Shawn Langdon, DHL Top Fuel Team Turn Focus to U.S. Nationals Success

Gary Nastase Photography

The DHL Kalitta Air Top Fuel dragster made its best showing of the weekend when it counted the most. After two tough qualifying runs Shawn Langdon was entering the third installment of NHRA National events in Indianapolis from an unfamiliar starting spot, No. 14 in the sixteen car field. The team had been steadily improving on their runs on Saturday and was confident they could make an even better run in the first round.

“We were hazing the tires down track on Saturday and that cost us,” said Langdon. “With only two qualifying runs you can get behind the eight ball pretty quick out here. I know Connie and these DHL guys have been figuring somethings out so I am feeling good going into the first round. Anything can happen and you just have to be ready to take advantage of every opportunity.”

In a tough first round match-up with Leah Pruett the DHL dragster was up to the task. Langdon got the jump off the starting line and was on a great run. While he was making his best run of the weekend Pruett was on a solid run as well. At the finish line it was Pruett getting the win light after she made the quickest run of the event. Langdon and his DHL team improved tremendously from qualifying posting a 3.839 second run at 304.19 mph which would have qualified him No. 3 during Saturday’s qualifying sessions.

“That was a great run and I just wish we could have laid that down yesterday,” said Langdon. “This new schedule can sometimes bite you and you just have to roll with it. I know what this team is capable of and we just need to combine a good day of qualifying with a good day of racing on Sunday.”

This was the third consecutive race in Indianapolis. Today’s event was originally scheduled to be held at Bandimere Speedway outside of Denver. At the end of the month Langdon and the DHL team will be back in Indy for the biggest drag race of the season the U.S. Nationals and the track time he is accumulating now will hopefully pay off Labor Day weekend.

“Running three national events in a row in Indianapolis has its plusses and minuses. The race I really want to win this year in Indy is the U.S. Nationals Labor Day weekend. We will get a little more qualifying for that race and there is just a different feeling about the U.S. Nationals. I know we will be ready to go for that race,” added Langdon.

Quotable:
Langdon on Top Fuel competition: “You had better be ready every time you strap into your race car. That isn’t anything new but this year with only two qualifying runs and a lot of really tough and aggressive teams you have to bring your best every run. We are grinding with this DHL team and we are seeing a lot of positive results. We just need to translate that to some round wins.”

Statistics:
Qualified: No. 14 (4.187 sec., 216.69 mph) 
Bonus points: 0

Race Details:

First Round
Driver                          Qual    R/T      ET        MPH  
Shawn Langdon         14        .055     3.839   304.19
Leah Pruett                   3          .074     3.749   325.53 (W)

Kalitta Motorsports PR

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