Charlotte: Shawn Langdon preview

Langdon returns to Charlotte, site of career-best finish CHARLOTTE, N.C. (March 24) -- Like many Top Fuel drivers in the Full Throttle Drag Racing Series, Shawn Langdon is entering this weekend's inaugural NHRA 4-Wide Nationals at zMax Dragway...

Langdon returns to Charlotte, site of career-best finish

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (March 24) -- Like many Top Fuel drivers in the Full Throttle Drag Racing Series, Shawn Langdon is entering this weekend's inaugural NHRA 4-Wide Nationals at zMax Dragway with a mix of confidence and caution.

Langdon is confident because he guided the Lucas Oil/Speedco dragster to his first career final-round appearance as a pro at last fall's Charlotte race. He's cautious because he's not 100 percent sold on exactly how this weekend's four-wide racing is going to work.

"Going back to Charlotte is a little bit different for us because I had my first final round finish there," Langdon said. "So I'm going in with good memories of the facility and a lot of confidence about what we can do there.

"It's going to be a little different with the four-wide. There're still a lot of questions about it so I guess we'll find out what the deal is when we get there. Right now, we've all been talking about it, and there's just so much up in the air about it we don't really know if there's any strategy you can take into it to get an advantage. It's something new for all of us."

Langdon is coming off a strong semifinal run at the last event in Gainesville, Fla., something that has him feeling good about his 8,000-horsepower machine.

"It's a night and day difference knowing you have a fighting chance to win," Langdon said. "Last year at any given track it seemed like we were .004 to .005 seconds off the pace. At Gainesville we were probably .002 or .003 off the pace, which means we're getting real close to where we need to be.

"What we've done is, instead of having to look a big picture stuff, we're breaking a run down into sections so we can target areas where we can pick up little bits of time."

While he's not completely sold the four-wide format of the event, Langdon said he is glad someone is trying to inject a little spice into the sport.

"They are throwing us into a new scenario with a lot of questions yet to be answered," Langdon said. "It's something new, and I applaud (track owner) Bruton Smith and NHRA for what they are doing. We do need to bring more excitement and entertainment to our sport.

"I think it might be cool to go to some tracks and race to 1,320 feet, some to 1,000 feet, and some you go and do a four-wide race. We should mix it up like that. It would be a lot like NASCAR and their different kinds of tracks."

Langdon said he knows the sports world will be watching.

"It's going to bring a whole new level of excitement to our sport and I just hope everything goes smoothly and everyone is safe," he said.

-source: mlr

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Series NHRA
Drivers Shawn Langdon