Toyota driver Shawn Langdon ran a 3.728-second pass to win the Top Fuel pole for Sunday’s Denso Spark Plugs NHRA U.S. Nationals at Lucas Oil Raceway.
Langdon’s quick pass came in Friday night’s opening session and marks his first number one qualifier of the season and the 19th of his Mello Yello Drag Racing Series career.
“The DHL/Kalitta Air Toyota dragster is fast,” said Langdon, who won the 2013 U.S. Nationals. “We were fast last night even though we didn’t have the top end speed after dropping a cylinder. Today we took a little bit of a conservative approach. We went after it in Q3, but we had a planned shutoff. We actually projected it to run a 3.69 or a 3.70. We’ve been working really hard and doing some testing trying to get this car turned back around. Our recent results don’t show anything of what this car is capable of. We feel good with what we were able to accomplish in qualifying. I’m just glad we got everything back in sync in time for these last races.”
Langdon will face Joey Haas to kickoff Sunday’s 66th annual running of the event.
Just .006 seconds behind Langdon was his teammate and Top Fuel point leader Doug Kalitta, who qualified fifth. Kalitta was fourth-quick on Friday night and then ran the second-quickest pass in Saturday’s evening session to earn two valuable bonus points. He is set to match up with Pat Dakin in eliminations.
Antron Brown placed seventh with a 3.747-second pass at 327.19 mph, good for the seventh seed where he will race T.J. Zizzo in round one, while Tony Schumacher rounds out the Toyota Top Fuel contingent in 14th and will take on Clay Millican.
In Funny Car, Alexis DeJoria’s Toyota Camry posted the fourth-quickest time of Friday’s opening session with a 3.932 and then backed it up on Saturday with a 3.948. She will start sixth and face Bob Bode in the opening round on Sunday morning.
Two-time U.S. Nationals champion J.R. Todd registered a pair of 3.97-second runs on the way to qualifying eighth and will square off against Blake Alexander in round one of eliminations.
Sunday’s Mello Yello Drag Racing Series eliminations will be televised on FS1 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. before switching to FOX Network from 1:00 to 4:00 p.m. (ET).
Toyota NHRA U.S. Nationals Qualifying
Funny Car – Qualified/1st Round Opponent – Quick Time/MPH (Bonus Points)
Alexis DeJoria – 6th/Bode – 3.932/326.48
J.R. Todd – 8th/Alexander – 3.976/323.27 (2)
Top Fuel- Qualified/1st Round Opponent – Quick Time/MPH (Bonus Points)
Shawn Langdon –1st/Haas – 3.728/313.22 (3)
Doug Kalitta – 5th/Dakin – 3.734/328.06 (2)
Antron Brown – 7th/Zizzo – 3.747/327.19
Tony Schumacher – 14th/Millican – 3.863/311.63
Toyota NHRA PR