Post-Race Report Event 13: NHRA New England Nationals New England Dragway Epping, NH

Sawn Langdon Epping

Sawn Langdon Epping 

Langdon advances to his fourth semifinal of the season

Race Recap: Shawn Langdon and the Global Electronic Technology team had a strong weekend in Epping with his fourth semifinal finish of his first Funny Car season.

The strength was shown early in qualifying as Langdon scored the third-best qualifying pass on the Friday evening session. That gave the Global Electronic Technology driver a bonus point and his career-best start aboard a Funny Car. 

The third starting spot meant Langdon faced 14th qualifier Jim Campbell in the opening round. Langdon made the early move on Campbell and was streaking away before Campbell had bigger problems. Langdon was easily to the stripe first.

In the quarterfinals, Langdon faced John Force. Nicky Boninfante and Kurt Elliott turned up the tune-up and lowered their elapsed time in the first round despite the increase of temperatures. Langdon’s 4.314 second pass was the best of the round and gave Langdon the round win over Force and lane choice over Tim Wilkerson in the semifinals.

In the semifinal round, Langdon was able to get the jump on Wilkerson at the tree and the Global Electronic Technology Camry was ahead early. However, Wilkerson was able to drive around by the 330 foot mark and was able to score the close victory.

Qualified: No. 3 (3.976 sec., 321.42 mph) 

E1: Langdon defeated Campbell – 4.152 sec., 304.80 mph to 4.837 sec., 173.47 mph

E2: Langdon defeated J. Force – 4.134 sec., 307.93 mph to 4.204 sec., 262.39 mph

E3: Langdon defeated by Wilkerson – 4.144 sec., 305.42 mph to 4.118 sec., 309.91 mph

Quotable: “We’ve really done a good job the last couple of races of turning our Global Electronic Technology Toyota around and gaining consistency. We’ve had a couple little gremlins that we’ve also worked out. Our test session at Norwalk really went well. I think it translated into what we were able to accomplish this weekend. We have a Camry that can repeat and is consistent. We feel that now we have a pretty good baseline tune-up that we can go off of. Today, we were able to make three great runs – 4.15, 4.13 and 4.14 and I think we’re in the ballgame now. I think if I can fine-tune my driving a little bit and we continue to fine-tune the set-up a little bit, we’re going to have a pretty bad hotrod. I’m excited to go to the Western Swing.” 

Point Standings: Ninth; leads Bob Tasca III by 50 points for 10th; trails John Force by 18 points for eighth

Doug Kalitta Epping

Kalitta gets an Epping round win

Race Recap: Doug Kalitta took the Mac Tools Toyota to the second round of eliminations at the New England Dragway before falling to no.1 qualifier Leah Pritchett.

Kalitta’s qualifying passes did not yield the desired results as the Mac Tools machine failed to make it to the stripe with a full pass. They were still able to qualify ninth despite only one pass crossing 300 mph. 

In the first round, the Mac Tools driver drew Terry McMillen. The pair left together and both did not make clean passes but Kalitta wheeled his Mac Tools machine to the stripe first moving him to the quarterfinals.

In the quarterfinals, Kalitta faced Pritchett. He was able to get a hundredth off of the starting line, but shortly after the Mac Tools Toyota had major tire smoke and Pritchett made a clean pass to score the round win. 

Qualified: No. 9 (3.874 sec., 303.64 mph)

E1: Kalitta defeated McMillen – 4.143 sec., 275.45 mph to 4.175 sec., 268.49 mph

E2: Kalitta defeated by Pritchett – 4.900 sec., 212.46 mph to 3.888 sec., 316.30 mph

Quotable: “It was nice to get a round win today for Mac Tools and all of our supporters. We would have liked to get more, but we will go home and get ready for the Swing.”

Point Standings: Fifth; leads Antron Brown by 84 points for sixth; trails Leah Pritchett by 19 points for fourth

Richie Crampton Epping

Crampton advances to the quarterfinals

Race Recap: Richie Crampton earned a second straight first round win this weekend in Epping.

The DHL/Kalitta Air machine had a great run to close qualifying in the heat of Saturday. Crampton’s 3.884 second run was top five of the session and moved him inside the top ten qualifiers for the New England Nationals. 

In the first round, Crampton faced one of the drivers he is battling with for a top ten spot, Scott Palmer. Crampton moved first and although the DHL/Kalitta Air ride failed to make a clean pass, Palmer suffered bigger woes and Crampton was able to move on.

In the quarterfinals, Crampton drew Tony Schumacher. This time, the DHL/Kalitta Air driver had near immediate tire smoke. Schumacher made a clean pass to advance. 

Qualified: No. 10 (3.884 sec., 316.97 mph) 

E1: Crampton defeated Palmer – 4.291 sec., 246.98 mph to 8.093 sec., 88.54 mph

E2: Crampton defeated by Schumacher – 5.316 sec., 138.33 mph to 3.906 sec., 318.54 mph

Quotable: “It was a pretty constructive day for our DHL Toyota team. Our win over Scott Palmer in the first round was huge. We’re all very close in the point standings with Scott, Mike Salinas and myself all sort of duking it out right now, so to get that win was pretty crucial. We’re back up to ninth in points. Now we want to try to get deeper into the top-10 before the Countdown. You always want to go a little further, but now we’ll have to do it in Denver.”

Point Standings: Ninth; leads Mike Salinas by 16 points for 10th; trails Brittany Force by 112 points for eighth

JR Todd sunday

Todd suffers close first round loss

Race Recap: J.R. Todd and the DHL/WIX Filters team suffered a close first round loss today in Epping.

Qualifying did not lead to the results the DHL team would have liked as Todd made just one clean pass, but it was a good one. Todd and the DHL Camry crossed the line in 4.021 seconds on Friday evening and secured another top half start. 

Todd and Wilkerson both made great passes in the heat of New Hampshire. Unfortunately for Todd, he came out on the wrong side of the closest side-by-side race of the session as his 4.132 second effort came up short against a 4.091 for Wilkerson, despite Todd’s stellar efforts at the starting line. 

Qualified: No. 7 (4.021 sec., 319.67 mph) 

E1: Todd defeated by Wilkerson – 4.132 sec., 306.19 mph to 4.091 sec., 313.29 mph

Quotable: “From the time we unloaded this weekend, we never really hit the ground running. I hate that all the ground we made up we gave back. We will head back to the shop, regroup and get this DHL/WIX Filters Toyota Camry ready for the Swing.” 

Point Standings: Sixth; leads Tommy Johnson Jr. by 108 points by seventh; trails Robert Hight by 29 points for fifth