With one final round appearance and a strong showing at the Las Vegas Four-Wide Nationals Shawn Langdon and the DHL Kalitta Air Top Fuel dragster are sitting in second place in the Top Fuel standings and focused on getting four win lights at the 40th NHRA Southern Nationals. This season after two events Langdon’s Top Fuel team has performed well in qualifying and even better on race days thanks to the consistent tuning input from NHRA Hall of Fame driver and tuner Connie Kalitta.
“Every time I get in this DHL Kalitta Air race car I have a lot of confidence,” said Langdon, a 15-time Top Fuel winner. “Connie and Kurt Elliott have so much experience I can just get in this DHL dragster and focus on my job as a driver. We had a great race at the Gatornationals to start the season and we made some really good runs at the Four-Wide Nationals.”
Leading up to the Southern Nationals the DHL team took a day to test at Indianapolis Raceway Park. The goal was to get more data and fine tune a combination that will carry Langdon and his DHL team to more round wins. After multiple runs down the track Langdon is even more comfortable and confident headed to Atlanta Dragway.
“I love testing because it is just more seat time,” said Langdon. “You don’t have to make killer runs every time down the track in testing. Connie and Kurt are looking to see where we can pick up an advantage early in a run or they might be trying to make it run harder in the middle. The key is you don’t want to hurt anything and you want to learn something with every pass. In that respect our test session was a success and we are ready to get to Atlanta.”
The Southern Nationals is one of a handful of tracks where Langdon has not raced to a final round. In 2013, his world championship season, he was the No. 1 qualifier but did not walk away with the Wally for the event. After a two year hiatus in Funny Car and shortened season last year, this season has Langdon eager to make a run for his second Top Fuel world championship.
“I learned a lot racing a Funny Car but I love being back in a Top Fuel dragster. Last year I was glad we got as many races in as we did but it was a strange season. Now we have a couple events behind us this season and I think we will get into a good groove with races. I am glad we are back on track just a couple of weeks after our last event. You can keep your mind focused and stay mentally sharp when you are getting the race car on a consistent basis,” added Langdon.
2019 NHRA Southern Nationals Highlights (event not contested in 2020): In Funny Car: Qual. No. 6; Lost to Ron Capps
Last Event Recap (2021 NHRA Las Vegas Four-Wide Nationals): Qual. No. 6; Beat Troy Buff and Rob Passey; Lost to Doug Kalitta and Steve Torrence
Career Stats: 269 events, 266 starts, 301 round wins, 17 wins, 35 finals, 19 No. 1 qualifiers; in Top Fuel: 221 events, 218 starts, 15 wins, 32 finals, 262 round wins, 19 No. 1 qualifiers
Gatornationals: RUNNER-UP; Qual. No. 6; Beat Doug Foley, Leah Pruett, Antron Brown; Lost to Josh Hart
Las Vegas1: Qual. No. 6; Beat Troy Buff and Rob Passey; Lost to Doug Kalitta and Steve Torrence
Kalitta Motorsports PR