Las Vegas: Morgan Lucas Racing Saturday notes

Rookie Langdon streaks to No. 1 spot in Vegas LAS VEGAS (April 4) -- Just five races into his professional career, Top Fuel rookie Shawn Langdon has earned his first low qualifier honor, blasting to a career-best pass of 3.874 at 311.41 mph ...

Rookie Langdon streaks to No. 1 spot in Vegas

LAS VEGAS (April 4) -- Just five races into his professional career, Top Fuel rookie Shawn Langdon has earned his first low qualifier honor, blasting to a career-best pass of 3.874 at 311.41 mph Saturday evening at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

Due to extremely high winds Friday, Top Fuel qualifying was reduced to Saturday's two sessions, but Langdon's veteran crew, led by tuner John Stewart, responded by helping the 26-year-old Langdon to the most memorable pass of his brief career.

"This feels great," Langdon said. "I've been trying to do the best I can as rookie driver and not make any mistakes. The guys know what they're doing and Stewie has been out here forever. They know how to make a car run. I just try to keep the thing straight."

Langdon has qualified his Lucas Oil/Dixie Choppers dragster for every race this year, four times in the top half of the field.

"The car's been real consistent, especially in qualifying," said Langdon, the winner of the last two Super Comp world championships. "We've just struggled on race day a little bit. Hopefully, that'll change tomorrow and we can go four rounds and get a win. No matter what, being No. 1 qualifier in just our fifth race is really cool.

"I have to thank Morgan Lucas (teammate and car owner) because he's coached me along through this whole process of going from a Super Comp dragster to a Top Fuel car. He's had an answer to every question I've asked him and I've asked a bunch."

Langdon and Lucas could meet in the quarterfinals if they both win their opening-round races. Langdon starts his day against final qualifier Steve Chrisman, who topped out at 4.243 seconds at 273.16 mph, while No. 8 qualifier Lucas (3.987 at 301.81 mph in his GEICO Powersports/Lucas Oil dragster) faces No. 9 qualifier Joe Hartley (3.989 at 305.63 mph.)

"It's been a little nerve-wracking this weekend after we lost half our chances to make the elimination field yesterday but Shawn made it look easy out there tonight," Lucas said. "I'm really proud of him and the Lucas Oil team. They did a great job over there. The cool thing about having a teammate is we can learn from what they did and maybe both of us can have big days tomorrow.

"That wind yesterday and all of the delays with the track's starting system breaking down and the rain we had early made for a long day. It's tough on the drivers and crew guys but I think it's even worse for the fans because they have to sit through it all. These people out here are the best for sticking with us and I'm glad we could put on a big show today for them."

Coming into this event, Lucas is ranked sixth in the world, while Langdon is eighth. Eliminations begin promptly at 11 a.m. PST with the Lucas versus Hartley tilt.

-credit: mlr

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Series NHRA
Drivers Morgan Lucas , Joe Hartley , Steve Chrisman , Shawn Langdon