Las Vegas: Shawn Langdon preview

What happens in Vegas...Langdon hopes to tell the world LAS VEGAS (April 1) -- Top Fuel rookie Shawn Langdon is ready to dismiss the Las Vegas slogan that, "What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas." Instead, the driver of the Lucas Oil/Dixie ...

What happens in Vegas...Langdon hopes to tell the world

LAS VEGAS (April 1) -- Top Fuel rookie Shawn Langdon is ready to dismiss the Las Vegas slogan that, "What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas." Instead, the driver of the Lucas Oil/Dixie Choppers dragster is hoping that what happens in Vegas this weekend at the 10th annual SummitRacing.com NHRA Nationals will be broadcast worldwide.

"We'd really like to win Vegas," Langdon said. "And if that happens we sure don't want that news to stay in Vegas. We'd want to tell everyone."

Langdon has reason to be optimistic. His racecar has been very consistent this year and his driving has been sharp, even though this is his first year in an 8,000-horsepower Top Fuel dragster. Without question, his experience in the sportsman ranks has made the transition to the top professional level an easy one. Langdon is the reigning back-to-back world champion in the Super Comp class of the Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series.

"I'm still learning every pass but I have been drag racing since I was 12 years old so I feel real comfortable in a racecar," the 26-year-old Langdon said. "It's amazing how far we've come in two months time. I feel so much better about what I'm doing and the guys have been great helping me do my job.

"The car has been very consistent and that helps me a lot because the only thing I have to think about is cutting a good light and driving from A-to-B. I'm an optimistic person by nature and I think we're ready to win a race. I'd love for it to be this weekend."

The local oddsmakers like Langdon, at least compared to the other Rookie-of-the-Year contenders. He's at 15-1, Spencer Massey is at 25-1, and Matt Hagan isn't listed.

Aside from racing, Langdon will take part in two very special prerace events. First, together with teammate Morgan Lucas and a handful of other NHRA pros, Langdon will compete in the United States Bowling Congress Open Championships at 2:30 p.m., Thursday. Later that day he's taking part in a free autograph session from 6-8 p.m. at The Palms Casino Resort.

"Vegas is a fun town and it's neat when we get to do activities outside of the racetrack," Langdon said. "Morgan and I have been practicing our bowling this week so we don't look like fools at the tournament. I'm really excited about that because I'm a big bowler and I'm looking forward to meeting all the pros. It's going to be cool.

"The deal at The Palms has grown each year and there are always thousands of fans there. I've seen it before and now I'm taking part in it so I'll get a different perspective. The fans have been so cool to me this year and I like to hang out with them at deals like this. It's one of the great things about our sport."

-credit: mlr

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Series NHRA
Drivers Morgan Lucas , Matt Hagan , Shawn Langdon , Spencer Massey