Shawn Langdon and the DHL Kalitta Air Top Fuel team will be looking for their first win in the Lone Star State when the Spring Nationals at Houston Raceway Park get underway this weekend. The Gatornationals runner-up and reigning U.S. Nationals champion will be looking to go one more round than his previous best finish in Houston, a runner-up in 2013. That was the season Langdon dominated the tour on the way to his Top Fuel world championship.
“We got off to a strong start this year at the Gatornationals and have really been right in the mix of things,” said Langdon. “We are fourth in the points right now and getting a win in Houston would help our cause for sure.”
Prior to last weekend’s Charlotte Four-Wide Nationals Langdon and the DHL Kalitta Air Top Fuel dragster raced to the semifinals at the Southern Nationals. While the performance numbers were not dominant the team did what it needed to do to pick up two important round wins and almost grabbed third in a close semifinal loss to points leader Steve Torrence.
“We have had some good round wins and missed on some,” said Langdon. “We are only four races into the season and I know how good this team is. (Crew chief) Connie (Kalitta) and Kurt (Elliott) are doing a great job and I just love driving this DHL Top Fuel dragster. My job is to do my routine and be consistent in the cockpit. Everyone on this team is pulling in the same direction.”
As the only driver in NHRA history to have won national and world championships in the junior dragster ranks as well as the Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series and the Camping World Drag Racing Series Langdon knows the season is a marathon not a sprint. With the return of the NHRA Countdown which now includes a national event in Bristol, Tennessee, bringing the total number of playoffs races up to seven Langdon is ready to keep the momentum moving forward as the season unfolds.
“We have the Countdown back this year to we want to be a high as we can get in the top ten coming out of the U.S. Nationals Labor Day weekend,” explained Langdon. “Last year we won that race and there are a lot of races between now and then. The competition is tough but if we keep working hard we will see positive results. This DHL team is too good to not go rounds on Sunday.”
2019 NHRA Spring Nationals Highlights: Qual. No. 8; Beat Justin Ashley; Lost to Steve Torrence
Last Event Recap (2021 NHRA NGK NTK Four-Wide Nationals): Qual. No. 11; Lost to Antron Brown and Krista Baldwin
Career Stats: 271 events, 268 starts, 303 round wins, 17 wins, 35 finals, 19 No. 1 qualifiers; in Top Fuel: 223 events, 220 starts, 15 wins, 32 finals, 264 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
Atlanta: Qual. No. 11; Beat Leah Pruett, Mike Salinas; Lost to Steve Torrence
Charlotte1: Qual. No. 11; Lost to Antron Brown and Krista Baldwin
Kalitta Motorsports PR