Post-Race #MidWestNats

Shawn Sundy

St. Louis Semifinal Motivates Doug Kalitta and Mac Tools for Back Half of Countdown

For the second week in a row Doug Kalitta and the Mac Tools Toyota Top Fuel dragster stormed through the Top Fuel field in qualifying and on race day. After two days of nearly 20 Top Fuel dragsters battling for 16 spots in the field Kalitta secured the No. 4 spot on the strength of his 3.684 second pass. In a strong field that featured seven teams posting run in the 3.60s to set the field Kalitta and the Mac Tools team featuring Ferguson and WypAll knew race day was going to be a tough battle.
A first round race with veteran Doug Foley was no easy race for the 49-time Top Fuel national event winner. Kalitta grabbed a starting line advantage and just past half track his Mac Tools dragster began to haze the tire robbing the perennial championship contender of much needed horsepower, but he was far enough in front of Foley who was having his own issues to grab the win. Kalitta stayed on the throttle and muscled his race car across the finish line for the win.
In the quarterfinals Kalitta had a chance to take out a Countdown contender and start closing the gap on the handful of cars in front of him in the points. He grabbed a starting line advantage with a .055 reaction time in front of Brittany Force’s .079 and he never trailed in the race. His 3.768 second run outran Force’s slower 3.833 second run and moved him into the semifinals for the second consecutive race and fourth time this season.
“That run was awesome,” said Kalitta from the top end. “We have been qualifying good. We are just giving a great effort right now. Obviously, this place is packed and I love running here in St. Louis. Our Mac Tools Toyota guys will keep digging. That was a big win.”
For the first time in 2022 Kalitta ran into reigning champion Steve Torrence in eliminations. The Mac Tools dragster got the jump off the starting line and just past half track it drove into tire smoke. Kalitta worked to get it back under power to hold off Torrence but just before the finish line the blower belt let go and Torrence moved around him to advance to the final.
“This was another step in the right direction for this Mac Tools team,” said Kalitta. “We are seeing the performance numbers that will win us races. I have a lot of confidence and I can’t wait to get back to the track in a couple weeks. We won a couple rounds for Feeding America so that was cool.”
Kalitta’s two round wins combined with teammate Shawn Langdon’s two wins and J.R. Todd’s win light meant that 100,000 meals were donated today to Feeding America by Kalitta Motorsports and DHL. After two races of the four-race program the three drivers have combined to donate 140,000 meals. The next chance for Feeding America to receive meals will be in two weeks during the Texas NHRA Fall Nationals at Texas Motorplex.
Qualified: No. 4 (3.684 sec, 334.32 mph) 
Bonus points: +2 (2nd quickest of Q2)

Race Details:
First Round
Qual    Driver                 RT        ET        MPH
4        Doug Kalitta  .054     3.901   282.42 (W)                              
13        Doug Foley     .071     6.318   105.49
Second Round
Qual    Driver                RT        ET        MPH
4        Doug Kalitta   .055     3.768   324.83 (W)                                          
5          Brittany Force  .079     3.833   322.81
Qual    Driver                 RT        ET        MPH
4        Doug Kalitta    .067     4.108   219.97                                                 
1          Steve Torrence  .076     3.725   328.14 (W)

Shawn Sundy

Shawn Langdon Races DHL to Semifinals at NHRA Midwest Nationals

The DHL Toyota Top Fuel dragster and driver Shawn Langdon rolled into race day at the NHRA Midwest Nationals on the strength of his best qualifying performance of the 2022 NHRA season. The 2013 Top Fuel world champion was No. 3 on the qualifying sheet with a season quickest 3.697 second pass to close out Saturday’s final day of qualifying. The veteran driver was ready for his first round match up with part-time Top Fuel driver Kyle Wurtzel.
The DHL Toyota team which was also flying the colors of this weekend knew they would need to be at the top of their game. Langdon jumped off the line with a strong .072 reaction time which proved to be the difference maker. The DHL Toyota dragster crossed the finish line with a winning time of 3.760 seconds in front of Wurtzel’s quicker 3.747 second run. Langdon’s margin of victory was estimated to be nine feet at nearly 330 mph.
In the quarterfinals Langdon faced Tony Schumacher another tough Countdown contender. It was a wire-to-wire win for Langdon as he was first off the line and never trailed in the race in front of a tire smoking Schumacher. It was another winning. 3.760 second pass for Langdon and set up another semifinal race for the DHL Toyota Top Fuel dragster.
“You need to take out Countdown car when you get the chance if you want to race for the championship,” said Langdon. “This DHL Toyota dragster has been running really well this weekend. It has been a complete team effort and we are going to keep working together over these last three races.”
Langdon once again took off first in the semifinals and was leading the race as the race cars crossed the halfway mark, but Josh Hart’s dragster got a nose around Langdon and held on for a close win. Langdon’s 3.744 second pass was just behind Hart’s 3.712 second run.
Langdon will head to the back half of the Countdown in the Top Ten and looking to put pressure on the teams in front of him. In addition to closing the gap in the points Langdon’s two win lights equated to 40,000 meals for Feeding America as part of a program with sponsor DHL where Kalitta Motorsports donates 10,000 meals per win light and DHL matches the donation.
In two weeks Langdon and the DHL Toyota team will be racing outside Dallas at the Texas Fall Nationals and Stampede of Speed at Texas Motorplex.
Qualified: Qual. 3 (3.697 sec, 329.02 mph) 
Bonus points: +2 (2nd quickest of Q3)

Race Details:
First Round
Qual    Driver.                     RT        ET        MPH
3        Shawn Langdon .072     3.760   328.70 (W)
14        Kyle Wurtzel         .103     3.747   327.19
Second Round
Qual    Driver                      RT        ET        MPH
3        Shawn Langdon  .057     3.760   322.58 (W)
6          Tony Schumacher .088     9.253   65.40  
Qual    Driver                     RT        ET        MPH
3        Shawn Langdon .050     3.744   326.16
2          Josh Hart             .071     3.712   333.82 (W)

JR Sunday

Quarterfinal Finish for J.R. Todd and DHL at Midwest Nationals

Two days of qualifying at the NHRA Midwest Nationals from World Wide Technology had J.R. Todd and DHL Toyota GR Supra Funny Car entering race day as the No. 10 Funny Car. Todd and his team were looking for another win and adding meals to Feeding America through their win light program with primary sponsor DHL. Every win light on race day would mean Kalitta Motorsports and DHL would donate 20,000 meals to the national charity working to erase food insecurity in America.
In a rematch of last week’s first round against Toyota teammate Alexis DeJoria Todd took the win light in a wild first round race. Todd was first off the starting line but just before the finish line his DHL Funny Car begins to sashay in his lane. The 2018 world champion stayed on the throttle knowing the finish line was just off the nose of his GR Supra Funny Car. The confidence paid off as he held off a charging DeJoria for the win and advancement to the quarterfinals.
It was an epic second round race with Todd facing No.2 qualifier John Force for a shot at the semifinals. Both former world champions knew each other tactics and the race was a great side-by-side battle. Todd took off just after Force and was around him and pulling away by half track. As the finish line closed in Force was able to make up some ground and as they crossed the finish line it was Todd coming up about three feet short. The DHL Toyota GR Supra lit up the scoreboard with a 3.967 second, 321.58 mph in a losing effort.
Todd will leave the Midwest Nationals sitting in seventh place in the point standing just two points out of sixth. In two weeks the DHL Toyota GR Supra will be back in action at Texas Motorplex for the Texas Fall Nationals.
Qualified: No. 10 (3.989 sec, 309.84 mph)
Bonus points: 0

Race Details:
First Round
Qual    Driver                RT        ET        MPH
10      J.R. Todd.       .060     3.928   318.24 (W)
7          Alexis DeJoria .111     3.928   328.62
Second Round
Qual    Driver          RT        ET        MPH
10      J.R. Todd   .082     3.967   321.58 
2          John Force .076     3.968   324.28 (W)