Pre-Race #Northwestnats

Doug Northwestnats

J.R. Todd Looking for Strong Western Swing Finish in Seattle

As the Western Swing wraps up this weekend with the Northwest Nationals at Pacific Raceway J.R. Todd and the DHL Toyota GR Supra team would like to close it out with a momentum building win. The team has been consistently quick in Denver and Sonoma qualifying well and racing to the quarterfinals. Todd is in seventh place in the Funny Car point standings and just 32 points out of sixth place which is less than two rounds of racing. Another strong weekend at Pacific Raceway could keep the pressure on the rest of the Funny Car class.
“This weekend could be a great momentum starter for the DHL Toyota Supra team,” said Todd, a 10-time Funny Car national event winner. “I have had some success her in Top Fuel and I would love to carry that over with a Funny Car win. This team has been grinding and I think that first win for us in the new GR Supra body is right around the corner.”
In 2015 Todd won the Northwest Nationals in Top Fuel over now teammate Shawn Langdon. If Todd can collect a Funny Car win this weekend he would become just the fourth pro driver to have wins in each of the nitro categories at the Northwest Nationals. Todd would join Ron Capps, Tommy Johnson Jr and Del Worsham on that exclusive list.
“Any time you can win in the two nitro classes at the same event that is pretty cool,” said Todd. “It is so hard to just get any wins but to have add a Funny Car win to my To Fuel win would be awesome.”
This season Todd and the DHL Toyota team have been breaking in a new Toyota GR Supra body and every race they get more data and more comfortable with the new design. Todd was instrumental in giving feedback throughout the process and bringing this new design to the Seattle area after a two year absence has Todd excited to show off for the fans in the Northwest.
“It has been a couple years since we have been up here so I am sure the fans will be super excited,” said Todd. “The real Western Swing has always been Denver, Sonoma and Seattle and to get back to that this season has been great. We have had packed grandstands at the first two races and I am sure it will be the same this weekend.”
Todd will kick-off the weekend with a DHL sponsor appearance on Thursday night along with DHL teammate Shawn Langdon. Then the teams will roll into qualifying on Friday night and throughout the day on Saturday. The DHL Toyota GR Supra will be on track for final eliminations at 10:30 a.m. PT on Sunday.
 2019 NHRA Northwest Nationals Highlights: Qual. No. 2, Beat Jeff Diehl; Lost to Ron Capps 
Last Event Recap 2022 Sonoma Nationals: Qual 10; Beat Tim Wilkerson; Lost to John Force
Career Stats: 267 events, 259 starts, 292 round wins, 19 wins, 40 finals, 14 No. 1 qualifiers; In Funny Car: 115 events, 115 starts, 10 wins, 20 finals, 144 round wins, 5 No. 1 qualifiers
2022 Results
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 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 

Doug Northwestnats

Northwest Nationals Another Chance for Doug Kalitta and Mac Tools to Dominate

Doug Kalitta and the Mac Tools Toyota Top Fuel team will be heading to the NHRA Northwest Nationals after a two year hiatus looking to build on their Sonoma Nationals momentum. The perennial championship contender qualified No. 2 and raced to the semifinals at a track he has dominated throughout his career. Kalitta has had good luck at Pacific Raceway racing to four final rounds and picking up a Top Fuel title in 2014. A second win at the track located outside of Seattle, Washington, would take his career total to an impressive 50 Top Fuel titles and solidify his position in the Top Fuel top ten.
“I am looking forward to getting to Seattle,” said Kalitta. “We ran really well in Sonoma and I think we can build on that this weekend. It will be hot, but I know (crew chiefs) Alan (Johnson) and Brian (Husen) will have this Mac Tools dragster tuned up.”
Kalitta and his Mac Tools team made a major overhaul in the off-season bringing on veteran and world champion crew chiefs Johnson and Husen to an already strong team. The new crew chief additions have built up success over the season and as the regular season ends, Countdown success looms in the future. The Mac Tools team has been one of the quickest race cars in qualifying only heading into race day on the outside of the top eight on one occasion. They scored a No. 1 qualifier, the 51st of Kalitta’s storied career, at the Arizona Nationals and they have tallied seven top five starts this season.
“Our Mac Tools Toyota dragster has been great in qualifying throughout the season for sure,” said Kalitta. “We have a great dragster and we just need a couple things to go our way on race day. This team has been busting their butts all season and I know race wins are right around the corner. We haven’t raced at Seattle in a while, so I am excited to get back to that track.”
The last time the NHRA raced at Pacific Raceway was 2019 and Kalitta qualified No.8 before racing to the quarterfinals. This season Kalitta will be looking to race deeper into the race day on Sunday. The veteran driver will be looking to take advantage of his Sonoma National momentum of a semifinal finish to cap off the Western Swing.
Kalitta is sitting in ninth place in the Top Fuel point standings with four races remaining in the regular season. He is just four points out of eight place and three rounds from sixth. A strong weekend in Seattle could easily propel Kalitta into the middle of the top ten with three races remaining and the U.S. Nationals scoring points and a half.
“We are shooting to move up in the points every race for the rest of the season,” said Kalitta. “Once those points reset after Indy you are racing for the championship and anything can happen. This season is a marathon not a sprint and I think this Mac Tools team is hitting its stride at the perfect time.”
Qualifying for the Northwest Nationals will begin Friday with one session followed by two qualifying sessions on Saturday. Final eliminations will begin at 10:30 a.m. PT on Sunday morning.
2019 NHRA Northwest Nationals Highlights: Qual. No. 8, Beat Scott Palmer; Lost to Mike Salinas

Last Event Recap 2022 Sonoma Nationals:  Qual. 2; Beat Ron August, Josh Hart; Lost to Mike Salinas
Career Stats: 556 events, 549 starts, 731 round wins, 49 wins, 107 finals, 51 No. 1 qualifiers
2022 Results
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 

Shawn Northwestnats

Shawn Langdon and DHL Top Fuel Ready to Take Title in Seattle

Throughout the 2022 season Shawn Langdon and the DHL Toyota Top Fuel team have been making steady progress. Last weekend in Sonoma Langdon scored another semifinal finish, this one coming from the No. 9 qualifier position to move up to a tie for sixth place in the Top Fuel points just 35 points out of fifth place, which is less than two rounds of racing. Since the beginning of the summer Langdon and his DHL team have scored two semifinals and two runner-up finishes over five races and he collected a win at the Thunder Valley Nationals in Super Comp narrowly missing a rare double up with a Top Fuel runner-up finish at that same event.
“We have definitely been running really well with this DHL Toyota dragster,” said Langdon. “We have just lost some close races down the stretch. I am having a lot of fun driving because we are going rounds and that is just making the whole DHL team better. We are up to sixth in the points and we can make a move up the standings with every race.”
The last time Langdon races at the Northwest Nationals he was piloting a Toyota Funny Car to a quarterfinal finish as the No. 6 qualifier. The long layoff combined with the return to Top Fuel does not bother Langdon. The 2013 Top Fuel world champion is looking forward to getting back to Pacific Raceway where he has two final round appearances in Top Fuel from 2012 and 2015.
“Seattle has a lot of passionate fans and I am sure they will pack them in since we haven’t been here in a couple years,” said Langdon. “We have had great crowds throughout the Western Swing and I would love to get a win this weekend. We are spending time with some folks from DHL on Thursday night and I am sure we will have a lot of supporters in our pits all weekend.”
Langdon’s team has done masterful job of setting up the DHL Toyota dragster for race day success. They have seven first round upset wins so far this season with most of those wins coming from improved passes from their best qualifying efforts. The veteran leadership of team owner and crew chief Connie Kalitta along with input from crew chiefs Kurt Elliott and Jason McCulloch give Langdon one of the most powerful and dangerous Top Fuel dragsters on race day.
“You have to have a lot of confidence when you are getting in a dragster tuned by Connie Kalitta, Kurt Elliott and Jason McCulloch,” said Langdon. “Those guys have a ton of experience and have won so many races. We are a great team and this is the time to get hot. I would love to close out the Western Swing with a win and then get on a streak heading into the Countdown. That is our focus right now.”
2019 NHRA Northwest Nationals Highlights: (In Funny Car) Qual. No. 6; Beat Cruz Pedregon; Lost to Matt Hagan
Last Event Recap 2022 Sonoma Nationals: Qual. 9; Beat Antron Brown, Leah Pruett; Lost to Brittany Force
Career Stats: 299 events, 295 starts, 323 round wins, 17 wins, 37 finals, 19 No. 1 qualifiers; in Top Fuel: 251 events, 247 starts, 15 wins, 34 finals, 284 round wins, 19 No. 1 qualifiers
2022 Results
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