St. Louis: Shawn Langdon preview

Rookie contest on Langdon's list as tour hits Gateway ST. LOUIS (April 28) -- Every drag racer in every category arrives at each race with the intention of claiming the Wally trophy given to the winner. Rookie Top Fuel driver Shawn Langdon,...

Rookie contest on Langdon's list as tour hits Gateway

ST. LOUIS (April 28) -- Every drag racer in every category arrives at each race with the intention of claiming the Wally trophy given to the winner.

Rookie Top Fuel driver Shawn Langdon, the driver of the Lucas Oil/Dixie Choppers dragster, is no exception. In fact, he thinks his John Stewart-led team is on the cusp of earning a victory right now, especially in light of the fact his teammate and car owner, Morgan Lucas, won the last national event in Atlanta.

"With the way Stewie and Jimmy (Walsh, Lucas' tuner) have been working together, our two cars are just getting better and better every race," Langdon said. "It was really cool to see Morgan win in Georgia, both for him and for the team as a whole. It picked up everyone because we're seeing positive results from what we're doing."

Going hand-in-hand with Langdon's will to win is his secondary interest in a heated four-man race for the Auto Club Road to the Future Award, given annually to the sport's top rookie.

"It's on your mind, for sure," Langdon said. "You look at the people that have won it in the past and it's definitely a list you want to be on. The thing is you only get one chance to win that award so it's a really big deal.

"It's been a fight already. (Matt) Hagan had a runner-up finish. Doug Horne has had two runner-ups on his bike. Spencer (Massey) went to the finals in Atlanta. We were the No. 1 qualifier in Las Vegas. It seems like all four of us have had our moments. If I had to guess, I would say it's going to be a real close deal all year.

"I don't know if you can want to win any more than we already do on this team but I know if we can out-perform those other guys over the course of the season then that will help our cause. You have to make a name for yourself and in drag racing you do that on the racetrack."

Langdon, the back-to-back Super Comp world champion in the Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series, will have some extra support this weekend as members of the heavy metal rock band Lamb of God visit Gateway International Raceway as his personal VIP guests.

"Whenever I need to get jacked-up for a race, I spin up Lamb of God on my iPod," Langdon said. "Trust me, their music gets your blood pumping. It's going to be cool to show them what we do. I want to take them up to the starting line and let them see how we make noise. I'm sure they're going to like that."

-credit: mlr

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Series NHRA
Drivers Shawn Langdon