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Kalitta Motorsports

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TODD SET FOR SMITHSONIAN VISIT BEFORE HOT VIRGINIA WEEKEND

YPSILANTI, MI – The year was 2006, and J.R. Todd, then driving a Top Fuel car, made history. After that historic weekend, a new display was created at the Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum in Washington, D.C. The 2024 NHRA Mission Foods Drag Racing Season resumes June 2-23, 2024 at the PlayNHRA Virginia NHRA Nationals in Dinwiddie, Va.

When Todd became the first African American driver to win a Top Fuel race in 2006, his fire suit was donated to Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum in Washington, D.C. On Friday before the Virginia NHRA Nationals, Todd will visit the National Air and Space Museum and will see his fire suit on display for the first time.

“I think for any drag racer to have their gear in there is a pretty cool deal,” Todd added. “I’ve never been to the Smithsonian so I’m looking forward to going there to check that place out. I’ve been getting pictures from fans who have gone there and seen it over the years so that’s pretty neat.” Continue reading

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CONFIDENT SHAWN LANGDON READY FOR RICHMOND RETURN, HEAT

YPSILANTI, MI – Shawn Langdon enters the season’s ninth race in third place in the NHRA Top Fuel point standings 48 points behind the points leader, his teammate Doug Kalitta, and confidence breeds confidence. The 2024 NHRA Mission Foods Drag Racing Season resumes June 22-23, 2024 at the PlayNHRA Virginia NHRA Nationals in Dinwiddie, Va.

Langdon has two wins in three final rounds this season and is clearly looking for more at each race. His complete confidence in his crew chief, Brian Husen, and the rest of the Kalitta Air Careers Toyota team, makes him feel he’s a threat to win at every race.

“We definitely get more and more confident when the car’s running like it is,” the 2013 Top Fuel champion said. “We’re looking forward to going to Richmond – the Franklin family does a great job with the facility; it’s probably the smoothest track we have on tour. It’ll be interesting going to a two-day event, and I’m all for it. For the last couple of years, I’ve felt that, potentially, it’s a move they’ve needed to look into. I’m excited to get there and try out the two-day weekend. Hopefully it goes well, and they’re able to get the fans there and pack the stands. Continue reading

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DOUG KALITTA THROWS FIRST PITCH, READIES FOR RICHMOND RETURN

YPSILANTI, MI – Eight races into the 2024 season, Doug Kalitta is back where he was at the end of last season – atop the point standings leading the Top Fuel class, but last week, the reigning champ took time out to live a dream millions of kids have every day. The 2024 NHRA Mission Foods Drag Racing Season resumes June 22-23, 2024 at the PlayNHRA Virginia NHRA Nationals in Dinwiddie, Va.

Kalitta threw a ceremonial first pitch prior to the Washington Nationals vs. Detroit Tigers game on Wednesday, June 12. As a lifelong resident of the Detroit area, Kalitta was thrilled to have the opportunity. He sought assistance from a trusted source and took the advice of a new contact to prepare.

“My daughter (Avery) helped me practice a little bit,” Kalitta said. “One thing that really helped, the guy who met us and took us down to the field was adamant, ‘Do not hit the dirt with the ball.’ For whatever reason, that’s frowned upon. We managed not to do that, and the guy caught it so that was positive. It was a little wide to my left, but he caught it so that was a victory there. It was definitely cool. I grew up down the road from there, and my grandfather was a big Tigers fan so it was really special. I appreciate everyone that helped make that happen for me, and they put a nice sign up on the scoreboard out there so yeah, it was cool.” Continue reading

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Shawn Langdon, Kalitta Air Careers Top Fuel Dragster Out in Round 2 at Bristol

Bristol, TN – Qualifying: Shawn Langdon was the No. 4 qualifier at the Super Grip NHRA Thunder Valley Nationals. It was his third-straight No. 4 qualifier. His best pass came in the Friday evening session when he reached the finish line at 3.810 seconds and 323.74 mph.

Eliminations: Langdon defeated Shawn Reed before coming up short to eight-time Top Fuel world champion Tony Schumacher in the quarterfinals. The pair both left the starting line in .061 seconds and were identical at the 660-foot mark, but Langdon would slow to cross the finish line at only 300.86 mph in 3.835 seconds. Schumacher would get the win with a 3.815-second pass at 324.05 mph.

Unofficial Point Standings: Langdon leaves Bristol in third place in the NHRA Top Fuel point standings. He trails second place Justin Ashley by 26 points and leads Steve Torrence in fourth by 61. Continue reading

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J.R. Todd, DHL Funny Car Also Reach Final Round in Bristol

Bristol, TN – Qualifying: J.R. Todd was the No. 11 qualifier at the Super Grip NHRA Thunder Valley nationals. During the Friday night session, Todd made his best pass of qualifying at 4.092 seconds and 268.92 mph.

Eliminations: Todd and the DHL Toyota team beat Terry Haddock, Ron Capps and John Force before reaching the final round and coming up short to Austin Prock in the finals. Todd would leave the starting line first but crossed the finish line in 4.022 seconds at 313.66 mph to be bettered by Prock’s 3.989 at 312.42.

Todd has now reached at least the semifinals seven times in the first eight races of the NHRA season. It was his second final round of the season, first runner-up finish.

When Todd advanced to the semifinals, he earned a spot in the Mission #2Fast2Tasty NHRA Challenge in two weeks in Richmond Virginia. During Saturday’s qualifying sessions in Richmond, the drivers who reached the semifinals in Bristol will re-run the semifinals and final earning additional purse and championship bonus points. Continue reading

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Doug Kalitta, Mark III Benefits Top Fuel Dragster to Runner-Up at Bristol

Bristol, TN – Qualifying: Doug Kalitta was the No. 14 qualifier at the Super Grip NHRA Thunder Valley Nationals. Kalitta had his quickest pass of qualifying on Friday night when the Mark III Benefits dragster reached the finish line in 3.937 seconds at 311.77 mph.

Eliminations: Kalitta defeated three-time champion Antron Brown, five-time champion Steve Torrence and two-time champion Brittany Force before finishing runner-up to eight-time champion Tony Schumacher in the finals. In what was a rematch of the New England Nationals finals from just a week ago, Kalitta and Schumacher would pedal their way to the Bristol Dragway finish line. Kalitta would make a 4.890-second run at 150.06 mph to come up short to Schumacher’s 4.236 at 259.41.

It was Kalitta’s third final round appearance of the season, 115th of his career and his first runner-up finish of 2024.

When Kalitta advanced to the semifinals, he earned a spot in the Mission #2Fast2Tasty NHRA Challenge in two weeks in Richmond Virginia. During Saturday’s qualifying sessions in Richmond, the drivers who reached the semifinals in Bristol will re-run the semifinals and final earning additional purse and championship bonus points. Continue reading

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J.R. TODD’S BAROMETER LOOKING POSITIVE

YPSILANTI, MI – For J.R. Todd, the Mission #2Fast2Tasty NHRA Challenge is a barometer for how the team is running, and after a one-race hiatus, Todd and the DHL GR Supra team are back in the special event. The 2024 NHRA Mission Foods Drag Racing Season resumes June 7-9, 2024 at the Super Grip NHRA Thunder Valley Nationals in Bristol, Tenn.

Todd won the season-opening NHRA Gatornationals in Florida and advanced to at least the semifinals at each of the season’s first six races including a final round at the NHRA 4-Wide Nationals near Charlotte. After a first-round loss in Chicago, Todd advanced to the semifinals last weekend in New Hampshire putting him back in the Mission #2Fast2Tasty Challenge Saturday at Thunder Valley Dragway. During Saturday’s qualifying sessions, the drivers who reached the semifinals in Epping, N.H., will re-run the semifinals and final earning additional purse and championship bonus points.

“It’s nice to see all three Kalitta cars working late on Sunday and Dougie (Mac Tools Driver Doug Kalitta) and Shawn (Kalitta Air Careers Driver Shawn Langdon) in contention on a regular basis,” Todd said. “The DHL car has been to every semifinal this season except one so that’s a good trend; we just need to keep that momentum going and not get complacent. I’ve been saying it all season – as long as we keep making those Mission Foods races, we’ll be in pretty good shape. That’s what I said after we won that first race of the season. If we can make all of those, we should be in a good points position because you know you’re making to semifinals each week, but at the end of the day, we’re out there to win, not just go to the semifinals.” Continue reading

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SHAWN LANGDON, TEAM TRENDING IN THE RIGHT DIRECTION

YPSILANTI, MI – Shawn Langdon and his Kalitta Air Careers Toyota team continue to compete at a high level, and with a third of the season now complete and Langdon currently third in points, it’s safe to say this team is poised for great things ahead. The 2024 NHRA Mission Foods Drag Racing Season resumes June 7-9, 2024 at the Super Grip NHRA Thunder Valley Nationals in Bristol, Tenn.

Langdon reached the semifinals at last week’s NHRA New England Nationals where he ran into a buzz saw also known as Doug Kalitta and his Mac Tools team. All three Team Kalitta cars advanced to the semifinals with Kalitta going on to win the race. Langdon reached at least the semifinals at four of the seven races this season and four of the five two-wide races.

“All three cars had a good weekend in New Hampshire,” Langdon said. All three went rounds, and it was warm out there so I feel pretty confident in the hot weather setup we have and pretty confident for the next couple of races. The air temperature wasn’t that hot (in New Hampshire), but it all kind of correlates a little bit. The track temperature gets warm when the sun’s out, and you have a high UV so it can show a little bit more track temperature on a really sunny day.” Continue reading

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KALITTA COMPLETES CAREER SWEEP, SETS SIGHTS ON THUNDER VALLEY

YPSILANTI, MI – Doug Kalitta won last weekend’s race in Epping, N.H., and now has at least one victory at every track on which NHRA’s premier series races. With the career sweep complete, Kalitta and his Mark III Benefits team look to continue his team’s resurgence in Thunder Valley. The 2024 NHRA Mission Foods Drag Racing Season resumes June 7-9, 2024 at the Super Grip NHRA Thunder Valley Nationals in Bristol, Tenn.

Kalitta had quite a weekend in New England claiming his third No. 1 qualifier in the last four races, winning the race by defeating the likes of Tony Stewart, Shawn Langdon and Tony Schumacher and moving to second in points, but what meant perhaps more was winning the day after Eddie’s Lobsterfest, the team’s annual tribute to Kalitta’s cousin, the late Scott Kalitta.

“Getting this win was the goal going into Epping because it was the last place I hadn’t won,” Kalitta said. “We tried not to put too much attention on it, but we showed up and Joe Poulin and all the guys that set up Eddie’s Lobsterfest, our tribute to Scott Kalitta, were here. We really had a lot of fun with that because a lot of the teams and people who worked with Scott over the years migrate over. It’s great to have an opportunity to hang out and have a good meal. It really means a lot to Connie (Team Owner Connie Kalitta). To be able to pull off the win was something I really wanted, and it’s obviously a tribute to Scott.” Continue reading

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Todd and the DHL Funny Car Lose to Force in Semi-Final Battle

Epping, NH – Qualifying: J.R. Todd was the No. 3 qualifier at the NHRA New England Nationals – it equaled his best qualifying position of the season. During the Friday-evening session, Todd posted a 3.865-second run at 327.74 mph to take the No. 3 position.

Eliminations: Todd and the DHL Toyota team defeated Dave Richards and Bob Tasca before losing to John Force in the semifinals. It was the sixth time in seven races this season that Todd advanced to at least the semifinals.

When Todd advanced to the semifinals, he earned a spot in the Mission #2Fast2Tasty NHRA Challenge next week in Bristol, Tenn. During Saturday’s qualifying sessions in Bristol, the drivers who reached the semifinals in Epping will re-run the semifinals and final earning additional purse and championship bonus points.

Unofficial Point Standings: Todd leaves Epping in fourth place in the NHRA Funny Car point standings. He trails third-place Matt Hagan by 10 points and leads fifth-place Bob Tasca by 47 points. Continue reading

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