YPSILANTI, Mich. (June 4, 2024) – Shawn Langdon and his Kalitta Air Careers Toyota team continue to compete at a high level, and with a third of the season now complete and Langdon currently third in points, it’s safe to say this team is poised for great things ahead. The 2024 NHRA Mission Foods Drag Racing Season resumes June 7-9, 2024 at the Super Grip NHRA Thunder Valley Nationals in Bristol, Tenn.

Langdon reached the semifinals at last week’s NHRA New England Nationals where he ran into a buzz saw also known as Doug Kalitta and his Mac Tools team. All three Team Kalitta cars advanced to the semifinals with Kalitta going on to win the race. Langdon reached at least the semifinals at four of the seven races this season and four of the five two-wide races.

“All three cars had a good weekend in New Hampshire,” Langdon said. All three went rounds, and it was warm out there so I feel pretty confident in the hot weather setup we have and pretty confident for the next couple of races. The air temperature wasn’t that hot (in New Hampshire), but it all kind of correlates a little bit. The track temperature gets warm when the sun’s out, and you have a high UV so it can show a little bit more track temperature on a really sunny day.”

Langdon’s early-season success is buoyed by his teammate’s success. With Kalitta second in points and Langdon third, both teams are performing at a consistently high level. That means a lot psychologically and for the team’s tune-up decisions.

“It’s great when both cars are running good,” Langdon added. “They can work off each other and bounce ideas off each other. It’s a pretty good package deal we have going right now. After one team runs, the other team can learn from the first team’s run so that’s a really big positive when a team has two cars that can make good, strong runs consistently.

“Brian (Crew Chief Brian Husen) and all the guys have done a great job getting the car prepared, and Brian’s done a great job making some really good calls. We definitely have some small areas where we can improve, but for the most part, we have a competitive car every week. It always feels good to have a good car under you. We’re only a third of the way through the season, but I’d say we’re definitely trending in the right direction.”

This weekend, Langdon returns to a track on which he’s won twice, but it’s a track that has its challenges – especially when the track temperature soars under bright, sunny skies in the Tennessee mountains.

“Bristol has great scenery, but the track can be really tricky. The track has some bumps in it so when it gets really hot, the bumps don’t do you any favors. It’s one of those tracks where Friday night, you have to haul ass to get a good qualifying spot and then the rest of the weekend, you have to figure out how to get your car down the track. They repaved the track – that definitely helps so we’ll see how things change when we get there this weekend.”

When Langdon advanced to last week’s semifinals, he earned a spot in the Mission #2Fast2Tasty NHRA Challenge next week. During Saturday’s qualifying sessions in Bristol, the drivers who reached the semifinals in Epping, N.H., will re-run the semifinals and final earning additional purse and championship bonus points.

Race Information:

Super Grip NHRA Thunder Valley Nationals Thunder Valley Dragway; Bristol, Tenn.

TV Schedule (All times eastern):   

  • Qualifying Show 1: 7-8:30 p.m. Friday, June 7 on FS1
  • Qualifying Show 2: 12:30-2 p.m. Sunday, June 9 on FS1
  • Finals: 7-10 p.m. Sunday, June 9 on FS1

2023 NHRA Thunder Valley Nationals Recap: Qualified No. 14; lost to Steve Torrence.

Shawn Langdon Career Stats: 337 events, 19 wins, 22 runner-up, 359 round wins, 20 No. 1 qualifiers. 

2024 NHRA Mission Foods Drag Racing Series Results To Date:

  • Gainesville: Qualified No. 1; defeated Cody Krohn, Justin Ashley, Antron Brown and Billy Torrence.
  • Pomona: Qualified No. 7; defeated Krista Baldwin; lost to Tony Schumacher.
  • Phoenix: Qualified No. 5; defeated Josh Hart, Antron Brown, Steve Torrence and Justin Ashley.
  • Las Vegas 4W: Qualified No. 8; lost to Doug Kalitta and Steve Torrence in the first round.
  • Charlotte 4W: Qualified No. 7; lost to Antron Brown and Brittany Force in the first round.
  • Chicago: Qualified No. 4; defeated Cody Krohn, Shawn Reed and Dan Mercier before losing to Antron Brown.
  • Epping: Qualified No. 4; defeated Shawn Reed and Billy Torrence before losing to Doug Kalitta.