Race Reports

Paul Lee

Paul Lee, driver of the McLeod Racing Toyota Camry Funny Car

Q1: 4.580 sec. at 185.72 MPH
Q2: 3.986 sec. at 312.13 MPH
Q3: 3.994 sec. at 322.04 MPH
Q4: 4.248 sec. at 217.14 MPH

Starting Position: 13th
First Round Matchup: Ron Capps
Notes: The 3.986 elapsed time and the 322.04 MPH are new career-bests for Lee.


LAS VEGAS, NV (10/24/16)- Paul Lee will be debuting his McLeod Racing Kalitta Motorsports Nitro Funny Car this weekend at the Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Lee, president of McLeod Racing, will be making his first 2016 appearance on the National Hot Rod Association tour.

Lee has been working closely with Jim Oberhofer, president of Kalitta Motorsports, to create a dynamic Funny Car addition to the Kalitta stable. The original debut weekend was to be the Dodge Nationals in Maple Grove, but delays from completion of a new trailer inhibited the team to compete. Todd Smith, crew chief for the McLeod Racing team, and crew are now ready to make their first pass this Friday afternoon.

“This has been a long time coming, but the results are definitely going to be worth the wait,” says Paul Lee. “I’m eager and anxious to start this new chapter in my racing career. Racing with Kalitta’s is like racing with the cream of the crop. Kalitta upholds a strong reputation in the drag racing community and I am honored to be apart with their family. The McLeod Racing Funny Car is ready to show NHRA and the fans that we are ready to become a top team.”

The former DHL Funny Car chassis has recently been front-halved and is overseen by Todd Smith. Smith will be working with Jim Oberhofer and Nicky Boninfante Jr on the new Funny Car addition to Team Kalitta.

“From the moment I arrived at Kalitta Motorsports after the Indianapolis race to the time the truck left for Las Vegas, the amount of work put in by myself, my crew and the entire Kalitta Motorsports organization has been nothing short of incredible,” says crew chief Todd Smith. “Getting this team up and running and ready to race the final 2 races of the season are absolutely critical to having a good start for the 2017 season.”

Paul Lee was last seen on the NHRA track at the 2015 NHRA World Finals when he was piloting the Worsham family car, tuned by Chuck and Del Worsham. This has been the longest period that Lee has not raced in NHRA drag racing, but he will compete in the last two events including the World Finals in Pomona, CA.


Krista Baldwin
PR for Paul Lee Racing
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(909) 532-1322

Paul Lee Racing

Funny Car racer Paul Lee, who will make his season debut at the Toyota NHRA Nationals in Las Vegas as part of the Kalitta Motorsports team, visited the Wally Parks NHRA Studio where Amanda Busick spoke with him about his new team and his plans for the future.

Lee will campaign the McLeod Clutches Toyota Camry Funny Car for Kalitta Motorsports for the last two events on the 2016 NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series schedule. Veteran Todd Smith will be tuning the car.

Lee, who resides in Orange County, Calif., is the president of McLeod Racing LLC, a global leader in automotive and clutch driveline technology. He will own the equipment, but it will be run out of the Kalitta Motorsports Ypsilanti, Mich.-based shop.

Lee began drag racing at age 18 in his home state of New Jersey. Lee drove Top Alcohol Funny Cars from 1988 until 2005 and won three NHRA national event titles and one divisional race. Lee stepped up to nitro Funny Cars in 2005 and has run as quick as 4.007 at nearly 318 mph.

Paul Lee Racing

Todd SmithSEATTLE (August 6, 2016) – Championship-winning tuner Todd Smith has been named as the crew chief on the McLeod Racing Toyota Camry Funny Car driven by Paul Lee. Smith will lead the third Funny Car team for Kalitta Motorsports that will begin running at the NHRA Keystone Nationals later this fall.

“I am excited to be back with Team Kalitta and to be able to work with Paul and the McLeod team on putting this new operation together,” said Smith. “Lee is a talented driver and with the Kalitta equipment; I am confident in our chances to have success.”

Smith has spent five seasons previously with Kalitta Motorsports working with drivers Connie, Doug and Scott Kalitta throughout the late nineties. After departing, he led Jack Beckman to the 2012 Funny Car Championship. Last season, he worked with Brittany Force and the Monster Energy Top Fuel team.

“I’m excited that Todd Smith has joined our McLeod Racing Kalitta Motorsports Funny Car Team,” said Lee. “Todd is very experienced and is a proven winner. He has won races with many different teams and cars over the years, culminating with the 2012 Funny Car World Championship with driver Jack Beckman. Jim O(berhofer) is assembling an awesome team which will make our Funny Car a contender and capable of winning each time we pull up to the staging beams. I’m looking forward to working with Todd and our Kalitta Motorsports Team!”

Smith will join an elite group of crew chiefs at Kalitta Motorsports including Connie Kalitta, Jim and Jon Oberhofer, Nicky Boninfante, Tommy DeLago, Glen Huzsar and Rob Flynn.

“Todd has been part of the Kalitta Motorsports team in the past and I am excited that he is back with us,” said Jim Oberhofer, Vice President of Operations, Kalitta Motorsports. “He is a championship-caliber crew chief and will not only add a lot to Paul’s McLeod Racing team, but Kalitta Motorsports as a whole.”


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