Post-Race #NewEnglandNats

Kalitta Sunday

J.R. Todd Races to Quarterfinals at New England Nationals

The DHL Toyota Camry Funny Car and driver J.R. Todd were pursuing their second victory of the 2021 NHRA Camping World Drag Racing Series season as the rolled into the NHRA New England Nationals. Their season opening win at the Gatornationals was also bolstered by a runner-up finish at the Las Vegas Four-Wide Nationals had Todd sitting in the No. 2 position in the Funny Car point standings.
Over two days of qualifying Todd moved into race day as the No. 9 qualifier even though he started the qualifying sessions with one of the strongest runs of Friday. The DHL Toyota Camry Funny Car blasted to the No. 2 position on Friday and picked up two qualifying bonus points. Conditions changed on Saturday and the DHL team worked to find a solid race day tune-up.
When racing commenced today Todd and the DHL team were facing a tough first round race against veteran Cruz Pedregon. It was a great race for Todd as he chased down Pedregon for the round win in an incredibly close race. Todd used every inch of the race track to get the victory grabbing the win light by two inches at over 320 mph.
In the quarterfinals Todd drew John Force for the second race in a row. The 2018 Funny Car world champion had lane choice and was looking to race to another semifinal in 2021. Todd grabbed a starting line advantage with a superior reaction time. As the race cars approached half-track Force was able to drive around Todd for the win. At the finish line Todd was just a little over a car length behind Force.
“We have a really good car and it is going down the track consistently,” said Todd. “We are just a tick behind where we need to be.  We got outrun there in the second round but we are going to keep fighting”
Todd will head to the next race just over two rounds out of first place. The DHL Toyota Camry team sits No. 3 in the Camping World Drag Racing Series.
Qualified: No. 9 (3.976 sec., 324.05 mph)
Bonus points: +2 (2nd quickest of Q1)

Race Details:
First Round
Driver                                    Qual        R/T         ET           MPH  
J.R. Todd                              9              .085        3.994     322.88 (W)         
Cruz Pedregon                      8              .052        4.027     321.73
Second Round
Driver                                    Qual         R/T         ET           MPH  
J.R. Todd                              9              .067        4.006     319.98
John Force                             3              .085        3.957     329.18 (W)

Kalitta Sunday

Doug Kalitta Drives Mac Tools to Quarterfinals in New England

The Mac Tools Top Fuel dragster team and driver Doug Kalitta were looking to continue their momentum from a final round appearance two weeks ago in Houston. They raced to the quarterfinals today to continue a consistent streak of winning rounds and putting up solid performance numbers. The team has been working all season to build on strong qualifying efforts and race day results that have led to two runner-up finishes so far this season.
Over two days of qualifying the Mac Tools dragster was one of the most consistent and quick race cars on the property. Kalitta posted top three qualifying runs in two of the three sessions. He was the third quickest Top Fuel driver in the first and third qualifying sessions. The team went into race day as the No. 5 qualifier and a tough first round race with teammate Shawn Langdon and the DHL Kalitta Air Top Fuel dragster.
In the first round both dragster launched together but it was Kalitta who kept his dragster hooked up for the entire run. Langdon smoked the tires just before half-track and tried to reel in Kalitta but he lost too much momentum. Kalitta advanced to face Mike Salinas in the quarterfinals.
In the quarterfinals when the tree activated it was Kalitta who took an early lead and was pulling away from Salinas. As both race cars reached half-track Kalitta smoked the tires and that opened the door for Salinas to get in front of him for the win.
“The motor is a little happier so we made some progress with that,” said Kalitta, a 49-time Top Fuel winner. “You can’t run when you are tearing your car up. I am happy about that. We got knocked out in the second round and we were really looking to take home that Wally. I feel good about the direction we are going. We just have to keep our heads down and get after it at the next one.”
Qualified: No. 5 (3.788 sec., 320.51 mph) 
Bonus points: +2 (3rd quickest of Q1 and Q3)

Race Details: 

First Round
Driver                                    Qual       R/T         ET           MPH 
Doug Kalitta                          5              .081        3.842     293.98 (W)
Shawn Langdon                     8              .057        4.080     292.96
Second Round
Driver                                    Qual       R/T         ET           MPH 
Doug Kalitta                          5              .071        4.300     197.74   
Mike Salinas                           2              .080        3.792     324.36 (W)

Langdon Sunday

Langdon and DHL Top Fuel Exit Early at New England Nationals

The last time Shawn Langdon was on track at New England Dragway he was driving a Kalitta Motorsports Toyota Camry Funny Car in the final round. The race was not contested in 2020 and this year the 2013 NHRA Top Fuel champion is back on track in the DHL Kalitta Air Top Fuel team. Langdon has raced to the final round at the New England Nationals in a Top Fuel dragster as well but this year he was focused on getting his first event win at the New England track.
Two days of qualifying had Langdon moving into race day as the No. 8 qualifier and a tough race against teammate Doug Kalitta. Two weeks ago in Houston Langdon had to race Kalitta in the semifinals and was not able to get the round win in a clash between two of the most consistent race cars.
Today Langdon got a lead off the starting line and the DHL Kalitta Air Top Fuel dragster was right beside the Mac Tools dragster. Langdon’s race car smoked the tires but the veteran driver quickly lifted off the throttle and regained control of his dragster. He was able to keep power but was unable to catch back up with Kalitta.
“That was a tough first round for the DHL Kalitta Air Top Fuel team,” said Langdon. ”We advanced a car to the second round but it was a shame we had to race each other. I am proud of this DHL team and we will keep grinding. We have Norwalk in two weeks and that will be a busy race for us. I am looking forward to getting back at it.”
Langdon and the DHL Kalitta Air team will head to the next race in Norwalk, Ohio, sitting No. 4 in the points.
Qualified: No. 8 (3.811 sec., 314.53 mph) 
Bonus points: 0

Race Details:

First Round
Driver                                  Qual       R/T         ET           MPH  
Shawn Langdon                8              .057        4.080     292.96
Doug Kalitta                        5              .081        3.842     293.98 (W)