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Doug Kalitta Heads To Houston In Championship Battle 

Exiting the 35th annual AAA Texas NHRA FallNationals Doug Kalitta and his Mac Tools Top Fuel dragster team are right in the thick of the NHRA Camping World championship battle. After a day of qualifying on Saturday, Kalitta entered the race as the No. 7 qualifier, with a tough first opponent, fellow championship contender Antron Brown. It was a critical round for Kalitta to take out a Top Fuel pursuer and advance the Mac Tools dragster to the quarterfinals.
 
Both dragsters launcher together and Kalitta pulled away as he closed in on half-track. He made his quickest pass of the weekend for the win, a blistering 3.713 seconds at 328.38 mph.
 
In the quarterfinals Kalitta took a starting line advantage from Rookie of the Year contender Justin Ashley and never trailed in the race winning with a time of 3.723 seconds at 328.46 mph. It was back to back low 3.7 second runs and it set up a monster semifinal race with Billy Torrence of Torrence Racing.
 
Knowing every round win was paramount the Mac Tools team gave Kalitta a strong race car. He jumped off the starting line but as his 11,000 horsepower dragster accelerated down track in the right lane it overpowered the racing surface and smoked the tires. Kalitta attempted to get it back under control but Torrence was on a smooth pass with no chance of reeling him in.
 
"We lost some ground today but we have two races left to make that up,” said Kalitta. “The last race will be 30 points a round. We will be Houston and I am not sure how similar the conditions will be. This Mac Tools team was strong this weekend. We made some great runs today and we got aggressive in the semifinals. We will put this race behind us."
 
Kalitta is well within striking distance of the point leader and with two races to go a couple of wins would secure Kalitta his first championship no matter what happens with his competitors. The Camping World Drag Racing Series will be back on track at Houston Raceway Park in Baytown, Texas next weekend.
 
Quotable: 
Doug Kalitta on the FallNationals atmosphere: “It was great to see so many fans in the stands. I know they had some restricts on attendance but there were a lot of people here. Toyota is based here in Dallas and it was great to show off for them as well as our other sponsors like Ferguson who just came on board this race. I am excited to get to Houston and get in front of some of our Mobil 1 supporters.” 
 
Statistics:
Qualified: No. 7 (3.761 sec., 313.95 mph) 
Bonus points: 0

Race Details: 

First Round
Driver                          Qual    R/T      ET        MPH 
Doug Kalitta               7          .060     3.713   328.38 (W)     
Antron Brown              8          .051     3.762   324.51
 
Second Round
Driver                          Qual    R/T      ET        MPH 
Doug Kalitta               7          .063     3.723   328.46 (W)     
Justin Ashley                2          .082     3.764   312.78
 
Semifinal Round
Driver                          Qual    R/T      ET        MPH 
Doug Kalitta               7          .072     4.182   261.27
Billy Torrence             9          .100     3.746   326.95 (W)

Shawn Langdon Fall Nats

Shawn Langdon and DHL Race to Semis at FallNationals

A semifinal finish today for Shawn Langdon and the DHL Kalitta Air team was a bittersweet start to the two weeks of racing in Texas. The 2013 NHRA Top Fuel champion moved up into the Top Five in the Camping World Drag Racing point standings but the team was unable to stop eventual winner Steve Torrence in the process.
 
After a solid two sessions of qualifying that saw Langdon net a valuable qualifying bonus point for running the third quickest pass of the second session the team entered race day as the No. 4 qualifier. In the first round he took out journeyman racer Kebin Kinsley with a dominant run. Langdon took a starting line advantage and never trailed in the race. His 3.742 second run was not only quick enough for the win but also gave him lane choice in the quarterfinals.
 
The quarterfinal race was a pivotal match-up against another driver trying to get into the championship discussion. It was Langdon who closed the door with a hard fought win as both Top Fuel dragsters had issues on their respective passes. Langdon lost a cylinder at the hit of the throttle while his opponent Leah Pruett was losing multiple cylinders on her run. Langdon was able to keep her at bay with a starting line advantage and a masterful job of keeping his DHL dragster in the middle of the groove.
 
The DHL dragster made a solid run in the semifinals against the point leader and eventual winner Steve Torrence but it wasn’t enough. Langdon jumped off the line first but as the dragsters reached half-track he was losing ground. The DHL dragster got to the finish line stripe in 3.780 seconds but that wasn’t enough for Torrence’s 3.720 second run.
 
"We weren't as successful as we wanted to be this weekend,” said Langdon. “We were quick in qualifying and we made some good runs today. I would have liked to have gotten that win in the semifinals for our DHL team and also to help Doug (Kalitta). There are two more races we will be racing to win both of them."
 
Quotable:
Langdon on racing at Texas Motorplex: “This was the first of two races in Texas. It is good to get to some new tracks. There were a lot of fans here who were excited to see the DHL dragster. I just like getting out here and racing. I am looking forward to getting to Houston next weekend.”
 
Statistics:
Qualified: No. 4 (3.727 sec., 317.49 mph) 
Bonus points: +1 (3rd quickest of Q2)

Race Details:

First Round
Driver                          Qual    R/T      ET        MPH  
Shawn Langdon         4          .052     3.742   307.44 (W)
Kebin Kinsley               11        .077     4.217   231.40
 
Second Round
Driver                          Qual    R/T      ET        MPH  
Shawn Langdon         4          .056     3.825   311.77 (W)
Leah Pruett                 5          .084     3.863   293.86
 
Semifinal Round
Driver                          Qual    R/T      ET        MPH  
Shawn Langdon         4          .050     3.780   318.62
Steve Torrence            1          .070     3.720   326.79 (W)

JR Fall Nats

Todd and DHL Camry Race to Quarterfinals at Texas Motorplex

The DHL Toyota Camry and J.R. Todd rolled into the Texas Motorplex looking to add a Funny Car title to his Top Fuel win. The 35th annual AAA Texas NHRA FallNationals was a battle for Todd and his DHL-backed team. After two runs on Saturday his team entered race day as the No. 8 qualifier with a first round match-up against veteran Paul Lee.
 
Todd and most of the Funny Car class had to wait out two lengthy delays, a huge oil down in Top Fuel and then a massive fire by fellow Funny Car competitor Alexis DeJoria. Fortunately, DeJoria was unscathed from the fire but the ensuing clean up delayed the completion of the first round by almost 45 minutes. As the DHL team waited to get started track conditions evolved. Never the less Todd prevailed in the first round.
 
He took a significant starting line advantage with a superior reaction time and his DHL Toyota Camry Funny Car never trailed in the race lighting up the scoreboard with an impressive winning time of 3.881 seconds. It was his quickest run of the weekend and his speed, 331.36 mph would hold up as top speed of the event. He also secured lane choice against his quarterfinal opponent.
 
In the second round Todd’s day was cut short as he fell to eventual runner-up Matt Hagan in a close side by side race. Hagan’s winning elapsed time of 3.928 bested Todd’s 3.987 second pass.
 
“We just got outrun in the second round,” explained Todd. “We’ve got to figure out how to run hard against those DSR cars because they’re the ones stopping everyone right now. We’ll go on to Houston and figure it out.”
 
His first round win and performance numbers encouraged Todd but the 2018 Funny Car world champion know his team is capable of winning races and getting back into championship form.
 
“It was kind of bittersweet to do that and then slow down in the second round. It’s always good to win rounds, but we’re out here to win races. We’ve got two races to try to get two wins for DHL, Toyota and all of our great sponsors,” summed up Todd at the end of the day.
 
Quotable:
J.R. Todd on the final two races: “We have Houston and Las Vegas over the next two weeks. I like our chances. Hopefully conditions will be consistent in Houston and we can build on our performance numbers from this race. I have had a lot of success in Las Vegas. We have the opportunity to finish strong and that is what I want to do.”
 
Statistics:
Qualified: No. 8 (3.927 sec., 327.27 mph)
Bonus points:  0

Race Details:
 
First Round
Driver                          Qual    R/T      ET        MPH  
J.R. Todd                     8          .088     3.881   331.36 (W)     
Paul Lee                      9          .103     3.932   330.39
 
Second Round
Driver                          Qual    R/T      ET        MPH  
J.R. Todd                     8          .078     3.987   326.00
Matt Hagan                 1          .055     3.928   326.63 (W)

Kalitta Merchandise

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Funny Car Points

Unofficial NHRA Championship Standings

Funny Car

1 Matt Hagan 1020
2 Tommy Johnson Jr 915
3 Jack Beckman 848
4 Ron Capps 828
5 Bob Tasca III 679
6 J.R. Todd 663
7 Tim Wilkerson 615
8 Alexis DeJoria 605
9 Paul Lee 464
10 Cruz Pedregon 436

 

 

Top Fuel Points

Unofficial NHRA Championship Standings:

Top Fuel

1 Steve Torrence 1015
2 Doug Kalitta 822
3 Billy Torrence 793
4 Leah Pruett 754
5 Antron Brown 709
6 Shawn Langdon 595
7 Justin Ashley 594
8 Clay Millican 493
9 Tony Schumacher 464
10 Terry McMillen 436

 

 

 

 

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