In addition to teaming with the DHL Toyota Camry Funny Car driven by Del Worsham and the PatrÃ³n-backed Toyota Camry Funny Car driven by Alexis DeJoria, Toyota will increase its involvement to the Team Kalitta Top Fuel dragster entries: the Mac Tools Top Fuel dragster driven by Doug Kalitta and the Top Fuel dragster driven by J.R. Todd, whose sponsorship will be announced in January. All four Team Kalitta entries will work with Toyota Racing Development (TRD) for technical support.
“After winning the NHRA Funny Car world championship in 2015 with Del Worsham and Kalitta Motorsports, we look forward to extending our long-term relationship to also include both of the team’s Top Fuel cars for the 2016 season," said Paul Doleshal, Toyota Motorsports marketing manager.
Jim Oberhofer, crew chief on the Mac Tools Top Fuel dragster and vice president of operations, Kalitta Motorsports, echoed those sentiments.
“We are proud to be representing Toyota with all four of our Kalitta Motorsports teams," said Oberhofer. “We look forward to working with everyone at TRD as we have seen the positive difference they’ve made with our Funny Car program in helping make Del a world champion and Alexis a championship contender."
Toyota rode to the 2015 NHRA Funny Car championship with driver Del Worsham and DHL Camry and with teammate Alexis DeJoria on her Camry. In 2016, Toyota's involvement with Kalitta Motorsports will extend to the team's Top Fuel dragsters.
Kalitta Motorsports was one of Toyota’s first partners in the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series. In 2006, Scott Kalitta drove a DHL Toyota Camry Solara in his return to Funny Car racing. Since then, Kalitta Motorsports has delivered 10 victories and the 2015 NHRA Mello Yello Funny Car championship for Toyota. That Funny Car championship helped Toyota earn its first ever sweep of the nitro championships in NHRA action.
Toyota’s Top Fuel teams have been the best among the NHRA Top Fuel class for the past several seasons. Since 2010, Toyota has claimed five of six world championships. Last season, Toyota drivers earned wins in 15 of 24 events and earned nearly half of the No.1 qualifiers in the Top Fuel class. Toyota invests in motorsports across the globe and has seen success throughout its NASCAR, Supercross, and USAC efforts as well.
"We have had a relationship with Toyota for several seasons, and I am excited to be able to partner with them for all of our teams going forward," said Doug Kalitta. "Toyota and the technology they bring to the track is the best, and I am thrilled to be able to utilize it on our Top Fuel program."
"This is something I have wanted to happen for a while," added Todd. "I have been able to get to know the TRD staff as they work really close with our two Toyota Camry Funny Cars. I am excited to represent Toyota, and I think the information that they will provide will help us challenge for the 2016 NHRA Mello Yello Top Fuel championship."