Shawn Langdon traded in his familiar yellow and red DHL Top Fuel dragster for a retro look Connie Kalitta Bounty Hunter Top Fuel dragster. The design celebrated the first car to break 200 mph at an NHRA national event while qualifying at Indianapolis Raceway Park in 1964 and the first major win of Connie’s career, the 1964 Smokers Fuel & Gas Championship in Bakersfield, California when he defeated Don Garlits in the final. Langdon and his team unveiled the race car on Friday before the first qualifying run. In that session Langdon used all his driving skill to pedal the race car down the track and into the top 16. It was a critical effort considering the second day of qualifying was lost to rain. Langdon’s time of 4.553 seconds at 188.86 mph was enough to give the three-time U.S. Nationals champion and defending Top Fuel event winner a spot in the show on Sunday.
By virtue of being the No. 16 qualifier Langdon drew No. 1 qualifier Brittany Force. When the tree flashed amber Langdon grabbed a huge starting line advantage with a nearly perfect .029 reaction time versus Force’s .070. It was not enough to hold onto the lead as Force made a smooth run and Langdon’s racecar lost traction early and ended his plans for becoming the first back-to-back Top Fuel champion at Indy in over a decade.
“I knew we needed to have everything go our way in the first round,” said Langdon. “I love racing this Bounty Hunter dragster and I definitely wanted to go more rounds today. We are in the Countdown and we have seven races to get this Camping World NHRA Top Fuel championship.”
Next week Langdon will be back in the DHL Top Fuel dragster for the Reading Nationals. He will enter the Countdown as the No.5 Top Fuel dragster.
Qualified: No. 16 (4.553 sec, 188.86 mph)
Bonus points: 0
Driver Qual R/T ET MPH
Shawn Langdon 16 .029 10.623 82.33
Brittany Force 1 .070 3.702 332.34 (W)
Kalitta Motorsports PR