Arend Primed for Event Title Defense 

After notching his 3rd career NHRA FC event win last year at Houston — Canada’s Jeff Arend is confident entering this weekend’s NHRA Spring Nationals…

Native Canadian Jeff Arend, driver of the 8,000-horsepower, nitro-fueled DHL Toyota Camry Funny Car, is hoping this weekend’s, April 27-29, trip to the Lone Star State for the NHRA Spring Nationals at Royal Purple Raceway in Baytown, Texas, just a few miles east of Houston, will be as memorable as it was last year.

Last year, Arend defeated Paul Lee, Tim Wilkerson, Bob Bode, and Mike Neff in eliminations of the NHRA Spring nationals in order to hoist the “Wally” trophy in the winner’s circle.

The emotional win in Houston last year marked the third victory for Arend in his 18-year career in the NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series. Arend, a 49-year old resident of San Dimas, Calif., took over the controls of the DHL Toyota Camry Funny Car for Kalitta Motorsports in late 2008 after the tragic death of Scott Kalitta in a racing accident in June of that year in New Jersey. Kalitta was a two-time NHRA Top Fuel World Champion. Kalitta got his one and only NHRA national event win in the Funny Car class in Houston in 1989.

“Getting the DHL Toyota in the winner’s circle last year was a very special moment for me and everyone at Kalitta Motorsports,” Arend said. “We had a very good test session following the race in Charlotte (previous event). We made several laps in the DHL hot rod and got some great results back. We’re going to change a couple things for Houston that we learned in Charlotte, and I think we’ll be in a great position to contend for another win this year.”

Arend posted the best championship points finish of his career last year by finishing in eighth place in Full Throttle Funny Car points. He also earned a berth in the ultra-exclusive NHRA “playoffs”, the Countdown to the Championship, for the first time.

Jeff Arend will enter his all new 2012 Toyota Camry-bodied machine at NHRA Houtson this weekend

About Kalitta Motorsports

Based in Ypsilanti, Mich., Kalitta Motorsports is a Top Fuel and Funny Car drag racing team in the NHRA (National Hot Rod Association) Full Throttle Drag Racing Series. The team was founded and is owned by drag racing icon Connie “the Bounty Hunter” Kalitta. For more than 50 years, Connie has been involved in the sport as a driver, tuner, and an owner. Kalitta Motorsports is one of the most successful teams in the history of auto racing with five world championships and over 50 national event titles in five different professional drag racing sanctioning bodies since it was established by Connie in 1959.

Jeff Arend drives the DHL Toyota Camry Funny Car for Team Kalitta. Alexis DeJoria pilots the Tequila Patrón Toyota Camry Funny Car. David Grubnic drives the Optima Batteries Top Fuel dragster while Connie’s nephew, Doug Kalitta, pilots the Kalitta Air Top Fuel dragster. Connie serves as head tuner for all Team Kalitta entries. He is assisted by co-crew chiefs Jon Oberhofer and Nick Boninfante on the DHL Funny Car, by Del Worsham on the Tequila Patrón Funny Car,  and by Jim Oberhofer on the Kalitta Air Top Fuel dragster. Connie serves as crew chief on the Optima Batteries Top Fuel dragster.

Associate sponsors on Kalitta Motorsports’ race cars include Candlewood Suites, ROCKY Boots, Red Line Oil, Technicoat Companies, OPTIMA Batteries, JEGS, and Mac Tools.

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Posted by: Todd Myers

Photo by:  Bruce Biegler