Bracing for a fight, Lucas and Langdon ready for race day ENGLISHTOWN, N.J. (June 13) -- With just eight elimination days left before the '09 Countdown to the Championship playoffs begin, Top Fuel teammates Morgan Lucas and Shawn Langdon know...
Bracing for a fight, Lucas and Langdon ready for race day
ENGLISHTOWN, N.J. (June 13) -- With just eight elimination days left before the '09 Countdown to the Championship playoffs begin, Top Fuel teammates Morgan Lucas and Shawn Langdon know each round of racing they can gain in the hot summer months is extremely valuable. As such, the two are ready to fight for the title of Sunday's 40th annual United Association NHRA SuperNationals.
For the eighth time in the season's first 11 races, Lucas and Langdon will both start race day in the favored top half of the field after a pair of solid qualifying efforts. Lucas' best of 3.858 at 308.07 mph from Friday placed his GEICO Powersports/Lucas Oil dragster in the No. 4 spot overall, while Langdon's improved 3.882 at 289.07 mph on Saturday afternoon earned the No. 6 slot for his Lucas Oil/Dixie Choppers dragster.
"I'm really excited about the runs we made in both cars," said Lucas, who owns his car and Langdon's ride. "We've made so much progress just getting the car to repeat. I'm as excited as I've been in awhile. We really needed this because we were all beating ourselves up pretty good. Credit the crew guys because they never backed off."
Lucas will open against No. 13 qualifier Terry Haddock, a part-time driver he has never faced in five years of drag racing. Langdon will race Terry McMillen, who qualified 11th with a 4.061 at 293.60 mph. Langdon beat McMillen in their only previous meeting earlier this season in Gainesville, Fla.
"We improved (Saturday) so that was good," Langdon said, "because that round will probably be pretty similar to the opening round Sunday as far as conditions go. Once again, our car went down the track every pass. We actually could have run a 3.83 in that last session but the car started spinning the tires a little down track."
Entering this event, Lucas held the sixth position in the world rankings, while Langdon was eighth. A strong showing by either driver could lift them into the top five.
"We got cut short by rain Saturday and whenever that happens it takes a bit of a toll on the racing surface," said Lucas, a winner earlier this year in Atlanta. "But we've had rain in eight of the first 11 races this year so we're used to it. Heck, it was raining on and off all day in Atlanta and we won that race so maybe it's good luck for us."
Weather permitting; eliminations will begin at 11 a.m. ET.