Shawn Langdon Runner-up at Thunder Valley Nationals

photo by Auto Imagery, Inc. NHRA Thunder Valley Nationals

Shawn Langdon and the CMR Construction and Roofing Top Fuel team continued to improve on their 2022 season performance as they raced to the final round of the NHRA Thunder Valley Nationals at Bristol Dragway. The 2013 Top Fuel world champion started race day as the No. 9 qualifier and at the end of the day was one of the last two Top Fuel drivers standing.

In a great first round win over the No. 8 qualifier the CMR Toyota Top Fuel dragster showed that they would be a tough customer all day. Langdon made the second quickest run of first round with a blistering 3.809 second pass at 322.50 mph to advance to the quarterfinals. It was the team’s best run of weekend for the CMR Construction and Roofing Top Fuel dragster and set them up with data and confidence heading into the second round against No. 1 qualifier Mike Salinas.

“There is no pressure, this is what we do,” said Langdon, after first round win. “I feel like if you think this is pressure you don’t know what you are doing. We have a lot of the CMR Construction and Roofing group out here this weekend. We are trying to put on a good show for them along with DHL, Toyota, Mac Tools, Revchem and all the people that support us. Going rounds this time of year is important.”

The on-track performance improvement from Saturday to Sunday was the result of hard work by Langdon’s team of crew chiefs including legend Connie Kalitta, Kurt Elliott and Jason McCulloch. Following the opening round win Elliott explained how they used some of their qualifying runs to make race day decisions.

“We really needed that second run yesterday and we just tuned off our first run on Saturday. I felt like we hit it right where we wanted to,” said Elliott.

In the quarterfinals Langdon dominated the starting line, visibly jumped ahead of Salinas and never trailing in the drag race. Langdon’s .057 second reaction put his out in front and his 3.853 second pass got to the finish line stripe in front of Salinas’ 3.816 second run for a hole shot win. The win moved Langdon to his second consecutive semifinal round of the season.

Facing three-time world champions Antron Brown Langdon knew he would need to keep his string of solid starting line reaction times intact. This round was one of his closest of the day with Langdon narrowly getting a starting line advantage but once again his CMR Construction and Roofing crew gave him a stellar race car in the heat of the day and his 3.847 second pass was more than enough to get his third win light over Brown’s 3.896 second run.

The final round was a rematch of the New England Nationals semifinals from two weeks ago as two Toyota Top Fuel drivers, Langdon and Justin Ashley, battled it out. Just before Langdon headed to the Top Fuel final round he secured a win in the highly competitive Super Comp category and the multi-class world champion was looking for his first “double-up” win at an NHRA national event.  

Both Top Fuel pilots hit the Christmas Tree hard and launched together. They were side-by-side flying down the historic race surface at Bristol Dragway and at the finish line stripe Ashley was able to get the win with a 3.813 second pass in front of Langdon’s 3.841 second effort. Through four rounds of race Langdon posted times of 3.809, 3.853, 3.847 and 3.841 seconds which is the kind of consistency that will win races this season. At the end of the day Langdon looked back at a missed opportunity but also the positives from the race.

“It’s so hard to not be mad about today and I’m not mad. I’m bummed,” said Langdon. “I wanted that double up so bad. Haven’t doubled up at a national event before and to have the opportunity and just lucky to have the opportunity, but when you have the opportunity there, you don’t want to give it away. All in all, great weekend to have the CMR group on board. We’ve had the last two races where the car has been running good so no complaints there. It’s only looking up from here.”

Qualified: Qual. 9 (3.861 sec., 319.07 mph) 
Bonus points: 0

Race Details:

First Round
Qual    Driver                                                  RT        ET        MPH
9          Shawn Langdon                                  .064     3.809   322.50 (W)
8          Spencer Massey                                  .053     4.484   181.40

Second Round
Qual    Driver                                                  RT        ET        MPH
9          Shawn Langdon                                 .057     3.853   318.92 (W)
1          Mike Salinas                                       .105     3.816   321.04

Qual    Driver                                                  RT        ET        MPH
9          Shawn Langdon                                 .065     3.847   317.87 (W)
4          Antron Brown                                     .067     3.896   307.93

Final Round
Qual    Driver                                                  RT        ET        MPH
9          Shawn Langdon                                  .076     3.841   320.51
14        Justin Ashley                                       .071     3.813   325.30 (W)

Kalitta Motorsports PR

Spread the love