Lucas Oil Racing press relesase
Lucas Oil's Langdon thinks he has the formula for playoff success
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (Sept. 11) -- Drag racers love posting big numbers on the scoreboards. Blistering top speeds and stunningly low elapsed times make the crowds roar. But Shawn Langdon, driver of the Lucas Oil/Speedco Top Fuel dragster, would gladly trade the glitz and glam of record-setting runs for consistency, a key component he says could carry his top flight race team to the 2011 championship.
"We've gotten to the point where our car goes A-to-B about as regularly as these cars can," Langdon said. "So we've got some measure of consistency. Now we need to turn the screws and get this thing to be quicker and faster while still maintaining that consistency. We don't need to become world beaters, we just need to get to that next level without losing our way.
"Now's the time. The playoffs are here and there is absolutely no reason to hold anything back. This is a veteran team and Stewie (crew chief John Stewart) knows what he's doing. I say we get after it. There's nothing to lose."
A three-time world champion in the sportsman and junior ranks, Langdon successfully qualified for his third consecutive Countdown to the Championship, the NHRA's six-race playoff series. That makes him a perfect three for three as a pro.
"We've been here before and we've raced strong down the stretch in the past," Langdon said. "This year I'd like for us to get after it even harder and try to get up there in the top three and give ourselves a chance.
"This is only the fifth year of the Countdown but we've already seen guys win it all from just about every starting spot, including last place. We're only 90 points back, so that's a little more than four rounds. It's doable, especially if we can be consistent and fast."
The fourth annual O’Reilly Auto Parts NHRA Nationals begin with two rounds of qualifying at 4:30 and 7 p.m. on Friday in Concord, N.C.
"I've got my own Twitter page now -- shawnlangdontf -- and I plan on taking all my followers through the Countdown with me," Langdon said. "Every time I have a thought, good or bad, I'm going to Tweet it so I hope everyone signs up and follows me. It should be a lot of fun."