Pre-Race Report Event 07: NHRA Southern Nationals Atlanta Dragway Commerce, Ga.

Doug Kalitta

Doug Kalitta

Kalitta desires second straight Atlanta win

Atlanta Highlights: Defending race winner; Track Elapsed Time Record Holder (3.731 sec. – 2016); Track MPH Record Holder (328.86 MPH – 2014); Three wins (2016, 2006, 2005) Two finals (2014, 1999); Two no. 1 qualifiers (2016, 2014)

Last Event Recap (Charlotte): Qualified second; Quarter-final finish (Defeated Brittany Force and Chris Karamesines in the first quad, lost to Tony Schumacher and Terry McMillen in the second quad)

2016 Southern Nationals Recap: Qualified first; Race Winner (Defeated Terry Haddock in the first round, Tony Schumacher in the quarter-finals, Antron Brown in the semi-finals and J.R. Todd in the finals)

Quotable: “There’s a lot of history at Atlanta. We’ve been real fortunate there.  To win that race with J.R. (by 0.000 seconds) was about as close as you can get and we squeezed one off there. You never really know how close it was until you turn that corner. We will be gunning for it.”

Career Stats: 440 starts, 598 round wins (ninth all-time), 42 wins (Fifth all-time in Top Fuel), 88 finals, 47 no.1 qualifiers (13th all-time)

2017 Season Stats: One final (Pomona-I); Nine round wins; fifth in the standings

2016 Season Stats: Four wins (Houston, Atlanta, Topeka, Pomona-II); Four no.1 qualifiers (Phoenix, Atlanta, Norwalk, Charlotte-II); Two finals (Pomona-I, Charlotte-II); 44 round wins; second in the final standings 

Noteworthy: With two round wins, Kalitta would become the ninth driver to hit 600 round wins; also will reach 1,000 career rounds competed early this year (currently at 996)

Shawn Langdon

Langdon looks to kick-start season in Atlanta

Atlanta Highlights: One no.1 qualifier (2013)

Last Event Recap (Charlotte): Qualified eighth; First quad defeat (Lost to Clay Millican and Leah Pritchett in the first quad)

2016 Southern Nationals Recap (w/ DSR): Qualified seventh; Semi-finalist (Defeated Terry McMillen in the first round and Richie Crampton in the quarter-finals, lost to J.R. Todd in the semi-finals)

Quotable: “We are progressing and are getting the car to make good runs. Heading into Atlanta, the Kalitta cars had a strong showing last season, so we are excited to go there. Most important thing is to start going rounds and hopefully do one better and get into winners circle for Global Electronic Technology.”

Career Stats: 190 starts, 230 round wins, 14 wins, 28 finals, 18 no.1 qualifiers

2017 Season Stats: Two starts; 16th in the point standings

2016 Season Stats: Three wins (Bristol, Norwalk, St. Louis); 30 round wins; fifth in the final standings

Noteworthy: Joined Kalitta Motorsports from Don Schumacher Racing after Las Vegas in a full-time third Top Fuel entry; missed the first four events of the 2017 season due to lack of sponsorship; Langdon’s ride is backed by Global Electronic Technology, the fastest name in credit card processing

Troy Coughlin

Atlanta continues the learning process for Coughlin Jr.

Noteworthy: Seventh career pro event; a candidate for Auto Club Road to Future trophy (best rookie driver); father is former Pro Mod champion (Troy Coughlin Sr.); uncle is former Pro Stock champion (Jeg Coughlin Jr.)

Last Event Recap (Charlotte): Qualified fifth; First quad defeat (Lost to Steve Torrence and Dom Lagana in the first quad)

Quotable: “Round one of qualifying cannot come fast enough! Jim O, Nick, Glen and the team are all set and ready with SealMaster Toyota dragster.”  

2017 Season Stats: Six starts; Three round wins; ninth in the point standings

Career Info: Five national event wins (Three in Super Gas, Two in Super Comp); 2013 Division III Super Gas Champion; 2015 NHRA Pro Mod Rookie of the Year


After strong Charlotte run, Todd plans for success to continue

Atlanta Highlights: One Final (2016)

Last Event Recap (Charlotte): Qualified eighth; Third in the final quad (Defeated Bob Tasca and Brittany Force in the first quad and Tim Wilkerson and Jonnie Lindberg in the second quad, lost to Ron Capps in the final)

2016 Southern Nationals Recap (Top Fuel): Qualified third; Finalist (Defeated Kyle Wurtzel in the first round, Brittany Force in the quarter-finals and Shawn Langdon in the semi-finals, lost to Doug Kalitta in the finals)

Quotable: “We need to keep the momentum from Charlotte going into Atlanta this weekend. Hopefully, we can come out swinging Friday during qualifying and keep it going into Sunday and keep gaining points.” 

Career Stats: 154 starts, 154 round wins, 9 wins, 19 finals, 9 no.1 qualifiers (Funny Car stats: Six starts, One final (Charlotte); Five round wins)

2017 Season Stats: Six starts; One final (Charlotte-I); five round wins; eighth in the point standings

2016 Season Stats: One win (Sonoma); Five finals (Atlanta, Norwalk, Chicago, Las Vegas-II, Pomona-II); One no.1 qualifier (Pomona-II); 37 round wins; fourth in the final standings

Noteworthy: Attempting to become the 16th driver in NHRA history with a Top Fuel and Funny Car win; DHL celebrating 10th season of NHRA sponsorship

Chad Head

Chad Head Atlanta pre-race notes

Last Event Recap (Charlotte): Qualified 14th; First quad defeat (Defeated by John Force and Ron Capps in the first quad)

2016 Southern Nationals Recap (w/Head Racing): Qualified 15th; First round defeat (Lost to Matt Hagan in the first round)

Career Stats: 83 starts, 32 round wins, Two finals, Two no.1 qualifiers

2016 Season Stats: Two semi-finals (Gainesville and Las Vegas-I); eight round wins; 11th in the final standings