Shawn Langdon Fired Up for Bristol with CMR Construction and Roofing Top Fuel
Shawn Langdon will return to the blue and white CMR Construction and Roofing Top Fuel dragster this weekend at the Thunder Valley Nationals. Since early 2021 CMR has expanded their relationship with Kalitta Motorsports and throughout the 2022 season they are highlighting their 20th anniversary and strategic partnership with a primary sponsorship presence on Langdon’s CMR Toyota Top Fuel dragster. The nationally known and award-winning business has utilized the business relationship to expand their footprint and host guests at NHRA national events across the country. Langdon is looking forward to putting on a good show for the guests and executive who attend the Thunder Valley Nationals
“This will be a busy and exciting weekend with the CMR Construction and Roofing team in Bristol,” said Langdon. “They always bring a ton of guests and love to be at the races. CMR CEO Steve and Chandra Soule have been amazing to work with since this relationship started in 2021. Bristol is a track with a lot of history and I would love to add to that with some win lights in this CMR Top Fuel dragster.”
Langdon has two previous wins at the Thunder Valley Nationals collecting Wally’s in 2014 and 2016. The CMR team is hoping to capitalize on the success from the New England Nationals two weeks ago when they raced to the semifinals in Epping, New Hampshire, from the No. 12 spot.
“We had a good race a couple of weeks ago and I feel like things are really coming together,” said Langdon, who has fifteen Top Fuel wins and two Funny Car national event wins. “We added (crew chief) Jason McCulloch over the off-season to work with Kurt Elliott and Connie Kalitta and he has been a great addition. This Top Fuel class is tough and we are battling every race.”
Langdon’s driving skills have been a huge asset for the 2013 Top Fuel champion with his starting line reaction times on race day contributing to the team’s success. Langdon is consistently at or near the top of the race-by-race reaction time averages. Including Langdon there are five current or former Top Fuel world champions filling up the top eleven spots in the point standings. With eight races left in the regular season the driver of the CMR Toyota Top Fuel dragster knows this is the time to start making a move to lock in a Top Ten position for the Countdown.
“You want to get as high as possible in the Top Ten heading into Indy since that is the last race before the cut-off for the Countdown,” said Langdon. “Everyone on this CMR Construction and Roofing team is focused on that. You can’t win a championship if you aren’t in the Countdown. This weekend will be a great opportunity for us to make a move headed into June and July.”
While Langdon will be keeping his focus on the track, he will also be spending time with guests and executives from CMR Construction & Roofing which has built a reputation for excellence over 20 years in business, ranking among the Top 100 Roofing Contractors every year since 2007. Their team is dedicated to delivering superior products, craftsmanship, and customer service to our commercial, government, and residential clients throughout the country. CMR has found a natural partnership with Kalitta Motorsports who fits perfectly with their motto, “When Speed Matters.”
Langdon will get a chance to hit the track on Friday night with the rest of the Top Fuel field. Saturday will feature two qualifying sessions with the final eliminations getting started at noon ET on Sunday. The race will be broadcast nationally by Fox beginning at 3 p.m. ET.
2021 NHRA Thunder Valley Nationals Highlights: Qual. No. 12; Lost to Billy Torrence
Last Event Recap 2022 New England Nationals: Qual. No. 12; Beat Josh Hart, Doug Kalitta; Lost to Justin Ashley
Career Stats: 295 events, 291 starts, 315 round wins, 17 wins, 35 finals, 19 No. 1 qualifiers; in Top Fuel: 247 events, 243 starts, 15 wins, 32 finals, 276 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
J.R. Todd and DHL GR Supra Looking to Finish Bristol with a Win this Year
Last year J.R Todd and the DHL Toyota Funny Car team had their best weekend at the Thunder Valley Nationals racing to a runner-up finish against Toyota teammate Alexis DeJoria. Todd and his DHL team had a consistently fast and quick hot rod that dropped a close race and has motivated the 2018 Funny Car world champion for this weekend’s national event. The Thunder Valley Nationals returns to its traditional Father’s Day weekend spot on the schedule and for Todd, the 10-time Funny Car national event winner, it would be a great time to add win No. 11.
“Last fall at Bristol I feel like we had a car that should have won that race,” said Todd. “We were running great all day and then in the final we did everything right, but it just wasn’t our day. I have a lot of confidence heading back there and I definitely feel like we have some unfinished business for sure.”
Todd has been racing a brand-new DHL Toyota GR Supra Funny Car all season and the veteran driver would like to be the first of the three Toyota Funny Car drivers to get into the winner’s circle. Two weeks ago Todd raced to the semifinals before losing to eventual New England Nationals winner Matt Hagan. The DHL team has been working on building consistency while figuring out the new dynamics of the Supra body, which by all accounts is a huge step forward for the team.
“I am excited about driving this DHL Toyota GR Supra Funny Car every race,” said Todd. “Everything about it is cool. It looks fast just sitting in our DHL pit area. When I get strapped in, I can see a lot better and I am getting more comfortable every race. Epping was a big step forward and now we just need to keep rolling in Bristol. I know (crew chiefs) Todd (Smith) and Jon O (Oberhofer) will be ready to go and so will all the Yella Fellas.”
Todd is solidly in the Funny Car Top Ten sitting sixth just over two rounds out of fifth place. With eight races left in the regular season Todd feels confident he can make an aggressive move up in the standings and be in a good spot for the playoff push at the end of the season.
“You can’t look too far ahead but these next two weeks and the Western Swing will be a great opportunity for our DHL Toyota team to make a move,” said Todd. “We have had good success at a lot of those tracks and this DHL team is hungry for another win.”
This weekend’s Thunder Valley Nationals will be broadcast nationally on the Fox network on Sunday at 3 p.m. ET. Three rounds of qualifying will precede race day with Todd and the DHL Toyota GR Supra getting qualifying underway on Friday night.
2021 NHRA Thunder Valley Nationals Highlights: RUNNER-UP; Qual. No. 12; Beat Beat Matt Hagan, John Force, Ron Capps; Lost to Alexis DeJoria
Last Event Recap 2022 New England Nationals: Qual 10; Beat Blake Alexander, Cruz Pedregon; Lost to Matt Hagan
Career Stats: 263 events, 255 starts, 288 round wins, 19 wins, 40 finals, 14 No. 1 qualifiers; In Funny Car: 111 events, 111 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
Doug Kalitta and Mac Tools Team Chasing Fourth Thunder Valley Nationals Title
The Mac Tools Top Fuel team and driver Doug Kalitta are looking to build on the positive momentum they have been gathering over the past two events. The off-season addition of world champion crew chiefs Alan Johnson and Brian Husen has taken hold and the team has raced to back-to-back quarterfinal finishes with a breakthrough event around the corner. The Thunder Valley Nationals could be just the event for the 49-time Top Fuel national event winner to notch win No. 50.
“We have had a lot of success in Bristol for sure,” said Kalitta. “I love that track and it is a Bruton Smith track so you know it will be nice. There is a lot of history in Bristol and the fans really turn out.”
Kalitta has raced to six final rounds at Thunder Valley Dragway collecting Top Fuel wins in 2001, 2005 and 2006. His runner-up finishes have been tallied in 2009, 2012 and most recently 2014 when he lost to now teammate Shawn Langdon. Kalitta is the second winningest Top Fuel driver in the history of the Thunder Valley Nationals
“It is great to go to a track where you have won some races, but we really want to get another win this weekend,” said Kalitta. “Everyone over here on this Mac Tools team has been busting their tails all season and we would love to see four win lights on Sunday.”
Throughout the season Kalitta has had one of the most dominant race cars in qualifying never starting a race lower than sixth on the ladder. He ran to his 51st career No. 1 qualifier at the Arizona Nationals. In three of the last four races he has been either the No. 3 or No. 4 qualifier. Two weeks ago Kalitta and the Mac Tools team jumped to No. 4 on the last qualifying run and raced to the quarterfinals where they were ousted by teammate Shawn Langdon.
“Our race car has been great in qualifying for sure and last week we had to race Shawn early which is tough,” said Kalitta. “The good news on those deals is you know someone from Kalitta Motorsports is going to the next round. This weekend I think we’ll be in good shape and I am looking forward to an exciting weekend.”
Three years ago in Bristol Kalitta started the race from the No. 1 qualifier spot and the veteran driver from Michigan raced to the semifinals. Qualifying for the Thunder Valley Nationals will begin Friday night with one session followed by two more qualifying runs on Saturday. Final eliminations will begin at noon. The Fox network will nationally broadcast the race beginning at 3 p.m. ET.
2021 NHRA Thunder Valley Nationals Highlights: Qual. No. 13, Lost to Mike Salinas
Last Event Recap 2022 New England Nationals: Qual 4; Beat Cameron Ferre; Lost to Shawn Langdon
Career Stats: 552 events, 545 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