Heading into the fourth race of the Countdown Team Kalitta has all three teams racing for world championships. Doug Kalitta will be racing to add more Fall Nationals titles to his record. Shawn Langdon will be looking for his first win at the Texas Motorplex. J.R. Todd, No. 5 driver in the Funny Car point standings, will be looking to continue his momentum in the Countdown..
Langdon Looking to Turn Up Countdown Heat at Texas Motorplex
Heading into October Shawn Langdon and his DHL Kalitta Air Top Fuel dragster will be looking to highlight the quest to find a cure for breast cancer. Langdon along with his two Kalitta Motorsports teammates will be flying pink breast cancer awareness ribbon decals and they will be turning their car numbers and names pink as well on their 11,000 horsepower race cars. Langdon, Doug Kalitta and J.R. Todd will also be promoting a special charity concert to support hurricane victims in Louisiana by new Kalitta Motorsports sponsor CMR Construction and Roofing starting this weekend.
The inaugural Stampede of Speed event will keep Langdon busy starting with an appearance at the Fan Fest event in downtown Waxahachie on Thursday night from 7:00 p.m. until 8:30 p.m. where the 2013 Top Fuel world champions will be signing autographs for fans from across the state. For the first time this season Langdon and the rest of the Camping World Drag Racing Series fields will get four qualifying sessions in advance of race day. The added qualifying time is something Langdon is looking forward to taking advantage of in his DHL Top Fuel dragster.
“Getting four runs in qualifying will be a big deal for our team and really all the teams out here,” said Langdon. “I think our team especially can really take advantage of that extra session. We will be making a run at the $15,000 bonus on the line during the nighttime session on Friday but really the two sessions on Saturday will give us the best info for race day.”
Langdon has raced to the final round at the Texas NHRA Fall Nationals on three occasions posting runner-up finishes in 2017, 2013 and 2010. He also has two No. 1 qualifiers in 2013 and 2012 to his credit. Getting his first win on the all-concrete track would go a long way in having the DHL Kalitta Air team finish the season on a high note.
“We got that runner-up finish at the start of the season, and we have had an up and down season since then,” said Langdon. “We have made really good runs in qualifying, and we have made quick runs and gotten some big wins on Sunday. We just need to combine those two things and we could really have a great event.”
2020 Texas NHRA Fall Nationals Highlights: Qual. No. 4; Beat Kebin Kinsley, Leah Pruett; Lost to Steve Torrence
Last Event Recap (2021 NHRA Midwest Nationals): Qual. No. 14; Lost to Steve Torrence
Career Stats: 283 events, 280 starts, 310 round wins, 17 wins, 35 finals, 19 No. 1 qualifiers; in Top Fuel: 235 events, 232 starts, 15 wins, 32 finals, 271 round wins, 19 No. 1 qualifiers
Gatornationals: RUNNER-UP; Qual. No. 6; Beat Doug Foley, Leah Pruett, Antron Brown; Lost to Josh Hart
Las Vegas1: Qual. No. 6; Beat Troy Buff and Rob Passey; Lost to Doug Kalitta and Steve Torrence
Atlanta: Qual. No. 11; Beat Leah Pruett, Mike Salinas; Lost to Steve Torrence
Charlotte1: Qual. No. 11; Lost to Antron Brown and Krista Baldwin
Houston: Qual. No. 7; Beat Josh Hart, Justin Ashley; Lost to Doug Kalitta
Epping: Qual. No. 8; Lost to Doug Kalitta
Norwalk: Qual. No. 16; Lost to Steve Torrence
Denver: Qual. No. 8; Lost to Clay Millican
Sonoma: Qual. No. 9; Beat Clay Millican; Lost to Antron Brown
Pomona1: Qual. No. 5; Beat Jim Maroney; Lost to Antron Brown
Topeka: Qual. No. 7; Beat Antron Brown, Billy Torrence; Lost to Clay Millican
Brainerd: Qual. No. 7; Lost to Antron Brown
Indianapolis: Qual. No. 16; Lost to Brittany Force
Reading: Qual. No. 11; Beat Mike Salinas; Lost to Billy Torrence
Charlotte2: Qual. No. 14; Lost to Clay Millican
St. Louis: Qual. No. 14; Lost to Steve Torrence
.R. Todd and DHL Toyota Funny Car Know Countdown Move Can Happen at Fall Nationals
Three races into the 2021 NHRA Countdown and J.R. Todd and his DHL Toyota Camry Funny Car are right in the thick of the Funny Car championship battle. The 2018 Funny Car champion could use a long race day at the Texas NHRA Fall Nationals to move up in the points and put pressure on the rest of the Funny Car field. He has had one of the most consistent race cars all season and his ability to avoid early exits has paid dividends throughout the 2021 season. The Texas NHRA Fall Nationals will also mark a significant milestone for the racer from Indiana as he enters his 100th Funny Car race. His win at the season opening Gatornationals put him briefly in the points lead and since the beginning of the Countdown has been within striking distance once again as the season begins to wind down.
“The Funny Car class has been close all season,” said Todd, a nineteen time national event winner in Funny Car and Top Fuel. “A lot of guys have had the points lead this season and since the start of the Countdown it seems like there is a new points leader after race. If we can keep going rounds on Sunday and knock out some of these Countdown cars will be in a good position for the final races of the playoffs.”
Todd won at the Texas NHRA Fall Nationals in 2008 when he was behind the wheel of a Top Fuel dragster and six years later, he posted a runner-up finish at the fall classic. In 2018 his championship season he raced to the final but did not get the elusive fourth win light. He did prevail for the championship that season and he is looking to try and recapture some of that momentum this weekend.
“We got on a roll in 2018 and the runner-up at the Fall Nationals was part of that successful run,” said Todd. “We have four more races this season and I feel really good about how this DHL Toyota Camry can perform at each of those tracks. It all starts this weekend at the Texas Motorplex.”
Todd will spend Thursday evening signing autographs for fans at the Fan Fest event in downtown Waxahachie from 7:00 p.m. until 8:30 p.m. The former junior dragster driver will take full advantage of the four qualifying sessions before final eliminations get underway at 11 a.m. on Sunday.
2020 Texas NHRA Fall Nationals Highlights: Qual. No. 8; Beat Paul Lee; Lost to Matt Hagan
Last Event Recap (2021 NHRA Midwest Nationals): Qual. No. 9; Beat Tim Wilkerson; Lost to Matt Hagan
Career Stats: 251 events, 243 starts, 276 round wins, 19 wins, 39 finals, 14 No. 1 qualifiers; in Funny Car: 99 events, 99 starts, 10 wins, 19 finals, 128 round wins, 5 No. 1 qualifiers
Gatornationals: WINNER; Qual. No. 6; Beat Blake Alexander, Tim Wilkerson, Cruz Pedregon and Robert Hight
Las Vegas1: Qual. No. 9; Beat Cruz Pedregon and Jonnie Lindberg; Lost to Ron Capps and Bob Tasca III
Atlanta: Qual. No. 1; Beat Alexis DeJoria, bye; Lost to John Force
Charlotte1: RUNNER-UP; Qual. No.4; Beat Terry Haddock, Jim Campbell, Tim Wilkerson; Beat Mike McIntire, Terry Haddock; Lost to John Force, Beat Cruz Pedregon, Alexis DeJoria
Houston: Qual. No. 8; Beat John Force; Lost to Bob Tasca III
Epping: Qual. No. 9; Beat Cruz Pedregon, Lost to John Force
Norwalk: Qual. No. 9; Beat Mike McIntire, Lost to Ron Capps
Denver: Qual. No. 7; Lost to Bob Tasca III
Sonoma: Qual. No. 12; Beat John Force; Lost to Robert Hight
Pomona1: RUNNER-UP; Qual. No. 7; Beat Jeff Diehl, Robert Hight, Jim Campbell; Lost to Ron Capps
Topeka: RUNNER-UP; Qual. No. 1; Beat Bye, Ron Capps, Blake Alexander; Lost to John Force
Brainerd: Qual. No. 11; Beat Robert Hight, Tim Wilkerson; Lost to Cruz Pedregon
Indianapolis: Qual. No. 5; Beat Jim Campbell; Lost to Cruz Pedregon
Reading: Qual. No. 7; Beat Alexis DeJoria, Cruz Pedregon; Lost to Tommy Johnson Jr.
Charlotte2: Qual. No. 6; Beat Mike McIntire; Lost to Cruz Pedregon
St. Louis: Qual. No. 9; Beat Tim Wilkerson; Lost to Matt Hagan
Mac Tools and Doug Kalitta Aim to Finish 20th Season Together on High Note
The 36th annual Texas NHRA Fall Nationals at Texas Motorplex will be Doug Kalitta and the Mac Tools Top Fuel team’s opportunity to finish their twentieth season together on a high note. For two decades Kalitta has raced the familiar red and white 11,000 horsepower race car to 49 Top Fuel national event victories. This weekend Kalitta as well as his two teammates will also be representing associate sponsor Ferguson Supplies and their Purell and Ecolab brands for the fourth and final race of the 2021 season.
Two of those Mac Tools wins came at the wildly popular Countdown national event at the historic Texas Motorplex located just 30 minutes from downtown Dallas. In addition to wins in 2013 and 2002 Kalitta has a runner-up finish in 2001 to his credit.
“Racing at the Texas Motorplex is always a big deal,” said Kalitta. “Billy Meyer built the first super-track and you can run really low numbers on that all-concrete track. This year we will be gunning for that low qualifier spot on Friday night thanks to that $15,000 bonus.”
For the first time ever as part of the inaugural Stampede of Speed the Top Fuel dragster that runs the quickest elapsed time on Friday night during the second qualifying session will win $15,000 in cold hard cash. The opportunity to pick up some bonus money has Kalitta, the perennial championship contender ready to get on the track.
“Having four qualifying sessions will be great for us and the fans,” said Kalitta. “We will get that first run on Friday to get some data and then hopefully we will be at the back of the pack and have a shot at the big money. This event will be a big deal for the whole sport thanks to Billy and his staff.”
Kalitta has been working all season to win his 50th Top Fuel national event and the driver from Ypsilanti, Michigan, would like nothing better than getting on a roll for the final four races of the Countdown. Racing the backyard of sponsor Toyota adds another wrinkle to a busy weekend.
“We have great support from Toyota and TRD at every race so getting a win and running well at the track in their backyard would be huge,” said Kalitta. “We have added a number of new sponsors this season like Ferguson and CMR Construction and Roofing who will also have guests at the race. Having that kind of support in the pits and grandstands makes going rounds really satisfying.”
Kalitta has two final rounds this season and one of the most dominant teams over the past decade is confident they can step up during the Stampede of Speed. Qualifying will begin on Friday afternoon with two sessions followed by two more qualifying runs on Saturday. Eliminations will begin at 11:00 a.m. on Sunday after a massive opening ceremony. The race will be nationally televised on FS1 beginning at 3 p.m. ET.
2020 Texas NHRA Fall Nationals Highlights: Qual. No. 7; Beat Antron Brown, Justin Ashleyl; Lost to Billy Torrence
Last Event Recap (2021 NHRA MIdwest Nationals): Qual. No. 9; Lost to Tripp Tatum
Career Stats: 540 events, 533 starts, 722 round wins, 49 wins, 107 finals, 50 No. 1 qualifiers
Gatornationals: Qual. No. 4; Beat Arthur Allen; Lost to Justin Ashley
Las Vegas1: RUNNER-UP; Qual. No. 3; Beat Troy Buff and Rob Passey, Beat Shawn Langdon and Leah Pruett; Lost to Steve Torrence
Atlanta: Qual. No. 9; Lost to Antron Brown
Charlotte1: Qual. No. 12; Beat Josh Hart, Billy Torrence, Kyle Wurtzel; Lost to Brittany Force, Josh Hart
Houston: RUNNER-UP; Qual. No. 9; Beat Brittany Force, Antron Brown, Shawn Langdon; Lost to Steve Torrence
Epping: Qual. No. 5; Beat Shawn Langdon, Lost to Mike Salinas
Norwalk: Qual. No. 11; Lost to Antron Brown
Denver: Qual. No. 4; Lost to Leah Pruett
Sonoma: Qual. No. 8; Beat Mike Salinas; Lost to Steve Torrence
Pomona1: Qual. No. 6; Lost to Clay Millican
Topeka: Qual. No. 9; Lost to Clay Millican
Brainerd: Qual. No. 9; Lost to Clay Millican
Indianapolis: Qual. No. 3; Beat Krista Baldwin; Lost to Billy Torrence
Reading: Qual. No. 9; Lost to Justin Ashley
Charlotte2: Qual. No. 12; Lost to Steve Torrence
St. Louis: Qual. No. 9; Lost to Tripp Tatum