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About Jim O

There’s my bio and then there’s my story. So, I thought I’d start with the stuff all the marketing folks hand out on the corner of Hype Avenue and Facts Only Street:

Jim “O” Oberhofer is the crew chief for the Mac Tools Top Fuel Dragster driven by Doug Kalitta and the Vice President of Operations for Kalitta Motorsports which also features the SealMaster Top Fuel Dragster driven by J.R. Todd, the DHL Toyota Camry Funny Car driven by Del Worsham and the Tequila Patrón XO Café Incendio Toyota Camry Funny Car driven by Alexis DeJoria.

Oberhofer has been with Kalitta Motorsports for more than three decades. He is a second-generation drag racing enthusiast whose father Dave campaigned a Jr. Fueler as well as a Top Fuel dragster in the 1960s and ’70s.

Oberhofer got his first job in drag racing in 1983 when he started cleaning parts for Kalitta Motorsports, which led to a part-time crew member position with the team. His brother Jon “O” is a crew chief for Kalitta Motorsports and daughter Ashley oversees social media. Oberhofer made his debut as an author with the popularly acclaimed book Top Fuel for Life, rated 4.9 out of five stars by Amazon readers. He is a much sought-after speaker to audiences across the country.

If you got through that without falling asleep, then you must have had a double espresso. Just so you know, everything above is true. But if you’ve read Top Fuel for Life then you know there’s more to a man than his job. Given that, here’s my story the way I see it.

I was born in Saddlebrook, New Jersey to Dave and Sue Oberhofer (the greatest mom in the world). I was sandwiched in between pain-in-the-neck Suzy (she is now one of my closest friends!) and an older brother (Jon O works with me at Kalitta!).

Our family didn’t have a lot of money, but we had a lot of love. My father worked hard in his paint and body shop and got jacked about racing more than just about anything else back in Jersey. When I was 10, he moved us all to Plano, Texas. Wow, that was a change.

Eventually, I got the chance to work at Kalitta Motorsports basically doing anything they told me to do. I fell in love with the most beautiful woman, Tammy Ferrell, the public relations manager at Kalitta. We did what most people do when they fall in love: We got married and eventually had a beautiful little girl named Ashley.

What followed is all in the book, but I’ll give you the short version: I was an ass! Cancer has a way of waking people up, though. Everything that followed led me to write Top Fuel for Life. I go around sharing the lessons I’ve learned with all kinds of folks (which is great because helping people is the whole reason I wrote the book). I’m vice president of operations for Kalitta Motorsports and a crew chief for the Mac Tools Top Fuel dragster team where family is what it’s all about (that’s the Kalitta way). I enjoy ballroom dancing. (It’s more of a workout than you know!) And watching the Pittsburgh Steelers – only the best team in the NFL!!

Most of all, I love being with my daughter Ashley, who is the social media director at Kalitta, and leading my crew and arguing with Connie Kalitta (my second father and boss) and having a beer with friends who come from all walks of life. I especially love the fans because they keep me going no matter what happens.

That’s my story in a nutshell. Let me know if you like it better than what the marketing people came up with (we have this little bet going!). Drop me an email or give me a call. Now that I’ve told you all about me, I’d like to learn about you!

Highlights: Kalitta Motorsports

  • Founded in 1959 by Connie Kalitta
  • Six world title and over 100 national event titles in five different governing bodies, including the 2015 NHRA Funny Car Championship (Del Worsham)
  • Team Kalitta is on their best two season run ever with 15 event titles in the past two seasons in just 48 events.
  • Earned victories at 5 of the last 6 races of the 2015 season, including Del Worsham setting a nitro record with 4 of 6 wins in the Countdown for the Championship.
  • Doug Kalitta, a former USAC Champion, joined the NHRA Top Fuel ranks in 1998 and has finished in the top ten in the point standings every season since.
  • Team Kalitta fields machines for three former Rookie of the Year winners: Doug Kalitta, J.R. Todd and Del Worsham.