Englishtown: Shawn Langdon preview

Somber Langdon on a special mission in Englishtown ENGLISHTOWN, N.J. (June 8) -- Rookie of the Year candidate and driver of the Lucas Oil/Dixie Choppers Top Fuel dragster Shawn Langdon knows this weekend's 40th annual United Associates NHRA ...

Somber Langdon on a special mission in Englishtown

ENGLISHTOWN, N.J. (June 8) -- Rookie of the Year candidate and driver of the Lucas Oil/Dixie Choppers Top Fuel dragster Shawn Langdon knows this weekend's 40th annual United Associates NHRA SuperNationals at Old Bridge Township Raceway Park is going to be tough on everyone.

It's been one year since the tragic racing accident that claimed the life of Funny Car driver Scott Kalitta, and Langdon said Kalitta will be especially missed this weekend.

"I think this weekend's race is going to be pretty sad," Langdon said. "Growing up, Scott was one of the guys I always looked up to. He was one of my heroes. I think everyone will be thinking about Scott all weekend long and it's going to be one of those deals where you almost wish you weren't there."

Langdon added that he's got a special focus at the track this weekend.

"I want to win this race and present my first pro trophy to Scott's oldest son, Corey, who's been at the track this summer with Team Kalitta," Langdon said. "I think that would be real special and myself and my Lucas Oil teammates are going to do everything we can to get it done."

While this is his first crack at the Englishtown track as a pro, Langdon has raced at the facility in both his Lucas Oil Super Comp car and current teammate Morgan Lucas' Lucas Oil Top Alcohol Dragster.

"It's one of those tracks you always heard about and living on the west coast it always seemed like E-town was where all the east coast hitters raced," Langdon said. "It's kind of a mythical place for drag racers."

A freak parts failure in Chicago on Sunday forced an early exit for Langdon and resulted in him slipping to eighth in the NHRA Full Throttle points.

"We had a throttle cable break during the first round last week," Langdon said. "Those things are going to happen during a season. I still think we're on the right track with the car and our first win is right around the corner."

The first round loss wasn't terribly damaging to Langdon, because the middle of the Top Fuel rankings are closely bunched together. Less then 40 points separate Langdon from fifth place.

"If we go some rounds this weekend, we'll climb back up there, no question," Langdon said. "But our goal is to get that first win. Then the points will take care of themselves."

Qualifications begin at 3 and 6 p.m. Friday afternoon.

-credit: mlr

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Series NHRA
Drivers Scott Kalitta , Morgan Lucas , Shawn Langdon