pomona

Crampton excited about full-time opportunity

Pomona Highlights: One no. 1 qualifier (Fall 2014)

Last Event Recap (2017 Auto Club Finals): Qualified eighth; Quarterfinalist (Defeated Terry McMillen in the first round, lost to Brittany Force in the quarterfinals)

2017 NHRA Winternationals Recap: Did not compete

Quotable: “I am really excited to be able to have a full time ride with a team that is the caliber of Kalitta Motorsports. I am thrilled to be working with Connie, Rob and the entire Kalitta Air team. We are ready for Pomona, and we plan on kicking off the season strong.” 

Career Stats: 79 starts; 75 round wins; Seven wins; Nine finals; Five no.1 qualifiers

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

Shawn Langdon 2018 Pomona

Langdon makes Funny Car debut

Pomona Highlights: Four wins (Spring 2015, Fall 2015, Spring 2013, Fall 2013); Three finals (Fall 2017, Spring 2011, Fall 2010); Two no.1 qualifiers (Spring 2015, Fall 2012)

Last Event Recap (Auto Club Finals): Qualified 11th; Finalist (Defeated Tony Schumacher in the first round, Leah Pritchett in the quarterfinals and Doug Kalitta in the semifinals, lost to Brittany Force in the final round)

2017 NHRA Winternationals (Top Fuel): Did not compete

Quotable: “Coming out of testing, I am really excited about Pomona. I really learned a lot as a Funny Car driver. This is my home track, and the home track for Global Electronic Technology, so we are looking for some success like I have had here in the past. We are looking for a good start to the season.”

Career Stats: 205 starts; 247 round wins; 14 wins; 30 finals; 18 no.1 qualifiers

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

Noteworthy: Langdon will earn his 250th career round win with a final round appearance


Back for his second season in Funny Car, Todd looks for even more success

Pomona Highlights: One win (Spring 2007); One final (Fall 2016); One no.1 qualifier (Fall 2016)

Last Event Recap (Auto Club Finals): Qualified ninth; First round loss (Lost to John Force in the first round)

2017 NHRA Winternationals: Qualified 11th; Quarterfinalist (Defeated Tim Wilkerson in the first round, lost to Courtney Force in the quarterfinals)

Quotable: “We had a good test session last week and we’re hoping to carry that over to Pomona. I am more confident going into this season and I am ready to run for the Wally at one of my favorite tracks."

Career Stats: 172 starts; 167 round wins; 11 wins; 21 finals; 9 no.1 qualifiers (Funny Car stats: 24 starts; Two wins (Sonoma, Indianapolis); Three finals (Charlotte-I, Sonoma, Indianapolis); 18 round wins)

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


YPSILANTI, Mich. (January 30, 2018) - Team Kalitta is pleased to announce an extension with WIX® Filters, a global manufacturer of filtration products.

The relationship will expand for the 2018 season as both J.R. Todd and Shawn Langdon will serve as WIX Filters’ lead National Hot Rod Association (NHRA) drivers. WIX Filters will receive major associate branding on Todd’s DHL Toyota Camry Funny Car and Langdon’s Global Electronic Technology Toyota Camry Funny Car. WIX Filters will also continue to serve as the Official Filters of Team Kalitta and have associate branding on the Top Fuel dragsters driven by Richie Crampton and Doug Kalitta.

“We knew we found a great fit with Kalitta, but we didn’t realize how great this partnership would turn out,” said Jennifer Gibson, brand manager for WIX. “From races ending in the Winner’s Circle to support behind the scenes, last year proved to be extremely successful. We couldn’t be more excited to continue our partnership with the entire Kalitta team.”

Race teams have relied on the quality and performance of WIX Filters for 50 years, and in return the track provides exceptional R&D testing grounds for WIX engineers. With Team Kalitta, WIX will see its filters perform in the Top Fuel and Funny Car competition, where cars reach top performance speeds of more than 330 mph in less than 3.7 seconds. In the first season of the WIX Filters and Team Kalitta relationship, Todd drove WIX Filters to the winner’s circle twice, including the biggest drag race in the world, the U.S. Nationals on Labor Day weekend in Indianapolis. Team Kalitta also competed in a driver swap with fellow WIX Filters driver Alex Keyes and his Global Rallycross (GRC) team in early April to much success. 

“We are excited to have WIX back on our DHL Toyota Camry,” said Todd. “It has been great to get to know Jennifer and the whole WIX Filters family this past season. I am looking forward to winning more races together and cheering on the rest of WIX Filters’ drivers across their other motorsport partnerships.” 

“I am happy to expand my relationship with WIX Filters for this season,” said Langdon. “They are a great partner of Kalitta Motorsports and they have so much history in the motorsports world. We are excited for this upcoming season and welcoming many of WIX’s customers to the track.”

WIX Filters will grow their hospitality presence with Kalitta Motorsports as well in 2018 with five major activations across NHRA’s extensive reach thoughout the country. These events bring major WIX Filters customers to the track and allow them to experience the most extreme motorsport up close. 

“We love hosting WIX’s customers and being able to share our experience with them,” said Rachel DeLago, General Manager, Kalitta Motorsports. “The people at WIX Filters have become a part of the Kalitta family and we are excited to be able to host them at more races in 2018.”



YPSILANTI, Mich. (January 18, 2018) - Richie Crampton’s Top Fuel Dragster will display the Kalitta Air and DHL partnership in multiple races for the 2018 season. The scheme is modeled after the co-branded DHL and Kalitta Air 747’s that deliver packages worldwide. 

"The DHL partnership with Kalitta Air has been going on for many years and has been one of our most successful,” said Kalitta Air owner and drag racing icon Connie Kalitta. “I am pleased to be able to showcase our relationship on the Top Fuel dragster driven by Richie Crampton. We plan on continuing that run of success with many victories this season."

The motorsport connection between DHL and Kalitta Motorsports has lasted over a decade, making it one of the longest running and most successful sponsorships in the sport. Del Worsham flew the DHL colors to the Funny Car championship in 2015 and current DHL Funny Car driver J.R. Todd earned DHL their first U.S. Nationals win last season.

“I am extremely lucky to get to drive the full season for Connie Kalitta. Now to be able to honor his other passion, airplanes, on the side of the car makes it even better,” said former NHRA Road to the Future winner Crampton. “The DHL and Kalitta Air partnership has been extremely successful and this scheme highlights that.”

The gray and yellow colors will be campaigned by Crampton for several races throughout the 2018 NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing season. Crampton, who will compete for the championship in a full-time seat, will run several different schemes through the year with some races having primary inventory still available. 

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Mello Yello Championship Points

Top Fuel (Unofficial)

1. Steve Torrence (1332)
2. Tony Schumacher (1145)
3. Clay Millican (1144)
4. Leah Pritchett (1118)
5. Doug Kalitta (1027)
6. Antron Brown (1026)
7. Terry McMillen (791)
8. Brittany Force (787)
9. Scott Palmer (701)
10. Mike Salinas (694)
11. Richie Crampton (692)

Funny Car (Unofficial)

1. Courtney Force (1372)
2. Ron Capps (1177)
3. Robert Hight (1154)
4. Jack Beckman (1110)
5. Matt Hagan (1102)
6. J.R. Todd (987)
6. Tommy Johnson Jr. (987)
8. John Force (855)
9. Shawn Langdon (791)
10. Tim Wilkerson (747)