The British Drag Racing Hall of Fame has announced that Kalitta Motorsports will be attending its 2017 Gala Awards Dinner to be held at the Oatlands Park Hotel, Weybridge, Surrey on 18th November – and will be offering a special charity auction prize for bids to raise funds for the BDRHOF Benevolent Fund.
The prize on offer is a package of two event tickets and Kalitta Motorsport VIP Hospitality tickets to the NHRA Gatornationals at Gainesville Raceway, Florida from 15th to 18th March 2018. In conjunction with BDRHoF sponsors DialAFlight, the prize includes two return flights from UK to Orlando and seven-day car hire. Up to £500 towards hotel cost booked through DialAFlight is also offered. The prize can only be used at the 2018 NHRA Gatornationals.
In order to bid for this fantastic prize valued at over £2,000, you will need to hold a ticket for the 2017 BDRHoF Gala Awards Dinner. Bidding will take place in sealed envelopes to be circulated on the day of the dinner and collected during the event. Bidding is open to all attendees except the Board of Directors and Selection Committee of the BDRHoF. The highest bidder will win, and in the event of a tie, the winner will be selected by drawn lot.
BDRHoF Sponsor Partner and international liaison officer Geoff Stilwell said, ‘This is a fantastic prize and we are hugely grateful to Kalitta Motorsports and DialAFlight for their generosity in enabling us to create a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. We are lining up other amazing prizes for the Gala Dinner so every guest will have several chances to bid.’
Jim Oberhofer, Vice President of Operations for Kalitta Motorsports, said, ‘We are thrilled to be attending the BDRHoF Gala awards dinner and the chance to provide hospitality in return for two lucky winners of the charity auction was too good to miss. Congratulations to the BDRHoF for making all this possible.’
Kalitta Motorsports – Connie Kalitta
It takes a special kind of man to run one of the most successful Funny Car and Top Fuel Dragster teams on the American drag racing scene while also operating one of the world’s largest and award-winning cargo airlines. But 79-year-old Connie Kalitta is such a man. His drag racing career spans seven decades during which he has guided nephew Doug Kalitta and his late son, Scott Kalitta, to victories and championships. In fact, since its launch in 1959, he or his teams have won six World Championships and over 100 national event titles. Somehow he also found time to prime Shirley Muldowney’s drag racing career, as featured in the film Heart Like A Wheel.
During the ‘60s Kalitta moved steadily up the ranks, first as a Top Gas Dragster driver and then in Top Fuel. It was in Top Gas that Kalitta’s ‘Bounty Hunter’ nickname was coined. He painted a list of drivers he vowed to defeat with a large “Wanted” at the top. As he beat each one on the list he crossed-off the name like a gunslinger, earning the name ‘Bounty Hunter’. He later moved into Funny Cars when match racing Funnies became lucrative.
Connie was inducted into the Motorsports Hall of Fame in 1992 and is the first recipient of the NHRA’s Lifetime Achievement Award. He continues to compete at the top level of drag racing on a massive scale – currently fielding a five-car team. His nephew Doug Kalitta gave up a solid driving career in open-wheel sprint cars and midgets to take over a Top Fuel driver’s seat. Other Top Fuel dragster team members are Troy Coughlin Jr and Shawn Langdon. JR Todd and Alexis DeJoria drive the team’s Funny Cars.
Kalitta Motorsports – Doug Kalitta
Doug Kalitta is the nephew of Kalitta Motorsports’ owner and multiple drag racing champion Connie Kalitta. Doug formerly raced in USAC events, becoming 1991 USAC rookie of the year in the midget series, and winning the 1994 championship in the sprint car category. In a successful USAC career he won 21 USAC events: 14 in midget races and 7 in sprint competitions. In 1998 he switched to drag racing, successfully driving a Top Fuel dragster for Kalitta Motorsports.
He is fifth on the all-time top fuel wins list, netting 42 career wins with 88 career final rounds and winning the NHRA Finals at Pomona in 2016. His quickest elapsed time for 1000 feet is 3.686 seconds and his fastest terminal speed is 331.85 mph. He also finds time to operate an airline – Kalitta Charters.
Kalitta Motorsports – Jim Oberhofer
Jim Oberhofer is the crew chief for the Mac Tools Top Fuel Dragster driven by Doug Kalitta, and the Vice President of Operations for Kalitta Motorsports – a business he first became involved with in 1983. Jim’s father Dave campaigned a Jr. Fueler as well as a Top Fuel dragster in the 1960s and ’70s so drag racing is in Jim’s blood, and in 1988 he joined Kalitta Motorsports full-time, working with Dick LaHaie after 1993 and later Ed ‘The Ace’ McCulloch.
He met his wife Tammy there but sadly she succumbed to cancer in 2013. His daughter Ashley and his brother Jon also work for the business and his book Top Fuel For Life has been much acclaimed. He a sought-after speaker and media commentator talking about building a successful drag racing team and dealing with family tragedy.
And alongside his responsibilities with one of the most successful teams in drag racing, he also finds time to take part in competitive ballroom dancing.
2017 Gala Awards Dinner
Reservations for the 2017 Gala Awards Dinner can now be taken by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by telephone at 01933 279102. This year the tickets are priced competitively at £65.00 each and this includes a pre-dinner reception and table wine. The event always sells out well in advance, so if you would like to join us for the occasion we suggest you make your reservation sooner rather than later. On receiving your reservation you will be given the procedure to book rooms at the negotiated room rate that includes breakfast and VAT as well as parking.
On-going news about the Gala, sponsors and other events in which the BDRHoF is involved will be published on the British Drag Racing Hall of Fame website, www.britishdragracinghof.co.uk, www.eurodragster.com and on Facebook and Twitter.
British Drag Racing Hall of Fame Limited is a company limited by guarantee and registered in England and Wales under no. 10387951 and whose registered office is at 39, Hatton Park Road, Wellingborough, Northants NN8 5AT.
The BDRHoF Benevolent Fund has been created as registered charity no. 1167197 and is run for racers or officials who through injury have fallen on hard times and may be invited to apply for grants. Money raised will also go to the Air Ambulances local to UK drag racing tracks. All money raised by donation goes to charitable grants.