Shawn Langdon Eager to Keep Momentum Rolling Heading to Norwalk Nationals
Shawn Langdon and the DHL Top Fuel dragster team are heading into the Norwalk Nationals with momentum and confidence after a successful weekend in Bristol. The 2013 Top Fuel champion nearly secured his first personal “double-up” when he won the Super Comp class and was runner-up in Top Fuel at the Thunder Valley Nationals. Langdon made more passes down the track over the three-day event than any other competitor switching between his two race cars and going rounds on Sunday.
“It was a busy day for sure,” said Langdon. “It was cool to be in that race mode all day and it felt like I never took my focus off the track. I warmed up my CMR Construction and Roofing dragster and then hopped right in my Super Comp dragster to go race. It definitely kept me sharp all day.”
The past two races for Langdon and his DHL Toyota Top Fuel team have been dominant events. In Epping Langdon was cruising through eliminations when a shredded blower belt derailed his efforts to reach the final round. Last weekend he took out Spencer Massey, Mike Salinas and Antron Brown on the way to the final round. He last run of the day was another solid pass that was just a little off pace for eth win.
“We have really been running well the past two races,” said Langdon. “Connie, Kurt and Jason have got a good tune-up and the guys on the crew are giving me a good race car. We moved up to sixth in the points and we are working on closing that gap on the teams in front of us. Norwalk should be another good chance to make a move.”
Langdon has raced to two final rounds at the Norwalk Nationals securing the win in 2016, over now teammate J.R. Todd, and a runner-up finish in 2014. That year he was also the No. 1 qualifier. Langdon will be back pulling double duty this weekend racing in both Super Comp and Top Fuel.
“Would like to pick up that second win in Top Fuel at Norwalk this weekend and getting a second win in a row in Super Comp would be cool. Both of those classes are tough for a variety of reasons,” said Langdon. “I am looking forward to the challenge.”
The Norwalk Nationals are the closest race to the Kalitta Motorsports shop outside of Detroit in Ypsilanti, Michigan, so several employees and family members will be at the race. There will also be a sizeable contingent of representatives from Applied Innovations, DHL and additional other sponsors.
“We will have a packed hospitality this weekend and that also gives you a lot of energy as a driver,” said Langdon. “Getting to spend time with the fans and our sponsors is a big part of the weekend. When you roll into the pit area after a round win and everyone is cheering that’s a pretty cool feeling.”
Langdon will hit the track in the DHL Toyota Top Fuel dragster for the first time on Friday evening for two qualifying sessions followed by two more runs on Saturday. Final eliminations for the quickest 16 Top Fuel dragster will begin on Sunday at 11 a.m. ET.
2021 NHRA Norwalk Nationals Highlights: Qual. No. 16; Lost to Steve Torrence
Last Event Recap 2022 Thunder Valley Nationals: RUNNER-UP; Qual. No. 9; Beat Spencer Massey, Mike Salinas, Antron Brown; Lost to Justin Ashley
Career Stats: 296 events, 292 starts, 318 round wins, 17 wins, 36 finals, 19 No. 1 qualifiers; in Top Fuel: 248 events, 244 starts, 15 wins, 33 finals, 279 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
Doug Kalitta Repping SealMaster this Weekend at Norwalk Nationals
Racing the SealMaster Top Fuel dragster with additional support from Applied Innovations, 49-time Top Fuel winner Doug Kalitta will roll into the NHRA Norwalk Nationals with his focus on picking up a second win at the fan-favorite stop. Kalitta has raced to the final round three times in his last nine appearances at the racetrack located an hour outside of Cleveland, Ohio, in Norwalk. This season Kalitta has been working with new crew chiefs Alan Johnson and Brain Husen to establish themselves as championship contenders in a tough class of Top Fuel competitors.
“Having Alan and Brian join the team has been great and we are working together to get our Mac Tools Top Fuel dragster some wins. This weekend we will be running a SealMaster dragster and I am really excited about that. Duke and Rhonda Thorson have been great supporters of Kalitta Motorsports and we definitely want to show off for them this weekend in Norwalk.”
Kalitta’s success at the Norwalk Nationals has not been limited to his final round appearances. For nearly four consecutive years Kalitta grabbed the No. 1 qualifier. The veteran driver recorded the quickest passes in qualifying in 2013, 2015, 2016 and 2017. In 2015 Kalitta took the win from the No. 1 spot outrunning Tony Schumacher in the final.
“We have been running well at Norwalk for a lot of years,” said Kalitta, who has 51 No. 1 qualifiers in his career. “We grabbed the No. 1 spot in Arizona earlier this season and we have been making quick runs. We are working on turning those good qualifying runs in to win lights. I like our chances this weekend. The track should be really fast.”
Last weekend was a qualifying anomaly for Kalitta when he started the race from the bottom half of the field for the first time in 2022. In his previous eight races his lowest qualifying position was sixth. He has turned his solid qualifying efforts into a semifinal finish and three quarterfinal finishes.
“I feel like we turned a corner a few races ago and Bristol was just a tough track for a lot of the Top Fuel teams,” said Kalitta. “This weekend the conditions should be pretty good and the Baders do a great job prepping their racetrack. The stands will be packed for sure and I am excited to get out there. We will have four qualifying runs so we should get some great data for race day.”
Qualifying will begin on Friday night with two sessions followed by two sessions on Saturday. Kalitta is currently sitting in the Top Ten with aspirations of moving up as the tour heads into summer. Final eliminations will begin at 11 a.m. ET on Sunday.
2021 NHRA Norwalk Nationals Highlights: Qual. No. 11, Lost to Antron Brown
Last Event Recap 2022 Thunder Valley Nationals: Qual. No. 12, Lost to Brittany Force
Career Stats: 553 events, 546 starts, 728 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
J.R. Todd and DHL Focused on Victory at NHRA Norwalk Nationals
At the halfway point of the NHRA Camping World Drag Racing Series regular season J.R. Todd and the DHL Toyota GR Supra Funny Car team are sitting in sixth place in the point standings and looking to make a move as the summer heats up. The DHL Funny Car team has three semifinal finishes in the previous six races along with an additional quarterfinal finish at the Charlotte Four-Wide Nationals. This weekend at the Norwalk Nationals Todd will be looking to race to his first win at the track located an hour outside of Cleveland.
“We have been right on the cusp of getting our first win with this new Toyota GR Supra Funny Car body,” said Todd. “The track in Norwalk is fast so I am excited to get four qualifying runs and then see what we can do on Sunday. Everyone over here on this DHL Toyota team is working hard so I have a lot of confidence.”
Nine races into the new season Todd has made around 40 passes in qualifying or competition with the new Supra body. The brand-new design affords Todd better vision and the team is working to develop a solid tune up to maximize the new look Supra.
“Todd and Jon O. have a good handle on this DHL Funny Car and I feel more comfortable as the driver with every run,” said Todd. “We are now to the point with as many runs that we have we are fine tuning and I think we are right around the corner from a win. Once you get that first one, I think we can get on a roll. This class is tough, but I have the best guys working with me.”
On Friday professional nitro qualifying will begin with Funny Car leading into Top Fuel for two sessions in the evening. Saturday will flip the two classes for two more qualifying runs with final eliminations starting at 11 a.m. ET.
2021 NHRA Norwalk Nationals Highlights: Qual. No. 9; Beat Mike McIntire; Lost to Ron Capps
Last Event Recap 2022 Thunder Valley Nationals: Qual 11; Lost to Cruz Pedregon
Career Stats: 264 events, 256 starts, 288 round wins, 19 wins, 40 finals, 14 No. 1 qualifiers; In Funny Car: 112 events, 112 starts, 10 wins, 20 finals, 140 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 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