Langdon Goes Pink with CMR for Texas Fall Nationals Looking for Victory
The DHL Toyota Top Fuel team and Shawn Langdon will be looking to keep the momentum that began building at the NHRA Midwest Nationals in St. Louis. Langdon raced to a semifinal finish and added 40,000 meals to Feeding America for his efforts along with Kalitta Motorsports and primary sponsor DHL. This weekend Langdon will be supporting Feeding America as well as breast cancer awareness and men’s health with a pink highlighted DHL Toyota Top Fuel dragster. The 2013 NHRA Top Fuel champion is appreciative of the efforts to support a variety of causes that impact the NHRA fan, but he is most focused in winning the Texas NHRA Fall Nationals for the first time.
“We have been runner-up a few times and I would definitely like to get those four win lights on Sunday,” said Langdon. “We have raced to a couple final rounds this season and we were making a lot of progress at the end of the summer. We have a great team over here and I think we will finish these last three races on a high note.”
Langdon raced to the final round at the NHRA Texas Fall Nationals recording runner-up finishes as recently as 2017 as well as his championship season of 2013 and in 2010. Langdon also went No. 1 in back-to-back races in 2012 and 2013.
“The Motorplex is a pretty quick track because it is all-concrete,” said Langdon. “You can create a lot of power when the conditions are right. Hopefully the weather will cooperate and we can make the most of the qualifying sessions. We are going to get four qualifying runs which I like.”
This season Langdon has been consistently in the Top Ten and with three races left the veteran driver who has won in Super Comp this season is looking to move up in the point standings. There are twelve rounds of racing left each worth 20 points except for the final race of the year which will award 30 points per round. Three strong races could launch Langdon one of the best drivers off the starting line up to the top of the standings.
“This is a full team effort from the top to the bottom,” said Langdon. “I am trying to do my job on the starting line while Connie Kalitta, Kurt Elliott and Jason McCulloch are giving me a quick tune-up. The DHL crew guys are some of the best in the sport so we have a race car that can win any race we enter.”
Langdon will get his chance to win the NHRA Texas Fall Nationals on Friday night starting at 3:30 p.m. and 8:00 p.m. with two rounds of qualifying. On Saturday the final two qualifying sessions will be contested at 1:00 p.m. and 5:00 p.m. with the race beginning on Sunday at noon CT.
2021 Texas Fall Nationals Highlights: Qual. No. 14; Lost to Steve Torrence
Last Event Recap 2022 Midwest Nationals: Qual. 3; Beat Kyle Wurtzel, Tony Schumacher; Lost to Josh Hart
Career Stats: 306 events, 302 starts, 328 round wins, 17 wins, 37 finals, 19 No. 1 qualifiers; in Top Fuel: 258 events, 254 starts, 15 wins, 34 finals, 289 round wins, 19 No. 1 qualifiers
Winternationals: Qual 8; Lost to Josh Hart
Arizona Nationals: Qual 7; Beat Antron Brown; Lost to Mike Salinas
Gatornationals: Qual 21; DNQ
Las Vegas1: Qual 11; Beat Doug Kalitta and Rob Passey; Lost to Steve Torrence and Brittany Force
Houston: Qual 10; Beat Leah Pruett; Lost to Brittany Force
Charlotte1: Qual 14; Lost to Clay Millican, Josh Hart
Richmond: Qual 12; Beat Doug Foley; Lost to Brittany Force
Epping: Qual. No. 12; Beat Josh Hart, Doug Kalitta; Lost to Justin Ashley
Bristol: RUNNER-UP; Qual. No. 9; Beat Spencer Massey, Mike Salinas, Antron Brown; Lost to Justin Ashley
Norwalk: Qual. No. 9; Lost to Tripp Tatum
Denver: RUNNER-UP; Qual. No. 12; Beat Greg Carrillo, Mike Salinas, Josh Hart; Lost to Leah Pruett
Sonoma: Qual. 9; Beat Antron Brown, Leah Pruett; Lost to Brittany Force
Seattle: Qual. 6; Beat Mike Salinas; Lost to Tony Schumacher
Topeka: Qual. 9; Beat Clay Millican; Lost to Mike Salinas
Brainerd: Qual. 11; Beat Leah Pruett; Lost to Justin Ashley
Indianapolis: Qual. 15; Lost to Justin Ashley
Reading: Qual. 12; Lost to Steve Torrence
Charlotte2: Qual. 12; Lost to Doug Kalitta
St. Louis: Qual. 3; Beat Kyle Wurtzel, Tony Schumacher; Lost to Josh Hart
Surging Doug Kalitta and Mac Tools Team Taking on Texas Motorplex with Winning Attitude
A resurgent Doug Kalitta and the Mac Tools Toyota Top Fuel team will roll into the NHRA Texas Fall Nationals looking to continue to close the gap on the Top Fuel points leaders. Over three of the past four races Kalitta has raced to three semifinal finishes and sits in seventh place in the point standings only 88 points back from first place in one of the tightest Top Fuel races in recent memory. The Texas Fall Nationals, the fourth of six Countdown playoff races, will be a turning point for the perennial championship contender and his Alan Johnson and Brian Husen led team.
“We have been running really well since Indy and I think the team really turned a corner,” said Kalitta, a 49-time Top Fuel national event winner. “We brought on Alan and Brian at the beginning of the season and we knew it wouldn’t be a quick turnaround. It is all starting to come together and it couldn’t happen at a better time with three races left in the season. It is anyone’s championship.”
Kalitta has two wins at Texas Motorplex grabbing the Top Fuel title in 2013 and 2002. The all-concrete track built by former Funny Car driver Billy Meyer is known as one of the quickest and fastest tracks in the country. The cooler conditions that are forecasted for the track located south of the DFW metroplex could play right into Kalitta’s hands for running low elapsed times.
“We have been qualifying really well all season and now we are hitting our groove on race day,” said Kalitta. “I have a lot of confidence in this Mac Tools team. The Motorplex is a track where you can make some good runs. These last three races are going to be a lot of fun.”
While Kalitta will be racing for points all three Kalitta Motorsports entries will be racing for Feeding America for the next two races. For every win light Kalitta turns on 20,000 meals will be donated to the national company focusing on ending food insecurity thanks to donations from Kalitta Motorsports and DHL. Additionally, Kalitta Air has pledged to donate as well to the cause. So far the program has garnered more than 140,000 meals over the past two races.
The chances of more win lights for the Mac Tools team are moving in the right direction thanks to Kalitta’s history of success at Texas Motorplex which also includes a runner-up finish in 2001 and a No. 1 qualifier in 2004. The Mac Tools team will have four passes in qualifying to make the 16-car field which will race for a Wally and a custom fitted cowboy hat as part of the Stampede of Speed.
2021 Texas Fall Nationals Highlights: Qual. No. 9; Lost Clay Millican
Last Event Recap 2022 Midwest Nationals: Qual. 4; Beat Doug Foley, Brittany Force; Lost to Steve Torrence
Career Stats: 563 events, 556 starts, 739 round wins, 49 wins, 107 finals, 51 No. 1 qualifiers
Winternationals: Qual. 5; Lost to Tony Schumacher
Arizona Nationals: Qual. 1; Lost to Rob Passey
Gatornationals: Qual 5; Beat Alex Laughlin; Lost to Mike Salinas
Las Vegas1: Qual 6; Lost to Leah Pruett and Shawn Langdon
Houston: Qual 3; Lost to Billy Torrence
Charlotte1: Qual 4; Beat Alex Laughlin, Doug Foley; Lost to Mike Salinas, Cameron Ferre
Richmond: Qual 6; Beat Leah Pruett; Lost to Austin Prock
Epping: Qual 4; Beat Cameron Ferre; Lost to Shawn Langdon
Bristol: Qual 12; Lost to Brittany Force
Norwalk: Qual. No. 6; Beat Antron Brown; Lost to Mike Salinas
Denver: Qual. No. 8; Lost to Josh Hart
Sonoma: Qual. 2; Beat Ron August, Josh Hart; Lost to Mike Salinas
Seattle: Qual. 4; Beat Alex Laughlin; Lost to Leah Pruett
Topeka: Qual. 5; Lost to Tony Schumacher
Brainerd: Qual. 10; Lost to Tony Schumacher
Indianapolis: Qual. 12; Beat Clay Millican, Mike Salinas; Lost to Brittany Force
Reading: Qual. 7; Beat Leah Pruett; Lost to Justin Ashley
Charlotte2: Qual. 5; Beat Shawn Langdon, Mike Salinas; Lost to Justin Ashley
St. Louis: Qual. 4; Beat Doug Foley, Brittany Force; Lost to Steve Torrence
J.R. Todd and DHL Toyota GR Supra Bring Heat to Championship Chase at Texas Motorplex
As the battle for the Funny Car world championship comes to conclusion J.R. Todd and the DHL Toyota GR Supra Funny Car team are looking at the NHRA Texas Fall Nationals as their next chance to move up in the standings. Three Countdown playoff national events remain on the schedule and Todd has experienced success at every event throughout his career. The Texas Fall Nationals is the one track where he hasn’t captured a Funny Car title, but the versatile driver has won in Top Fuel capturing the win in 2008. The Stampede of Speed event which will be capped with the Texas Fall Nationals October 14-16 will offer Todd and the DHL Funny Car four qualifying runs which the veteran driver knows will be critical to race day success.
“I wish every track had four qualifying runs because you just get better information and it gives all the teams more chances for success on race day,” said Todd. “I am looking forward to getting to the Texas Motorplex this weekend. That all-concrete track with some good weather could mean really quick times. There is also a $15,000 bonus for low ET on Friday night which will make it pretty exciting.”
Todd has two runner-up finishes at Texas Motorplex including 2014 and 2018. His most recent runner-up led to his first Funny Car world championship. His 2014 runner-up came from the No. 1 qualifier spot. This year Todd has won rounds from a variety of starting positions. At eight of the past ten events Todd has started from the top half of the field including a runner-up finish in Seattle and a handful of semifinal and quarterfinal finishes. Every round win for Todd will equate to 20,000 meals for Feeding America thanks to primary sponsor DHL and Kalitta Motorsports.
“There has been a lot of interest in our Feeding America program for sure,” said Todd. “It is cool that every win light means we are helping families across the country. I would love to donate 80,000 meals with a win at Texas Motorplex. We’ll also be in a pink DHL Toyota Funny Car so that will be cool.”
In partnership with DHL Todd along with teammate Shawn Langdon are going pink for breast cancer awareness in October but also raising awareness for men’s health in November. Todd will be in a specially designed Funny Car for the final three races of the season.
The last stretch of the season will get underway for Todd on Friday afternoon with the first of two sessions followed by Saturday’s two runs. The 16-car field will start eliminations at noon CT.
2021 Texas Fall Nationals Highlights: Qual. No. 8; Beat Tim Wilkerson, Robert Hight; Lost to Matt Hagan
Last Event Recap 2022 Midwest Nationals: Qual. 10; Beat Alexis DeJoria; Lost to John Force
Career Stats: 274 events, 266 starts, 299 round wins, 19 wins, 41 finals, 14 No. 1 qualifiers; In Funny Car: 122 events, 122 starts, 10 wins, 21 finals, 150 round wins, 5 No. 1 qualifiers
Winternationals: Qual. 8; Beat Bobby Bode; Lost to Ron Capps
Arizona Nationals: Qual. 8; Lost to Alexis DeJoria
Gatornationals: Qual. 11; Lost to Blake Alexander
Las Vegas1: Qual. 9; Beat Tim Wilkerson and Jason Qual. 7; Beat Jim Campbell; Lost to Robert Hight Rupert; Lost to Ron Capps and Matt Hagan
Houston: Qual. 13; Beat Bob Tasca III, Jim Campbell; Lost to Matt Hagan
Charlotte1: Qual. 6; Beat Dale Creasy Jr, Chad Green; Lost to Ron Capps, Mike McIntire
Richmond: Qual. 5; Lost to John Force
Epping: Qual. 10; Beat Blake Alexander, Cruz Pedregon; Lost to Matt Hagan
Bristol: Qual. 11; Lost to Cruz Pedregon
Norwalk: Qual. 7; Beat Blake Alexander, John Force; Lost to Robert Hight
Denver: Qual. 6; Beat Cruz Pedregon; Lost to John Force
Sonoma: Qual. 10; Beat Tim Wilkerson; Lost to John Force
Seattle: Qual. 7; RUNNER-UP; Beat Blake Alexander, Bob Tasca III, bye; Lost to Robert Hight
Topeka: Qual. 8; Lost to Alexis DeJoria
Brainerd: Qual. 7; Beat Jim Campbell; Lost to Robert Hight
Indianapolis: Qual. 8; Beat Cruz Pedregon; Lost to Ron Capps
Reading: Qual. 6; Beat Chad Green; Lost to John Force
Charlotte2: Qual. 6; Lost to Alexis DeJoria
St. Louis: Qual. 10; Beat Alexis DeJoria; Lost to John Force