Denver: Shawn Langdon preview

Langdon has championship memories of Bandimere DENVER (July 5) -- The last time Top Fuel rookie Shawn Langdon raced at Bandimere Speedway he won his first NHRA World Championship in the Junior Dragster class. Although he can't repeat that ...

Langdon has championship memories of Bandimere

DENVER (July 5) -- The last time Top Fuel rookie Shawn Langdon raced at Bandimere Speedway he won his first NHRA World Championship in the Junior Dragster class. Although he can't repeat that particular feat at the upcoming 30th annual Mopar Mile-High NHRA Nationals, the now 26-year-old professional says claiming his first Top Fuel trophy in his Lucas Oil/Dixie Chopper dragster would be just as exciting.

"I have nothing but great memories of Bandimere," Langdon said. "Winning that Junior Dragster Championship back in 1997 was such a big deal for me. Here's this 14-year-old kid from Southern California racing all the best juniors in the country and I end up winning the title. If I hadn't already been hooked on the sport, that weekend would have done it for me. It was special, and I remember it like it was yesterday."

Although a bit raw his last time through, Langdon's natural driving instincts served him well on his way to the championship stage. Now, with an additional pair of world titles to his credit in the cutthroat Super Comp category (2007 and '08), Langdon's abilities behind the wheel have made him a contender at every national event on tour.

In just 12 races at the professional level, the only true rookie in the '09 class has proven to be very adept at turning on win lights. He's already raced to five semifinals and earned No. 1 qualifying position in Las Vegas. His 13-12 raceday record is more than respectable and has hi slotted seventh in the points. The only thing missing is a win.

"Our car's been running good all year," Langdon said. "We're just waiting for things to fall our way. A lot of teams went out and tested after Norwalk but we feel like all we need to do is keep up what we're doing and be patient. Our time will come; there's no doubt about that.

"I'm excited to get back in race mode and the Western Swing will be a perfect launch for the second half of the year. I've never actually done all three races in a row before so it'll be a fun experience. I'd personally race every weekend if I could so doing three in a row seems like a bonus for me. I can't wait to get started."

The 30th annual Mopar Mile-High NHRA Nationals begins with nitro qualifying sessions at 5:30 and 8 p.m. Friday at Bandimere Speedway.

-credit: mlr

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Series NHRA
Drivers Shawn Langdon