Langdon earns his first Kalitta final round appearance
Race Recap: Shawn Langdon and the Global Electronic Technology team advanced to their first final round of the season.
Langdon, who began the weekend with the huge announcement about his move to Funny Car, had two nice runs in qualifying on Friday that secured the Global Electronic Technology team a spot in the top half. They decided to sit out the final session of qualifying as Sunday’s weather forecast was much different than the conditions we had seen thus far.
The conditions proved to play right into the hands of Connie Kalitta and Rob Flynn. In the first round, Langdon faced a tough draw of record holder Clay Millican. Langdon would have issues down track, but Millican’s were much more severe and the Global Electronic Technology team would move to the quarterfinals, where they were handed a gift: a bye run, after Terry Haddock could not make the call. Langdon would smoke the tires, but by taking the tree moved to the semi-finals.
In the semis, reigning champion Antron Brown was in the other lane. They left with identical reaction times, but the Global Electronic Technology team made the right setup call and was able to drive to the final. It was Langdon’s first final round as a member of Team Kalitta and 29th of his career.
Connie Kalitta was the fourth owner Langdon had delivered a final round appearance to (Morgan Lucas, Alan Johnson, Don Schumacher).
In the final, Langdon came up against Brittany Force. Langdon got the jump at the tree with a stellar .048 second reaction time, and was ahead all the way to the eighth mile. Shortly after, Force was able to drive around and score the win by one thousandth of a second.
Qualified: No. 7 (3.748 sec., 320.13 mph)
E1: Langdon defeated Millican – 3.993 sec., 219.54 mph to 8.830 sec., 83.31 mph
E2: Langdon defeated Haddock – 5.862 sec., 105.23 mph to no run
E3: Langdon defeated Brown – 3.702 sec., 322.88 mph to 3.716 sec., 326.71 mph
Final: Langdon defeated by Force – 3.693 sec., 326.56 mph to 3.681 sec., 326.87 mph
Quotable: “The guys did a fantastic job in giving me a great race car. I had all the confidence. I felt good on the tree and we stepped it up in the finals. Unfortunately, we came up one-thousandth short. Brittany did a great job. If you had told me before the final that I would go .048 and 3.69, I would have liked my chances. They were just one thou better. It stings a little bit, but I’m just proud of this whole Global Electronic Technology Toyota team for fighting hard. They fought hard all day and gave me a great race car. My plan is to win the next two – that’s my goal.”
Point Standings: Eighth; leads Terry McMillen by 46 points for ninth, trails Clay Millican by 75 points for seventh
Kalitta loses in a close second round race
Kalitta loses in a close second round race
Race Recap: Doug Kalitta and the Mac Tools team were defeated in a close second round race with Brittany Force.
Kalitta had another top five starting spot in qualifying with a solid 3.704 at 330.07mph, which held for top speed of the event in Top Fuel. He started from the fourth spot and drew Texan Kebin Kinsley.
Kalitta and the Mac Tools team ran late in the session and Kalitta was on a straight shot to the second round before a quick flash at the finish line. The Mac Tools driver held on for the win and moved into the quarterfinals.
Brittany Force was the draw in the quarterfinals for the second straight race. Force and Kalitta left together, and Kalitta’s Mac Tools machine made a good pass but Force was a little better and was able to get around Kalitta for the win.
Qualified: No. 4 (3.704 sec., 330.07 mph)
E1: Kalitta defeated Kinsley – 3.867 sec., 262.28 mph to 10.303 sec., 69.81 mph
E2: Kalitta defeated by Force – 3.739 sec., 323.43 mph to 3.719 sec., 326.56 mph
Quotable: “We were looking for more today with the Mac Tools team. It stinks to end the day early, but we are not out of it yet. We will go to Vegas and try to get the win there.”
Point Standings: Third; leads Antron Brown by 29 point for fourth, trails Brittany Force by 19 points for second
Crampton takes SealMaster team to the quarterfinal
Race Recap: Richie Crampton claimed a round win for the SealMaster team in Texas today.
Crampton had two qualifying passes and he was especially stout in the Friday evening session to solidly give him a top half starting spot.
Crampton was the first pair on the track for the third straight race. This time, he raced Billy Torrence. Crampton got the jump in his SealMaster Toyota and blazed down the track with a career-best pass at 3.683 seconds. That would be tied for the best elapsed time of the first round.
In the quarterfinals, he raced Billy’s son, the points leader, Steve Torrence. Crampton had another good pass, but Torrence was ahead early. However, right before the finish line, Torrence lost a tire. He was able to just beat the SealMaster machine to the line before a vicious crash. Torrence would walk away uninjured.
Qualified: No. 8 (3.749 sec., 294.88 mph)
E1: Crampton defeated B. Torrence – 3.683 sec., 326.79 mph to 3.726 sec., 326.95 mph
E2: Crampton defeated by S. Torrence – 3.711 sec., 325.53 mph to 3.724 sec., 302.62 mph
Quotable: “We qualified strong and then put down two good runs on race day. Unfortunately, we didn’t have enough to get by Torrence, but I’m glad he’s ok. All-in-all, this SealMaster Toyota is looking good heading to the Toyota Nationals and it’s not over yet. We’re going to continue to try to do our job and play spoiler for Doug and Shawn and try to go some more rounds. To have the quickest ET of the first session shows the quality of this team. These guys have what it takes and I’m pretty excited to get to Vegas.”
Todd loses a wild first round race
Race Recap: J.R. Todd and the DHL/WIX Filters team had a forgettable weekend at Texas Motorplex.
The Yella Fellas faced a mechanical problem in the first pass of qualifying which forced them to abort the run, and the Friday evening session did not go much better. They were able to make two clean solid passes on Saturday, but with most of the field setting their spots on Friday night, Todd was only able to get to the 14th starting spot.
That meant a tough draw in the first round: Jack Beckman. Todd got four hundredths of a second on the starting line, but encountered trouble. Beckman also had issues, which resulted in a wild pedal fest. Unfortunately for Todd, Beckman got to the stripe first and Todd’s day ended in the first round.
Qualified: No. 14 (3.992 sec., 318.84 mph)
E1: Todd defeated by Beckman – 5.140 sec., 109.78 mph to 4.590 sec., 229.70 mph
Quotable: “Not the weekend we were looking for with this DHL Toyota. It was a tricky track to deal with and we got behind. Then today, everyone was struggling to get down it. But we will go to Vegas and try to win the last two.”
Point Standings: Ninth; leads Cruz Pedregon by 71 points for 10th; trails Tim Wilkerson by seven points for eighth
DeJoria claims a Texas round win
Race Recap: Alexis DeJoria qualified ninth for her seventh running of the AAA Texas NHRA FallNationals, and faced Bob Tasca III in the first round of eliminations on Sunday morning. DeJoria made a solid run of 3.933-seconds at 329.83-mph in her ‘pinked out’ Breast Cancer Awareness Toyota Camry, and swiftly defeated Tasca’s 4.444 E.T.
Team Patrón lined up next to Robert Hight in the quarterfinals. Both cars put up good numbers, but a broken clutch lever caused the Patrón Camry to slow and cross the stripe in 3.945-secs, falling to Hight’s 3.855.
A win at the Texas Motorplex would have been the cherry on top of a momentous career for DeJoria, who recently announced her retirement. It was at the Ennis, Texas track where DeJoria licensed in a nitro Funny Car, made her professional debut, and met her husband. Despite not making it into the Texas Motorplex Winner’s Circle and earning one of the event’s coveted black cowboy hats, DeJoria did not leave the track empty handed. During Sunday’s pre-race ceremonies, she was presented with a custom white cowboy hat, honoring DeJoria for her NHRA career.
Qualified: No. 9 (3.947 sec., 319.67 mph)
E1: DeJoria defeated Tasca III – 3.933 sec., 329.83 mph to 4.444 sec., 209.82 mph
E2: DeJoria defeated by Hight – 3.945 sec., 329.83 mph to 3.865 sec., 331.77 mph