Kalitta Motorsports hired a new assistant chief for Shawn Langdon's Funny Car on Friday: Kurt Elliott. The experienced clutch specialist joins the Global Electronic Technology Funny Car Just over a week following the release of Tommy DeLago. He will work alongside longtime tuner Nicky Boninfante on the flopper, which enjoyed a semifinal finish at the Menards NHRA Heartland Nationals presented by Minties in Topeka.
The first test of the new partnership will take place at the Jegs Route 66 NHRA Nationals in Chicago in just over a week. Langdon currently sits in ninth place. A full press release from Kalitta Motorsports follows:
Kalitta Motorsports is pleased to announce that Kurt Elliott has joined Team Kalitta, effective immediately. Elliott will join Nicky Boninfante as assistant crew chief on the Global Electronic Technology Toyota Camry Funny Car driven by Shawn Langdon.
“I am really excited to be joining Kalitta Motorsports. To work for Connie is incredible. He is a true legend in this sport,” said Elliott. “Kalitta Motorsports has some great people, which is something I am really big about. I have thought about racing with Nicky for many years, and I think we are a good fit. Shawn is a very talented driver and I have a great relationship with all of the other crew chiefs. I am very excited to get started.”
Elliott began his career working in 1994 for Whit Bazemore as a clutch specialist and earned his first win in 1996 with driver Dale Pulde. He first ascended to the assistant crew chief role in 2004 with Tony Pedregon Racing, and was a part of team that delivered Pedregon the 2007 Funny Car championship. His career also has included multiple seasons with Alan Johnson Racing and drivers Bruce Sarver, Gary Scelzi and Del Worsham. Most recently, Elliott was a part of Bob Vandergriff Racing working with Vandergriff, now Kalitta driver J.R. Todd, Clay Millican and Dave Connolly.
“I am very excited to have Kurt a part of the team,” said Langdon. “I think him and Nicky will make a great team. This has me really pumped for the Global Electronic Technology team and for next weekend’s race in Chicago.”
Langdon and the Global Electronic Technology team are coming off a semi-final finish in Topeka and are ninth in the point standings. Elliott will make his debut as part of the team at NHRA’s next event, the JEGS Route 66 NHRA Nationals in Joliet, Ill.