When Top Fuel driver J.R. Todd competes at the next three races - Charlotte, N.C. (Sept, 18-20), St. Louis (Sept. 25-27) and Reading, Pa. (Oct. 1-4) – his Kalitta Motorsports dragster will be rocking with a legend.

Todd’s dragster will don a Jimi Hendrix paint scheme as Kalitta Motorsports has partnered with the Jimi Hendrix Foundation for those three races in the Countdown to the Championship.

“I have been a fan of Jimi Hendrix since I was in middle school and I had to learn about that era of music, and I’ve liked his music ever since,” Todd said. “When I heard we were running this themed (dragster) for three events I was pumped about it. I think this will get some people’s attention and maybe it will draw some new companies to our sport and at the same time bring in some new fans to our sport.”

What the Hendrix paint scheme will look like is being kept a secret. The scheme will be unveiled at 1 p.m. Eastern Time, Sept. 18 in front of the zMax Dragway Tower in Charlotte. That date is the 45th anniversary of the passing of the iconic musician who performed with an electric guitar like no one ever has.

“He is at the top of the list as far as guitarists,” Todd said. “The Jimi Hendrix Foundation wants to bring awareness to the 45th year since his passing. They also want to educate people on the Music for Life program.

My favorite Hendrix song would probably have to be Voodoo Child. I have quite a few Hendrix songs on my iPod. There’s been mention of them playing Hendrix’s (version of the) Star-Spangled Banner, and I don’t know if it is going to happen. It would be way cool if they did that. I might (have a surprise) for what I wear in driver intros.”

The Jimi Hendrix Foundation is thrilled to be joining forces with Kalitta Motorsports, and Todd’s dragster.

“The Jimi Hendrix Foundation is very pleased and excited to be working with a true pioneer of racing - Connie Kalitta. An association with Kalitta Motorsports is an honor and privilege that will take the Jimi Hendrix Foundation to new heights of visibility, launching its new visions and programs to help young adults, musicians and veterans,” said Joe Rosignolo, CEO/President, Jimi Hendrix Foundation in a press release. “We greatly appreciate the support of all those on the Kalitta team. J.R. Todd piloting the Jimi Hendrix Foundation Top Fuel Dragster is the winning combination that will give ‘Racers and Rockers’ something to talk about.”
This isn’t the first time Kalitta Motorsports has donned a rock music paint scheme. Back in 2002 Doug Kalitta’s dragster flew the colors of KISS and in 2003 the dragster ran races with a Kid Rock paint scheme.

The Jimi Hendrix Foundation is dedicated to the betterment of the world community through music. In honor of the love and giving spirit of Jimi Hendrix, the Foundation works to improve the quality of life for children and the world and to inspire creativity in music, arts and sciences.
The partnership with Kalitta Motorsports and Todd will allow the Jimi Hendrix Foundation to showcase their Music for Life program. Music for Life was established to provide children and young adults with musical instruments and instruction without the worry of cost.

"The stage is set to educate the Corporate World about our mission at the Jimi Hendrix Foundation. Thanks to Kalitta Motorsports,” said Dan Pikarsky, Marketing Development, Jimi Hendrix Foundation.

Kalitta Motorsports has also worked with MainGate, Inc. to create a special line of merchandise for this exciting partnership. Fans can get their hands on the special edition Jimi Hendrix Foundation merchandise starting in Charlotte in the NHRA Nitro Mall. A portion of the proceeds go directly back to the Music for Life Program.

“We are thrilled with the opportunity that we had been given to showcase Jimi Hendrix and his amazing work,” said Jim Oberhofer, Vice President of Operations, Kalitta Motorsports. “Our goal with this partnership is to teach people about the Music for Life program and showcase the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing series to a new and passionate fan base in the music world.”