As the 2018 NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series season ramps up, sponsorship activation is making itself known. Kalitta Motorsports, which fields Top Fuel dragsters for Doug Kalitta and Richie Crampton, has just announced a partial-season partnership between long-time business associates DHL and team owner Connie Kalitta’s Kalitta Air, benefiting Crampton’s dragster as it competes in all 23 races on the docket this year.
While the cooperative venture between DHL and Kalitta Air allows the team to prepare a beautiful yellow and gray dragster body for Crampton’s entry, “I am pleased to be able to showcase [this] relationship on the Top Fuel dragster driven by Richie Crampton,” Hall of Fame driver/team owner Kalitta said. “The DHL partnership with Kalitta Air has been going on for many years and has been one of our most successful. We plan on continuing that run of success with many [race] victories this season.”
DHL and Kalitta Motorsports have been motorsports partners for more than a decade, making their venture together one of the longer running, successful sponsorships in the sport of NHRA drag racing. In 2015, the DHL Funny Car driven by Del Worsham won the category championship, making Worsham a two-time champion (he also won a Top Fuel title); current DHL flopper driver J.R. Todd gave the “yella fellas” on the DHL Funny Car team their first Chevrolet Performance U.S. Nationals victory in 2017.
Crampton, a former NHRA Road to the Future (rookie of the year) award winner, knows he is “extremely lucky to get to drive the full season for Connie Kalitta. Now, to be able to honor [his] other passion, airplanes, on the side of the car makes it even better,” the transplanted Aussie said. “The DHL and Kalitta Air partnership has been extremely successful and this scheme highlights that.”
Fans will be able to see the gray and yellow colors on Crampton’s Top Fuel dragster for several races throughout the 2018 season as the driver competes for the championship in a full-time seat. There will be several different paint schemes on his car; some races still have primary inventory available, the team said.
DHL continues its primary backing for Todd’s Funny Car in 2018, while Mac Tools retains its sponsorship for Doug Kalitta. Shawn Langdon, who earned his Funny Car license following the penultimate 2017 NHRA Mello Yello race at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, continues his affiliation with Global Electronic Technology, who backed the Californian last year when he drove a third Kalitta Top Fuel entry.
The 2018 NHRA season gets under way the second week of February at its traditional opening and closing venue, Auto Club Raceway at Pomona. The Lucas Oil Winternationals are scheduled for Feb 9-11 with Top Fuel, Funny Car and Pro Stock professional categories on the docket.