Lucas Oil Top Fueler Langdon hoping No. 13 is lucky in Reading

Shawn Langdon, Lucas Oil/Speedco Dragster
Shawn Langdon, Lucas Oil/Speedco Dragster

Photo by: Michael C. Johnson

READING, Pa. (Oct. 1) – Although Halloween isn't coming until the end of the month, Shawn Langdon would sure like the break the qualifying curse that has been plaguing the Lucas Oil/Speedco Top Fuel dragster sooner rather than later.

"I don't know what it is," Landon said. "It seems like forever since we've qualified in the top half of the field. It really makes an already tough job of winning Top Fuel rounds even harder when you are starting in the bottom half of the ladder."

Langdon qualified 13th on Saturday for the Auto-Plus NHRA Nationals at Maple Grove Raceway, with a best pass of 3.854 seconds at 318.77 mph. It's the sixth straight race Langdon has qualified in the bottom half of the Top Fuel field. The Lucas Oil rail has won one elimination round in that stretch.

"We made two solid runs on Friday, which was really good," Langdon said. "Conditions here really got good and a lot of other cars moved up. For whatever reason we struggled both passes today and weren't able to keep pace."

Langdon draws former championship leader Del Worsham in the first round of Sunday's eliminations. Worsham had a best run a 3.780 at 327.90 mph.

"The track got rained on overnight," Langdon said. "That should really change conditions again. Our main hope is that Sunday's weather is more like Friday, when we made our best passes."

Before racing on Saturday, Langdon met with some representatives with the race's title sponsor, Auto-Plus.

"It's always great to meet the people who support drag racing and Lucas Oil," Langdon said. "Auto-Plus sells a lot of Lucas Oil products in their stores, and it was a blast seeing their guests' excited faces when they were able to get a behind-the-scenes look at all the hard work it takes to get our dragster on the track."

Eliminations for the Auto-Plus NHRA Nationals get underway at 11 a.m. EDT Sunday from Maple Grove Raceway.