Compiled by SEMA Editors
KALITTA MOTORSPORTS COMPLETES OFF-SEASON CHANGES: Kalitta Motorsports has announced that its current Top Fuel driver J.R. Todd will move into the seat of its DHL Toyota Camry Funny Car vacated by Del Worsham. In turn, Troy Coughlin Jr. will move from the planned part-time sixth team to a full-time seat aboard the SealMaster Top Fuel dragster. Todd is making his return to the Funny Car class, but for the first time as a driver. He worked on Bob Gilberston’s Funny Car during the 2003–2005 NHRA seasons with current Kalitta employees Nicky Boninfante and Tommy DeLago.
“Connie told Jim [Oberhofer] the DHL Toyota is a special car and that I was the right guy for the job, which was a huge compliment to me,” said Todd, who will make his Funny Car debut at the Circle K Winternationals in February. “I am going to miss Del as a teammate as he has always been one of my heroes. I want to also say a huge thanks to SealMaster and their awesome franchisees. They are great people and it was an honor to represent them.”
DATES SET FOR 2017 HOT ROD REUNION EVENTS: The NHRA Motorsports Museum has announced the 2017 Hot Rod Reunion racing schedule. Unique among motorsports events, Hot Rod Reunion events honor some of the top names in hot rodding from the past and feature an array of drag cars, street rods and customs of the historic and present-day hot-rod eras. The 15th annual Holley National Hot Rod Reunion presented by AAA Insurance will be held June 15–17 at Beech Bend Raceway Park in Bowling Green, Kentucky, while the 26th annual California Hot Rod Reunion presented by Automobile Club of Southern California will be held October 20–22 at Auto Club Famoso Raceway in Bakersfield, California.
2017 HOT ROD HERITAGE SERIES SCHEDULE SET: NHRA officials have announced the 2017 NHRA Hot Rod Heritage Racing Series schedule, headlined by the Nostalgia Top Fuel and Nostalgia Funny Car categories. The series, celebrating its 10th season, includes classes for front-engine dragsters, altereds and gassers, along with the nitro-burning dragsters and Funny Cars. The season opens at Wild Horse Pass Motorsports Park in Phoenix, January 14–15 for Groups 1 and 2, followed by the famed Good Vibrations March Meet and the kick off for the Nostalgia Top Fuel and Funny Cars, March 2–5, at Auto Club Famoso Raceway in Bakersfield, California, and the Nostalgia Reunion at Sacramento [California] Raceway in early April. The series then heads north for the first of two stops at Firebird Raceway in Boise, Idaho, the NAPA Auto Parts Ignitor with a second stop at Sacramento Raceway slated for June 16–17.
He Said, She Said
“You would never even imagine you’d run into someone who lives in the town where you grew up. It isn’t very often that you meet people that come from Minnesota, let alone your hometown, but that sure happened today, and what a nice surprise. Sgt. Synnott was really cool, and we spoke the same language. Heck, you could tell right away that he had a connection to Minnesota—the accent gave it away. It’s interesting to think that he left Minnesota and came here to where he is right in the middle of the action. It was a neat deal, especially when we go to 24 races on the NHRA circuit, crossing the country but rarely running into someone from home. You wouldn’t expect that you’d have to cross the world to find that.”
—Pro Stock racer Greg Anderson on meeting a fellow Duluth, Minnesota, native during the Operation Appreciation tour that he was part of in Kuwait. Anderson, Jason Line, Eddie Krawiec, Andrew Hines, along with Bigfoot Monster Truck drivers Dan Runte and Larry Swim, toured United States military bases across the Middle East and met with the troops.
Inside the Numbers
764: Win-loss percentage for Antron Brown during his third Top Fuel world championship season. During the season, Brown won 55 rounds of racing while only suffering 17 losses. Of the championship racers, Jason Line had the best win-loss percentage at .802 and Ron Capps led Funny Car at .750. Pro Stock Motorcycle category champion Jerry Savoie was third in the win-loss record at .689 while Andrew Hines led the category at .780 and Eddie Krawiec at .776.
Did You Know
DOUG KALITTA LEADS LIST OF RACERS WITH MOST CAREER WINS WITHOUT A CHAMPIONSHIP TITLE: Top Fuel racer Doug Kalitta now leads a dubious list as the racer with the most career wins to have yet to win a championship. With his most recent win in Pomona, he has 42 wins in his prolific career. National Dragster Senior Editor Candida Benson looks at many of the racers who have yet to take home a category crown.