Epping, NH – The last time Shawn Langdon was on track at New England Dragway he was driving a Kalitta Motorsports Toyota Camry Funny Car in the final round. The race was not contested in 2020 and this year the 2013 NHRA Top Fuel champion is back on track in the DHL Kalitta Air Top Fuel team. Langdon has raced to the final round at the New England Nationals in a Top Fuel dragster as well but this year he was focused on getting his first event win at the New England track.
Two days of qualifying had Langdon moving into race day as the No. 8 qualifier and a tough race against teammate Doug Kalitta. Two weeks ago in Houston Langdon had to race Kalitta in the semifinals and was not able to get the round win in a clash between two of the most consistent race cars.
Today Langdon got a lead off the starting line and the DHL Kalitta Air Top Fuel dragster was right beside the Mac Tools dragster. Langdon’s race car smoked the tires but the veteran driver quickly lifted off the throttle and regained control of his dragster. He was able to keep power but was unable to catch back up with Kalitta.
Epping, NH – The Mac Tools Top Fuel dragster team and driver Doug Kalitta were looking to continue their momentum from a final round appearance two weeks ago in Houston. They raced to the quarterfinals today to continue a consistent streak of winning rounds and putting up solid performance numbers. The team has been working all season to build on strong qualifying efforts and race day results that have led to two runner-up finishes so far this season.
Over two days of qualifying the Mac Tools dragster was one of the most consistent and quick race cars on the property. Kalitta posted top three qualifying runs in two of the three sessions. He was the third quickest Top Fuel driver in the first and third qualifying sessions. The team went into race day as the No. 5 qualifier and a tough first round race with teammate Shawn Langdon and the DHL Kalitta Air Top Fuel dragster.
In the first round both dragster launched together but it was Kalitta who kept his dragster hooked up for the entire run. Langdon smoked the tires just before half-track and tried to reel in Kalitta but he lost too much momentum. Kalitta advanced to face Mike Salinas in the quarterfinals.
Epping, NH – The DHL Toyota Camry Funny Car and driver J.R. Todd were pursuing their second victory of the 2021 NHRA Camping World Drag Racing Series season as the rolled into the NHRA New England Nationals. Their season opening win at the Gatornationals was also bolstered by a runner-up finish at the Las Vegas Four-Wide Nationals had Todd sitting in the No. 2 position in the Funny Car point standings.
Over two days of qualifying Todd moved into race day as the No. 9 qualifier even though he started the qualifying sessions with one of the strongest runs of Friday. The DHL Toyota Camry Funny Car blasted to the No. 2 position on Friday and picked up two qualifying bonus points. Conditions changed on Saturday and the DHL team worked to find a solid race day tune-up.
When racing commenced today Todd and the DHL team were facing a tough first round race against veteran Cruz Pedregon. It was a great race for Todd as he chased down Pedregon for the round win in an incredibly close race. Todd used every inch of the race track to get the victory grabbing the win light by two inches at over 320 mph.
Epping, NH – Doug Kalitta and the Mac Tools Top Fuel team roll into the NHRA New England Nationals with a recent runner-up finish and a very dominant race car. Two weeks ago Kalitta blasted through a tough field of Top Fuel teams at the rain delayed NHRA SpringNationals in Houston to race to his second final round of the season. The Mac Tools team will be heading to New England Dragway looking to capture some of the success they had early in the event’s history.
In 2014, the second year the NHRA was racing at the track just north of Boston, Kalitta drove to the final round. The previous year at the inaugural race the Mac Tools Top Fuel team was the No. 1 qualifier.
“We had some pretty good races the first couple of years we started coming up to New England,” said Kalitta. “We have run pretty well here we just need to get some more win lights on Sunday. This Mac Tools team has been really strong all season and we have a couple runner-up finishes and some low qualifiers. I have a lot of confidence coming into this race.”
Epping, NH – The last time Shawn Langdon was racing at the NHRA New England Nationals he was sitting behind the 11,000 horsepower motor of his Toyota Camry Funny Car. It was 2019 and Langdon raced to the final round beating Jim Campbell, Robert Hight and Tim Wilkerson before getting edged out by Matt Hagan. This year Langdon will be back in in New England racing the DHL Kalitta Air Top Fuel dragster with Connie Kalitta calling the tuning shots.
“When you are racing with Connie Kalitta as your crew chief you have a lot of confidence every time you go out on the track,” said Langdon, the 2020 U.S. Nationals champion. “We have been running really well most of the season and we are going round every race.”
Langdon started the season with a runner-up finish at the historic Gatornationals and has since collected two more semifinal finishes and a quarterfinal finish. Two weeks ago in Houston it was an all-Kalitta Motorsports semifinal with Langdon squaring off against teammate Doug Kalitta.
Epping, NH – When J.R. Todd and the DHL Toyota Camry rolled into New England Dragway in 2019 they established themselves as the quickest Funny Car on the property running to the No. 1 qualifier position. This year, almost two years later Todd will be looking to add New England Nationals event winner to his resume. The 2018 NHRA Funny Car world champion, who is currently No. 2 in the Camping World Drag Racing Series Funny Car point standings, is looking to add his second win of the season this weekend.
“We have gotten off to a great start with this DHL Toyota Camry Funny Car,” said Todd, following a quarterfinal finish at the SpringNationals in Houston. “We won the first race of the season at the Gatornationals and followed that up with a semifinal finish in Atlanta and a runner-up in Charlotte at the Four-Wide Nationals. I feel really good about how well the team is working together and the kind of performance we are bringing to the races.”
Todd has only started one race from outside the top half of the field this season when he was the No. 9 qualifier in Las Vegas. He still managed to make a run to the second round of that event. So far he has collected three top six qualifiers including the No. 1 qualifier at the final Southern Nationals in Atlanta.
Baytown, TX – The DHL Toyota Camry Funny Car and J.R. Todd continued their hot start to the 2021 NHRA Camping World Drag Racing Series season racing to the quarterfinals at the NHRA SpringNationals outside of Houston today. Todd has advanced to at least the quarterfinals at every NHRA national event this season. Last weekend the DHL team grabbed a runner-up finish at the Charlotte Four-Wide Nationals and today as the No. 8 qualifier they came up just short of another semifinal finish.
Todd was one of the fortunate Funny Cars to have two qualifying runs on Saturday before the rains moved in and halted qualifying action. The DHL Toyota Camry team jumped up into the top half of the field with a 3.994 second run to close out the session. Racing action was postponed from Sunday to Monday after persistent rain showers covered Houston Raceway Park with only one pair of Top Fuel dragsters remaining in the first round on Sunday.
On Monday morning under overcast skies Todd pulled up beside John Force who was the only driver quicker than him last weekend in the final quad in North Carolina. Today it was Todd getting the win with a strong 3.916 second elapsed time and 327.43 mph run. Todd and the DHL Toyota Funny Car never trailed in the race. The win moved Todd to the quarterfinals and also solidified his position as the No. 2 Funny Car in the NHRA Camping World point standings.