Shawn Langdon and DHL Top Fuel Team Post Semifinal Finish at Southern Nats

photo by Auto Imagery, Inc.

Shawn Langdon and the DHL Kalitta Air Top Fuel dragster team raced to the semifinals today at the 40th and final NHRA Southern Nationals at Atlanta Dragway. The Gatornationals runner-up continued to have success at the national events on the east coast before heading to zMax Dragway in two weeks for the Carolina Four-Wide Nationals. With only one day of qualifying in Atlanta the DHL team worked hard to post consistent and powerful runs.

On race day they went into the first round of eliminations as the No. 11 qualifier facing No. 6 qualifier Leah Pruett. Langdon got a sizable jump off the starting line and never trailed in the drag race. His .025 reaction time was enough to seal the victory even though his DHL dragster lost traction just beyond half-track.

In the quarterfinals Langdon pulled up beside Mike Salinas who was the No. 3 qualifier. Once again Langdon picked up some race day luck as Salinas jumped the gun, red-lighting off the starting line and handing Langdon his second round win of the day. The DHL Kalitta Air Top Fuel dragster blasted down the right lane but just before the finish line it smoked the tires.

In the semifinals racing against the No. 2 qualifier Steve Torrence Langdon got the starting line advantage once again and was even with Torrence until about 400 feet when his dragster lost traction just enough for his opponent to get a nose out in front. Less than a second later Torrence also lost traction but Langdon could not catch up.  

“We had a good weekend and raced to the semis even though we struggled with the tune-up on the race car,” said Langdon. “We smoked the tires on every run. We were able to get around two tough competitors in the first two rounds and just came up a little short in the semifinals. We will be leaving here third in the points. We are turning our attention to having a strong race in Charlotte.”

Langdon will leave Atlanta Dragway No. 3 in the Top Fuel Camping World point standings.

Quotable:
Langdon on Southern Nationals: “This was a tough weekend but I know the fans had a good time. The stands looked really full and there is so much history here. I wish we could have gotten the last Southern Nationals win but some days just don’t work out perfectly.”

Statistics:
Qualified: No. 11 (4.783 sec., 154.79 mph) 
Bonus points: 0

Race Details:

First Round
Driver                                    Qual       R/T         ET           MPH  
Shawn Langdon                 11           .025        4.048     294.43 (W)
Leah Pruett                           6              .172        4.071     237.00

Second Round
Driver                                    Qual       R/T         ET           MPH  
Shawn Langdon                 11           .075        3.917     258.52 (W)          
Mike Salinas                         3              Red-light

Semifinal Round
Driver                                    Qual       R/T         ET           MPH  
Shawn Langdon                11           .054        4.342     193.71
Steve Torrence                     2              .067        4.009     244.52 (W)

Kalitta Motorsports PR

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