Shawn Langdon and Global Electronic Technology Camry Motivated for Another Win
This year’s installment of the New England NHRA Nationals will see Shawn Langdon driving his Global Electronic Technology Toyota Camry looking to add a few more rounds and race into the winner’s circle. Last year Langdon’s Funny Car branded by the company recognized as “The Fastest Name in Credit Card Processing” was the only semifinalists to post three straight 300 mph passes in the opening rounds of eliminations. The second year Funny Car racer is looking for more success when the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series makes its lone visit to the New England region.
“Epping is a cool place to race,” said Langdon. “There is a lot of history in the New England area. We ran pretty well there last year and I think we figured a few thinks out on this Global Electronic Technology Camry Funny Car during the month of June.”
During the four races in four week stretch Langdon and his crew made some positive moves. They maintained their position in the Mello Yello Top Ten with just six races left in the regular season. The team also posted their best qualifying effort of the season a No. 2 qualifier at Bristol Dragway, another historic stop on the tour.
“We had a couple really good qualifying efforts in June, Bristol as the No. 2 qualifier and Chicago as the No. 4 qualifier,” said Langdon. “The last two races we had a great race car and we went rounds but going rounds isn’t what we are looking for ultimately. We are working towards a tune-up and race day performance that wins races.”
Since Langdon’s first Funny Car win this season in Charlotte the Global Electronic Technology Camry has raced to the quarterfinals three times. They have only started from the bottom half of the field one time over that six race stretch. Consistency will be the key to success as the regular season winds down and eyes turn to The Countdown.
“This weekend in Epping will be a key race for us and all the teams,” said Langdon. “We have had a week off to refresh a few parts up and after this we have an off week and then we start the Western Swing. I love this part of the season because we are in a groove and I think the team is really clicking.”
The Global Electronic Technology Toyota Camry team also stayed after the last race in Norwalk making a number of successful test runs. The results showed positive improvement and also added more seat time for Langdon.
“You can never get too much time in one of these Funny Cars. You walk up to it in the staging lanes and see the Global Electronic Technology logo and ‘The Fastest Name in Credit Card Processing’ on the side and you know you are about to go over 300 mph. That is the coolest feeling. We are ready to get to Epping for sure,” added Langdon.
2018 New England NHRA Nationals Highlights: Qual. No. 3; Beat Jim Campbell, John Force; Lost to Tim Wilkerson
Last Event Recap (2019 Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Nationals):Qual. No. 12; Beat Blake Alexander; Lost to Jack Beckman
Quotable:Langdon on getting back to the track after an off weekend: “I wasn’t in my Global Electronic Technology Camry Funny Car last weekend but I was still at a track. I raced in a big money bracket race to keep my skills sharp and have some fun. This Funny Car class is so tough you have to constantly stay on top of your game.”
Career Stats: 244 events, 241 starts, 272 round wins, 15 wins, 31 finals, 18 No. 1 qualifiers; in Funny Car 36 events, 36 starts, 22 round wins, 1 wins, 1 finals, 0 No. 1 qualifiers
Winternationals: Qual. No. 6; Beat Jim Campbell; Lost to Tommy Johnson Jr.
Arizona Nationals: Qual. No. 7; Beat Cruz Pedregon; Lost to Matt Hagan
Gatornationals: Qual. No. 10; Lost to Cruz Pedregon
Las Vegas1: Qual. No. 8; Lost to Tim Wilkseron and Jeff Diehl
Houston: Qual. No. 10; Beat Cruz Pedregon; Lost to Ron Capps
Charlotte1: Qual 5; WINNER; Beat Jeff Diehl and Terry Haddock; Beat J.R. Todd and Tommy Johnson Jr; Beat Robert Hight, John Force and Matt Hagan
Atlanta: Qual. No. 6; Lost to Ron Capps
Richmond: Qual. No. 5; Beat Tim Wilkerson; Lost to J.R. Todd
Chicago: Qual. No. 4; Lost to Jeff Arend
Topeka: Qual. No. 8; Lost to Robert Hight
Bristol: Qual. No. 2; Beat Jeff Diehl; Lost to Ron Capps
Norwalk: Qual. No. 12; Beat Blake Alexander; Lost to Jack Beckman
Noteworthy: Shawn Langdon will be trying to become just the fifth Funny Car driver to win an NHRA national event at New England Dragway.
DHL Dragster and Richie Crampton Ready to Start July with a Win
Richie Crampton and the DHL Top Fuel team are ready to put June behind them and focus on the successes that lay in front of them. Heading into the New England NHRA Nationals Crampton will be focused on his second win of the season and also showing off for new marketing partner East Mountain Transport. The Florida-based company will be prominently highlighted on Crampton’s DHL dragster as well as logos on all three of Crampton’s teammates’ racecars.
“I’m really excited to welcome East Mountain Transport on board with me and Kalitta Motorsports,” said Crampton, when he heard the news about the new addition. “I know everyone from me to Connie (Kalitta) to all of our teams are looking forward to standing in the winner’s circle with our new partners soon.”
The last time Crampton was in the winner’s circle was at arguably the biggest race this season, the 50thannual Gatornationals. For the second year in a row Crampton won one of the most prestigious races of the season. Since that win Crampton and his DHL Top Fuel dragster have been looking for some race day consistency.
“We had an awesome race day at the Gatornationals,” said Crampton. “Since that race we have had a really good race car and we just haven’t seen the results of a lot of hard work by some of the best guys in the business. We seem to run well in qualifying and then get a tough match-up in the first round on race day or we struggle a little in qualifying and get a tough match-up because we might be starting from the bottom half. We aren’t getting any breaks. Hopefully that will start turning around this weekend.”
To the credit of the entire DHL team no one is hanging their heads or making excuses. The attitude of the team is, ‘We can just work harder and focus on the racing’ to get some consistency. The team is in the Top Ten, currently No. 8, and with some round wins can move up in the standings.
“There is a little bit of a gap between No. 8 and No. 7 in the points I think but if you can getting into the middle of the pack there is a group of teams bunched up,” added Crampton. “We can run with anyone so really we are just going after whoever is in the next lane no matter where they are in the Mello Yello points.”
2018 New England NHRA Nationals Highlights: Qual. No. 10; Beat Scott Palmer; Lost to Tony Schumacher
Last Event Recap (2019 Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Nationals): Qual. 8; Lost to Billy Torrence
Quotable: Crampton on heading to Epping with new sponsor: “I’m really excited to welcome East Mountain Transport on board with me and Kalitta Motorsports. I know everyone from me to Connie to all of our teams are looking forward to standing in the winner’s circle with our new partners soon.”
Career Stats: 115 events, 114 starts, 95 round wins, 9 wins, 11 finals, 5 No. 1 qualifiers
Winternationals: Qual. No. 6; Lost to Terry McMillen
Arizona Nationals: Qual. No. 15; Lost to Terry McMillen
Gatornationals: Qual. No. 12; WINNER, Beat Antron Brown, Leah Pritchett, TJ Zizzo and Clay Millican
Las Vegas1: Qual. No. 6; Beat Scott Palmer, Cameron Ferre; Lost to Doug Kalitta and Brittany Force
Houston: Qual. No. 13; Lost to Clay Millican
Charlotte1: Qual. 12; Lost to Doug Kalitta and Leah Pritchett
Atlanta: Qual. 7; Lost to Scott Palmer
Richmond: Qual. 7; Lost to Austin Prock
Chicago: Qual. 11; Beat Austin Prock; Lost to Steve Torrence
Topeka: Qual. 7; Beat Terry McMillen; Lost to Billy Torrence
Bristol: Qual. 9; Lost to Terry McMillen
Norwalk: Qual. 8; Lost to Billy Torrence
J.R. Todd and DHL Toyota Camry Eager to Get Back to Winning Ways in Epping
In the four races since his runner-up finish in Richmond J.R. Todd has had one of the quickest Funny Cars on the Mello Yello tour. His DHL Toyota Camry qualified in the top half of the field every race in the month of June including a No.1 qualifier in Topeka. Even with that kind of Friday and Saturday showing the DHL team was not satisfied with Sunday results. In Norwalk they pulled out their back-up race car for race day and will continue to campaign the 2018 NHRA championship winning DHL Toyota Camry for the foreseeable future.
“We just needed to try something different I think,” said Todd. “Getting back in the championship DHL Toyota Camry Funny Car is cool. Lots of good memories from last season but really (crew chiefs) Todd (Smith) and Jon (Oberhofer) just wanted to be able to get a better handle on the race car. Both of these Camrys are awesome for sure.”
This season has seen Todd race to three final rounds and pick up a win in Las Vegas. For the reigning Funny Car champion final rounds are great but seeing four win lights on Sunday is what really keeps the whole team motivated.
“When we win we do the mosh pit on the starting line and it has been a while since one of those,” said Todd. “Everybody on this DHL team is focused and ready to celebrate on Sunday. The month of June was a grind but it also helps bring a team together. You are spending a lot of time together and we tested the Monday after Norwalk. We made some really good runs and I think that is the sort of thing that will pay dividends in July and into the Countdown.”
2018 New England NHRA Nationals Highlights: Qual. No. 7; Lost to Tim Wilkerson
Last Event Recap (2019 Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Nationals): Qual. 7; Beat Robert Hight; Lost to John Force
Quotable:J.R. Todd on heading to Epping: “There will be a ton of people in Epping we know that for sure. It will be a holiday weekend so the place will be packed. We have a ton of fans in the north east and this track gets NHRA fans from all over that area.”
Career Stats:212 events, 204 starts, 226 round wins, 18 wins, 32 finals, 11 No. 1 qualifiers; in Funny Car: 60 events, 60 starts, 9 wins, 12 finals, 77 round wins, 2 No. 1 qualifiers
Winternationals: Qual. No. 9; Lost to Bob Tasca III
Arizona Nationals: Qual. No. 5; RUNNER-UP; Beat Terry Haddock, Tommy Johnson Jr., Robert Hight, Lost to Matt Hagan
Gatornationals: Qual. No. 11; Lost to Jack Beckman
Las Vegas1: Qual. No. 4; WINNER; Beat Gary Densham and Jim Campbell in first quad, Matt Hagan and Jeff Diehl in second quad and in the final quad beat Tommy Johnson Jr., Jack Beckman and Tim Wilkerson.
Houston: Qual. No. 4; Beat Jim Campbell; Lost to Robert Hight
Charlotte1: Qual. No. 8; Beat Bob Tasca III and Bob Glibertson; Lost to Shawn Langdon and Robert Hight
Atlanta: Qual. No. 2; Beat Jim Campbell; Lost to Tommy Johnson Jr.
Richmond: Qual. No. 4;RUNNER-UP; Beat Bob Tasca III, Shawn Langdon, Jonnie Lindberg; Lost to Ron Capps
Chicago: Qual. No. 6; Lost to John Force
Topeka: Qual. No. 1; Beat bye; Lost to Robert Hight
Bristol: Qual. 5; Beat Terry Haddock; Lost to Jack Beckman
Norwalk: Qual. 7; Beat Robert Hight; Lost to John Force
Doug Kalitta Eyeing First New England Win in Mac Tools Dragster
Doug Kalitta is once again putting together a solid season of consistency and performance behind the wheel of the Mac Tools Top Fuel dragster. Heading into the New England NHRA Nationals this weekend Kalitta sits No. 2 in the Mello Yello point standings and while there is a considerable gap between the No. 1 and No. 2 drivers the veteran Top Fuel racer knows when the Countdown starts he could be within two rounds of the top spot.
“I am not worried about a points gap right now,” said Kalitta. “In fact, I am not really looking at the points. We are just working on getting as many round wins as possible and the rest will sort itself out. The start of the Countdown is a great equalizer but you still have to perform those last six races. We are looking at performing well in Epping and then the Western Swing.”
The Mac Tools dragster was adorned with new Kalitta Motorsports marketing partner Applied Imaging for one race two weeks ago in Norwalk. Kalitta is looking forward to getting back into his familiar Mac Tools dragster this weekend.
“We had a great weekend with Applied Imaging in Norwalk and it was great to bring a new sponsor into NHRA drag racing,” said Kalitta. “I think they got a lot out of the weekend and we are hoping to do more with them down the road. I am looking forward to getting back into this Mac Tools dragster and hopefully parking it in the winner’s circle in Epping.”
In 2014 Kalitta advanced to his lone final round at New England Dragway. During that race Kalitta started as the No. 2 qualifier and raced his way past Terry McMillen, Khalid alBalooshi and Richie Crampton before being stopped in the final by Tony Schumacher. Kalitta appeared in nine final rounds that season, a career best, picking up two wins.
“We dropped a close race in the final a few years ago in Epping and we had a great race car that day,” said Kalitta. “I know we can run those numbers and show that kind of consistency again. We tested in Norwalk and I am excited to get back to the track. We had a weekend off which was nice but now we are back to business.”
Two semifinal finishes in the last four races have the Winternationals winner eager to go the distance. Kalitta will be eyeing the first win for Kalitta Motorsports at New England Dragway when eliminations get underway on Friday.
2018 New England NHRA Nationals Highlights: Qualified No. 9; Beat Terry McMillen; Lost to Leah Pritchett
Last Event Recap (2019 Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Nationals):Qual. No. 13; Beat Clay Millican; Lost to Steve Torrence
Quotable: Kalitta on racing in Epping: “We got to the final here early on after the track joined the Mello Yello Drag Racing Series. We have gone some rounds but I would love to pick up a win at a new track for sure.”
Career Stats: 501 events, 494 starts, 669 round wins, 45 wins, 97 finals, 50 No. 1 qualifiers
Winternationals: Qual. No. 7, WINNER; Beat Scott Palmer, Billy Torrence, Terry McMillen and Steve Torrence
Arizona Nationals: Qual. No. 5; Beat Jim Maroney; Lost to Jordan Vandergriff
Gatornationals: Qual. No. 11; Beat Terry McMillen, Steve Torrence; Lost to Clay Millican
Las Vegas1: Qual. No. 7; Beat Terry McMillen and Steve Chrisman; Beat Steve Torrent and Richie Crampton; Lost to Mike Salinas and Brittany Force
Houston: Qual. No. 8; Beat Terry McMillen; Lost to Brittany Force
Charlotte1: Qual. No. 4; Beat Richie Crampton and Lex Joon; Lost to Clay Millican and Leah Pritchett
Atlanta: Qual. No. 3; Lost to Shawn Reed
Richmond: Qual. No. 5; Lost to Scott Palmer
Chicago: Qual. No. 5; Beat Shawn Reed, Pat Dakin; Lost to Mike Salinas
Topeka: Qual. No. 5; Beat Leah Pritchett; Lost to Antron Brown
Bristol: Qual. No. 1; Beat Cameron Ferre, Terry McMillen; Lost to Mike Salinas
Norwalk: Qual. No. 13; Beat Clay Millican; Lost to Steve Torrence
Noteworthy: Looking for first win at New England Dragway.