Post-Race Report Event 17: NHRA Nationals at Brainerd Brainerd International Raceway Brainerd, Minn.

JR Todd Brainerd

JR Todd Brainerd

Todd clinches a spot in the Countdown with a semifinal finish

Race Recap: J.R. Todd and the DHL/WIX Filters team had a solid raceday with two round wins before getting defeated in the a close race in the semifinals. 

Todd and the DHL/WIX Filters team made three clean passes in qualifying and the tuning duo of Jon Oberhofer and Todd Smith saved the best for last as Todd scored a 4.018 second run, which bumped Todd inside the top half of the field.

In the first round, Todd drew Bob Bode. Todd got an advantage at the starting line and never trailed. The DHL/WIX Filters Camry was clean to the stripe with another good run. His 4.022 second pass gave him lane choice over no.1 qualifier Robert Hight in the quarterfinals. That round win also clinched Todd’s spot in the 2018 playoffs. 

Todd trailed Hight at the start, but the DHL team made a clean pass and Hight could not. Todd crossed the line first and moved back to another semifinal. 

In the semifinals, Todd drew Tommy Johnson Jr. Todd and the DHL/WIX Filters team made their strongest run of the weekend, a 3.973 second pass, but Johnson Jr. was just a tick quicker and got to the line first ending Todd’s day.

Qualified: No. 8 (4.018 sec., 316.15 mph) 

E1: Todd defeated Bode – 4.024 sec., 318.02 mph to 4.552 sec., 189.15 mph

E2: Todd defeated Hight – 4.022 sec., 318.84 mph to 4.143 sec., 243.28 mph

E3: Todd defeated by Johnson Jr. – 3.973 sec., 324.05 mph to 3.950 sec., 323.97 mph

Quotable: “It is good to be going to the semis; that is a small victory. The performance of the car is coming around. I missed the tree there in the semis; I definitely could have made up the difference. On a good note, we are going to the Indy test. We are going to try to pick it up even more and get ready for the Big Go.”
Point Standings: Sixth; tied with Tommy Johnson Jr. seventh; trails Matt Hagan by 115 points for fifth

Shawn Sunday Brianerd

Langdon earns a crucial round win in Brainerd

Race Recap: Shawn Langdon’s Global Electronic Technology team continued a good run with a crucial round win and more solid performances.

In qualifying, Langdon closed with three stellar passes including back-to-back 4.013 second runs. That moved Langdon inside the top half of the field and the sixth starting spot. The draw was Bob Tasca III.

The round win would prove to be very important. Tasca came into eliminations 11th in the standings, and needing the round win, while Langdon’s Global Electronic Technology team wanted to protect their spot. Langdon moved first and would not look back. The round win helped Langdon expand his advantage over 11th and give him an over 60 point advantage heading into the final race before the Countdown.

Langdon made another 4.019 second pass with a stellar .049 reaction time in the quarterfinals against Beckman, but it was not enough to advance. 

Qualified: No. 6 (4.013 sec., 321.04 mph) 

E1: Langdon defeated Tasca III – 4.019 sec., 320.20 mph to 4.032 sec., 320.58 mph

E2: Langdon defeated by Beckman – 4.019 sec., 321.42 mph to 3.980 sec., 324.83 mph

Quotable: “That was a huge run against Bob Tasca due to the playoff implications. So we accomplished our goal there. It was a bummer that we lost to Jack Beckman because we really felt that we had a good car. The car was just beating down 4.01s and we’ve been trying to massage the tune-up and try to pick it up a little bit earlier to try to get this Global Electronic Technology Camry into the 3’s. We know that’s where we need to be come Countdown. I feel good in the car. We’ve been making adjustments to try to make the car react better and I think we’ve accomplished that. I think we’re in a good position heading into Indy, the last race before the playoffs. We had a decent week here.  Now we’re going to go testing and try to improve the set-up a little bit more.”

Point Standings: Ninth; leads Tim Wilkerson by 44 points for 10th; trails John Force by 63 points for eighth.

Richie Crampton Brainerd 

Crampton falls in the first round

Race Recap: Richie Crampton and the DHL/Kalitta Air dragster fell in the first round today.

In his last run in DHL/Kalitta Air colors, Crampton earned the 11th qualifying position with a 3.878 second pass. Qualifying did not go as planned as that was the only run Crampton was able to make below four seconds.

In the first round, Crampton faced Brittany Force for the third straight race. Crampton had the advantage at the starting line, but had troubles. He did a great job pedaling the DHL/Kalitta Air ride, but Force had too much of an advantage and earned the round win.

Qualified: No. 11 (3.878 sec., 310.55 mph) 

E1: Crampton defeated by B. Force – 4.178 sec., 260.61 mph to 3.910 sec., 255.97 mph

Quotable: “Today produced a very tough result for this DHL/Kalitta Air team. I wanted to finish the run in the DHL colors strong, but it was not our weekend. We can still clinch a spot in the Countdown at the U.S. Nationals with our new CRAFTSMAN scheme, and that is exactly what we plan on doing.”

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

Doug Kalitta Brainard 

Kalitta has a weekend to forget in Brainerd

Race Recap: Doug Kalitta and the Mac Tools team had a weekend to forget in Brainerd.

Kalitta’s Mac Tools ride had one-sub four second pass in qualifying with a 3.947 second run, but the Mac Tools team were looking for more than a 257mph top speed. They were still able to score the 12th starting spot and drew Mike Salinas in the first round, which was the second consecutive time Kalitta faced the California native.

In the opening round, Kalitta got the early advantage against Salinas. However, the Mac Tools machine again encountered difficulty, and Salinas made a clean run to advance.

Qualified: No. 12 (3.947 sec., 257.43 mph)

E1: Kalitta defeated by Salinas – 4.662 sec., 161.40 mph to 3.807 sec., 321.73 mph

Quotable: “A very tough weekend for this Mac Tools team, but we will rebound. I am looking forward to the testing this week in Indianapolis and the U.S. Nationals in a few short days.”

Point Standings: Fifth; leads Antron Brown by one point for sixth; trails Leah Pritchett by 91 points for fourth