Gainesville: Shawn Langdon preview

Langdon's ideal spring break involves partying with 'Wally' GAINESVILLE, Fla. (March 8) -- As the calendar turns to March, college students from around the country flood the beaches of Florida for the annual rite of passage known as spring ...

Langdon's ideal spring break involves partying with 'Wally'

GAINESVILLE, Fla. (March 8) -- As the calendar turns to March, college students from around the country flood the beaches of Florida for the annual rite of passage known as spring break.

Also in March is the NHRA's annual trek to the Sunshine State for the 41st annual Tire Kingdom NHRA Gatornationals in Gainesville, Fla.

Top Fuel driver Shawn Langdon said he sometimes wonders what it would be like to be hitting the beaches this time of year instead of heading to the track, but he ultimately knows the drag races are where he belongs.

"You always look back and say, 'Maybe I should have done this or that,'" the 27-year-old Langdon said. "But then I look at the overall picture, where I'm at right now, and I know I wouldn't trade this for anything in the world.

"There are times where I wish I did pursue college, especially when I'm driving to the next event down some highway or I'm up at 2 a.m. working on my race car and my buddies call me up and tell me about the college party they're at. Those are the hardest moments. At the same time, I know I'm doing things my buddies will never have a chance to do, like driving a racecar at 320 mph.

Langdon said he just followed his heart and his interests, which ultimately landed him behind the wheel of the nitro-fueled Lucas Oil/Speedco Top Fuel dragster.

"My direction pointed me toward racing," he said. "I'm fortunate to have made it work. I've been able to have my fun, but I've always been focused on creating my next opportunity, which I have now with the Lucas Oil dragster."

Langdon currently sits eighth in the NHRA Full Throttle Series Top Fuel points after two of 23 races. This is his second year in the pro ranks. Prior to turning pro he won back-to-back world titles in Super Comp.

Always one to take a big picture view of things, Langdon sees the progress his team has made in one year's time.

"At this point in the season versus where we were last year, we're strides ahead as a team technically, especially with our R&D stuff," Langdon said. "We've got a blower dyno and a clutch dyno now and that's helped a bunch. Last year we always found a way to run 3.87 (seconds) or 3.88, now we're finding ways to run 3.84 or 3.85. We've picked up a little bit, and I think the racing will continue to come to us as things get hotter.

"The perfect spring break? For me, it would be lifting up a Wally Sunday night in Gainesville. That would be the best party of all."

-source: morgan lucas racing

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Series NHRA
Drivers Shawn Langdon