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WORSHAM TAKES TOYOTA CAMRY TO FINALS AT PHOENIX FEBRUARY 22, 2015

TORRANCE, Calif. (Feb. 22, 2015) – Del Worsham drove his DHL Toyota Camry to the Funny Car finals before eventually falling to Matt Hagan in the quickest race in Funny Car history at today’s CARQUEST Auto Parts NHRA Nationals at the Wild Horse Pass Motorsports Park in Phoenix, Ariz. Worsham continued a run that has seen him register one win, today’s runner-up finish and a trip to the semi-finals in his last four races.

In advancing to today’s finals, he ran four passes of 4.047-seconds or better including back-to-back 4.010 runs in the semi-finals and finals. The Kalitta Motorsports driver defeated John Hale, fellow Toyota driver Chad Head and Robert Hight on the way to the finals. He leaves Phoenix second in points.

Overall four Toyota drivers advanced to the semi-finals or beyond today. In addition to Worsham, teammate Alexis DeJoria also advanced to the Funny Car semis, while both Shawn Langdon and Antron Brown advanced to the semi-finals in Top Fuel.

DeJoria defeated fellow Camry driver Tony Pedregon in her opening run and Tommy Johnson in round two before losing to Hagan in the semi-finals. Cruz Pedregon and Head both advanced to round two. Pedregon defeated Tim Wilkerson and fell to Hagan, while Head knocked off Ron Capps in his opening run before facing off with Worsham in round two.

In Top Fuel, Langdon and Brown each advanced to the semi-finals just one race after advancing to the finals against one another in Pomona. Langdon retained the series point lead by defeating Leah Pritchett and fellow Toyota driver Richie Crampton before losing to Doug Kalitta. Brown knocked off Dave Connolly and J.R. Todd in his first two rounds before seeing his day cut short by eventual race winner Tony Schumacher. Brown remains in second place after his semi-final showing. Richie Crampton had another solid weekend, qualifying third and triumphing over Troy Buff before his second-round match-up with Langdon. He currently sits sixth overall.

Next up for the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series is the 46th annual Amalie Oil NHRA Gatornationals in Gainesville, Fla., March 13-15.

Toyota Drivers NHRA Phoenix Results
Top Fuel Car Qual/Fin.
Antron Brown Matco Tools Toyota Top Fuel Dragster 5th/Semis
Shawn Langdon Knuckle Sandwich Toyota Top Fuel Dragster 6th/Semis
Richie Crampton GEICO/Lucas Oil Toyota Top Fuel Dragster 3rd/Rd. 2
Funny Car Car Qual/Fin.
Del Worsham DHL Toyota Camry Funny Car 3rd/Finals
Alexis DeJoria Patr?n XO Café Toyota Camry Funny Car 4th/Semis
Cruz Pedregon Snap-on Tools Toyota Camry Funny Car 8th/Rd. 2
Chad Head WSM Auctioneers Toyota Camry Funny Car 11th/Rd. 2
Tony Pedregon Mark Christopher Auto Center Toyota Camry Funny Car 13th/Rd. 1

Toyota Phoenix Post-Race, 2-2-2-2

2015 Toyota NHRA Winners (1):
Top Fuel (1): Langdon (1),

2015 Toyota Number One Qualifiers (1):
Top Fuel (1): Langdon (1),
Pomona1

Notes:

– Del Worsham advanced to his 55th career final today with 44 of those coming in Funny Car. Worsham continues a strong run that has seen one victory, one runner-up finish and one semi-final showing in his last four Funny Car events.

– With four runs of 4.047 or better in today’s eliminations, Del Worsham and the DHL Toyota have now yet to run an eliminations pass worse than a 4.08 in seven rounds spread over two races this season.

– Both Shawn Langdon and Antron Brown advanced to the Top Fuel semi-finals today and continue to sit first and second in the Top Fuel point standings. They are the only two Top Fuel drivers to advance to the semi-finals or beyond in each of the season’s first two events.

– After two races, seven of the eight Toyota NHRA drivers currently rank in the top-10 in their respective point standings. Shawn Langdon (first), Antron Brown (second) and Richie Crampton (sixth) all are in the top-10 in the Top Fuel standings, while Del Worsham (second), Alexis DeJoria (seventh), Cruz Pedregon (eighth) and Chad Head (ninth) rank in the top-10 in Funny Car.

– Chad Head ran five consecutive passes of 4.078 over the last three sessions in qualifying and his two passes in today’s eliminations.

Quotes:

Del Worsham, DHL Toyota Camry Funny Car: “The DHL Toyota Camry had a great day today, just not quite enough in the finals. Two strong races, we’re looking forward to Gainesville. We’re going to keep working on it, we’re going to get there.”

Alexis DeJoria, Patron XO Café Incendio Toyota Camry Funny Car: “We were definitely on a roll here on race day. We made it all the way to the semi-finals, had two good runs down the race track, and beat two very good competitors. The semis did not go the way we planned, obviously. Right at the step we dropped two cylinders and the ignition system turned off, which set off the safety system causing my parachutes to deploy. I had to get out of it early so it wouldn’t blow up. Not to mention, the two cylinders out at the step affected my reaction time. All of that combined meant it just wasn’t going to happen for us here again this year, unfortunately. But at the end of the day, we picked up some good bonus points this weekend [Q2], went to the semis, and moved up from tenth to seventh in points. Now it’s off to Gainesville, which I’m really looking forward to.”

Toyota Phoenix Post-race, 3-3-3-3

Shawn Langdon, Knuckle Sandwich AJR Toyota Top Fuel dragster: It was another great weekend for the Knuckle Sandwich/AJPE team; we didn’t quite have the performance we had in Pomona, but we had a very competitive race car in qualifying and in eliminations. I really thought we were on our way to making another final round, but we just missed something. I’m not sure what happened, but we smoked the tires right off the starting line. I pedaled it and got it to recover, but we ran out of room to run down Doug Kalitta. We still leave Phoenix with the points lead, and we have a great race car. We just hope we can find some sponsorship so we can go to Gainesville in two weeks and try to maintain that points lead.”

Top Fuel Championship Points Behind Leader (124)
1. Shawn Langdon 200 – —
2. Antron Brown 167 – 33
6. Richie Crampton 115 – 85
Funny Car Championship Points Behind Leader (107)
3. Del Worsham 173 – 58
7. Alexis DeJoria 110 – – 121
8. Cruz Pedregon 93 – 138
9. Chad Head 82 – 149
12. Tony Pedregon 65 – 166

 

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