Dallas: Shawn Langdon final report

Langdon reaches Top Fuel final in Dallas DALLAS (Sept. 26) -- Shawn Langdon guided the Lucas Oil/Speedco dragster to the Top Fuel finals on Sunday at the O'Reilly Super Start Batteries Fall Nationals at Texas Motorplex. On the way to the...

Langdon reaches Top Fuel final in Dallas

DALLAS (Sept. 26) -- Shawn Langdon guided the Lucas Oil/Speedco dragster to the Top Fuel finals on Sunday at the O'Reilly Super Start Batteries Fall Nationals at Texas Motorplex.

On the way to the second final round appearance of his career, Langdon beat Bob Vandergriff, Top Fuel points leader Larry Dixon and Brandon Bernstein before falling to Tony Schumacher.

Despite not taking home his first trophy as a pro, Langdon said this performance will have a ripple effect through his team that will carry through the end of the season.

"Today showed the potential of this team," he said. "We can beat these guys, we can run with them, we can win these races. It just wasn't meant to be today, unfortunately. Hopefully we'll get it by the end of the year."

Langdon moved up to sixth in the points thanks to his runner-up finish. He is only 29 points behind the fourth-place drive, Bernstein.

"It's what the Countdown is all about -- bringing out the best in your team, yourself and your car," Langdon said. "I think we showed a little bit of that today."

In the final against Schumacher, Langdon, as usual, got out of the gate first, and kept his edge until his engine lost a cylinder.

"It left really good, as it had all day, and I felt really good on the tree," Langdon said. "Right at about 400 foot, I felt it drop the hole and drive me toward the center line. At that point I heard him beside me and felt my heart sink a little bit."

Schumacher crossed the line first with a 3.838 second pass at 320.43 mph with Langdon right behind with a 3.908 at 298.67 mph.

To get to the final, Langdon cut down some of the NHRA's best with killer reaction times on the Christmas tree. In fact, Langdon's worst reaction time -- .054 seconds in the first round -- was still better than any other Top Fuel driver's time for the day. Langdon's best RT of the day was a .041 against Bernstein in the semifinals.

Langdon easily beat Vandergriff in the first round with a 3.896 second pass at 308.50 mph. Vandergriff had problems and coasted to a 5.687 and 111.28 mph.

Reaction time proved to be key against Dixon, who had won 13 rounds in a row until crossing paths with Langdon. A holeshot of a .051 second reaction time paired with a 3.831 second lap at 311.49 mph was enough for Langdon to overcome Dixon's .089 reaction with a 3.802 at 316.75 mph.

"I'm a fan of history and streaks and things like that," Langdon said. "But today, I'm glad I was the one who broke Larry's winning streak."

In the semis, Langdon cruised by Bernstein with a 3.842 at 311.92 mph to Bernstein's 4.547 at 166.35 mph.

"We found some problems that have been plaguing us and have been keeping us from performing to our expectations," Langdon said, summarizing his day. "It was a great day for the team, Forrest and Charlotte Lucas and Speedco."

"It's a real confidence booster going into Reading knowing we can run with these guys."

Langdon will seek to build on his success and break through for that first career Top Fuel victory at the Oct. 8-10 Toyo Tires NHRA Nationals at Maple Grove Raceway in Reading, Pa.

-source: shawn langdon racing

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About this article
Series NHRA
Drivers Larry Dixon , Tony Schumacher , Bob Vandergriff , Shawn Langdon