The DHL Toyota Top Fuel dragster team and Shawn Langdon are determined to take every advantage of a favorable weekend forecast at New England Dragway. With temperatures predicted to be in the mid-70s the 2013 Top Fuel champion knows that his 11,000 horsepower DHL Top Fuel land rocket can put up impressive numbers. Led by NHRA legend Connie Kalitta as well as crew chiefs Kurt Elliott and Jason McCulloch Langdon’s team has been improving steadily the previous three races.
“We have gone to a couple quarterfinals and lost some close ones recently, but no one is getting discouraged,” said Langdon. “This weekend could be a good turning point for our DHL team and then we are going to get on a good run with lost of races in June and July. There is nothing better than seat time.”
Three years ago Langdon raced to the final round behind the wheel of his Toyota Funny Car but now the Top Fuel world champion is looking to take his long car all the way to the winner’s circle for the 18th time in his career. A Top Fuel win would bring his total to 16 in one of the most competitive groups of races the class has seen in years. Through the first five races there were five different winners and ten different finalists.
“I don’t think I have ever seen this many quality drivers and teams stacked top to bottom in Top Fuel,” said Langdon, who is sitting tenth in the Top Fuel points standings. “We ate focusing on taking it one round at a time and getting the most out of qualifying. You have to try and get in the top half of the field and even then you are going to get a really tough first round opponent. You have to ready for anything every round.”
Langdon has shown off his driving skills throughout the early parts of the season winning races on hole shots as well as pedal-fests. His experience in the sportsman ranks and continued bracket racing exploits keep the only driver who has won a junior dragster championship, a sportsman championship and a professional championship sharp off the starting line.
“I enjoy racing every weekend,” said Langdon. “The bracket racing is a lot of fun because you are literally racing non-stop once you get going. It is a lot of fun and I think keeps you sharp. The concentration you need translates really well from bracket racing to Top Fuel.”
2021 NHRA New England Nationals Highlights: Qual. No. 8; Lost to Doug Kalitta
Last Event Recap 2022 Virginia Nationals: Qual 12; Beat Doug Foley; Lost to Brittany Force
Career Stats: 294 events, 290 starts, 313 round wins, 17 wins, 35 finals, 19 No. 1 qualifiers; in Top Fuel: 246 events, 242 starts, 15 wins, 32 finals, 274 round wins, 19 No. 1 qualifiers
Winternationals: Qual 8; Lost to Josh Hart
Arizona Nationals: Qual 7; Beat Antron Brown; Lost to Mike Salinas
Gatornationals: Qual 21; DNQ
Las Vegas1: Qual 11; Beat Doug Kalitta and Rob Passey; Lost to Steve Torrence and Brittany Force
Houston: Qual 10; Beat Leah Pruett; Lost to Brittany Force
Charlotte1: Qual 14; Lost to Clay Millican, Josh Hart
Richmond: Qual 12; Beat Doug Foley; Lost to Brittany Force
Kalitta Motorsports PR