POMONA, CA (February 8, 2017) -The 2015 NHRA Funny Car champion is ready to get the 2017 NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series season started with the 57th annual Circle K NHRA Winternationals this weekend at Auto Club Raceway at Pomona. Del Worsham, two-time NHRA champion, will be racing with Lucas Oil as his primary sponsor for the first six races of the season in his Toyota Camry Funny Car. This weekend Worsham is only looking for a strong start.
Last season Del picked up one win and finished seventh in points, but this season he’s looking to come out on top again, this time with his father, veteran team owner and crew chief Chuck Worsham. At the end of the last season, Worsham left Kalitta Motorsports to rejoin his family-owned team, Worsham Racing.
“This is a throwback team. When I look around the shop, most of the guys who are here right now have worked with me at some point through my career, through the last twenty something years. I’m back with my dad, and we haven’t moved back into our big shop yet. We had people lease our property from us, so as of February 1st we can’t get our big shop back. So we’re still working out of this little shop and it reminds me of our garage back from when I was kid. It’s crammed, it’s tight spaces, but everybody is there, and everybody is smiling, and we’re getting the work done. And when we get back from Pomona we’ll move back into the big shop, but for right now it reminds me an awful lot like the early 1990’s.”
Prior to this season, Worsham has come in second at the Winternationals three times. Twice to John Force in 1993 and 2002, and then to Ron Capps last season. This season, with his newly rebuilt team, Worsham’s main goal is to start the season strong, and to continue to work out the new kinks.
“Testing went well. We went into testing with a couple of goals that we needed to do, and we did those in one day as planned, and got back to work for Pomona. I think a lot of our success is going to come from preparation, and we didn’t have a whole lot of time, but we did what we had to do, and got the answers to what we needed to know, and we’re back in the shop working. We’re further ahead than where I thought we would be. I made this decision in mid-November, and I knew we had to race in a couple of months. Most corporations had already set their budgets and I knew finding a sponsor who was going to invest in our team was going to be tough. For being the first weekend of February, we’re ahead of where I thought we would be. The season opener at Worsham’s home track in Pomona, California will be the first event for him when he’s back on his own.
“With Pomona being my home track I have a lot of family and friends here, and that’s always fun. But this is also the place where I had my first race, it’s the first place I ever competed. It was the finals, not the Winternationals, but coming here reminds me of the beginning when everything was exciting and anything you accomplished was a really big feat. And so if we could go to Pomona—you always want to win—but if we could qualify that would be a pretty great start to our season.”
Qualifying starts Friday at 12:30 p.m. for Worsham and the rest of his fellow Funny Car competitors.