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Team Kalitta Las Vegas Pre-Race Report – NHRA Toyota Nationals

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Pre-Race Report
Event 23: NHRA Toyota Nationals
The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway – Las Vegas, Nevada
Oct. 26 – 28

doug kalittaKalitta aims for another strong showing in Vegas

Doug Kalitta

Doug Kalitta

Las Vegas Highlights: Two wins (2004, 2015); Three runner-up finishes (2005, 2007, 2014); Two No.1 qualifiers (2003, 2005)

Last Event Recap (NHRA Carolina Nationals): Qualified fifth; Quarterfinalist (Defeated Scott Palmer in the first round, lost to Mike Salinas in the quarterfinals)

2017 NHRA Toyota Nationals Recap: Qualified fifth; Quarterfinalist (Defeated Scott Palmer in the first round, lost to Brittany Force in the quarterfinals)

Quotable: “We did well in Las Vegas earlier in the season, so we are going to have some solid data to look back on for this weekend. This Mac Tools team is going to do everything we can to finish the season on a strong note.”

Career Stats: 479 starts; 652 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); 29 round wins; eighth in the standings
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richie cramptonCrampton focused on continued consistency to close out season

Richie Crampton craftsman 18

Richie Crampton

Las Vegas Highlights: One win (2015)

Last Event Recap (NHRA Carolina Nationals): Qualified 10th; First round loss (Lost to Leah Pritchett in the first round)

2017 NHRA Toyota Nationals Recap: Qualified 11th, First round loss (Lost to Terry McMillen in the first round)

Quotable: “Our goal is to qualify better this weekend, because our team has continued getting better throughout the year and we have seen some strong runs over the past few events.”

Career Stats: 101 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 langdonLangdon hopes for first career Las Vegas victory

Shawn Langdon

Shawn Langdon

Las Vegas Highlights: Two No. 1 qualifiers (2009, 2013 – Top Fuel)

Last Event Recap (NHRA Carolina Nationals): Qualified 11th; First round loss (Lost to Matt Hagan in the first round)

2017 NHRA Toyota Nationals Recap: Qualified seventh; Semifinalist (Defeated Antron Brown in the first round, Steve Torrence in the quarterfinals, lost to Terry McMillen in the semifinals)

Quotable: “We really want to get back on track in Las Vegas. We have two races left this season to make some noise in the class and try to finish out the year on a positive note.”

Career Stats: 228 starts; 261 round wins; 14 wins; 30 finals; 18 no.1 qualifiers (Funny Car stats: 22 starts; 14 round wins)

2018 Season: 22 starts; 14 round wins; Tenth in the standings

J R ToddIn the midst of a championship hunt, Todd sets sights on points lead with two races left

J.R. Todd

J.R. Todd

Las Vegas Highlights: One win (2018); Three runner-up finishes (2006, 2014, 2016); Two No. 1 qualifiers (2014, 2015 – Top Fuel)

Last Event Recap (NHRA Carolina Nationals): Qualified fourth; Runner Up (Defeated Jonnie Lindberg in the first round, Cruz Pedregon in the quarterfinals, John Force in the semifinals, lost to Ron Capps in the finals)

2017 NHRA Toyota Nationals Recap: Qualified fifth; First round loss (Lost to Del Worsham in the first round)

Quotable: “We have a really good hot rod right now and we are hoping to carry that into these last two races. If we can keep reaching final rounds in the last two races then I like our chances.”

Career Stats: 194 starts; 203 round wins; 15 wins; 27 finals; 10 no.1 qualifiers (Funny Car stats: 46 starts; Six wins (2017: Sonoma, Indianapolis, 2018: Las Vegas-I, Houston, Indianapolis, Reading); Eight finals (2017: Charlotte-I, Sonoma, Indianapolis, 2018: Las Vegas-I, Houston, Indianapolis, Reading, Dallas, Charlotte-II); 54 round wins)

2018 Season: Four wins (Las Vegas-I, Houston, Indianapolis, Reading); 36 round wins; Second in the point standings
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Photos courtesy of Gary Nastase Photography, driver photos: NHRA

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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 four full-time entries in the NHRA Mello Yello nitro classes. Connie Kalitta’s nephew, Doug Kalitta, pilots the Mac Tools Top Fuel dragster while former Rookie of the Year winner Richie Crampton drives the CRAFTSMAN Top Fuel dragster. In Funny Car, J.R. Todd is the driver of the DHL Toyota Camry Funny Car and Shawn Langdon pilots the Global Electronic Technology 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 Kurt Elliott on the Global Electronic Technology Toyota Camry Funny Car, Rob Flynn on the CRAFTSMAN Top Fuel dragster and Troy Fasching leads the efforts on the Mac Tools 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, Technicoat Companies, TMS Titanium, Toyota, WIX Filters and Ziebart.

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