Sonoma: Shawn Langdon preview

Boyhood dreams coming true for rookie Langdon SONOMA, Calif. (July 20) -- When Shawn Langdon was a kid attending Sky Country Elementary in Mira Loma, Calif., he used to doodle Top Fuel dragsters on his book covers and dream about driving ...

Boyhood dreams coming true for rookie Langdon

SONOMA, Calif. (July 20) -- When Shawn Langdon was a kid attending Sky Country Elementary in Mira Loma, Calif., he used to doodle Top Fuel dragsters on his book covers and dream about driving 8,000-horsepower rails down a drag strip at 320 mph.

This year that dream has become reality for the 26-year-old driver of the Lucas Oil/Dixie Chopper dragster and the California native is thrilled to be turning his attention to Infineon Raceway, one of the racetracks he used to picture in his high-horsepower imagination.

"When you're not old enough to race for real you end up doing it in your head and I used to think about Sonoma all the time," Langdon said. "It's funny because it's just about a hometown race now with all the travelling we do around the country but when I was a kid, Sonoma seemed so far away. It was one of those places that you would have done anything to see."

Although this will be Langdon's first visit to the facility in a Top Fuel car, he has raced there before in both Super Comp and Super Gas. In fact, his past performances in the wine country helped him win back-to-back world titles in the cutthroat Super Comp category.

"It's a track where I feel extremely comfortable," Langdon said. "And it's Bruton Smith-owned facility, so you know everything there is first-class. One thing about Bruton's tracks is they're always well run and taken care of. Plus, they really look out for the racers. That's always been the case there.

"Georgia Seipel has been the drag race manager there for years and she's a very close friend of our family so that makes it even better. It wouldn't hurt my feelings at all if we raced there three or four times a year."

Langdon has shined in his rookie campaign, racing to five semifinal appearances and proving himself to be very adept at the starting line. About the only thing missing on his resume is a win, something he'd love to collect this weekend at the Fram-Autolite NHRA Nationals.

"I've dreamed about driving a dragster for as long as I can remember," Langdon said. "I've also dreamed about winning a Wally (trophy). If we could get it done in Sonoma it would be beyond anything I could ever imagine.

"The good thing is we've proven we have a car fully capable of winning any race we enter. It's not a matter of 'if' it's a matter of 'when' it's going to happen."

-credit: mlr

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About this article
Series NHRA
Drivers Shawn Langdon