Kalitta Racing Gainesville Pre-Race

Pre-Race Report
Event 03: Gatornationals
Gainesville Raceway
Gainesville, Fla.
March 17-19, 2017

Kalitta desires fourth Gator triumph
Gainesville Highlights: Three wins (2014, 2005, 2000); Two no.1 qualifiers (2013, 2003)

Last Event Recap (Phoenix): Qualified fifth; First round defeat (Lost to Shawn Reed in the first round)

2016 Gatornationals Recap: Qualified eighth; First round defeat (Lost to Dave Connolly in the first round)

Quotable: “We stumbled a bit in Phoenix, but the Mac Tools team is ready for a rebound in Gainesville. I have been fortunate to win this race a couple times and I would love to pick up my first win of the new season this weekend.”

Career Stats: 436 starts, 592 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); 3 round wins; fifth 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: Could become the ninth driver to hit 600 round wins this season; also will reach 1,000 career rounds competed early this year (currently at 986); owns Phoenix Track ET Record (also owns track records in Atlanta and Norwalk)

Coughlin Jr. makes pro Gatornationals debut
Noteworthy: Third career pro event; a leading 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 (Phoenix): Qualified sixth; First round defeat (Lost to Scott Palmer in the first round)

Quotable: “My comfort level is definitely growing in the SealMaster Toyota Dragster. We have our leader, Connie, back with us at the track, along with my grandfather, Jeg Sr., so this will only enhance my learning.”

2017 Season Stats: Two starts; One round win; 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

Media Availability & Appearance: Coughlin Jr. will be in the Jacksonville market conducting interviews on Wednesday. On Thursday, he will be making an appearance at the University of Florida Health Shands Children’s Hospital.

Todd makes plan to continue strong Funny Car start
Highlights: One of four Funny Car drivers to have round wins in each of the first two races of the season (Matt Hagan, Ron Capps, Tommy Johnson Jr.)

Last Event Recap (Phoenix): Qualified seventh; Quarter-final finish (Defeated Alexis DeJoria in the first round, lost to Jim Campbell in the quarter-finals)

2016 Gatornationals Recap (Top Fuel): Qualified 10th; Quarter-final finish (Defeated Steve Torrence in the first round, lost to Clay Millican in the quarter-finals)

Quotable: “I am really looking forward to the Gatornationals since it is one of the biggest races of the year with all of its history. I feel like our DHL Toyota Camry is headed in the right direction and can contend for the win.”

Career Stats: 150 starts, 151 round wins, 9 wins, 19 finals, 9 no.1 qualifiers (Funny Car stats: 1 start, 1 round win)

2016 Season Stats: One win (Sonoma); Three finals (Atlanta, Norwalk, Chicago); One no.1 qualifier (Pomona-II); 37 round wins; fourth in the finals standings

2017 Season Stats: 2 starts; 2 round wins; Sixth in the point 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

PR Contact:

(Doug Kalitta, Troy Coughlin Jr., J.R. Todd)
Cody Poor

All photos are courtesy of Gary Nastase Photography and Blackbeard.

DeJoria Gainesville pre-race notes
Last Event Recap (Phoenix): Qualified 10th; First round defeat (Lost to J.R. Todd in the first round)

2016 Gatornationals Recap: Qualified 11th; First round defeat (Lost to Matt Hagan in the first round)

Career Stats: 118 starts, 82 round wins, 4 wins, 7 finals, 4 no.1 qualifiers

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

2017 Season Stats: Two starts; 12th in the point standings