Drag racer Langdon looks to Yankees for inspiration ENGLISHTOWN, N.J. (June 7) -- Shawn Langdon's three world championships in drag racing pale in comparison to the New York Yankees' 27 titles in Major League Baseball, but the basic tenants of...
Drag racer Langdon looks to Yankees for inspiration
ENGLISHTOWN, N.J. (June 7) -- Shawn Langdon's three world championships in drag racing pale in comparison to the New York Yankees' 27 titles in Major League Baseball, but the basic tenants of success are the same.
"I draw a lot of inspiration from teams like the Yankees," said Langdon, the sophomore driver of the Lucas Oil/Speedco Top Fuel dragster. "I've always tried to be the best I can be in whatever I'm doing, and obviously the Yankees have always had that same mindset. I'm the type to push myself until I'm at the limit of my abilities.
"One of the things that's so great about drag racing, and baseball for that matter, is that you can never be totally perfect. You can never rest on what you've done in the past because it doesn't matter. The next time I pull up to the starting line might as well be my first time because anything that's happened before isn't going to help me. It's the same as when a batter steps into the box. He may have hit 1,000 home runs in the past but that doesn't help the guy one bit during that particular at-bat."
Baseball analogies come easy for Langdon, who was once a crackerjack baseball prospect in his native southern California before he decided to dedicate himself to drag racing. It appears he made a good choice as his three world championships -- one in Junior Dragster and two in Super Comp -- attest.
And like a pitcher who is always working on lowering his ERA, Langdon carries an incredible starting line record of 18-1 into this weekend's 41st annual United Association NHRA SuperNationals at Old Bridge Township Raceway Park. In 19 races this season, Langdon has left before his opponent 18 times.
"When you have a streak going like I've had this year it's kind of like a pitcher throwing a perfect game -- you don't even want to talk about it," he said. "It's really just a result of me doing my job and the guys giving me a great car every round. I'd trade it all for a victory, though, because the win is the thing we want the most.
"I'm actually going to a Yankees game this week in Baltimore so I really do have baseball on my brain even more than normal. I'm sure I'll find time during that game to really think about what makes those guys so good and try to apply it to my life.
"I can't wait to get started."