CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Shawn Langdon ran a blistering 3.795-second pass to defeat Tony Schumacher in the finals at today’s NHRA O’Reilly Auto Parts Nationals to earn his first career Top Fuel victory at zMAX Dragway in Charlotte, N.C. Langdon defeated Chris Karamesines and Bob Vandergriff in the opening two rounds.
That set-up an all-Toyota match-up with Brandon Bernstein in the semi-finals, with Langdon coming out on top, sending him to his second final in the last four races. Langdon won the event from the number one qualifier spot.
The win was the first of the season for the two-time defending champion Al-Anabi team which appears to be peaking at the right time with two finals appearances in the last four races to go along with two pole positions.
“It feels awesome,” said Langdon of his first win. “I’m really happy for the guys on the team. Their heads were never down, although, we struggled a little bit early in the year. I just listened to Alan (Johnson) all year and he said we’d be there in the Countdown.
I wasn’t worried because those guys know how to win. This is just what we were looking for. We came in 80 points down and we knew we needed to make up some points in the first round and now we’re within a round of the lead.”
Four of the five Toyota Top Fuel cars advanced beyond today’s first round. In addition to Langdon and Bernstein, Morgan Lucas and Khalid AlBalooshi also won in the opening round. Antron Brown was the only Toyota driver not to advance when he squared off with AlBalooshi in an all-Toyota first round match-up.
In Funny Car, Cruz Pedregon and Jeff Arend both advanced to the second round. Pedregon registered the low Funny Car ET of the weekend with a 4.035-second pass in the first round. He led series point leader Ron Capps through the 300 foot mark in the second round before losing traction. Both Alexis DeJoria and Tony Pedregon were eliminated in round one.
The NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series heads to Dallas for the second of a four-races in four-weeks swing to open the Countdown with the , N.C., for the first round of the Countdown to the Championship next weekend with the O’Reilly Auto Parts Nationals.
Source: Toyota NHRA