Heartland Park Topeka
Langdon has his dragster back; Morgan makes the cut in Pro Stock
TOPEKA, Kan. – Despite the ever-changing weather conditions at the NHRA Summer Nationals, Shawn Langdon's Lucas Oil/Speedco Top Fuel dragster is totally dialed-in for Sunday's eliminations.
Langdon made four solid passes during qualifying to land fifth on the ladder, and the goal is to make four more similar laps on Sunday during eliminations.
"We'd really got to a point where we needed to make a change," Langdon said. "We made the change and did a good job this weekend. We were a top-five car all weekend."
Lucas Oil's other driver racing at Heartland Park Topeka, Larry Morgan, put the Lucas Oil Ford Mustang into the Pro Stock field in the 14th spot, giving the oil company two chances to win.
Over the past few races, Langdon's machine has been plagued by dropped cylinders and other annoying mechanical issues, so a weekend of solid passes in varying weather conditions has sent a jolt of confidence through his pit.
"We changed some things going into the weekend," Langdon said. "We've been having trouble with the motor not being happy. The changes we made and the runs we made give us a lot of confidence.
"You can see a difference in everybody, myself included."
Langdon's best lap was in 3.840 seconds at 314.09 mph.
"We had a car that made it down the track every single run," Langdon said. "It didn't matter what conditions were like. You want to come out here wanting to win. When you struggle, it wears on you. But to work through it and get it to run like we have this weekend shows what kind of great crew we have."
Langdon will face Terry McMillen in the first round on Sunday. McMillen qualified 12th with a best lap time of 3.924 at 310.41 mph.
How the heck can you race that way?
The generally good conditions bunched up the Pro Stock field tighter than normal with just .12 seconds separating ninth place Vincent Nobile and 14th place Morgan.
"How the heck can you race that way?" Morgan said. "It's so incredible. That's why we're trying to go over these runs and trying to find every little problem. It's hard. It's just hard to pinpoint something. You have to make the right decision, have the right gear ratios, and all that to do it."
Morgan's best pass of the weekend was a 6.692 second run at 205.91 mph, which was good enough for 14th.
"When the air gets bad, it puts clutch to it," Morgan said. "We're trying to get the clutch right. It's just a tough deal but it can be done. There are guys out here who are doing it. We'll see. We'll have to make the right decision and go out there and kick everybody's butt tomorrow."
Paired with Morgan in the first round of eliminations is Allen Johnson whose best qualifying lap was 6.650 seconds at 206.83 mph and qualified third.
-source: lucas oil racing