Lucas Oil's Langdon gets lift from Sunday performance
ATLANTA – Shawn Langdon and the Lucas Oil/Speedco Top Fuel dragster team got the shot in the arm they were looking for Sunday at the 31st annual Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Southern Nationals.
Langdon, who qualified 15th on the ladder, pulled off one of the biggest upsets of the season by beating No. 2 qualifier and current points leader Del Worsham in the first round of eliminations. Worsham had won three of the last four races on tour.
"When you are running Del, you have to make a perfect run against him," Langdon said. "He’s been really solid this year so we knew we had to lay down a big run."
Lucas Oil’s Pro Stock Motorcycle riders Hector Arana Sr. and Hector Arana Jr. both earned round wins also, while Larry Morgan had his best run of the weekend in the Lucas Oil Ford in his first-round loss.
Langdon’s winning pass was in 3.853 seconds at 316.01 mph, which was enough to hold off a hard-charging Worsham who ran a 3.875 at 315.49 mph.
"Our goal was to run a 3.85 or better," Langdon said. "It was an all or nothing shot for us on that round. It held for us. It was an excellent job by the guys, considering all the adversity we’ve faced lately."
In the second round against eventual race winner Antron Brown, Langdon’s engine lost a cylinder at the starting line and couldn’t keep up with Brown’s car. Langdon crossed the finish in 5.852 seconds at 112.98 mph as Brown zipped to a 3.880 at 314.09 mph.
After both qualifying in the top half of Pro Stock Motorcycle, the Aranas easily passed their first round tests before stumbling in the second round.
Arana Jr. and his Lucas Oil Buell beat Steve Johnson with a 6.973 second pass at 188.44 mph to Johnson’s 7.008 at 189.39 mph. In the second round, a loose fuel line on the starting line cost Arana Jr. against three-time series champion Andrew Hines.
," Arana said. "We learned our lesson, so it’s not going to happen to us again. We had a lot of progression. Dad and I both qualified well and went a round. We’re on a good roll."
Arana Sr. beat Chip Ellis in the opening round with a 6.966 at 187.42 mph pass to Ellis’ 7.007 at 188.73 mph. In the second round against Jim Underdahl, Hector Sr.’s Buell had a hiccup during the run that slowed him down to 7.084 at 182.35. Underdahl crossed the line first with a 7.001 at 190.89 mph.
It was a rookie mistake, but at least it was early in the year.
"I thought I was in front," Arana Sr. said. "The bike started acting weird, like it went into gear and came back out. I don’t know what’s going on but we’ll figure it out."
Morgan’s Lucas Oil Ford Mustang lined up against Rodger Brogdon in the first round. In the unusually cool, dry air Morgan ran a weekend-best 6.631 second pass at 207.72 mph. Brogdon, who had a slight advantage at the line, ran a 6.611 at 208.14 mph to take the win.
"I'm happy with the way I ran today," Morgan said. "I think we could've run a .61, and that would've been real acceptable for us. That would've been right there in the hunt with four, five other guys who are real fast. So I'm happy with that. We're creeping up on it. We're going to get there.
"Brogdon’s guys are competitors who are capable of winning races. Hopefully they'll do well. They're Lucas Oil cars, too, so I hope they do well."
Up next for Langdon and Morgan is next weekend’s NHRA Summer Nationals in Topeka, Kan. The Aranas don’t race again until the June 3-5 NHRA SuperNationals in Englishtown, N.J.
-source: lucas oil racing