Kalitta adds third car for Paul Lee

Kalitta Motorsports will field a third Toyota Camry Funny Car for the final four races of the 2016 season, with Paul Lee at the helm, partnering 2015 champion Del Worsham and Alexis DeJoria,

Kalitta adds third car for Paul Lee
Paul Lee
Del Worsham
2015 Funny Car champion Del Worsham
Del Worsham
Funny Car winner Alexis Dejoria
Alexis DeJoria

Lee will drive a McLeod Clutches Toyota Camry at the Maple Grove, Dallas, Las Vegas and the finale in Pomona.

Lee and Kalitta Motorsports vice president operations Jim Oberhofer have been talking about getting together since the start of the year. “We’ve talked with a lot of different people about joining our team in the past,” Oberhofer said, “but it never seemed to come together. With Paul, we know we’ve got a straight-up guy who can make this happen.”

Lee, who has known the Boninfante family that’s an integral part of the Kalitta operations for about 40 years, is excited to become the fifth team in the Kalitta family operation - the first time they’ve opened their doors to another Funny Car. Oberhofer and Boninfante will combine for the tuning decisions on Lee’s Toyota Camry Funny Car.

Oberhofer remarked, “What we’re doing is giving Paul a DHL car, and we all know how it performed last year,” he said in reference to Worsham’s title-winner.

Lee, who’s been competing in the flopper category for the past 25 years, stated: “To be driving for Connie Kalitta and his awesome organization is something I’ve worked for and dreamed of my entire career.

“It will be an honor to drive a car tuned by Jim O and Nick. The Kalitta team will give me a great car; it will be up to me to close the deal on Sundays.”

The president of McLeod Racing LLC, a specialist in automotive and clutch driveline technology based in Orange County, California, Lee started drag racing at age 18 in his home state of new Jersey. He met the Boninfante family at Atco Dragway, a famous strip in the Garden State, and  competed in Top Alcohol Funny Cars from 1988 until 2005, winning three NHRA national event titles along the way.

He accelerated to nitro Funny Cars in 2005 and has been driving a car prepared by Chuck and Del Worsham (his future teammate) for the past year.

The announcement also revealed that beyond the four 2016 rounds, there could be as many as 10 races for Lee at Kalitta Motorsports in 2017, finances permitting.

 

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