Post -Race Report Event 11: Fitzgerald USA NHRA Thunder Valley Nationals Bristol Dragway Bristol, Tenn.

JR Todd Topeka

JR Todd Topeka

Back-to-back semifinals for Todd

Race Recap: J.R. Todd and the DHL/WIX Filters team scored their third semifinal result in the last four events today at Bristol Dragway.

Todd continued his run of solid qualifying performances. For the 10th time in the first 11 events to start the season, Todd earned bonus points as his 4.072 second pass in the Friday evening session was second-best, and allowed him to tie his career-best start of second. 

For the second straight race, Todd faced friend and former Kalitta Motorsports driver Del Worsham. It was a close race, but Todd’s DHL/WIX Filters Camry got the jump at the starting line and extended his advantage slightly all the way down the track to score the round win.

Next up was another former champion, Jack Beckman. Todd again got the jump at the tree, and the Jon Oberhofer and Todd Smith-tuned machine was ready. Todd extended his lead at every increment and earned his 15th round win of the season. 

However, Todd’s first Bristol win was not in the cards, despite his efforts at the starting line. At the tree in the semi-finals versus Ron Capps, Todd recorded .034 reaction time to get the early lead. However, the DHL/WIX Filters Camry dropped a cylinder quickly after and Capps was able to drive back around and get the round win.  


  • Qualified: No. 2 (4.072 sec., 313.15 mph) 
  • E1: Todd defeated Worsham – 4.213 sec., 300.26 mph to 4.362 sec., 252.61 mph
  • E2: Todd defeated Beckman – 4.203 sec., 295.92 mph to 4.333 sec., 277.49 mph
  • E3: Todd defeated by Capps – 4.372 sec., 285.65 mph to 4.242 sec., 298.93 mph

Quotable:“It was just a matter of going down the track today. In the semifinals, we dropped a hole right after I hit the gas and we were a sitting duck at that point. It is good to be going rounds and earning points, but it would be nice to be going more rounds and gaining event more points.”

Point Standings: Fourth; leads Ron Capps by one point by fifth; trails Robert Hight by 23 points for third

Doug Kalitta Sunday.jpg

Kalitta achieves a Bristol round win

Race Recap: Doug Kalitta and the Mac Tools team earned a round win at the Thunder Valley Nationals earlier today.

Kalitta and the Mac Tools team faced tough conditions due to the heat all weekend long. In qualifying, the Mac Tools ride made their best pass in the final qualifying session as Kalitta went 4.091 seconds to move up a few spots and earn the 12th starting spot.

Kalitta drew defending champion Brittany Force in the first round and he was ready. With an incredible .030 reaction time, the Mac Tools team had a big advantage at the starting line. He made his best pass of the weekend with a sub-four second pass, and thanks to that stellar reaction time, Kalitta scored the round win.

However, that was all for the round wins in Bristol for this season for Kalitta. Kalitta got the jump on his second round opponent, Scott Palmer, at the tree, but a dropped cylinder ended Kalitta’s chances and Palmer advanced. 


  • Qualified: No. 12 (4.091 sec., 243.81 mph)
  • E1: Kalitta defeated Force – 3.998 sec., 286.38 mph to 3.942 sec., 307.51 mph
  • E2: Kalitta defeated by Palmer – 4.292 sec., 230.92 mph to 4.067 sec., 302.41 mph

Quotable:“It was a hot weekend for the Mac Tools team. I am really impressed by their effort. This was not our weekend, but I feel confident our second win of the season is coming soon.”

Point Standings: Fourth; leads Leah Pritchett by 54 points for fifth; trails Tony Schumacher by 43 points for third

Richie Crampton Sunday.jpg

Crampton fails to advance out of the first round in Bristol

Race Recap: Richie Crampton and the Kalitta Air team lost in the first round at Bristol Dragway today. With the incredible heat, making clean passes down the track proved to be very difficult. Crampton’s pass that earned him a spot in the field ended up being his first pass, but at only 169 mph, it was not the clean effort that the Kalitta Air team had desired. Crampton started from the 14th spot and faced Antron Brown in the first round. Crampton got the slight advantage on the starting line and made his quickest pass of the entire weekend, however, Brown made the quickest run of the first round in the lane beside him and was able to advance. 


  • Qualified: No. 14 (4.626 sec., 169.81 mph) 
  • E1: Crampton defeated by Brown – 4.057 sec., 297.22 mph to 3.897 sec., 316.82 mph

Quotable:“I’m proud of my guys this weekend. We went up against a really tricky track, but were not able to get around Antron in the first round. He is a tough competitor. I am looking forward to Norwalk as we continue to figure out these hot race tracks.”

Point Standings:11th; trails Mike Salinas by three points for 10th

Shawn Langdon Sun.jpg

Langdon falls early in Bristol

Race Recap: Shawn Langdon and the Global Electronic Technology team lost in the first round of the Thunder Valley Nationals this weekend in Bristol.

With the track tempature nearing 140 degrees, this season’s Bristol event proved to be a race of survival. The best run for Langdon and the Global Electronic Technology team proved to be the Friday evening session with temperatures dipping slightly. Langdon was able to score a 4.191 second pass at nearly 300 mph, which secured Langdon a spot in the field and a top ten starting spot. 

The first draw for the Toyota driver was former Funny Car champion Jack Beckman. With the sun beating down on the track, Langdon and Beckman were neck-and-neck early. However, shortly after 200 feet, Langdon’s Global Electronic Technology Camry began to haze the tires. He was able to get it to recover, but Beckman made a clean run to score the round win.


  • Qualified: No. 10 (4.191 sec., 299.20 mph) 
  • E1: Langdon defeated by Beckman – 4.569 sec., 266.37 mph to 4.283 sec., 281.30 mph

Quotable: “Tough weekend for the Global Electronic Technology team, and not the result we were hoping for. Looking forward to Norwalk, Kalitta’s home track. We are gaining on it, and I am ready for another shot next weekend.”

Point Standings: 11th; leads Jonnie Lindberg by 36 points for 12th; trails Bob Tasca III by seven points for 10th

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