Post-Race Report Event 09: NHRA New England Nationals New England Dragway Epping, NH

Shawn Langdon

Shawn Langdon

Langdon advances to first semi-final since joining Team Kalitta

Race Recap: With four races together, Langdon and the Global Electronic Technology team were coming together and the progress was further shown in Epping for the New England Nationals.

After a rough Friday session, the Global Electronic Technology team really stepped it up on Saturday with two solid passes that moved Langdon inside the top half of the field. Despite a sixth starting spot, Langdon faced a tough draw with Dom Lagana in the opening round.

Langdon was ahead of Lagana by the 330 foot mark and steadily pulled the Global Electronic Technology dragster further ahead to claim the opening round win. However, Langdon was not done yet, as he took a solo run to the semi-finals when Smax Smith, who upset Tony Schumacher in the first round, could not make the second round run.

Unfortunately in the semi-final against Brittany Force, Langdon’s Global Electronic Technology machine suffered an air bottle woe, giving Force the round win. 

Qualified: No. 6 (3.724 sec., 327.98 mph) 

E1: Langdon defeated Lagana – 3.753 sec., 324.28 mph to 3.816 sec., 321.04 mph

E2: Langdon defeated Smith – 3.790 sec., 323.35 mph to No Run

E3: Langdon defeated by Force – Broke to 3.731 sec., 331.69 mph

Quotable: “It is just unfortunate. Sometimes things don’t play out in your favor. Unfortunately, we just had an air bottle issue. We are still diagnosing what happened on it. We had enough air in the air bottle to do the burnout. Then when the lights came on and I hit the gas; there was nothing there. We have a safety device that needs air to give you pedal, so without air there was nothing we could do. It sucks because we had a good Global Electronic Technology machine. On the positive side of things, our previous four runs were really good passes. At the end of the day, it is unfortunate, but we gained some points and gained some confidence going into Englishtown.”

Point Standings: 11th; trails Scott Palmer by 86 points for 10th

Troy Coughlin

Coughlin Jr. claims Epping round win

Race Recap: Coughlin Jr. was focused on starting his first four-race run of races in a strong fashion. The SealMaster Toyota did just that with a strong effort in Sunday eliminations in Epping. 

Coughlin Jr. earned a top ten starting spot with a solid effort in the third qualifying session. The 3.775 second pass earned the SealMaster Toyota the tenth spot in qualifying. First up was Clay Millican.

Coughlin Jr.’s SealMaster Toyota moved first against Millican. After some early back-and-forth, Coughlin Jr. took the lead back for good just past the 660′ foot mark and pulled ahead to claim the round win. 

In the second round, Coughlin Jr. again left first against opponent Brittany Force, but was unable to pick-up the round win despite another clean run. Coughlin Jr. gained one spot in the standings after the Epping success.

Qualified: No. 10 (3.784 sec., 328.54 mph) 

E1: Coughlin Jr. defeated Millican – 3.784 sec., 328.54 mph to 3.831 sec., 312.78 mph

E2: Coughlin Jr. defeated by B. Force – 3.822 sec., 320.66 mph to 3.745 sec., 330.88 mph

Quotable: “At this point for the SealMaster Toyota, any data is good data. It is data from all angles. With the car, the runs and with the guys. It is good for me too; I am learning what the car feels like when it makes a good run and when it is struggling. We are working extremely hard. Moving up in points is always a bonus. We will move on to Englishtown and hopefully move up some more.”

Point Standings: Eighth; trails Clay Millican by 87 points for seventh, leads Terry McMillen by 20 points for ninth

Doug Kalitta.jpg

Kalitta sets track MPH record in tough early loss

Race Recap: Doug Kalitta and the Mac Tools team came into Epping looking for a career-first for Kalitta: his first New England Nationals trophy. He has come close in the four previous runnings, but was focused on trying to earn the trophy. 

Kalitta made a couple strong passes including a 3.732 second pass, but he started eliminations on the bottom half of the ladder for the first time this season. He faced a tough draw with two-time winner this season Steve Torrence.

The duo was the first pair on the track on Sunday, and it was a great race throughout. Unfortunately, for the Mac Tools driver, he came out on the losing end of a great 3.716 seconds versus 3.724 seconds race. Kalitta ended up running the second-best run of the entire session and setting a Epping MPH Track Record in the loss. 

Qualified: No. 9 (3.732 sec., 326.71 mph) 

E1: Kalitta defeated by Torrence – 3.724 sec., 331.69 mph to 3.716 sec., 331.20 mph (TRACK RECORD MPH)

Quotable: “Tough finish to a great drag race for the Mac Tools team. We have a great car, and eventually close races like that are going to go our way.”

Point Standings: Fifth; trails Tony Schumacher by 141 points for fourth; leads Brittany Force by 43 points for sixth.

JR ToddTodd loses close first round race in Epping

Race Recap: After a solid Topeka event, J.R. Todd and the DHL Toyota team elected to debut a brand new chassis to begin the only four-race conseuctive race swing on the NHRA season.

The new chassis was stout in its debut day as Todd picked up two bonus points in the Friday evening session and was slotted among the top half of the field after every session. The DHL team ended up seeded eighth and a first round matchup with Tommy Johnson Jr. 

The final nitro pairing started with a little bit of an issue for Johnson Jr., but he was able to stage in-time with a short burnout to make the run. Todd and Johnson Jr. left side-by-side, but Todd was pulling ahead after Johnson Jr. was forced to pedal. After the 660 foot line, Todd was in front, but soon after the DHL Camry suffered problems. It was a close finish at the line, but Johnson Jr. was going 46 MPH quicker allowing him to just sneak ahead. 

Qualified: No. 8 (3.900 sec., 327.66 mph) 

E1: Todd defeated by Johnson Jr. – 4.032 sec., 269.73 mph to 4.016 sec., 315.86 mph

Quotable: “Losing in the first round is not the way we wanted this Epping weekend to end for the DHL Toyota Camry. However, we definitely have made progress and I am excited about the direction we are going. We will head to Englishtown next weekend and plan on going more rounds there.”

Point Standings: Eighth; trails Tommy Johnson Jr. by 120 points for seventh; leads Tim Wilkerson by 20 points for ninth.

Alexis DeJoria

DeJoria unable to turn strong qualifying effort into a round win

Race Recap: Alexis DeJoria returned to the seat of her Tequila Patrón Toyota Camry Funny Car for the New England Nationals. Right off of the trailer, DeJoria ran strong with two solid qualifying passes on Friday including earning a bonus point in the Friday evening session.

DeJoria ended qualifying in the 11th position with a first round opponent of Bob Tasca III. DeJoria encountered problems and pedaled, but was unable to catch up with Tasca III. 

Qualified: No. 11 (3.923 sec., 331.36 mph)

E1: DeJoria defeated by Tasca III – 4.854 sec., 253.80 mph to 4.572 sec., 253.14 mph

Point Standings: 14th; trails Cruz Pedregon by 70 points for 13th, leads Bob Tasca III by 74 points for 15th