Shawn Langdon Takes Quarterfinal Finish at Winternationals

photo by Auto Imagery, Inc.

Shawn Langdon and the DHL Kalitta Air Top Fuel dragster team were the second pair of race cars to hit the track to start the Winternationals. They had to wait once eliminations began as the NHRA Safety Safari cleaned up the track following an oildown in the opening pair. With every passing moment the track temperature continued to rise and had the crew chiefs conferring on tune-up adjustments. When Langdon hit the throttle on his dragster he got the jump on Jim Maroney and never trailed in the drag race. The 2013 Top Fuel champion raced to his first win light of the day with a solid 3.923 second pass.

In the quarterfinals Langdon and the DHL team pulled up beside three-time world champion Antron Brown. In qualifying Langdon had a sizeable performance advantage but race day conditions had leveled the playing field. Both cars launched side-by-side and were racing to the finish line. As they crossed half-track Langdon could feel his race car laboring. The veteran driver stayed on the throttle as long as possible to give himself the best chance for victory but just before the finish line he knew he needed to make a tough decision.  Brown who was also on a run with issues narrowly took the win at the finish line.

“It is tough obviously. On that run I felt like we left together,” said Langdon from the top end. “I saw his nose pop out and I was just watching him out there. On days like today anything can happen. I felt the car nose over pretty bad and I stayed with it as long as I could. I lifted and at that time it looked like he shut it off too. I wasn’t sure what was going on. I smelled my fire and I knew I was toast. We have been trying to run good. Connie and Kurt have been working to turn it around.”

With three regular season races left before the Countdown Langdon and the DHL Kalitta Ait Top Fuel team are solidly in the top ten sitting in fifth place.

Statistics:
Qualified: No. 5 (3.854 sec., 292.01 mph) 
Bonus points: 0

Race Details:

First Round
Driver                                    Qual       R/T         ET           MPH  
Shawn Langdon                   5              .065        3.923     285.77 (W)
Jim Maroney                         10           .070        5.503     124.81

Second Round
Driver                                    Qual       R/T         ET           MPH  
Shawn Langdon                   5              .057        4.189     244.83
Antron Brown                        11           .046        4.127     254.62 (W)

Kalitta Motorsports PR