Kalitta Motorsports News

Doug Kalitta Houston 

Doug Kalitta, driver of the Mac Tools Top Fuel Dragster

  • Q1: 4.419 sec. at 180.91 MPH
  • Q2: 3.731 sec. at 327.03 MPH
  • Q3: 3.804 sec. at 320.05 MPH
  • Q4: 5.056 sec. at 138.83 MPH Bonus Points: 1 pt. (Third-best of the second session)

Starting Position: 3rd

First Round Matchup: Terry McMillen

Quotable: "Super proud of the work my Mac Tools guys have put in this weekend to run strong. We would like nothing more than a third straight SpringNationals title tomorrow."

Shawn Langdon Houston

Shawn Langdon, driver of the Global Electronic Technology Top Fuel Dragster

  • Q1: 3.825 sec. at 314.53 MPH
  • Q2: 5.479 sec. at 131.20 MPH
  • Q3: 3.888 sec. at 304.19 MPH
  • Q4: 4.285 sec. at 188.10 MPH

Starting Position: 10th

First Round Matchup: Bob Vandergriff

Quotable: "For us, we are just making laps down the track and getting that seat time. We are not worried about who we are running; we just need to get laps and information. It is the first race out and we are going through the learning process. We are excited for tomorrow. Definitely hopeful to go rounds and hopefully win the race."

Troy Coughlin Jr Dragster 

Troy Coughlin Jr., driver of the SealMaster Top Fuel Dragster

  • Q1: No run; mechanical malfunction
  • Q2: 4.094 sec. at 209.07 MPH
  • Q3: 11.767 sec. at 66.74 MPH
  • Q4: 3.862 sec. at 316.82 MPH

Starting Position: 12th

First Round Matchup: Brittany Force

Quotable: "We are getting the SealMaster Toyota in line, but I am excited about tomorrow. These SealMaster guys have put things together that normally take months in a couple weeks and I could not be prouder. Jim O, Nick, Glen and the whole SealMaster team are working hard and I know we will have a piece we can challenge with tomorrow morning."

 JR Todd DHL Funny Car

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

  • Q1: 4.250 sec. at 223.65 MPH
  • Q2: 8.037 sec. at 78.85 MPH
  • Q3: 4.025 sec. at 319.29 MPH
  • Q4: 4.016 sec. at 322.65 MPH

Starting Position: 12th

First Round Matchup: Cruz Pedregon Quotable: "We have been looking for more out of this DHL Toyota this weekend and haven't hit on it yet. However, we are in the show and I have the best guys in the business. We will work hard tonight to figure it out and give it a strong fight tomorrow."

Alexis DeJoria Houston

Alexis DeJoria, driver of the Tequila Patrón Toyota Camry Funny Car

  • Q1: 3.995 sec. at 320.97 MPH
  • Q2: 7.825 sec. at 84.84 MPH
  • Q3: 3.966 sec. at 323.43 MPH
  • Q4: 3.946 sec. at 322.34 MPH

Bonus Points: 2 pts. (Second-best of the first session.) Starting Position: 9th

First Round Matchup: Tim Wilkerson


anasa2HOUSTON (April 20, 2017) – Earlier today, Doug Kalitta, driver of the Mac Tools Toyota Top Fuel dragster, was awarded a special honor by NASA, while on a tour of NASA's facilities. This honor was due to Doug and his company, Kalitta Charters, longstanding collaborative efforts with NASA on safely ensuring transportation of team members and critical spaceflight hardware to the Houston-area after work in the International Space Station (ISS). 

anasa1"It is an honor to receive such an award from NASA due to my work with them in space station experiment deliveries," said Kalitta. "NASA does very interesting experiments in space and it is a honor to be a small part in making that successful."

The special award includes an ISS mission patch that was flown on the final Space Shuttle flight, STS-135, in 2011.

“One of NASA’s primary goals of the International Space Station is to conduct world class research," said ISS Program Manager Kirk Shireman. "A key component of conducting this research is the rapid return of samples from space.  Kalitta plays a key role in rapidly transporting the science samples as well as other critical hardware from the landing site to the Johnson Space Center.  The partnership between Kalitta and NASA is helping scientists around the world conduct important research and is helping NASA operate the International Space Station.”

The driver of the Mac Tools Toyota Top Fuel dragster will return to the drag strip to compete in the fifth event on the season, the NHRA SpringNationals in Houston beginning tomorrow afternoon. Kalitta is seeking his third consecutive event win and fourth overall at the Houston-area facility, which would establish new track records.

Team Mac Tools

 Defending Houston event champion Kalitta has potential for major career milestone

Houston Highlights: Defending event champion; Only driver in Top Fuel history with back-to-back wins at Houston; Three wins (2016, 2015, 2003); Three no.1 qualifiers (2013, 2003, 2002)

Last Event Recap (Las Vegas): Qualified third; Semi-finalist (Defeated Steve Chrisman in the first round and Clay Millican in the quarter-finals, lost to Tony Schumacher in the semi-finals)

2016 SpringNationals Recap: Qualified second; Race Winner (Defeated Terry Haddock in the first round, Kebin Kinsley in the second round, Leah Pritchett in the semi-finals and Steve Torrence in the final)

Quotable: “Houston has been a good place for us the past couple of years. The weather conditions are usually really good and I’m really looking forward to getting back down there. It would be real cool to win three straight races at the same track. It’s awfully hard to do these days, but my Mac Tools Toyota team is really doing a hell of a job, week in and week out. We’ll go in there with that goal and see if we can pull it off again.”

Career Stats: 438 starts, 596 round wins (10th all-time), 42 wins (Fifth all-time in Top Fuel), 88 finals, 47 no.1 qualifiers (13th all-time)

2017 Season Stats: One final (Pomona-I); 7 round wins; fourth in the standings

2016 Season Stats: Four wins (Houston, Atlanta, Topeka, Pomona-II); Four no.1 qualifiers (Phoenix, Atlanta, Norwalk, Charlotte-II); Two finals (Pomona-I, Charlotte-II); 44 round wins; second in the final standings 

Noteworthy: If Kalitta earns two round wins, he would pass Bob Glidden for ninth all-time in total round wins; With a race win, Kalitta would become the ninth driver to hit 600 round wins; also will reach 1,000 career rounds competed early this year (currently at 992)

Shawn Langdon

Langdon desires strong start in Kalitta debut

Houston Highlights: One final (2012)

Last Event Recap (2016 Auto Club Finals at Pomona with Don Schumacher Racing): Qualified third; Semi-finalist (Defeated Tripp Tatum in the first round and Steve Torrence in the quarter-finals, lost to Doug Kalitta in the semi-finals)

2016 SpringNationals Recap (with DSR): Qualified sixth; Quarter-final finish (Defeated Troy Buff in the first round, lost to Leah Pritchett in the quarter-finals)

Quotable: “I am definitely excited to get behind the wheel. It is going to feel good to hit the gas, because I haven't done that since November. I know some people may think we are going to be behind the eight-ball because we are coming in four races into the season, but Kalitta Motorsports has put a great Global Electronic Technology team behind me and with Connie Kalitta tuning it, I know we will have a great shot at going for the win.”

Career Stats: 188 starts, 230 round wins, 14 wins, 28 finals, 18 no.1 qualifiers

2017 Season Stats: Season debut

2016 Season Stats: Three wins (Bristol, Norwalk, St. Louis); 30 round wins; fifth in the final standings

Noteworthy: Joined Kalitta Motorsports from Don Schumacher Racing after Las Vegas in a full-time third Top Fuel entry; missed the first four events of the 2017 season due to lack of sponsorship; Langdon’s ride will be backed by Global Electronic Technology, the fastest name in credit card processing, for 19 of the remaining 20 events this season

Troy Coughlin Jr.

Coughlin Jr. excited for Houston event with new team 

Noteworthy: Fifth career pro event; a candidate for Auto Club Road to Future trophy (best rookie driver); father is former Pro Mod champion (Troy Coughlin Sr.); uncle is former Pro Stock champion (Jeg Coughlin Jr.)

Last Event Recap (Las Vegas): Qualified seventh; First round defeat (Lost to Terry McMillen in the first round)

Quotable: “Well, we have a new group of SealMaster Toyota guys and they have worked tirelessly to get the car and trailer ready to race. This is clearly not an easy task and we want to win badly and the work ethic shows here with the group. I need to focus on one lap at a time and give Jim O, Glen and Nick as much feedback as I can.” 

2017 Season Stats: Four starts; Two round wins; eighth in the point standings

Career Info: Five national event wins (Three in Super Gas, Two in Super Comp); 2013 Division III Super Gas Champion; 2015 NHRA Pro Mod Rookie of the Year

GN1 2548 

Decade after special victory, Todd looks for another Houston trophy

Houston Highlights: One win (2007)

Last Event Recap (Las Vegas): Qualified ninth; First round defeat (Lost to Alexis DeJoria in the first round)

2016 SpringNationals Recap (Top Fuel): Qualified 12th; First round defeat (Lost to Antron Brown in the first round)

Quotable: “The victory at Houston ten years ago was very special, and I hope the DHL Toyota team can have some anniversary magic this weekend. We would love to score the win.”

Career Stats: 152 starts, 151 round wins, 9 wins, 19 finals, 9 no.1 qualifiers (Funny Car stats: 4 starts, 2 round wins) 2017 Season Stats: Four starts; Two round wins; 10th in the point standings 2016 Season Stats: One win (Sonoma); Five finals (Atlanta, Norwalk, Chicago, Las Vegas-II, Pomona-II); One no.1 qualifier (Pomona-II); 37 round wins; fourth in the final standings

Noteworthy: Attempting to become the 16th driver in NHRA history with a Top Fuel and Funny Car win; DHL celebrating 10th season of NHRA sponsorship

Media Availability: On Thursday, Todd will be visiting College Station to promote the NHRA SpringNationals in that area.

Alexis DeJoria

DeJoria Houston pre-race notes

Last Event Recap (Las Vegas): Qualified eighth; Quarter-final finish (Defeated J.R. Todd in the first round, lost to Gary Densham in the quarter-finals)

2016 SpringNationals Recap: Qualified second; Quarter-final finish (Defeated John Hale in the first round, lost to Tommy Johnson Jr. in the quarter-finals)

Career Stats: 120 starts, 83 round wins, 4 wins, 7 finals, 4 no.1 qualifiers 2017 Season Stats: Four starts; One round win; 12th in the point standings  2016

Season Stats: One win (Las Vegas-I); One semi-final (Bristol); One No. 1 qualifier (Charlotte-I); 13 round wins; 10th in the final standings 

Grant Enfinger (left), driver of the No. 98 RideTV Toyota Tundra and Ben Rhodes (right), driver of the No. 27 Safelite Auto Glass Toyota Tundra for ThorSport Racing.

CHARLOTTE, NC. (April 13, 2017) – Kalitta Motorsports and Troy Coughlin Jr., driver of the SealMaster Top Fuel dragster, are pleased to welcome NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS) and ThorSport Racing drivers Grant Enfinger and Ben Rhodes to the NHRA 4-Wide Nationals. The drivers will join Coughlin Jr. in participating in the SealMaster Track Walk prior to the beginning of the NHRA race action. 

SealMaster, the most trusted name in pavement maintenance for more than 40 years, is a sister company with ThorSport Racing. SealMaster has been a valued partner with Kalitta Motorsports for many seasons and has served as a full-season primary sponsor for the past two years. This year, they support Auto Club Road to the Future contender Coughlin Jr. in his rookie nitro season.

“It is awesome to see great drivers from other forms of motorsports come and check out drag racing,” said Coughlin Jr., who is currently eighth in the point standings. “SealMaster is such an important part of my team, and the sport as a whole with their backing of the Track Walk. It is means a lot that these guys take out time in their schedule to come to zMax!” 

ThorSport Racing is the longest-tenured NASCAR Camping World Truck Series team with over 900 starts. Rhodes is a former K&N Pro Series East Champion and Rookie of the Year, who is in his second full-time Truck Series-season with ThorSport Racing. The Louisville, KY native is currently sixth in the point standings after three starts this season. 2017 Sunoco Rookie of the Year contender, Grant Enfinger, is already a winner at the Truck Series level. The Alabama native won his first Truck Series race at Talladega (Ala.)Superspeedway in 2016 running a limited schedule. Enfinger is currently eighth in the series standings following the first three events of the season.

“It’s become a special tradition to get ThorSport Racing’s NASCAR Truck Series drivers and fans together with Kalitta Motorsports’ and NHRA fans at the 4-Wides for the SealMaster Track Walk and finals,” said SealMaster Franchise Director Rick Simon. “It’s always a great time when ThorSport Racing and Kalitta Motorsports host one another.”

Track Walk
SealMaster driver Troy Coughlin Jr. participating in the Gainesville Track Walk with his sister Paige Coughlin, father Troy Coughlin Sr. and niece Carly Coughlin. 

  Team Kalitta announces immediate expansion with Global Electronic Technology-sponsored dragster for former Champion Langdon

YPSILANTI, Mich. (April 6, 2017) - Kalitta is pleased to announce an expansion to a third full-time Top Fuel dragster team beginning with the NHRA Mello Yello Series’ next event in Houston. The machine will be backed by Global Electronic Technology with 2013 Top Fuel world champion Shawn Langdon as the driver. 

“I’m really excited about the opportunity to drive the Global Electronic Technology dragster,” said the 34-year-old Langdon. “It is awesome to see new companies like Global Electronic Technology come in to drag racing and I am excited to be a part of it.” 

“It’s been a tough year so far with me sitting on the sidelines. It has been the first time since my rookie year in 2009 that I haven’t been able to attend the NHRA races,” Langdon continued. “I cannot thank Connie and Jim O enough for the opportunity. Kalitta has top quality cars that contend for wins and championships, so I feel that this partnership will work well. I also want to thank Don (Schumacher) and everybody at Don Schumacher Racing for bringing me in when I didn’t have a ride and making me feel like part of the family. We did everything we could to find adequate funding, and I want to thank Don for keeping me on the payroll throughout the process of trying to find sponsorship.”

“My focus is to contend for a championship. We are seven rounds out of the top ten and we have 14 races to catch up and I am confident in my chances with the group that Kalitta is putting behind me.”

Langdon is renowned for his excellent driving capabilities and his successes in many forms of drag racing. Like new teammate J.R. Todd, Langdon began his career in the Junior Drag Racing program capturing a national title in 1997 and a division title in 1999. Before beginning his nitro career, he continued his career with championship wins in the Super Comp division in back-to-back seasons in 2007 and 2008. Since joining the Top Fuel ranks in 2009, Langdon has captured the 2013 NHRA Mello Yello Top Fuel world championship to go along with 14 race wins in 25 final round appearances. The Mira Loma, Calif. native has eight consecutive Countdown to the Championship finishes and claimed the Traxxas Shootout $100,000 bonus in 2013.

The addition of Langdon is made possible due to an agreement with Global Electronic Technology, the fastest name in credit card processing. Global Electronic Technology is scheduled to be the primary sponsor on Langdon’s machine for 19 of the remaining 20 events this season. 

“Samantha and I are honored to join one of the top teams in NHRA racing,” said Steve Bryson, Global Electronic Technology Founder and CEO.  “We want to extend a heartfelt thank you to  Connie Kalitta, Jim Oberhofer, Rob Flynn and Shawn Langdon for helping make this come true.  We are very excited to join a family like Kalitta and start at the top!  See you in Baytown, Texas for the debut of the Kalitta/Global dragster.”

Based in Torrance, CA, Global Electronic Technology has over a quarter century of expertise in the payment processing industry. The Global Electronic Technology team is committed to setting the standard by delivering the most advanced technological packages in the payment processing industry, which makes our team one of the most knowledgeable in the world. Global Electronic Technology first joined Kalitta Motorsports in the offseason as a major associate partner on the Mac Tools’ Top Fuel dragster driven by Doug Kalitta. 

“All of Kalitta Motorsports is excited to represent Global Electronic Technology in this capacity,” said Jim Oberhofer, Vice President of Operations for Kalitta Motorsports. “Steve and Samantha Bryson have been truly unbelievable to work with and their excitement for the sport of drag racing is infectious. I am also thrilled to be able to welcome Shawn Langdon to the Kalitta Motorsports team. Drivers with his record do not become available often, and we are excited to be able to have him join our organization.”

With the addition of Langdon’s team, the Team Kalitta crew chiefs will make a few changes. All three Top Fuel teams will continue to share information and data with the focus on winning races and championships. Jim Oberhofer will now be the lead tuner on both the Mac Tools Top Fuel dragster with driver Doug Kalitta and the SealMaster Top Fuel dragster with Troy Coughlin Jr. He will continue to team with Troy Fasching on the Mac Tools ride and will work with Glen Huszar and Nick Casertano on the SealMaster team. The Global Electronic Technology team will be led by NHRA’s only Lifetime Achievement honoree Connie Kalitta and Rob Flynn. 

The new look five-team effort with Top Fuel drivers Coughlin Jr., Kalitta and Langdon and Funny Car drivers Alexis DeJoria and J.R. Todd will make its official debut in qualifying for the NHRA SpringNationals in Houston April 21-23. 

INDIANAPOLIS (April 4, 2017) –  Just days after Global Rallycross driver Alex Keyes experienced nitro for the first time, J.R. Todd completed the crossover as he stepped behind the wheel of Keyes' WIX Filters machine this morning.

At a closed test session in Indianapolis at Lucas Oil Raceway, Keyes drove Todd around the prepped track before turning over the wheel completely to Todd. The NHRA veteran made two three-lap segments and was completely blown away. 

"It is pretty cool to be driving around here where we typically park our 18-wheelers when we are here racing," said Todd, driver of the DHL/WIX Filters Toyota Camry Funny Car for Kalitta Motorsports. "It gives you a new respect for what these guys do. You are shifting gears going all the way around the course, it is a lot of fun. It is easy to go as fast as you can on the straightaways, but then you got get on the brakes to get on the corners that are always coming up. Huge thanks to Alex and the WIX Filters team for having me out." 

Blown away could also discribe Keyes' experience as he stood behind a 10,000-horsepower nitro-burning machine just days ago as Todd qualified for the Las Vegas Nationals on Friday.

"It was so sweet. I have seen NHRA on TV and I know they are fast, but it just does not do them justice," said Keyes, driver of the WIX Filters GRC Lite for Dreyer & Reinbold Racing. "First off, I did not know that they ran on nitro, so I was crying a little bit. Then got to the starting line and wasn't anticipating it and I jumped. After that, I got to watch about 10 runs. When you know its coming it is sweet. You feel it through your chest and it is definitely a cool experience." 

Both are making plans to attend the other's actual events this season. Currently, Todd sits 10th in the NHRA point standings after four of 24 events, while Keyes will make his 2017 debut at the GRC season opener in Memphis at the end of the month. 
On Friday, Alex Keyes joined J.R. Todd at qualifying for the Las Vegas Nationals at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. (Photo: Gary Nastase)
Keyes said he jumped the first time he experienced nitro. (Photo: Gary Nastase)
Todd strapping aboard the WIX Filters GRC Lite machine. (Photo: Kalitta Motorsports)
WIX Filters drivers Keyes and Todd have completed the crossover and are new fans of each other's racing disciplines. (Photo: Kalitta Motorsports)
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Mello Yello Championship Points

Top Fuel (Unofficial)

1. Steve Torrence (954)
2. Leah Pritchett (943)
3. Antron Brown (934)
4. Tony Schumacher (801)
5. Doug Kalitta (678) 
6. Brittany Force (649)
7. Clay Millican (639)
8. Troy Coughlin Jr. (443)
9. Scott Palmer (432)
10. Terry McMillen (424)
11. Shawn Langdon (323)

Funny Car (Unofficial)

1. Ron Capps (1044)
2. Matt Hagan (881)
3. Jack Beckman (748)
4. Robert Hight (707)
5. Courtney Force (704)
6. Tommy Johnson Jr. (663)
7. John Force (641)
8. Tim Wilkerson (490)
9. J.R. Todd (476)
10. Cruz Pedregon (397)
14. Alexis DeJoria (327)