Langdon, Johnson Jr. and Enders-Stevens prevail at Thunder Valley

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Enders-Stevens scores 101st NHRA pro win for a woman driver

Reigning NHRA Mello Yello Top Fuel world champion Shawn Langdon (in photo) claimed his first victory of the season Sunday at the Ford NHRA Thunder Valley Nationals presented by Tri-Cities Area Ford Dealers.

Tommy Johnson Jr. (Funny Car) and Erica Enders-Stevens (Pro Stock) also were winners in their respective categories at the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series event at Bristol Dragway.

Langdon raced to his first Bristol Dragway victory and ninth win of his career in his Al-Anabi Racing dragster by posting a final round performance of 3.819 seconds at 320.51 mph to defeat series points leader Doug Kalitta. With the win, Langdon moves to third in the points standings.

“With the stiff competition in Top Fuel, one thing you have to learn is patience and not to take anything for granted,” Langdon said. “We knew it was going to be tough. We’re still learning. Fortunately, we got this win and most importantly, we hope to continue earning those Mello Yello points.”

Langdon, who qualified No. 7 for the event, defeated teammate Khalid alBalooshi, Terry McMillen and Bob Vandergriff Jr. en route to his third final round appearance of the season.

“I was a little worried about pedalling in the final going up against the Kalitta group,” Langdon said. “They are definitely the hottest car in the circuit. That’s why it is great to be a part of the Alan Johnson and Al-Anabi Racing. You feel like you have a pretty good race car too.”

In Funny Car, Johnson Jr. earned his first victory since 2007. The Indianapolis driver took his 10th career win and first at Bristol with a performance of 4.156 at 302.14 in his Make-A-Wish Dodge Charger, defeating Tim Wilkerson’s Levi Ray & Shoup Ford Mustang in the final.

“I’m thrilled that we were able to get it done and all that work paid off,” Johnson Jr. said. “The guys did a great job today. We’ve qualified great we just couldn’t get it to go our way on race day. We’ve been competitive and we just couldn’t close the deal. It’s tough out here. I wanted to prove that we’re not in a slump and we needed to step it up a little bit and we did.”

Johnson Jr., who was the No. 5 qualifier of the event, defeated Cruz Pedregon, points leader Robert Hight and local favorite Matt Hagan en route to the final round.

“We didn’t get to run Friday night because of the weather and Saturday we had a problem in the car and didn’t get to run the last session,” Johnson Jr. said. “We just kept with our lane choice and able to stay in right lane all day. It worked perfect and the car was running great.”

Erica Enders-Stevens continues to shine in the Pro Stock category this season. The series points leader secured her third win of the season and ninth of her career with a performance of 6.698 at 207.15 in her Elite Motorsports Chevy Camaro, defeating rookie Jonathan Gray in the final round. It was the first win at Bristol for Enders-Stevens, who increased her series lead with the win.

“We had to dig deeper this weekend,” the Texas native said. “Everybody out here is hungry. As a driver, I knew I had to step up to the plate and get up on the wheel. Momentum is huge in this sport and we just need to continue to carry it. To get it done today meant the world to me and my team gave me a car to drive to the winner’s circle.”

The NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series continues in Epping, N.H. with the second annual Auto-Plus NHRA New England Nationals at New England Dragway, June 19-22.

RESULTS:

BRISTOL, Tenn. -- Final finish order (1-16) at the 14th annual Ford NHRA Thunder Valley Nationals presented by Tri-Cities Area Ford Dealers at Bristol Dragway. The race is the tenth of 24 events in the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series.

TOP FUEL:

1. Shawn Langdon; 2. Doug Kalitta; 3. Antron Brown; 4. Bob Vandergriff; 5. Chris Karamesines; 6. Tony Schumacher; 7. Terry McMillen; 8. Spencer Massey; 9. Steve Torrence; 10. Billy Torrence; 11. Richie Crampton; 12. Leah Pritchett; 13. J.R. Todd; 14. Khalid alBalooshi; 15. Brittany Force; 16. Clay Millican.

FUNNY CAR:

1. Tommy Johnson Jr.; 2. Tim Wilkerson; 3. Matt Hagan; 4. Tony Pedregon; 5. Del Worsham; 6. Courtney Force; 7. Robert Hight; 8. Alexis DeJoria; 9. John Force; 10. Cruz Pedregon; 11. Jack Beckman; 12. Bob Tasca III; 13. Justin Schriefer; 14. Ron Capps; 15. Chad Head; 16. Jeff Arend.

PRO STOCK:

1. Erica Enders-Stevens; 2. Jonathan Gray; 3. Jeg Coughlin; 4. Jason Line; 5. Vincent Nobile; 6. Shane Gray; 7. Greg Anderson; 8. Dave Connolly; 9. Rodger Brogdon; 10. Chris McGaha; 11. V. Gaines; 12. Larry Morgan; 13. Kenny Delco; 14. Curt Steinbach; 15. Shane Tucker; 16. Allen Johnson.

BRISTOL, Tenn. -- Sunday's final results from the 14th annual Ford NHRA Thunder Valley Nationals presented by Tri-Cities Area Ford Dealers at Bristol Dragway. The race is the tenth of 24 in the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series:

Top Fuel -- Shawn Langdon, 3.902 seconds, 316.08 mph def. Doug Kalitta, 4.128 seconds, 260.97 mph.

Funny Car -- Tommy Johnson Jr., Dodge Charger, 4.156, 302.14 def. Tim Wilkerson, Ford Mustang, 4.423, 227.34.

Pro Stock -- Erica Enders-Stevens, Chevy Camaro, 6.698, 207.15 def. Jonathan Gray, Camaro, 13.480, 64.40.

Pro Modified -- Pete Farber, Dodge Daytona, 6.087, 240.51 def. Steve Matusek, Chevy Camaro, 6.971, 152.61.

Top Fuel Harley -- Tommy Grimes, Harley, 6.413, 221.45 def. Damian Cownden, Harley, 6.454, 214.04.

Super Stock -- Larry Miller, Plymouth Barracuda, 10.003, 131.02 def. Drew Skillman, Ford Mustang, foul.

Stock Eliminator -- Drew Skillman, Ford Mustang, 9.217, 138.94 def. Kevin Wells, Chevy Nova, foul.

Super Comp -- Jeff Taylor, Dragster, 8.917, 164.79 def. Kevin Brannon, Dragster, 8.873, 176.74.

Super Gas -- Scott Lawton, Chevy Corvette, 9.912, 150.63 def. Jim Perry, Chevy S-10, 9.896, 163.43.

Top Dragster -- Anthony Bertozzi, Dragster, 7.397, 173.43 def. Dylan Stott, Dragster, 6.792, 194.97.

Top Sportsman -- Tony Fagnilli, Pontiac GXP, 6.914, 191.62 def. Marco Abruzzi, Chevy Camaro, 7.050, 198.12.

BRISTOL, Tenn. -- Final round-by-round results from the 14th annual Ford NHRA Thunder Valley Nationals presented by Tri-Cities Area Ford Dealers at Bristol Dragway, the tenth of 24 events in the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series:

TOP FUEL:

ROUND ONE -- Doug Kalitta, 3.838, 321.58 def. Leah Pritchett, 4.862, 161.42; Shawn Langdon, 3.895, 310.20 def. Khalid alBalooshi, 5.041, 147.96; Tony Schumacher, 3.857, 323.89 def. Billy Torrence, 4.008, 305.84; Chris Karamesines, 5.215, 118.87 def. Brittany Force, 5.558, 122.66; Terry McMillen, 4.038, 304.39 def. J.R. Todd, 4.902, 183.47; Antron Brown, 3.829, 318.39 def. Richie Crampton, 4.398, 196.79; Spencer Massey, 3.892, 317.05 def. Clay Millican, broke; Bob Vandergriff, 4.456, 212.83 def. Steve Torrence, foul;

QUARTERFINALS -- Langdon, 5.338, 289.14 def. McMillen, 5.603, 210.70; Vandergriff, 4.453, 289.88 def. Schumacher, 5.027, 171.45; Kalitta, 4.171, 296.76 def. Karamesines, 4.977, 145.00; Brown, 3.883, 315.19 def. Massey, 10.460, 76.70;

SEMIFINALS -- Langdon, 5.110, 149.85 def. Vandergriff, foul; Kalitta, 3.905, 312.64 def. Brown, 3.952, 304.74;

FINAL -- Langdon, 3.902, 316.08 def. Kalitta, 4.128, 260.97.

FUNNY CAR:

ROUND ONE -- Tim Wilkerson, Ford Mustang, 4.148, 303.78 def. Bob Tasca III, Mustang, 4.890, 169.55; Tony Pedregon, Toyota Camry, 4.355, 256.21 def. Ron Capps, Dodge Charger, 5.330, 142.06; Del Worsham, Camry, 4.191, 299.13 def. Jeff Arend, Charger, 12.726, 59.78; Robert Hight, Mustang, 4.746, 223.91 def. Justin Schriefer, Chevy Camaro, 5.082, 155.33; Tommy Johnson Jr., Charger, 4.147, 309.20 def. Cruz Pedregon, Camry, 4.613, 188.49; Courtney Force, Mustang, 4.199, 302.35 def. Jack Beckman, Charger, 4.787, 181.64; Alexis DeJoria, Camry, 4.216, 292.14 def. John Force, Mustang, 4.437, 229.78; Matt Hagan, Charger, 4.166, 300.00 def. Chad Head, Camry, 5.498, 143.90;

QUARTERFINALS -- Wilkerson, 4.220, 294.95 def. DeJoria, 6.019, 112.71; Johnson Jr., 4.175, 305.84 def. Hight, 6.009, 114.01; Hagan, 4.216, 287.66 def. Worsham, 4.209, 299.53; T. Pedregon, 4.380, 252.14 def. C. Force, 4.770, 211.69;

SEMIFINALS -- Wilkerson, 4.240, 293.60 def. T. Pedregon, 4.533, 218.19; Johnson Jr., 4.201, 299.46 def. Hagan, 4.207, 293.54;

FINAL -- Johnson Jr., 4.156, 302.14 def. Wilkerson, 4.423, 227.34.

PRO STOCK:

ROUND ONE -- Jonathan Gray, Chevy Camaro, 6.706, 207.18 def. Chris McGaha, Camaro, 6.709, 207.37; Vincent Nobile, Camaro, 6.686, 207.15 def. Shane Tucker, Chevy Cobalt, 7.471, 141.02; Greg Anderson, Camaro, 6.712, 206.13 def. Rodger Brogdon, Camaro, 6.702, 206.67; Dave Connolly, Camaro, 6.690, 205.41 def. Allen Johnson, Dodge Dart, DQ; Jason Line, Camaro, 6.673, 207.53 def. V. Gaines, Dart, 6.709, 206.99; Shane Gray, Camaro, 6.663, 207.40 def. Curt Steinbach, Camaro, 6.871, 201.52; Jeg Coughlin, Dart, 6.651, 207.78 def. Kenny Delco, Cobalt, 6.869, 202.15; Erica Enders-Stevens, Camaro, 6.665, 207.46 def. Larry Morgan, Ford Mustang, 6.770, 205.04;

QUARTERFINALS -- Line, 6.707, 206.95 def. Connolly, 17.884, 43.65; Enders-Stevens, 6.697, 207.15 def. Anderson, foul; J. Gray, 6.703, 206.80 def. S. Gray, 6.703, 207.40; Coughlin, 6.671, 207.05 def. Nobile, 6.702, 207.05;

SEMIFINALS -- J. Gray, 6.730, 206.23 def. Line, 6.726, 206.39; Enders-Stevens, 6.703, 207.11 def. Coughlin, foul;

FINAL -- Enders-Stevens, 6.698, 207.15 def. J. Gray, 13.480, 64.40.

BRISTOL, Tenn. -- Point standings (top 10) following the 14th annual Ford NHRA Thunder Valley Nationals presented by Tri-Cities Area Ford Dealers at Bristol Dragway, the tenth of 24 events in the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series -

Top Fuel

1. Doug Kalitta, 902; 2. Antron Brown, 782; 3. Shawn Langdon, 751; 4. Spencer Massey, 652; 5. Steve Torrence, 617; 6. Tony Schumacher, 557; 7. Khalid alBalooshi, 535; 8. Brittany Force, 502; 9. Richie Crampton, 464; 10. J.R. Todd, 429.

Funny Car

1. Robert Hight, 905; 2. John Force, 640; 3. Tommy Johnson Jr., 627; 4. Alexis DeJoria, 619; 5. Del Worsham, 593; 6. Courtney Force, 581; 7. Ron Capps, 571; 8. Cruz Pedregon, 538; 9. Tim Wilkerson, 533; 10. Matt Hagan, 527.

Pro Stock

1. Erica Enders-Stevens, 908; 2. Jeg Coughlin, 753; 3. Allen Johnson, 704; 4. Jason Line, 698; 5. Shane Gray, 651; 6. Vincent Nobile, 617; 7. Dave Connolly, 587; 8. V. Gaines, 487; 9. Chris McGaha, 459; 10. Rodger Brogdon, 390.

NHRA

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Series NHRA
Article type Race report
Tags bristol dragway, erica enders, ford, nhra, shawn langdon, thunder valley, tonny johnson

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