Kalitta Motorsports has announced the return of two-time NHRA Mello Yello champion Del Worsham as a co-crew chief of the Global Electronic Technology Funny Car driven by Shawn Langdon. Worsham previously served as crew chief with Kalitta Motorsports in 2012 before taking over driving duties of the team’s DHL-backed Toyota Funny Car. He is one of just three drivers to earn titles in both Top Fuel and Funny Car. Worsham will partner with Team Kalitta crew chief Nicky Boninfante on the Global Camry Funny Car. Boninfante was co-crew chief on Worsham’s Funny Car during their championship run in in 2015.
“After spending the last two races of 2018 with the Global Electronic Technology team and working with Team Kalitta, it wasn’t a hard decision to make when the job offer was presented,” said Worsham. “Being a former Kalitta employee and champion, then watching J.R. Todd put the DHL Funny Car back into the championship for Team Kalitta and adding the excitement and commitment of [team sponsors] Steve and Samantha Bryson, I figured we couldn’t go wrong.
“Nicky (Boninfante) and I have worked magic together before and I would love nothing more than to bring that to the Global Funny Car,” Worsham continued. “They have a championship-caliber driver in Shawn Langdon, the guys on the crew that have been part of our former championship team, a team owner that will give you every resource to succeed and a sponsor/friend who shares the same goals and enthusiasm. The Phoenix test session cannot get here fast enough along with the first race in Pomona for the start of the 2019 NHRA Mello Yello season.”
“It’s a huge benefit to our team to bring on a guy like Del Worsham who has a tremendous amount of experience and knowledge with these cars,” added Langdon, the 2013 NHRA Top Fuel champion. “He came on at the end of last year and helped me a ton. Not only will he help on the technical side, but there’s details he knows and can help me with on the driver’s side. We have a great opportunity to take our program to the next level. This is about as good as it gets and I’m really looking forward to this season.”
In a related announcement, Kalitta Motorsports, which is celebrating its 60th anniversary in NHRA this season, also announced that Global Electronic Technology has extended their partnership agreement the 2019 season. In addition to the primary sponsorship of Langdon’s car, the Global will continue as an associate sponsor on the three other Kalitta Motorsports fielded nitro cars piloted by 2018 NHRA Funny Car World Champion J.R. Todd and Top Fuel drivers Doug Kalitta and Richie Crampton.
“We couldn’t be more thrilled to have Global Electronic Technology back with us for another season,” said Hall of Fame team owner Connie Kalitta. “The passion the Bryson’s have for this sport is immeasurable and we’ve taken steps toward making their car as competitive as possible with the addition of Del Worsham to our extremely talented tuning team.”
In addition to the Global Electronic Technology Funny Car team being set for the 2019 season opener at Auto Club Raceway at Pomona, California next week, the other Kalitta Motorsports teams have also finalized crew chief plans.
Kurt Elliott, who joined Team Kalitta in 2018, moves to co-crew chief of the DHL Top Fuel entry driven by Crampton alongside team owner/crew chief Connie Kalitta. Meanwhile, Rob Flynn will continue to work on the Mac Tools Top Fuel dragster driven by Doug Kalitta after joining crew chief Troy Fasching last year. Todd’s championship winning DHL team will remain the same with Jon Oberhofer and Todd Smith sharing crew chief duties.