Event 24: NHRA Finals
Auto Club Raceway at Pomona – Pomona, Calif.
Nov. 8 – 11
Kalitta hoping for Pomona sweep to close out the year
Pomona Highlights: Three wins (2009-I, 2016-II, 2018-I); Seven runner-up finishes (1999-II, 2004-I, 2010-I, 2013-II, 2014-I, 2016-I, 2017-I); Six No.1 qualifiers (2001-I, 2003-I, 2004-I, 2004-II, 2006-II, 2014-I)
Last Event Recap (NHRA Toyota Nationals): Qualified sixth; First round loss (Lost to Richie Crampton in the first round)
2017 NHRA Finals Recap: Qualified seventh; Semifinalist (Defeated Wayne Newby in the first round, defeated Clay Millican in the quarterfinals, lost to Shawn Langdon in the semifinals)
Quotable: “We started off the year with a win in Pomona, and I can’t think of a better way to close out the season than another win here. It’s a track we feel very comfortable competing at, and a strong showing here would be a great way to kick off next season.”
Career Stats: 480 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)
Crampton looking to end 2018 season with second victory of the year
Pomona Highlights: One No. 1 qualifier (2014-II)
Last Event Recap (NHRA Toyota Nationals): Qualified 11th; Semifinalist (Defeated Doug Kalitta in the first round, Brittany Force in the quarterfinals, lost to Steve Torrence in the semifinals)
2017 NHRA Finals Recap: Qualified 8th, Quarterfinalist (Defeated Terry McMillen in the first round, lost to Brittany Force in the quarterfinals)
Quotable: “This race will be a big test for this Craftsman team to close out the year on a strong note, we really want to build up some momentum heading into the offseason.”
Career Stats: 102 starts; 88 round wins; Eight wins; 10 finals; Five no.1 qualifiers
Langdon sets sights on win at hometown Pomona track
Pomona Highlights: Three wins (2013-I, II, 2015-I); Three runner-up finishes (2010-II, 2011-I, 2017-II); Two No. 1 qualifiers (2012-I, 2015-II – Top Fuel)
Last Event Recap (NHRA Toyota Nationals): Qualified 10th; Quarterfinalist (Defeated Robert Hight in the first round, lost to J.R. Todd int he quarterfinals)
2017 NHRA Finals Recap: Qualified 11th; Runner-Up (Defeated Tony Schumacher in the first round, Leah Pritchett in the quarterfinals, Doug Kalitta in the semifinals, lost to Brittany Force in the finals)
Quotable: “Winning this last race of the year would provide a big boost for this group. We’ve worked hard all season long and I would love nothing more than to get a win for everyone on the Global Electronic Technology team.”
Career Stats: 229 starts; 262 round wins; 14 wins; 30 finals; 18 no.1 qualifiers (Funny Car stats: 23 starts; 15 round wins)
Todd takes aim at Funny Car championship to close out breakout 2018 campaign
Pomona Highlights: One win (2007-I -Top Fuel); One runner-up finish (2016-II-Top Fuel); One No. 1 qualifier (2016-II-Top Fuel)
Last Event Recap (NHRA Toyota Nationals): Qualified second; Event Winner (Defeated Richard Townsend in the first round, Shawn Langdon in the quarterfinals, Jack Beckman in the semifinals, Matt Hagan in the finals)
2017 NHRA Finals Recap: Qualified ninth; First round loss (Lost to John Force in the first round)
Quotable: “We just need to keep making consistent runs. Step one is getting qualified in Pomona and try to put this DHL/Wix Filters Camry in the top half of the field. Then we will take it one round at a time from there.”
Career Stats: 195 starts; 207 round wins; 16 wins; 28 finals; 10 no.1 qualifiers (Funny Car stats: 47 starts; Seven wins (2017: Sonoma, Indianapolis, 2018: Las Vegas-I, Houston, Indianapolis, Reading, Las Vegas-II); Nine finals (2017: Charlotte-I, Sonoma, Indianapolis, 2018: Las Vegas-I, Houston, Indianapolis, Reading, Dallas, Charlotte-II, Las Vegas-II); 58 round wins)
Photos courtesy of Gary Nastase Photography, driver photos: NHRA
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.