Shawn Langdon, DHL Top Fuel Dragster
Qualifying: Shawn Langdon was the No. 6 qualifier at the NHRA Four-Wide Nationals. The best qualifying effort for the DHL Toyota Top Fuel team was a 3.754-second effort at 325.24 mph.
Eliminations: Langdon defeated Krista Baldwin and Clay Millican to advance to the second round of eliminations along with Mike Salinas. In the second round, the four-wide semifinals, Langdon raced Salinas, Steve Torrence and Josh Hart. As the four drivers were staging for the run, Langdon and Hart were the last to stage with Langdon going in last. Unfortunately, Langdon staged more than seven seconds after the first driver staged which caused him to be eliminated before the run began.
Unofficial Point Standings: Langdon leaves Las Vegas in seventh place in the NHRA Top Fuel point standings. He trails sixth-place Leah Pruett by 18 points and leads eighth-place Austin Prock by three points.
Langdon on Las Vegas: “We were timed out today which is unfortunate because we had a really good race car, a car that was capable of winning on a hot track. We have a good setup for that, but I didn’t stage quick enough. As I’ve been saying all season, our DHL car is running really well – we have a top-five car, and the guys are making the right calls on the tune-up. I really appreciate all the hard work the guys are putting in, and I know it will pay off.
“The bottom line today was that Josh Hart hangs everybody out; the whole class has been talking about it. I decided to take a stand at the four-wides which was the wrong decision because Steve Torrence and Mike Salinas were innocent in the matter. At the end of the day, we can’t have a guy like that come into the sport and dictate the staging procedures because he stages slow. Everyone has a right to do whatever they want; you have seven seconds to stage. I made the mistake of not getting in within the seven seconds today, and it cost us a chance to win the race. I expect we’ll see a lot more drivers taking a stand against Josh Hart because he hangs everybody out, and quite frankly, everybody’s tired of it. I took a stand at the wrong time. DHL deserves better, our race team deserves better, and I messed up. We’ll be ready to go at Charlotte in two weeks.”
Doug Kalitta, Mac Tools Top Fuel Dragster
Qualifying: Doug Kalitta was the No. 10 qualifier at the NHRA Four-Wide Nationals. Kalitta reached the finish line in 3.780 seconds at 328.38 mph in his best qualifying attempt.
Eliminations: Kalitta posted a strong first-round run with a 3.806-second effort at 324.59 mph, but the Mac Tools dragster was not one of the first two cars that reached the finish line resulting in a first-round loss.
Unofficial Point Standings: Kalitta leaves Las Vegas in ninth place in the NHRA Top Fuel point standings. He trails eighth-place Austin Prock by 34 points and leads ninth-place Josh Hart by 28. points.
Kalitta on Las Vegas: “We ended up on the wrong end of a really good drag race in that first-round quad. The Mac Tools car made a really strong run, but it wasn’t quite enough. Alan (crew chief Alan Johnson), Brian (co-crew chief Brian Husen) and the rest of my guys did a great job on the car and put us in position to advance. The Mac Tools Toyota team will have another shot at a four-wide win in two weeks at Charlotte.”
J.R. Todd, DHL Funny Car
Qualifying: After a herculean effort to get the DHL Toyota GR Supra ready to compete following the team’s misfortune in Pomona, Calif., two weeks ago, the DHL Supra did not qualify for the NHRA Four-Wide Nationals. This race represents the first time J.R. Todd failed to qualify for a race since he started driving the DHL Funny Car in 2017.
After the team’s primary car was repaired following the Pomona qualifying incident, the car did not perform as it had prior to the incident. The DHL team will test Monday, April 17 in Las Vegas to prepare the car for the Circle K NHRA Four-Wide Nationals in two weeks and the remainder of the 2023 NHRA Camping World Drag Racing season.
Eliminations: Todd did not qualify for eliminations. He provided analysis on The Strip Vegas Motor Speedway public address system during the first round of eliminations and then joined Brian Lohnes and Tony Pedregon in the booth for the NHRA on FOX broadcast on FS1.
Unofficial Point Standings: Todd leaves Las Vegas in 11th place in the NHRA Funny Car point standings. He trails 10thplace Blake Alexander by 15 points and leads 12th place Alex Laughlin by 16 points.
Todd on Las Vegas “I put the blame on me; I should have done a better job earlier in the weekend to keep the thing in the groove and not come down to Q4 (fourth qualifying session) to try and get into the show. All in all, I just feel bad for the guys, Dan and Joe at PBRC and everybody at Kalitta Motorsports for busting their (butts) to get us back out here. It’s a tough pill to swallow, but we’ll stay here and test tomorrow to get this thing figured out. It’s still early in the season – we have a lot of racing left. I told our guys I’m sorry – they deserve better than this. I wanted to get them a win this weekend – that’s the only way to pay them back. We still have plenty of time to try and do that.
“Not missing a Funny Car race before this one is a testament to Todd Smith (co-crew chief), John Oberhofer (co-crew chief), Chris Forton (car chef) and the rest of the “Yella Fellas.” Those guys work so hard all the time – they make DHL look good, and they make Team Kalitta look good. We’ll do our best in testing to get this car where it needs to be so we can start making up some points.”
Next Race: Team Kalitta will be back in action April 28-30, 2023 at the Circle K NHRA Four-Wide Nationals at zMAX Dragway in Concord, N.C. For additional information, please visit www.nhra.com. For additional information on Kalitta Motorsports, please visit www.teamkalitta.com.