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Langdon Takes DHL to Semifinal Finish at SpringNationals in Houston

Baytown, TX – Shawn Langdon and the DHL Kalitta Air Top Fuel team made the most of every round of racing during the NHRA SpringNationals. The 2013 NHRA Top Fuel world champion and reigning U. S. Nationals champion qualified No. 7 and grabbed a first round win on Sunday morning before the rains moved in and forced all the teams to wait an extra day to complete the race at Houston Raceway Park.

The first round race was a rematch of the Gatornationals final round where Langdon came up just short against rookie Josh Hart. It was all Langdon yesterday as Hart grenaded his engine as soon as he hit the throttle and Langdon cruised to an easy first round win. Langdon got the jump off the starting line with a .048 reaction time. The win moved Langdon to the quarterfinals and a race against No. 13 qualifier Justin Ashley.

Today under cloudy but dry conditions Langdon rolled to the starting line against Ashley almost 20 hours after they were originally schedule to square off. Both of these drivers are tops in the Top Fuel category when it comes to average reaction time and Langdon was off the line first with another .040 light, more precisely a .046 reaction time, to give the DHL Kalitta Air dragster enough of a jump to win the race on a hole shot. Langdon lit up the scoreboard with a slower 3.797 second elapsed time against Ashley’s 3.781 second run but his starting line advantage proved to be the difference for the round win.

“We have a great race car and I have a lot of confidence in this DHL Kalitta Air team,” said Langdon before the semifinal race. “We had two tough racers in the first couple of rounds and now we are about to face our teammate. The good news is we are guaranteed a Kalitta race car in the final round.”

The semifinal match-up was a Kalitta Motorsports intra-squad race between Langdon and teammate Doug Kalitta who was flying the Mobil 1 TRD colors this weekend. Langdon was off the line first again with a .049 reaction time but Kalitta made up the difference almost immediately. As both race cars neared the 200 feet Langdon smoked the tires while Kalitta was wrestling his own dragster down the track as it mixed up cylinders. Kalitta had enough power to outrun a pedaling Langdon who never gave up on his race car.

The semifinal finish moved Langdon up to the No. 3 position in the Camping World Top Fuel point standings after five races. The team will head to the New England Nationals in two weeks.

Quotable:
Langdon on racing teammate Doug Kalitta in the semifinals: “The best time to race a teammate is in the finals when you know Kalitta Motorsports will be guaranteed a Wally. Racing Doug in the semis was the next best thing. They have a great race car and it is cool to see the Mobil 1 TRD dragster going on to the finals. Hopefully he can get his 50th win and park that car in the winner’s circle. He is a tough guy to race.”

Statistics:
Qualified: No. 7 (4.407 sec., 179.92 mph)
Bonus points: 0

Race Details:

First Round
Driver                                    Qual       R/T         ET           MPH
Shawn Langdon                  7              .048        3.803     304.94 (W)
Josh Hart                              8              .067        No Time- Stopped on Track

Second Round
Driver                                    Qual       R/T         ET           MPH
Shawn Langdon                  7              .046        3.797     318.02 (W)
Justin Ashley                        13           .079        3.781     321.50

Semifinals
Driver                                    Qual       R/T         ET           MPH
Shawn Langdon                  7              .049        4.181     221.09
Doug Kalitta                          9              .074        3.997     272.06 (W)

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