Racing the pink DHL Toyota Top Fuel dragster supporting breast cancer research and men’s health 2013 Top Fuel world champion Shawn Langdon rolled into the NHRA Nevada Nationals looking to finish the 2022 season strong. The multi-discipline driver who is the only driver in NHRA history to win national titles at the junior dragster, sportsman and professional level was looking to pick up his first Top Fuel win at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Through two days of qualifying that included two runs on Friday and two on Saturday Langdon and his DHL Toyota dragster earned two qualifying bonus points and advanced into race day as the No. 5 qualifier in a stout Top Fuel field.
Langdon’s first round opponent was newcomer and developing driver Krista Baldwin, the No. 12 qualifier. The DHL dragster was first off the line and never trailed in the drag race posting a winning elapsed time of 3.770 seconds at 324.98 mph against Baldwin’s 3.879 second run at 293.03 mph. The win for Langdon meant a move to the quarterfinals, but also a donation of 40,000 meals to Feeding America, through a partnership with Kalitta Motorsports and primary sponsor DHL.
In the second round Langdon drew the eight-time Top Fuel world champion Tony Schumacher who was making his return to NHRA racing this season after a three-year hiatus from full-time racing. It was a battle between the No. 5 and No. 4 qualifier. Both dragsters took off nearly simultaneously and they were welded together going down the track. Schumacher was able to get the nose of his 11,000-horsepower dragster out in front and at the finish line Langdon’s 3.762 second pass at 324.44 mph was not enough to move him to the semifinals for the seventh time this season.
“I have had a great race car these last couple of races and I had a lot of confidence today thanks to the hard work of my crew chiefs Connie (Kalitta), Kurt (Elliott) and Jason (McCulloch),” said Langdon, a two-time finalist in 2022. “We have had some success in Pomona and this DHL Toyota dragster is very capable of winning.”
The quarterfinal finish ended Langdon’s streak of semifinals at two after strong outings in St. Louis and Dallas. The veteran driver will turn his attention to the Auto Club Finals to close out the season with a win.
Qualified: Qual. 5 (3.696 sec, 327.11 mph)
Bonus points: +2 (2nd quickest of Q3)
Qual Driver RT ET MPH
5 Shawn Langdon .081 3.770 324.98 (W)
12 Krista Baldwin .118 3.879 293.03
Qual Driver RT ET MPH
5 Shawn Langdon .055 3.762 324.44
4 Tony Schumacher .050 3.764 327.27 (W)
Kalitta Motorsports PR