SHAWN LANGDON, DHL TOP FUEL DRAGSTER
Qualifying: Shawn Langdon was the No. 8 qualifier at the NHRA Arizona Nationals. During the final round of qualifying Saturday afternoon, Landon posted a 3.729-second effort at 330.07 mph for his best of three qualifying attempts.
Eliminations: Langdon defeated Antron Brown, his teammate, No. 1 qualifier Doug Kalitta and Leah Pruett before losing to Justin Ashley in the final round – Langdon’s 38th-career final round. The DHL dragster showed excellent consistency Sunday. Langdon’s four elapsed times during eliminations were 3.716, 3.725, 3.719 and 3.732 seconds – all within .016 seconds. With teammate J.R. Todd’s final-round in Gainesville two weeks ago, Langdon’s final round is the second for Team Kalitta in this season’s first two races.
When Langdon advanced to the semifinals, he earned a spot in the Mission #2Fast2Tasty NHRA Challenge at the next race in Pomona, Calif., next weekend. During Saturday’s qualifying sessions in Pomona, the drivers who reached the semifinals in Phoenix will re-run the semifinals and final earning additional purse and championship bonus points.
Unofficial Point Standings: Langdon leaves Phoenix in sixth place in the NHRA Top Fuel point standings. He trails his teammate, fifth-place Doug Kalitta, by 12 points and leads seventh-place Brittany Force by six points.
Langdon on Phoenix: “We’re definitely leaps and bounds ahead of where we were this time last year. The DHL Toyota team made some good runs this weekend – we learned some things. We had a good car when the track was cool, and we also had a good car when the track was hot. We made a really good run in the semifinals. In the final, we had a couple of little mishaps on the clutch side of things, some parts didn’t live up to expectations, and I was a little bit late on the starting line. Congratulations to Justin Ashley and his team – they did a good job. The DHL team has no reason to hang its head. It was a good day, a good points day and a good momentum day heading into Pomona next weekend.”
DOUG KALITTA, MAC TOOLS TOP FUEL DRAGSTER
Qualifying: Doug Kalitta was the No. 1 qualifier at the NHRA Arizona Nationals. During the Friday evening qualifying session, Kalitta made a 3.679-second run at 330.23 mph to earn his 52nd-career No. 1 qualifier.
Eliminations: Kalitta defeated Rob Passey in the first round of eliminations with a 3.760-second effort at 327.54 mph and advanced to the second round where he faced his teammate, Shawn Langdon. Langdon won the round and advanced to the final round.
Unofficial Point Standings: Kalitta leaves Phoenix in fifth place in the NHRA Top Fuel point standings. He trails fourth-place Justin Ashley by five points and leads sixth-place Langdon by 12 points.
Kalitta on Phoenix: “Losing in the second round is definitely not what the Mac Tools Toyota team had in mind for today. It’s always good to be the No. 1 qualifier, but it’s disappointing to follow that with an early loss. We’d much rather face Shawn and the DHL team in the final round, but that’s how it goes sometimes. Really appreciate all the hard work my guys put in this weekend – our team is definitely moving in the right direction, and we’re really looking forward to what’s next!
“We take a lot of positives out of Phoenix with the No. 1 qualifier and our win in the Mission #2Fast2Tasty challenge. It was nice to be back in the winner’s circle, and it was so nice to hear all the great things from fans and competitors who were happy for us. That definitely meant a lot to all of us. We all look forward to getting to Pomona next week to try again.”
J.R. TODD, DHL FUNNY CAR
Qualifying: J.R. Todd was the No. 15 qualifier at the NHRA Arizona Nationals. He recorded his best qualifying time during the inaugural Mission #2Fast2Tasty NHRA Challenge when the DHL Toyota Supra ran a 5.332-second pass which ended up being good enough to advance to the final round of this new NHRA event where he lost to Alexis DeJoria.
Eliminations: Todd and the DHL Toyota made their best run of the weekend in the first round of eliminations when they raced DeJoria again. Todd posted a 3.923-second pass at 328.38 mph, but it wasn’t enough. DeJoria ran a 3.906-second pass and defeated Todd by .002 seconds.
Unofficial Point Standings: Todd leaves Phoenix seventh place in the NHRA Funny Car point standings. He trails sixth-place Bob Tasca by two points and leads eighth-place John Force by 24 points.
Todd on Phoenix: “All weekend, the DHL Toyota Supra team just really struggled getting down the track, but then in the first round we made a respectable run and just missed getting the win. It was kinda too little too late. If we’d qualified better, it would have set us up better on the ladder, but still, I should have done a better job and given us a better shot at winning that round. At the end of the day, we’ll roll into Pomona with a car that we know is capable of running with everybody else out here. The first round of eliminations was encouraging; I’m just disappointed in myself that I didn’t do better so we’ll forget about this weekend, go to Pomona and look forward.”
Next Race: Team Kalitta will be back in action March 31-April 2, 2023 at the Lucas Oil NHRA Winternationals in Pomona, Calif. For additional information, please visit www.nhra.com. For additional information on Kalitta Motorsports, please visit www.teamkalitta.com.