Pre-Race #NorwalkNats

JR Todd Norwalk

Doug Kalitta Repping Applied Imaging At Norwalk National Event

Doug Kalitta will be giving the fans in Norwalk a new look for the Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Nationals. His familiar red and white Mac Tools dominant Top Fuel dragster will have a one race make-over as Michigan-based Applied Imaging will be the primary sponsor for this event. The deal came together after a business to business session at the U.S. Nationals last season and Team Kalitta is excited to be introducing a new sponsor to the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series.

“This is going to be a great race with Applied Imaging on our race car,” said Kalitta “The guys will have Applied Imaging crew shirts and all our sponsors like Mac Tools will still be on the car. We are shining a light on Applied Imaging this weekend. They will be hosting people in our hospitality area both from the business side as well as a charity, Mom’s House, they are supporting. It should be a fun weekend.”

One week after his 500thNHRA national event, where he raced to a semifinal finish, Kalitta is looking forward to trying for win No. 2 at Summit Motorsports Park. In 2015 Kalitta defeated Antron Brown in the final and two years ago Kalitta was runner-up at the Ohio track to Steve Torrence. The veteran driver has a third final round appearance from 2013 to go along with four No. 1 qualifiers.

“We have run well at Norwalk,” said Kalitta. “It is a pretty good race track. We have been coming here for a little over ten years and it seems like there is a different Top Fuel winner every year. I would love to get another win here and keep on building some momentum for the Countdown.”

Since the NHRA added Summit Motorsports Park to the national series in 2007 there have been eleven different winners in Top Fuel. The lone two-time winner is Larry Dixon who picked up wins in 2009 and 2010.

2018 Summit Equipment NHRA Nationals Highlights: Qualified No. 9; Lost to Leah Pritchett

Last Event Recap (2019 Thunder Valley NHRA Nationals):Qual. No. 1; Beat Cameron Ferre, Terry McMillen; Lost to Mike Salinas

Quotable:  Kalitta on racing in Ohio close to the team’s headquarters in Michigan: “This is as close to a home race as we get. We will have a lot of sponsors and people from Michigan at the race. It will be packed in the hospitality area but that also creates a lot of excitement. There will be a lot of first time fans from Applied Imaging at the race so it will be cool to introduce them to NHRA drag racing.”  

Career Stats: 500 events, 493 starts, 668 round wins, 45 wins, 97 finals, 50 no. 1 qualifiers

2019 Season: 
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

Noteworthy:Kalitta will be racing to become just the second Top Fuel driver to win multiple races at Summit Motorsports Park.

JR Todd Norwalk

J.R. Todd and DHL Toyota Camry Ready to Wrap Up June at Summit Motorsports Park

The reigning NHRA Funny Car world champion is looking forward to the fourth race in the month of June. J.R. Todd and his DHL Toyota Camry team have been racing hard for the past three weeks and they collectively know that race day success is just around the corner. For three races they have been qualifying well including a No. 1 qualifier effort in Topeka two weeks ago. It was Team Kalitta’s 100thNo. 1 qualifier and for Todd is showed how much the entire organization has accomplished.
“Topeka was a cool deal to qualifying No. 1 for the 100thtime in Team Kalitta history,” said Todd. “Last week Doug (Kalitta) qualified No. 1 in Top Fuel and Shawn (Langdon) qualified No. 2 in Funny Car in Bristol and that just shows how strong this entire team is. Now we are building on that success on race day and I think we have all the pieces to go rounds.”
Todd has raced to three final rounds in 2019 with a win at the Las Vegas National event. Consistency has been the hallmark of the DHL Toyota Camry team. They only have one first round loss since that win and have maintained their high Mello Yello point position since March.
“This summer stretch really gets you into a good mindset,” explained Todd. “We have four races in a row in June and then we will hit the Western Swing in July. You can figure a lot of things out that will help you in the playoffs. The key is to stay focused on doing the little things. We have a really good tune-up and my guys are working really well together.”  
Three years ago Todd raced to the final round in Norwalk in a Top Fuel dragster. Ironically, it was current teammate Shawn Langdon who took in the win that day. He will be looking for one more win light this weekend and would like nothing better than to be facing his now Funny Car teammate in the final round.
“Yeah Shawn got me in Top Fuel here a few years ago. I would like to see an all Toyota Camry final round this weekend,” said Todd. “We have been on the opposite sides of the ladder a couple times this season but it really seems we run into each other in the second or third round. Our agreement is if we have to beat a teammate we better go on to win the race.”
Last year Todd raced to the semifinals after qualifying No. 7 at the Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Nationals.
2018 Summit Equipment NHRA Nationals Highlights: Qualified No. 7; Beat Bob Tasca III, Ron Capps; Lost to Matt Hagan

Last Event Recap (2019 Thunder Valley NHRA Nationals): Qual. 5; Beat Terry Haddock; Lost to Jack Beckman
Quotable:J.R. Todd on wrapping up the month of June: “This month has flown by. It seems like we were just in Chicago talking about starting this four in a row stretch and now it is almost over. We have won some rounds but we would definitely like to wrap up June with our second win of the season.” 

Career Stats:211 events, 203 starts, 225 round wins, 18 wins, 32 finals, 11 no. 1 qualifiers; in Funny Car: 59 events, 59 starts, 9 wins, 12 finals, 76 round wins, 2 no. 1 qualifiers

2019 Season: 
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

Richie Crampton Norwalk

Summit Equipment Nationals Title on Richie Crampton’s Radar

For Richie Crampton and his DHL Top Fuel dragster team heading to the Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Nationals is the end to a four race stretch that has the young Australian eager to get back into his race car. For three races in a row Crampton has been making consistent runs during qualifying and picking a few round wins on Sunday. This weekend the DHL team is set on making more of an impact on race day.
“We have been battling hard the past three races and really all season,” said Crampton. “What I love about this DHL Top Fuel dragster is there is no quit over here. Connie (Kalitta) is an amazing leader and I am honored to be racing his Top Fuel dragster. We are losing some close races but I think we are going to put that behind us and continue to focus on getting better every run.”
Last year in Norwalk Crampton qualified No. 10 and picked up an upset win in the first round before bowing out in the quarterfinals. It was a close race that could have gone either win. The driver of the DHL Top Fuel dragster has only competed at the Ohio track a handful of times and is looking forward to more win lights this weekend.
“I know they pack the grandstands at Norwalk every year so I am excited about seeing so many NHRA fans this weekend,” said Crampton. “You get a lot of energy when you roll around the corner and see thousands of people standing on their feet. It is just a really cool experience.”
This season Crampton and the DHL team have picked up a historic win at the Gatornationals and continued to hold onto a position in the Mello Yello Top Ten point standings. With seven races left in the regular season Crampton knows there is an opportunity to make up some ground before the Countdown.
“Beyond this weekend I am looking forward to the races at the end of the regular season. I have had success at a number of them so that gives us a lot of confidence. Our plan for is this race in Norwalk is to continue to run well in qualifying and have a long day on Sunday,” added Crampton.
2018 Summit Equipment NHRA Nationals Highlights: Qualified No. 10; Beat Pat Dakin; Lost to Terry McMillen

Last Event Recap (2019 Thunder Valley NHRA Nationals): Qual. 9: Lost to Terry McMillen

Quotable: Crampton on wrapping up four races in a row: “There are a lot of positives we are taking from the previous three races. We had a great race car in Topeka and last weekend in Bristol we got aggressive in the first round and it didn’t work out for us. I would rather be too aggressive than the opposite for sure.”

Career Stats: 114 events, 113 starts, 95 round wins, 9 wins, 11 finals, 5 no. 1 qualifiers

2019 Season: 
Winternationals: Qual. No. 6, Lost to Terry McMillen round one
Arizona Nationals: Qual. No. 15, Lost to Terry McMillen round one
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

Shawn Langdon Norwalk

Langdon and Global Electronic Technology Camry Looking for Second Win

Shawn Langdon and the Global Electronic Technology Toyota Camry have been making solid strides in improved performance as the regular season hits the home stretch. Last weekend they posted their best qualifying performance of the season entering race day as the No. 2 Funny Car and advancing to the quarterfinals. The consistency on Friday and Saturday is something the team is working on transferring to Sunday.
“We have been running a lot quicker on Friday and Saturday which gives the whole team a lot of confidence,” said Langdon. “We are earning bonus points, which helps with the Top Ten since the class is so competitive. This Global Electronic Technology team is really working well together and I think we are starting to see how competitive we can be.”
Since the team’s win in Charlotte, where the team qualified No. 5, Langdon’s Toyota Camry Funny Car has started race day from the top half of the field every race. The qualifying success has given Langdon and his team the opportunity to be aggressive on race day.
“One of the things that we are building is consistent data and you need to go down the track to get that information,” said Langdon. “We are getting a lot of help from Toyota Racing and the TRD guys. We are wrapping up four races in in four weeks so there is a lot of valuable info we have been looking at race to race but there is also the grind of running a ton of rounds.”
Heading into the Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Nationals in Norwalk, Langdon will be returning to a track where he has had success during his Top Fuel dragster career. A Funny Car win would make Langdon the only NHRA driver to win in both nitro categories at the world-renowned track just outside of Cleveland. In 2016 Langdon won his lone Top Fuel title in Ohio and he was runner-up in 2014.
“A lot of people talk about winning in Top Fuel and Funny Car. It is tough because the race cars are so different. You have to do a lot more driving in a Funny Car and I am still learning every time I get into this Toyota Camry race car. Both are very challenging in their own ways but I really love driving this Global Electronics Technology Funny Car,” added Langdon.
Last year in Norwalk Langdon qualified No. 8 and took out one of his current crew chiefs, Del Worsham, in round one before dropping a close race to Courtney Force in the quarterfinals. Having Worsham on his team has given Langdon an additional boost of confidence and experience.
“Having Del work with Nicky (Boninfante) on my race car has been great,” said Langdon. “Those two guys together know everything about this race car from the inside out. I talk with my teammates about driving but it is also great to talk with Del about what is going on in the race car and I think that makes me a better driver.”
2018 Summit Equipment NHRA Nationals Highlights:  Qualified No. 8; Beat Del Worsham; Lost to Courtney Force

Last Event Recap (2019 Thunder Valley NHRA Nationals):Qual. No. 2; Beat Jeff Diehl; Lost to Ron Capps

Quotable:Langdon on wrapping up four races in a row at Norwalk: “We are focused on finishing strong. We’ll have a week off after this race and you want to be able to enjoy that time. We have been running well but we need to get a few more round wins on Sunday. This is a great track and the fan support is pretty awesome. I am looking forward to getting back on the track.”

Career Stats: 243 events, 240 starts, 271 round wins, 15 wins, 31 finals, 18 no. 1 qualifiers; in Funny  Car 35 events, 35 starts, 21 round wins, 1 wins, 1 finals, 0 no. 1 qualifiers

2019 Season: 
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

Noteworthy:Langdon will be attempting to become the first driver to win in both Funny Car and Top Fuel at Summit Motorsports Park.