Langdon earns first Funny Car semi-final result
Race Recap: Shawn Langdon and the Global Electronic Technology Toyota Camry Funny Car advanced to the semi-finals for the first time in Phoenix at the Arizona Nationals.
The Global Electronic Technology team had a very nice Saturday qualifying effort with each of their runs ranked in the top five of the session. The final pass, a 3.927 second run at 329.42 mph, reset Langdon’s career-bests in both elapsed time and mph. That run placed Langdon in the 10th position on the qualifying sheet and a draw of former champion Cruz Pedregon in the first round.
Langdon and Pedregon would leave side-by-side, but the Global Electronic Technology Camry was ahead shortly after. Pedregon suffered woes, but Langdon’s ride was clean to the stripe. That was Langdon’s first Funny Car round win.
The ride would not end there though. Langdon advanced to the quarterfinals to face Ron Capps. This time, Langdon got the better of the 2016 Funny Car champion. Langdon moved first and recorded the best elapsed time of the quarterfinals to earn the round win. Langdon’s reaction time was the best of the session among the Funny Car class.
Langdon’s solid sophomore Funny Car effort would end in the semifinals. The Global Electronic Technology Camry made another solid run, a 3.958, and Langdon moved first, but opponent Tommy Johnson Jr. was able to move around Langdon and advance to the finals.
Qualified: No. 10 (3.927 sec., 329.42 mph)
E1: Langdon defeated Pedregon – 3.965 sec., 328.22 mph to 5.112 sec., 152.95 mph
E2: Langdon defeated Capps – 3.927 sec., 328.14 mph to 4.651 sec., 182.30 mph
E3: Langdon defeated by Johnson Jr. – 3.958 sec., 325.77 mph to 3.916 sec., 328.46 mph
Quotable: “Good thing is we were the only car to make three runs down the track. We tried to play it smart and we ended up getting lane choice in the semis. We moved the Global Electronic Technology Camry to the right lane. We had run in the left lane all day and had the tuneup for that, but we thought the right lane was better and it was. It was just even better than we expected. We lost in the semis. Not a bad weekend. We are making gains; I am growing as a driver. We are learning as a group. It was a good weekend. We can’t complain about it much, just lost a good race.”
Point Standings: Eighth; leads John Force by nine points for ninth; trails Jonnie Lindberg by three points for sixth
Crampton unable to score round win despite solid qualifying effort
Race Recap: Richie Crampton and the Kalitta Air team suffered a tough first round loss at the Arizona Nationals.
The qualifying portion of the weekend was solid for Crampton. In the afternoon session on Friday, Crampton nearly scored bonus points with a career-best tying run of 3.683 seconds. That seeded him fourth going into Saturday. The Kalitta Air team was unable to improve in the final two passes of qualifying and was bumped from fourth to fifth. His first round opponent was Scott Palmer.
Crampton got the jump at the line and was leading at the 60′ line. However, the Kalitta Air machine had issues shortly after and Palmer was able to drive around Crampton’s machine and score the round win.
Qualified: No. 5 (3.683 sec., 323.27 mph)
E1: Crampton defeated by Palmer – 5.061 sec., 144.95 mph to 3.768 sec., 325.45 mph
Quotable: “Definitely a building weekend for this Kalitta Air Toyota team. I think we got caught waiting for an oil down in front of us. No excuses, but we have confidence we know where we wrong. We will be ready for Gainesville.”
Point Standings: 15th; trails Blake Alexander by four points for 14th
Kalitta loses early in wild pedalfest
Race Recap: Doug Kalitta lost in the first round in a wild pedalfest against Billy Torrence earlier today at Wild Horse Pass Motorsports Park outside of Phoenix.
The Mac Tools team did not have the qualifying effort that they are accustomed too. They had three solid passes in the mid 3.7 second range, but in quick conditions in Phoenix, that was only good enough for 11th overall. That gave the Mac Tools team a draw of Billy Torrence, who was in his first race of the season.
The final pair of the first round of eliminations would put on a very memorable show. Both machines hit tire smoke quickly after the hit of the throttle and both drivers began pedaling quickly after. After getting on and off the throttle many times and putting on quite a show for the sold-out Wild Horse Pass Motorsports Park crowd, Kalitta was defeated by the closest of margins.
Qualified: No. 11 (3.742 sec., 328.78 mph)
E1: Kalitta defeated by B. Torrence – 6.714 sec., 154.46 mph to 6.570 sec., 138.34 mph
Quotable: “Not the weekend we were looking for with this Mac Tools Toyota. A wild pedalfest for sure and we came up just short. We will get this Mac Tools machine tuned up and head to Gainesville and try to score another win there.”
Point Standings: Second; leads Tony Schumacher by four points for third; trails Steve Torrence by 39 points for first
Todd has no luck in hard fought first round loss
Race Recap: J.R. Todd and the DHL/WIX Filters Toyota team put together a solid first round pass, but despite recording the fourth-best effort of the session, Todd was defeated.
Todd had a decent qualifying effort as the DHL Toyota was able to score a bonus point in the third qualifying session. The 3.919 seconds pass moved Todd inside the top half of the field for the second straight weekend. He earned the eighth starting spot and was paired in the first round with Winternationals winner Matt Hagan.
After watching most of the cars struggle to make clean runs, Todd and Hagan came to the the line as the final pair of nitro racing in the first round. Todd was ready and recorded the best reaction time of the class. The DHL Toyota reached the finish line in 4.017 seconds, which was the fourth best run of the session. Still, despite Todd’s efforts on the line and the solid pass, Hagan was able to score the round win by laying down the second-best pass of the session.
Qualified: No. 8 (3.919 sec., 323.43 mph)
E1: Todd defeated by Hagan – 4.017 sec., 320.66 mph to 3.910 sec., 331.85 mph
Quotable: “We had some very tricky track conditions here in Phoenix and we definitely did not perform the way we needed to get by Hagan. We will go back and regroup and get ready for Gainesville.”
Point Standings: 10th; leads Cruz Pedregon by one point; trails John Force by 12 points