Shawn Langdon Joliet Final Report

Route 66 Raceway

Strong semifinal showing for Langdon in Chicago

Shawn Langdon put the Lucas Oil/Speedco Top Fuel dragster into the semifinals at the O'Reilly Auto Parts NHRA Route 66 Nationals on Sunday.

Langdon beat NHRA multi-time champions Tony Schumacher and Larry Dixon before spinning the tires in the semifinals and falling to Dave Grubnic.

Shawn Langdon
Shawn Langdon

Photo by: Ted Rossino

"The engine was happy all day," Langdon said. "We didn't mess up any pistons and the bearings looked good. But it can be frustrating to beat two of the best cars out there and not be able to carry it through to a win.

"But that's why drag racing is the toughest sport in the world. The sport just teases you enough to keep you coming back."

Langdon's most exciting race of the day was against Dixon. Langdon and the Lucas Oil rail enjoyed a .023 second advantage at the starting line and needed every fraction of a second to beat Dixon, the reigning world champion.

The cars were neck-and-neck all the way down the 1,000 feet with Dixon having the better time, 3.950 seconds at 298.21 mph. But Langdon's 3.969 at 297.55 mph combined with his superior reaction time got him across the finish line .004 seconds head of Dixon.

In the opening round against Schumacher, Langdon had a smooth pass of 3.969 seconds at 308.00 mph to easily get past Schumacher who smoked and sputtered his way to a 4.503 second lap at 200.08 mph. It was the first time in 28 races that Schumacher had been defeated in the first round.

In the semis against Grubnic, Langdon's bracket car went away. The tires spun at half track, Langdon pedaled the throttle, and drove to a lap of 4.927 seconds at 161.34 mph. Unfortunately Grubnic's run was hiccup-free and he crossed the line in 4.019 seconds at 271.34 mph.

"If we would have made an okay run we probably would have made it around Grubby," Langdon said. "Then who knows what could happen after that. We've had a race car for two rounds today, now we just need to stretch it across all four rounds on Sunday. These things are animals and it's so hard to get them to go down the track every time out.

"I want to win. Going rounds is good for the points but a semifinal finish feels about the same as a first round loss to me. We get that car we had first and second round back, we'll win races."

By: lucas oil racing

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About this article
Series NHRA
Drivers Larry Dixon , Tony Schumacher , Shawn Langdon
Tags chicago, joliet, langdon, lucas oil, nhra, route 66 raceway, top fuel