Countdown begins with Langdon and Lucas in favored top half of field CHARLOTTE (Sept. 19) -- A big Saturday at the second annual Carolina NHRA Nationals ended with Top Fuel teammates Shawn Langdon and Morgan Lucas occupying top-half spots in a...
Countdown begins with Langdon and Lucas in favored top half of field
CHARLOTTE (Sept. 19) -- A big Saturday at the second annual Carolina NHRA Nationals ended with Top Fuel teammates Shawn Langdon and Morgan Lucas occupying top-half spots in a cutthroat elimination field. This marks the 13th time this season that the duo have pulled off the unique feat.
"It's kind of crazy that the Countdown to 1 starts and all of a sudden all the top cars are bunched up on the ladder again," rookie-of-the-year candidate Langdon said. "We're less than two hundredths of a second off the top guy and Morgan is just three thousandths back from us. We're all right there.
"It's going to be a driver's race tomorrow and I think that favors our team. Morgan has been lights-out with his reaction times and I've managed to stay real consistent on the tree all year. This could be a big weekend for both of us."
Langdon made a nice move in Saturday's first session, posting a 3.863 at 312.57 mph in his Lucas Oil/Dixie Chopper dragster to jump up to seventh place on the grid. Lucas ended up one spot back with a best of 3.866 at 311.85 mph in the GEICO Powersports/Lucas Oil dragster.
"We had some fun today," Lucas said. "We went up there in Round 3 and threw everything we had at the track, just trying to put the fear of God into everyone, but it didn't quite stick. That right lane isn't as good as the left one and we didn't get away with it. We came back in Round 4, put yesterday's tune-up in there, and just laid down a nice 3.86. It's cool that the car is responding to everything we're trying to do."
Langdon will open eliminations with lane choice over veteran Doug Kalitta, who qualified 10th with a 3.900 at 312.93 mph. Langdon is 3-1 against Kalitta.
Lucas draws No. 9 qualifier Cory McClenathan, who had a best of 3.877 at 310.84 mph. Lucas has beaten McClenathan twice in three head-to-head meetings this year.
"It's good that we both open against other drivers who are in the Countdown to 1 because if we want to make a run at the title we might as well get after it from the get-go," Lucas said. "Cory's always tough and so is Kalitta so we'd better be ready to race."
Eliminations begin at 11 a.m. EST.