Bristol: Morgan Lucas Racing final report

Final-four finish for rookie Langdon; Lucas has rare red-light BRISTOL, Tenn. (May 17) -- For the third time in the last four races, Lucas Oil/Dixie Choppers pro Shawn Langdon reached the semifinal round on an NHRA race with a final-four finish...

Final-four finish for rookie Langdon; Lucas has rare red-light

BRISTOL, Tenn. (May 17) -- For the third time in the last four races, Lucas Oil/Dixie Choppers pro Shawn Langdon reached the semifinal round on an NHRA race with a final-four finish Sunday at Bristol's Thunder Valley. Meanwhile, teammate and car owner Morgan Lucas was disqualified in the quarterfinals when he fouled out at the starting line for the first time since the Dallas race in the fall of 2007.

"There's a drag racing saying that if you don't red-light (foul out) every once in awhile you're not trying hard enough," Lucas said. "I guess I was trying a little too hard today but at least I got that out of my system. It's a little disappointing because I've been really consistent at the tree the last few races. I just pushed it too far this time."

Lucas had run a weekend-best pass of 3.839 at 312.28 mph in a Round 1 defeat of six-time IHRA champion Clay Millican. Against Schumacher, his red-light negated a competitive 3.898 at 300.60 mph. Schumacher posted a 3.876 at 308.43 mph.

"He might have been tough to beat any way," Lucas said. "But you still feel bad as a driver when you give it away at the starting line."

On the other side of the ladder, Langdon padded his rookie-of-the-year candidacy by easily out-performing fellow contenders Matt Hagan and Spencer Massey with a third career semifinal jaunt. (Hagan had engine troubles before making his Round 1 pass and was pushed off the racetrack, while Massey failed to qualify for the event.)

Just as he has all season, Langdon was sharp at the starting line, leaving ahead of all three of his Sunday opponents. He beat a broken Dom Lagana in Round 1 with a 3.990 at 305.42 mph and took a huge holeshot victory from two-time world champion Larry Dixon with his 3.887 at 291.45 mph beat Dixon's 3.835 at 310.13 mph.

But the run ended in the semifinals when his Lucas Oil/Dixie Choppers dragster overpowered the racetrack and was lost in a cloud of tire smoke, which allowed Doug Kalitta to take the win with a 3.865 at 305.01 mph.

"We're keeping up a really nice pace," Langdon said. "I really felt like today was going to be my day to get that first win but it wasn't meant to be. This car is running so well and it's been very consistent. I know a win can't be far off.

"When Morgan won in Atlanta I think it really got everyone on both sides of the pit hungry for more. I know I'm ready to get one for these Lucas Oil guys. They've put so much faith in me and I want to reward them."

Lucas and Langdon remain fifth and seventh, respectively, in the Full Throttle points. The next event takes place May 29-31 at Heartland Park Topeka in Kansas.

-credit: mlr

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Series NHRA
Drivers Clay Millican , Larry Dixon , Doug Kalitta , Morgan Lucas , Matt Hagan , Shawn Langdon , Spencer Massey