Kalitta Motorsports News


Kalitta advances to the semifinal

Race Recap:  Doug Kalitta and the Mac Tools team advanced to the semifinal of the Sonoma Nationals earlier this afternoon.

Kalitta's Mac Tools team did not have the qualifying effort that they would have liked. Kalitta's best effort, a 3.790, put Kalitta amongst the top half at that point. Saturday did not yield an improvement, and Kalitta was bumped to ninth overall.

The ninth spot meant a tough draw of points leader Steve Torrence. However, the race went to the Mac Tools driver at the drop of the tree. Torrence left early, and Kalitta made a great run to score the round win.

In the quarterfinals, Kalitta faced no.1 qualifier Clay Millican. The Mac Tools driver earned the advantage at the starting line, and was ahead the whole way. A 3.772 second pass was the best of the round and gave Kalitta lane choice over Tony Schumacher in the semifinals.

In that race, Kalitta had the Mac Tools machine ahead at the 660 foot mark, however, Kalitta dropped a cylinder down track and Schumacher was able to drive back around to win the round.

Qualified: No. 9 (3.790 sec., 324.05 mph)

E1: Kalitta defeated Torrence - 3.746 sec., 332.26 mph to Foul

E2: Kalitta defeated Millican - 3.772 sec., 329.50 mph to 5.111 sec., 147.79 mph

E3: Kalitta defeated by Schumacher - 3.837 sec., 274.44 mph to 3.836 sec., 317.42 mph

Quotable: “Solid day for the Mac Tools Toyota, but we were looking for the win. We are going to pack up, take our machine to Seattle and get the trophy there."

Point Standings: Fifth; leads Antron Brown by 142 points for sixth; trails Leah Pritchett by 38 points for fourth


Crampton falls in close race

Race Recap: Richie Crampton fell in the first round of the Toyota Sonoma Nationals. 

The Kalitta Air Toyota Top Fuel dragster was very solid in qualifying as Crampton got down the track three of the four passes, with his Q4 pass just missing bonus points. Crampton earned the 12th starting spot and a first round draw of Brittany Force.

Crampton and Force ended up giving the packed house of Sonoma Raceway the best Top Fuel side-by-side race of the session and unfortunately for the Kalitta Air driver he came up just short as Force ran just seven thousandths quicker. 

Qualified: No. 12 (3.828 sec., 321.73 mph) 

E1: Crampton defeated by B. Force - 3.766 sec., 325.14 mph to 3.759 sec., 329.91 mph

Quotable: “We were on the receiving end of a really tight race. I’m super proud of my reaction time and the way our Kalitta Air Toyota ran. The guys did a good job, but, unfortunately for us, the car in the other lane did a little bit better. These are the races that you hate to lose. We’re realizing more and more how valuable round wins are as we get deeper into the season. We’ll keep our heads up, but it’s not the way we wanted to finish the Toyota Sonoma Nationals. We just haven’t been able to put it all together on race day, but I think when we do, that all things are trending in the right direction. It’s going to be good.”

Point Standings: 10th; leads Mike Salinas by 67 points for 11th; trails Scott Palmer by nine points for ninth


Langdon loses in the first round by inches

Race Recap: Shawn Langdon and the Global Electronic Technology team had a solid pass in the first round but it was not enough to earn a round win.

Langdon and the Global Electronic Technology Toyota Camry had their best run in the final qualifying session. A 4.023 moved Langdon inside the top half of the field and gave him a first round draw of John Force.

The duo was the final pair of the first round. Langdon was solid on the tree and the Global Electronic Technology Toyota Camry made a solid pass but Force was just barely ahead at the stripe. 

Qualified: No. 8 (4.023 sec., 318.77 mph) 

E1: Langdon defeated by J. Force - 4.000 sec., 321.27 mph to 4.026 sec., 323.12 mph

Quotable: “It was a bummer losing that first round. That was a big round because we could have used those points. Sometimes, you just get the wrong draw. We were running John Force and we were confident about it. We felt that after Q4 that the Global Electronic Technology Toyota was a good race car. It’s hard to lose on a hole-shot. He's one of the best out there and you try to get up for those moments when you run guys like that. Even though, I lost on a hole-shot on paper, I look at it and I was right on the range of reaction times where I thought I should be. He just cut an incredible .040 light. There's not much else you can say about it. We had a lot better car than we showed today."

Point Standings: Ninth; leads Bob Tasca III by 24 points for 10th; trails John Force by 127 points for eighth

JR-Sunday .JPG

Tough weekend for Todd in Sonoma

Race Recap: J.R. Todd and the DHL/WIX Filters team suffered through a tough weekend at Sonoma Raceway.

Qualifying did not go as the DHL/WIX Filters boys would have hoped as the defending race champions as Todd qualified a season-worst 15th, which is the first time the team had earned a start worst than 10th this season. 

A 15th place start meant former champion Jack Beckman in the other lane in the first round. Todd left the starting line first, but the DHL Camry encountered trouble down track and Beckman scored the round win.

Qualified: No. 15 (4.102 sec., 312.13 mph) 

E1: Todd defeated by Beckman - 3.973 sec., 320.58 mph to 4.242 sec., 225.18 mph

Quotable: “It wasn’t really the result we were looking for in the DHL/WIX Filters Toyota. We spun the tires about halfway down the track. On the bright side, our early numbers were some of the best we’ve had in a long time.  So that gives us something to look forward to as we head to Seattle in the next few days."
Point Standings: Sixth; leads Tommy Johnson Jr. by 44 points by seventh; trails Jack Beckman by 104 points for fifth

Doug Saturday

Doug Kalitta, driver of the Mac Tools Top Fuel Dragster

Q1: 3.855 sec. at 319.82 MPH
Q2: 3.790 sec. at 324.05 MPH
Q3: 4.115 sec. at 221.23 MPH
Q44.622 sec. at 162.63 MPHBonus Points: 1 pt. (Third best of the first session)
Starting Position: 9th
First Round Matchup: Steve Torrence
Quotable: “Tough draw in the first round, but we are ready to go with this Mac Tools machine. It is a big race for everyone at Toyota, so we are planning on putting on a great show tomorrow."

Richie Saturday Sonoma

Richie Crampton, driver of the Kalitta Air Top Fuel Dragster

Q1: 5.365 sec. at 124.72 MPH
Q2: 3.828 sec. at 321.73 MPH
Q3: 3.838 sec. at 319.07 MPH
Q4:3.854 sec. at 318.39 MPH

Starting Position: 12th
First Round Matchup: Brittany Force

Quotable: "It felt pretty good to get down the racetrack in qualifying. I think Connie and Rob have done a great job working on our race day program. It will be a tough race day like all of them, but we are looking to get the win for Toyota.

Shawn Saturday

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

Q1: 4.301 sec. at 232.51 MPH
Q2: 4.287 sec. at 219.94 MPH
Q3: 5.813 sec. at 122.53 MPH
Q44.023 sec. at 318.77 MPH

Starting Position: 8th
First Round Matchup: John Force
Quotable: "The run we made in Q4 was like we did in Q1. We just had some weird issues and part breakages. I made a mistake on Q2, which sucked, but actually helped us learn. I got the car out of the groove and there was smoke, but there was a reason for it. We made some adjustments and we were able to make a good run in Q4. We were fourth quick and we were able to move into the top half of the field. Super proud of my Global Electronic Technology/WIX Filters Toyota team and I am looking forward to Sunday."

JR Todd Saturday

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

Q1: 4.102 sec. at 312.13 MPH
Q2: 7.126 sec. at 93.41 MPH
Q3: 4.290 sec. at 229.94 MPH
Q44.381 sec. at 216.71 MPH

Starting Position: 15th

First Round Matchup: Jack Beckman
Quotable: "Definitely not the way we wanted to end qualifying with the DHL/WIX Filters Toyota Camry. We are fighting some demons and gremlins inside the car, but we will get them worked out before tomorrow. You have to be in it to win. We are qualified 15th and have a tough opponent in Jack Beckman tomorrow morning. My DHL guys are working hard, we will get it turned around and ready for Sunday."

Craftsman Announcementdocx.jpg

SONOMA, Calif. (July 28, 2018) - Kalitta Motorsports is pleased to announce that CRAFTSMAN®, a Stanley Black & Decker brand, will be the primary sponsor on Richie Crampton’s Top Fuel dragster starting at the U.S. Nationals in Indianapolis and continuing through the balance of the season. 

“I am very excited to represent an iconic brand like CRAFTSMAN as we finish out the NHRA season,”said Crampton.“TheCRAFTSMAN identity is built on quality-made high-performance products and we look forward to bringing that same mentality to the race track delivering success to the CRAFTSMANbrand.” 

Crampton will begin campaigning the CRAFTSMAN colors at the historic U.S. Nationals, a race he claimed in his Rookie of the Year season in 2014. The eight-time event winner has already earned a victory in his first full season with Kalitta Motorsports at the Gatornationals in Gainesville in early March. The Australian-native is ninth in the point standings and currently holds down a spot in the Countdown for the Championship field. 

“CRAFTSMAN is a brand built on pride. We are proud of this new partnership, and look forward to seeing Richie behind the wheel of the CRAFTSMAN Top Fuel dragster,” said Allison Nicolaidis, Chief Marketing Officer for Global Tools & Storageat Stanley Black & Decker. “We’re excited to partner with Richie and the Kalitta Motorsports team as we introduce new CRAFTSMAN products that can be relied on by generations to come.”

CRAFTSMAN is a new member to the Stanley Black & Decker family. The nearly century old brand has been consistently connected with reliable tools for home renovators, home builders, auto enthusiasts and master mechanics. CRAFTSMAN tools are tested in real world situations and are built to exceed expectations.  

“We are thrilled to welcome the CRAFTSMAN brand to the Team Kalitta family,” said Rachel DeLago, General Manager, Kalitta Motorsports. “We have enjoyed a long-standing and successful relationship with Stanley Black & Decker, and we are proud to partner with them to bring CRAFTSMAN to the NHRA fanbase. Richie is proven driver and will be a great ambassador for CRAFTSMAN.”

The CRAFTSMAN Top Fuel dragster makes its debut in qualifying for the U.S. Nationals in Indianapolis on Friday, August 31st. The black-and-red scheme will then be campaigned at all six Countdown for the Championship events in Reading, Penn., St. Louis, Dallas, Charlotte, Las Vegas and Pomona, Calif.  

Doug Kalitta Sonoma.jpg

All-time Sonoma Top Fuel wins leader, Kalitta, looks to add another trophy

Sonoma Highlights: Five wins (2005, 2004, 2000, 1999, 1998); One final (2002); Four no.1 qualifiers (2012, 2004, 2003, 1998)

Last Event Recap (NHRA Mile High Nationals): Qualified tenth; Finalist (Defeated Tony Schumacher in the first round, Jim Maroney in the quarterfinals and Blake Alexander in the semifinals, lost to Leah Pritchett in the finals)

2017 NHRA Toyota Sonoma Nationals Recap: Qualified third; Quarterfinalist (Defeated Shawn Reed in the first round, lost to Steve Torrence in the quarterfinals)

Quotable: "Sonoma is one of my favorite tracks on tour. It is where I got my first win, and has been a place that I and Kalitta Motorsports as a whole have earned so many wins. I am looking forward to representing Toyota at their sponsored event and my goal is to get this Mac Tools Toyota into the winners circle this weekend."

Career Stats: 472 starts; 644 round wins (ninth all-time); 44 wins (Fifth all-time in Top Fuel); 94 finals; 49 no.1 qualifiers (tied 14th all-time)

2018 Season: One Win (Pomona-I); Four finals (Pomona I, Charlotte I, Richmond, Denver); 21 round wins; fifth in the standings

Noteworthy: Next no.1 qualifier is 50th of his career; Kalitta is the all-time Top Fuel wins leader with five at Sonoma Raceway; Kalitta scored his first NHRA Top Fuel no.1 qualifier and win at Sonoma Raceway in 1998

Richie Crampron Sonoma.jpg

Crampton desires to earn first Sonoma win

Sonoma Highlights: One final (2016)

Last Event Recap (NHRA Mile High Nationals): Qualified fifth; Quarterfinalist (Defeated Terry McMillen in the first round, lost to Clay Millican in the quarterfinals)

2017 NHRA Toyota Sonoma Nationals Recap: Did not compete

Quotable: "It is going to be another important race for our Kalitta Air Toyota team. We are looking forward to earning more valuable round wins and contending for the trophy at one of the more coveted races on the tour. I have never been able to seal the deal in Sonoma, and I would love to do that this weekend.”

Career Stats: 92 starts; 85 round wins; Eight wins; 10 finals; Five no.1 qualifiers

2018 Season: One win (Gainesville); 10 round wins; Ninth in the standings

Noteworthy: Crampton was runner-up to now teammate J.R. Todd in 2016

Shawn Langdon Sonoma.jpg

Langdon ready to add a Sonoma Funny Car victory

Sonoma Highlights: One win (2013); One final (2014)

Last Event Recap (NHRA Mile High Nationals: Qualified eighth; lost in the first round (Lost to Tim Wilkerson in the first round)

2017 NHRA Toyota Sonoma Nationals Recap: Qualified seventh; Quarterfinalist (Defeated Mike Salinas in the first round, lost to Brittany Force in the quarterfinals)

Quotable: “I love going to Sonoma. Very excited to get there and represent Toyota at one of the coolest tracks on the circuit. The environment surrounding the track is awesome as well. It is a big race for us as we get closer to the beginning of the Countdown and we are focused on going rounds this weekend.”

Career Stats: 219 starts; 257 round wins; 14 wins; 30 finals; 18 no.1 qualifiers (Funny Car stats: 14 starts; 10 round wins)

2018 Season: 14 starts; 10 round wins; ninth in the standings

Noteworthy: Langdon also won in Super Gas in 2010.

JR Todd Sonoma.jpg

Todd plans on continuing Sonoma run of success

Sonoma Highlights: Three wins (2017-FC, 2016-TF, 2006-TF); One no.1 qualifier (2009)

Last Event Recap (NHRA Mile High Nationals): Qualified tenth; First round loss (Lost to Ron Capps in the first round)

2017 NHRA Toyota Sonoma Nationals Recap: Qualified tenth; Race Winner (Defeated Alexis DeJoria in the first round, John Force in the quarterfinals, Jack Beckman in the semifinals and Tim Wilkerson in the finals)

Quotable: "I am looking forward to getting back to one of my favorite tracks and seeing if we can create some more magic with this DHL/WIX Filters Toyota team. It is a big race for us since it is Toyota-sponsored and there is a lot of executives onsite to watch."

Career Stats: 186 starts; 184 round wins; 13 wins; 23 finals; 9 no.1 qualifiers (Funny Car stats: 38 starts; Four wins (2017: Sonoma, Indianapolis, 2018: Las Vegas-I, Houston); Five finals (2017: Charlotte-I, Sonoma, Indianapolis, 2018: Las Vegas-I, Houston); 35 round wins)

2018 Season: Two wins (Las Vegas-I, Houston); 17 round wins; sixth in the point standings 

Noteworthy: Todd will match his entire round win total from the 2018 season (18 round wins) with a first round win on Sunday; Todd is also the only pro driver to have a win on the Western Swing the last four seasons (2014: Denver, 2015: Seattle, 2016: Sonoma, 2017: Sonoma); Todd scored his first career Funny Car win in Sonoma last season; Todd has won the past two seasons in Sonoma in two different classes (Top Fuel and Funny Car), he is only the second driver in NHRA history to have accomplished that; Todd is the only Funny Car driver to have started in the top ten at every race this season 

Doug Kalitta Sunday

Kalitta advances to his sixth Denver final

Race Recap: Doug Kalitta advanced to his sixth career Denver final earlier this afternoon. 

In qualifying, Kalitta ended with his strongest run of the four attempts. The Jim Oberhofer-tuned machine blazed the Bandimere surface in 3.862 seconds and earned the 10th starting spot.

That left Kalitta and the Mac Tools team with a very tough draw in the first round with former Top Fuel champion Tony Schumacher. The duo were close throughout the 1,000 foot race. At the finish line, the Mac Tools driver crossed the finish line one ten-thousandth ahead of Schumacher and moved on to the quarterfinals.

In the quarterfinals, Kalitta faced the upset minded Jim Maroney in his second career Top Fuel start. Kalitta had the lead by the time they passed the Christmas tree, and stretched it out all the way down the track. The Mac Tools machine banged the blower right before the finish line but still scored the round win and moved to the semifinals. 

In the semifinals, the Mac Tools driver came up against Norwalk winner Blake Alexander. Kalitta earned over five hundredths at the starting line, and took that advantage all the way to the finish line with his 3.872 defeating Alexander's quicker 3.857. That gave Kalitta his fifth final round appearance of the season and sixth final round effort at Bandimere Speedway.

In the final, Kalitta faced no. 1 qualifier Leah Pritchett. Kalitta had the advantage off the tree and led through the 660 foot mark, before Pritchett was able to sneak around. She picked up the race win by two thousandths over Kalitta's Mac Tools machine. 

Qualified: No. 10 (3.862 sec., 310.91 mph)

  • E1: Kalitta defeated Schumacher - 3.849 sec., 320.43 mph to 3.852 sec., 321.12 mph
  • E2: Kalitta defeated Maroney - 3.897 sec., 302.08 mph to 4.227 sec., 249.53 mph
  • E2: Kalitta defeated Alexander - 3.872 sec., 311.63 mph to 3.857 sec., 320.20 mph
  • E2: Kalitta defeated by Pritchett - 3.852 sec., 319.82 mph to 3.831 sec., 316.45 mph

Quotable: "Anytime you are on the mountain and in the final is a good day. Really impressed by the Mac Tools team after our struggles in qualifying. They worked so hard, and we accomplished a lot. It always stings to lose close races like this, but it makes me even hungrier to get to Sonoma and try to pick up the win there."

Point Standings: Fifth; leads Antron Brown by 143 points for sixth; trails Tony Schumacher by 37 points for fourth

Richie Crampton Sunday

Crampton get third straight first round win

Race Recap: Richie Crampton scored another first round win today at Bandimere Speedway. 

Crampton had a great Saturday session of qualifying. After a planned early shutoff in the first pass, Crampton laid down a solid 3.822 to move inside the top five qualified drivers. That gave the Kalitta Air driver his best qualifying effort since Phoenix earlier this season.

In the first round, Crampton drew fellow top ten competitor Terry McMillen. Rob Flynn had a great handle on the tune-up and the Kalitta Air dragster went straight down the track to defeat a tire smoking McMillen.

Crampton advanced to the quarterfinals and came up against Clay Millican. The Kalitta Air driver was close early, but hit tire smoke before the 330 foot line. Millican had his own problems down track, but was able to score the round win. 


Qualified: No. 5 (3.822 sec., 318.09 mph) 

  • E1: Crampton defeated McMillen - 3.870 sec., 317.19 mph to 6.020 sec., 120.89 mph
  • E2: Crampton defeated by Millican - 5.045 sec., 158.99 mph to 3.887 sec., 295.05 mph

Quotable: "It was another constructive day. We made some gains in the points department which is very important right now. We're making good runs, all things considered, with this being such a wild-card race with the altitude up on the mountain here. I'm pretty proud of my guys. I'm looking forward to getting Connie Kalitta back with the Kalitta Air Toyota team in Sonoma.  I love that track and the Toyota Nationals is one of my favorite races."

Point Standings: Ninth; leads Scott Palmer by 32 points for 10th; trails Brittany Force by 82 points for eighth

Shawn Langon Sunday

Tire smoke costs Langdon in the first round

Race Recap: Shawn Langdon and the Global Electronic Technology team fell in the first round of the Mile High Nationals earlier today.

Langdon's Global Electronic Technology Toyota was solid in qualifying with three consistent passes. The best, a 4.048, clinched a top half starting spot and eighth overall in a stacked Funny Car field.

The first round draw was Tim Wilkerson. Langdon was able to get a slight advantage on the tree, but the Global Electronic Technology Camry lost traction early on in the run. In the other lane, Wilkerson made the quickest run in the first round to score the round win. 

Qualified: No. 8 (4.048 sec., 315.34 mph) 

  • E1: Langdon defeated by Wilkerson - 5.128 sec., 165.01 mph to 4.057 sec., 315.64 mph

Quotable: "It is just a bummer. We smoked the tires in the first round. We were trying to go 4.09-4.10. It happens. We are back at sea level next week, and we feel comfortable with our tuneup. We will keep fighting to stay in the top ten." 

Point Standings: Ninth; leads Bob Tasca III by 51 points for 10th; trails John Force by 88 points for eighth

JR Todd Sunday

Todd falls early in Denver

Race Recap: J.R. Todd and the DHL/WIX Filters team suffered through a tough weekend at Bandimere Speedway.Todd and the DHL/WIX Filters team made one clean pass in qualifying on Friday evening. Todd's solid 4.083 second run was good enough for a top ten start, but a tough first round draw of Ron Capps.Todd and Capps were close early, but Capps began pulling away by the 330 foot mark. Despite a clean 4.133 second run, Todd was unable to get the round win over the former Funny Car champion. 

Qualified: No. 10 (4.083 sec., 305.01 mph) 

  • E1: Todd defeated by Capps - 4.133 sec., 311.27 mph to 4.101 sec., 311.27 mph

Quotable: "We just struggled since we unloaded on Friday. Today's run is what we needed to start off the weekend. We were just a little behind and chasing some gremlins here and there. It's tough to run up here on the mountain as it is. I'll be glad to get Sonoma and turn around this DHL Toyota Camry. It's one of my favorite tracks on the tour and it's good to get back to sea level where it's not as hard to make horsepower as it is up here on the mountain. Steve Page and his crew do a great job there in Sonoma with the Toyota Sonoma Nationals."
Point Standings: Sixth; leads Tommy Johnson Jr. by 86 points by seventh; trails Jack Beckman by 74 points for fifth

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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)