POMONA, CA – Shawn Langdon advanced to his second Top Fuel final in the last three races before falling to Brittany Force to lead Toyota at the Auto Club NHRA Finals at the Auto Club Raceway in Pomona, California.
Langdon used spectacular reaction times on the tree on the way to beating Tony Schumacher, Leah Pritchett and teammate Doug Kalitta in the first three rounds with the victories over Schumacher and Kalitta both coming on hole-shots. In the finals, he turned in the top reaction time of the day with an 0.32 light compared to Force’s .065, but the car smoked the tires early to end any hope of winning his final Top Fuel event.
POMONA, CA – Antron Brown qualified fourth in Top Fuel, while Alexis DeJoria was fifth in Funny Car to lead Toyota in preparation for Sunday’s Auto Club NHRA Finals at the Auto Club Raceway in Pomona, California.
Brown placed in the top three in two of the weekend’s four qualifying sessions highlighted by a 3.696-second pass at 326.00 mph in his Matco Tools Toyota dragster. He will be looking for his fifth win of the season on Sunday.
Joining Brown in the top half of the Top Fuel field is Doug Kalitta in seventh. Kalitta is still alive in the title chase, but will need some assistance to walk away with his first world championship. He will open eliminations with a first-round match-up against Wayne Newby.
KALITTA LOOKS TO MAKE IT TWO IN A ROW AT NHRA FINALS – Doug Kalitta heads to Pomona this weekend looking to repeat his 2016 NHRA Finals victory. Last season’s win saw him defeat teammate J.R. Todd in an all-Kalitta Toyota final. It was a dominant weekend for the Kalitta team as Todd was the number one qualifier and set the current track record with a 3.680-second run.
TOYOTA DRIVERS LOOK TO CONTINUE DOMINANT NHRA FINALS RUN – Doug Kalitta, Antron Brown, Shawn Langdon and Richie Crampton each will look to continue a streak that has seen a Toyota Top Fuel driver earn the last eight NHRA Finals titles. The current Toyota contingent has captured five of those victories with Kalitta triumphant in 2016, Shawn Langdon in both 2013 and 2015, and Brown winning in 2009 and 2010. Current Toyota Funny Car driver Del Worsham won the 2011 race on his way to the Top Fuel world championship, while long-time Toyota partner Morgan Lucas Racing earned NHRA Finals wins with Morgan Lucas (2014) and Brandon Bernstein (2012).
Langdon, who advanced to the final round in the previous event in Dallas, defeated championship contenders Antron Brown and Steve Torrence in the opening rounds before falling to eventual race winner Terry McMillen after dropping a cylinder in the semi-finals.
“To beat Antron Brown and Steve Torrence, it shows you the amount of talent we have on this Global Electronic Technology Toyota,” said Langdon, the 2013 Top Fuel world champion who will make the move to Funny Cars in 2018. “We just didn’t make a good run in the semi-finals and dropped a cylinder and lost to Terry McMillen. We have had a car that’s capable of winning the last two races, we’re just running out of time now. One more race before I start my Funny Car venture and we’ll try to make the best of it at Pomona.”
LAS VEGAS – Doug Kalitta qualified fifth in Top Fuel, while teammate J.R. Todd matched that feat in Funny Car to lead Toyota into Sunday’s NHRA Toyota Nationals at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.
Kalitta registered a 3.735-second pass at 323.19 miles per hour to jump up into the fifth spot in the final qualifying session of the weekend on Saturday night, while Todd ran his 3.884 at 330.23 mph in his Camry on Friday night. The two Kalitta drivers will attempt to continue a streak that has seen a team driver reach the finals in each of the last seven Toyota-sponsored races dating back to 2014.
Shawn Langdon qualified seventh in Top Fuel and will match-up with fellow Toyota driver and reigning world champion Antron Brown in round one after Brown qualified tenth. Richie Crampton rounds out the Toyota Top Fuel drivers in 11th. The Langdon-Brown match-up has huge championship implications with a potential second-round match-up with point leader Steve Torrence.
BROWN LOOKS TO DOUBLE UP IN VEGAS – Antron Brown will be looking for a Las Vegas sweep at this weekend’s NHRA Toyota Nationals after winning the spring race at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. The win was his fourth in Las Vegas. The track also is the site where he clinched the last two Top Fuel titles.
TITLE HUNT CONTINUES – Four Toyota drivers remain in the hunt for a world championship entering this weekend’s NHRA Toyota Nationals. In Top Fuel, Doug Kalitta ranks third, 76 points behind the leader, while two-time defending champion Antron Brown is fourth and Shawn Langdon has moved up to eighth. In Funny Car, ninth-place J.R. Todd is still mathematically alive, but Cruz Pedregon has been eliminated.
ENNIS, TX – Shawn Langdon was defeated by Brittany Force by just one-thousandth of a second in the Top Fuel final to lead Toyota at the AAA Texas NHRA FallNationals at the Texas Motorplex in the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex.
Langdon defeated Clay Millican in round one and Terry Haddock in round two to set up a match-up between he and fellow Toyota driver Antron Brown in the semi-finals. After leaving with identical reaction times, Langdon edged out Brown by .014 seconds to advance to face Force. In the final, Langdon had the advantage at the light, .048 to .059, but was narrowly edged at the finish line, despite running a 3.693-second pass.