Gainesville: Shawn Langdon preview

Langdon's personal spring break has him refreshed and ready for G-ville GAINESVILLE, Fla. (March 10) -- Racing from the time he was 12 years old when he was piloting a 75-mph Junior Dragster, Top Fuel rookie Shawn Langdon admits he's never had...

Langdon's personal spring break has him refreshed and ready for G-ville

GAINESVILLE, Fla. (March 10) -- Racing from the time he was 12 years old when he was piloting a 75-mph Junior Dragster, Top Fuel rookie Shawn Langdon admits he's never had much interest in the traditional spring break rite of passage.

"I was always racing somewhere," Langdon said. "Even when I was in college, I spent my free time at the drag strip. It's really all I've ever wanted to do."

Considering his history, the last two and a half weeks have been a bit of an unusual time for the reigning back-to-back Super Comp world champion, who was hired to drive the Lucas Oil/Dixie Choppers Top Fuel dragster in mid January.

"Having two weekends off was great," Langdon said. "I did race my Super Comp dragster a little but I didn't do well so I ended up with a lot of free time on my hands. It turned out to be a really good break for me; kind of my own little spring break.

"From the time Morgan (Lucas, teammate) and his parents hired me to drive their second car it's been crazy. We've had a ton to do between getting me fitted in the car, getting uniforms made, going testing, earning my license, and doing a bunch of media stuff. Then the season started and Pomona stretched out a long time. We only had a few days at home then we were off to Phoenix. It's been non-stop, but a lot of fun."

Including licensing, testing, and the first two events, Langdon can still count the number of full runs he's made in his 8,000-horsepower dragster on his fingers and toes. But he's pleased with the progress he's made in his short pro career and has every intention of staying in the mix with the established drivers on tour.

"I want to learn everything I can in the regular season so I can be totally up to speed when the Countdown rolls around," said Langdon, who is currently ranked eighth in the world. "But even while I'm figuring this car out we still need to stay in the top 10.

"The team is ahead of where they were last year at this point so everyone is happy. Both Morgan and me have qualified for the first two races. He's gone rounds at both races and I got my first round win in Phoenix so we're excited. Plus, we know we're just getting started. It's going to be a great year for us.

"I've had the chance to really analyze what I need to do to get better as a driver. That's my number one goal right now. I want the guys to know I'm not going to make a lot of mistakes. I've been able to experience a few of things that happen in these cars. It's like I'm just starting my Top Fuel education and I really can't wait to learn more."

School's back in session Friday with the first two rounds of professional qualifying for the 40th annual ACDelco NHRA Gatornationals at Gainesville Raceway.

-credit: mlr

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Series NHRA
Drivers Shawn Langdon