Event 13: Fallen Patriots Route 66 NHRA Nationals
Route 66 Raceway – Joliet, Ill.
Kalitta desires first 2017 trophy in Chicago
Chicago Highlights: Three wins (2006, 2004, 2002); Three No.1 qualifiers (2014, 2003, 1999)
Last Event Recap (Norwalk): Qualified first; Finalist (Defeated Troy Buff in the first round, Tony Schumacher in the quarterfinals and Leah Pritchett in the semifinals, lost to Steve Torrence in the final)
2016 Chicago Recap: Qualified first; Quarterfinalist (Defeated Kyle Wurtzel in the first round, lost to Tony Schumacher in the quarterfinals)
Quotable: “We had a great finish to the four race swing and the Mac Tools team is ready to get back to racing. We have a strong running machine and I know we will be competing for the win this weekend in Chicago.”
Career Stats: 446 starts, 606 round wins (ninth all-time), 42 wins (fifth all-time in Top Fuel), 89 finals, 47 no.1 qualifiers (13th all-time)
2017 Season Stats: Two finals (Pomona-I, Norwalk); One no.1 qualifier (Norwalk); 17 round wins; fifth in the standings
Langdon works to cut gap on top ten in Chicago
Last Event Recap (Norwalk): Qualified 10th; First round loss (Lost to Terry McMillen in the first round)
2016 Chicago Recap (w/ DSR): Qualified fifth; First round loss (Lost to Terry McMillen in the first round)
Quotable: “Our main mindset is to keep doing what we have been doing. We have had some bad luck but the Global Electronic Technology car has been running great. We have a great chance to gain points this week but our main focus is to win the race. I know the car is there because this is the same machine that J.R. took to the final last season. I am also very excited to be double entering this weekend. This is just another way to keep me sharp behind the wheel.”
Career Stats: 193 starts, 236 round wins, 14 wins, 28 finals, 18 no.1 qualifiers
2017 Season Stats: Eight starts; Six 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; Additionally, Langdon is competing in the Super Comp category this weekend, his first Super Comp National Event this season (first since 2016 Atlanta)
After successful test, Coughlin Jr. looks for improvement in Windy City
Noteworthy: 13th career pro event; a candidate for Auto Club Road to Future trophy (best rookie driver); father is former two-time Pro Mod champion (Troy Coughlin Sr.); uncle is former six-time NHRA champion (Jeg Coughlin Jr.); part of Coughlin family with 113 career wins
Last Event Recap (Norwalk): Qualified 14th; First round loss (Lost to Steve Torrence in the first round)
Quotable: “Chicago is one of my favorite tracks. We are coming off a few good laps from our last test session so the SealMaster Toyota team has some confidence going into this weekend.”
2017 Season Stats: 12 starts; Four round wins; ninth in the point standings
Todd plans to start second half of the season strong
Chicago Highlights: One final (2016)
Last Event Recap (Norwalk): Qualified 12th; First round loss (Lost to Tommy Johnson Jr. in the first round)
2016 Chicago Recap (Top Fuel): Qualified seventh; Finalist (Defeated T.J. Zizzo in the first round, Steve Torrence in the quarterfinals and Tony Schumacher in the semifinals, lost to Antron Brown in the final)
Quotable: “Chicago is one of those tracks that when the conditions are right we can make some really good runs. This is a good place for our DHL team to get back on track and pick up some much needed points.”
Career Stats: 160 starts, 159 round wins, 9 wins, 19 finals, 9 no.1 qualifiers (Funny Car stats: 12 starts, One final (Charlotte); six round wins)
2017 Season Stats: 12 starts; One final (Charlotte-I); six round wins; ninth in the point standings
DeJoria Chicago pre-race notes
Last Event Recap (Norwalk): Qualified seventh; Quarterfinal finish (Defeated Del Worsham in the first round, lost to Robert Hight in the quarterfinals)
2016 Chicago Recap: Qualified third; Quarterfinal finish (Defeated Brian Stewart in the first round, lost to Robert Hight in the quarterfinals)
Career Stats: 124 starts; 86 round wins; Four wins; Seven finals, Four no.1 qualifiers
All photos are courtesy of Gary Nastase Photography.
About Kalitta Motorsports:
Based in Ypsilanti, Mich., Kalitta Motorsports is a Top Fuel and Funny Car drag racing team in the NHRA (National Hot Rod Association) Mello Yello Drag Racing Series. The team was founded and is owned by drag racing icon Connie “the Bounty Hunter” Kalitta. For more than 50 years, Connie has been involved in the sport as a driver, tuner, and an owner. Kalitta Motorsports is one of the most successful teams in the history of auto racing with six world championships and over 100 national event titles in five different professional drag racing sanctioning bodies since it was established by Connie in 1959.
Team Kalitta fields five full-time entries in the NHRA Mello Yello nitro classes. Connie Kalitta’s nephew, Doug Kalitta, pilots the Mac Tools Top Fuel dragster; Auto Club Road to the Future candidate Troy Coughlin, Jr. drives the SealMaster Top Fuel dragster; former Top Fuel champion Shawn Langdon is the driver of the Global Electronic Technology Top Fuel Dragster; J.R. Todd is the driver of the DHL Toyota Camry Funny Car and Alexis DeJoria pilots the Tequila Patrón Toyota Camry Funny Car. Connie Kalitta serves as head tuner for all Team Kalitta entries. He is assisted by co-crew chiefs Jon Oberhofer and Todd Smith on the DHL Toyota Camry Funny Car, Nicky Boninfante and Tommy DeLago on the Tequila Patrón Toyota Camry Funny Car and Rob Flynn on the Global Electronic Technology Top Fuel dragster. Jim Oberhofer leads the efforts on both the Mac Tools Top Fuel dragster and the SealMaster Top Fuel dragster. He is assisted by Troy Fasching on the Mac Tools dragster and Glen Huszar and Nick Casertano on the SealMaster Top Fuel dragster.
Associate sponsors on Kalitta Motorsports’ race cars include ARP, AutoDesk CAM, Champion, Cogistics, Darton Sleeves, DHL, Global Electronic Technology, JEGS, Justice Brothers, Kalitta Air, Mac Tools, Racing Electronics, Red Line Oil, SealMaster, SPY Optic, Technicoat Companies, Tequila Patrón, TMS Titanium, Toyota, WIX Filters and Ziebart.