O'Reilly Summer Nationals Tough Venue for Team CSK

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Jeff Arend lost to Scott Kalitta in round one of the O’Reilly Summer Nationals at Heartland Park in Topeka, Kansas. Arend charged hard, but the Checker, Schuck’s, Kragen blue team driver needed a 1,325 foot race track. Drag strips are only 1,320 feet long.

Del Worsham and blue CSK team Del Worsham and blue CSK Team
On Friday, wet weather delayed runs and the qualifying ladder was jumbled. Fortunately for Team CSK, Arend and the blue team ended with a top-half position in the No. 8 spot.
Jeff Arend in blue CSK car Jeff Arend in blue CSK car
Del Worsham and Jeff Arend use K&N Products
Del Worsham and Jeff Arend use K&N Products

“That was huge for us,” said Arend. “Everyone and their brother picked us to be the next team to miss. The on-line poll they ran at the track had 60 percent of the voters naming us the most like victims. At least 11,000 people voted that way. The guys really took it seriously. They felt like they were dismissed and I’m not kidding when I say they were really mad about it. Of course the goal then was to win the first round.”

At the tree, Arend got away from the line nearly 2-hundredths quicker than Kalitta, and the two cars powered past the 330-foot mark. Just before half-track, Arend’s CSK Impala SS began to spin tires, just a fraction of a second before Kalitta’s car appeared to suffer mechanical problems in the other lane. Kalitta had an advantage because his problems occurred slightly later.

“It was a surprise when the tires spun and Scott started to pull away,” said Arend. “Out of my peripheral vision, I could see him having problems. We were both doing the best we could, and I was hauling him in like a prize Marlin at the end, catching up like he was standing still. We just ran out of track.”

Arend also saw his teammate, Del Worsham run his best lap of the weekend, and saw Worsham’s strong lap come up short. Worsham posted his best lap of the weekend in round one, driving his red Checker, Schuck’s, Kragen Impala right down the middle. His time was in the ballpark with most of the first round winners, but he was still defeated by Mike Ashley. It was the first time Ashley defeated Worsham after eight previous match-ups.

At the flash of amber, Worhsam tore away first and the race was on. Both cars stayed straight for the full 1,320. Both cars ran well, and Worsham posted a strong 4.894 at 316.45 mph. Ashley posted 4.793 in the other lane.

“We did what we wanted to do and we stepped up,” said Worsham. “We just got beat and there’s not a lot you can do about it when the other guy dominates the field like that. This is a small bump in the road, so it’s on to Chicago and we’ll go for it up there.”

Team Worhsam uses K&N Engineering’s Premium Performance Gold Oil Filters. “The thick canister walls on the K&N Filters have extra strength and durability for our blue and red teams,” said Worsham. “It reduces the risk of damage from debris on the race track.”

Follow Del Worsham and Jeff Arend  throughout the racing season at the K&N news site. Find K&N products for your vehicle using the K&N application search then use the K&N dealer search to find a K&N dealer in your part of the world.

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K&N Engineering, Inc., with headquarters in Riverside, California, has been the world's leader in performance filter technology since 1969, serving the needs of the automotive, motorcycle, marine, industrial and military markets. K&N is heavily involved in nearly every form of motorsports from off-road and powersports to drag racing, stock cars and road racing. For more information about K&N Filters, please contact K&N Engineering, Inc., P.O. Box 1329, Riverside, CA 92502-1329, (800) 213-4182 for a dealer near you, (800) 858-3333 for technical service/questions, (951) 826-4001 Fax, e-mail, or visit