NHRA Camping World Drag Racing Series Summit Racing Equipment Motorsports Park; Norwalk, Ohio Post-Event Wrap-Up

J.R. Todd, DHL Toyota Funny Car

Qualifying: J.R. Todd was the No. 7 qualifier at the Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Nationals. His quickest qualifying attempt came during the first session Saturday afternoon when the DHL driver reached the finish line in 3.918 seconds at 333.07 mph. Qualifying was shortened to three sessions due to Friday’s persistent rain showers.

Eliminations: Todd advanced to his second semifinal in the last three races. He defeated John Force and Ron Capps before losing to Matt Hagan by five thousandths of a second in the semifinals putting the DHL GR Supra team on the wrong end of a great drag race.

Unofficial Point Standings: Todd moves up one spot to ninth place in the NHRA Funny Car point standings. He trails eighth-place John Force by 65 points and leads 10th-place Cruz Pedregon by four points.

 Todd on Norwalk: “It looks like we’re out here ‘G.O.A.T. (greatest of all time)’ hunting with our DHL Toyota Supra,” Todd said after beating Force and Capps to advance to the semifinals. It feels good to be going rounds at what is pretty much the Kalitta Motorsports home track.

“It was a good day, but I’m bummed to lose on a hole shot,” Todd said after the semifinal loss. “When you lose on a hole shot, that’s on the driver. I feel like I should have been better than I was that round. We ran 3.95 (3.954 seconds at 324.20 mph), but we were trying to run better than that. I feel like we missed a good opportunity to win, and those opportunities don’t come around that often. It would have been pretty cool to win that 200th race for Toyota, but at the end of the day, it was a good effort.

“The car is definitely getting more consistent going down the track, and when you get down the track you learn. We just need to pick things up on my end, and we’ll be ok. Two semifinals in the last three races means we’re getting better going down the track and not beating ourselves. You have to go down the track to give yourself a fighting chance, and that’s pretty much all I can ask for as a driver. We have a great group of guys on this DHL Toyota team, and I know all their hard work will pay off – hopefully soon.”

Photo Courtesy: Gary Nastase

Doug Kalitta, Applied Innovation Top Fuel Dragster

Qualifying: Doug Kalitta was the No. 4 qualifier at the Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Nationals. Kalitta’s best effort came in Saturday’s first qualifying session when he posted a 3.707-second run at 330.07 mph. It was seven thousandths of a second off his Friday-night elapsed time of 3.700 seconds. Qualifying was shortened to three sessions due to Friday’s persistent rain showers.

Kalitta raced in his second Mission Foods#2Fast2Tasty Challenge of the season which paired the semifinalists from the NHRA Thunder Valley Nationals two weeks ago. Kalitta defeated Antron Brown in the semifinal rematch but lost to Justin Ashley in the special-event final.

Eliminations: Kalitta raced Canadian driver Dan Mercier in the first round. The tires on the Applied Innovation dragster lost traction immediately, and Mercier got the win with a 3.892-second run,

Unofficial Point Standings: Kalitta leaves Norwalk in ninth place in the NHRA Top Fuel point standings. He trails 8th-place Josh Hart by 45 points and leads his teammate, Shawn Langdon, by nine points.

“Kalitta on Norwalk: “What happened in the first round was unfortunate,” Kalitta said. “The air changed quite a bit. We tried to make enough adjustments for it but didn’t quite get there. I’m super stoked with how our Applied Innovation Toyota team is running right now. We’re really close – we’ll just go to the next one and keep moving on.”

Photo Courtesy: Gary Nastase

Shawn Langdon, Kalitta Air Bounty Hunter Top Fuel Dragster

Qualifying: Shawn Langdon was the No. 14 qualifier at the Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Nationals. His best run came in the final qualifying session Saturday afternoon with a 3.777-second pass at 326.56 mph. Qualifying was shortened to three sessions due to Friday’s persistent rain showers.

Eliminations: Langdon raced Brittany Force in the first round. The 2013 Top Fuel champ was in a great drag race until the Kalitta Air dragster experienced mechanical difficulties allowing Force to pull away and win the race.

Unofficial Point Standings: Langdon leaves Norwalk in 10th place in the NHRA Top Fuel point standings. He trails his teammate, ninth-place Doug Kalitta, by 44 points and leads 11th-place Tony Schumacher by nine points.

Langdon on Norwalk: “Our Kalitta Air Bounty Hunter Toyota team made some good runs in Qualifying, but unfortunately, we didn’t keep that going in eliminations,” Langdon said. “It’s really unfortunate because I know how hard everybody is working, and we all really want to get some results to show for the effort. It’s just not happening right now. All we can do is keep working on it and keep trying to get better. We have two off weeks before we go on the western swing so hopefully, that extra time will be positive.”

Next Race: Team Kalitta will be back in action July 14-16, 2023 at the Dodge Power Brokers NHRA Mike-High Nationals in Denver. For additional information, please visit www.nhra.com. For additional information on Kalitta Motorsports, please visit www.teamkalitta.com.