Seattle: Lucas Oil Racing final report

Langdon reaches semifinals at Seattle SEATTLE (July 11) -- Shawn Langdon and the Lucas Oil/Speedco Top Fuel dragster reached the semifinals of an NHRA Full Throttle Series event for the second time this season on Sunday at the NHRA Northwest ...

Langdon reaches semifinals at Seattle

SEATTLE (July 11) -- Shawn Langdon and the Lucas Oil/Speedco Top Fuel dragster reached the semifinals of an NHRA Full Throttle Series event for the second time this season on Sunday at the NHRA Northwest Nationals at Pacific Raceways.

Ever the competitor, Langdon was left wanting more because in the semifinals against eventual race winner Cory McClenathan his car's engine developed a problem just after the green light while McClenathan had less than a stellar run (4.153 seconds at 256.80 mph).

"We keep getting closer, but these gremlins keep biting us," Langdon said. "Something broke. We're looking at it right now. We banged the burst panels out of it as soon as it hit the throttle.

"It was unfortunate because Cory was there for the taking -- he smoked the tires and I had him by .05 on the tree. Who knows what would have happened had we made it down."

In the previous two rounds, the Lucas Oil rail performed flawlessly and Langdon won both his races.

In the first round, he squared off against Terry McMillen and rocketed to a 3.961 second pass at 305.49 mph. McMillen lurched across the line in a tire-smoking 5.492 seconds at 120.53 mph. In the second round, Langdon sent winner of three of the previous four races, Larry Dixon, home early. Langdon enjoyed a .014 second advantage at the start and crossed in 3.892 seconds at 306.60 mph. Dixon was hot on Langdon's heels with a 3.897 second run at 312.96 mph.

"It was a good way to start off the Western Swing," Langdon said. "We didn't go many rounds in the Swing last year, for us it's a step in the right direction. It's a positive note going into The Countdown."

Langdon added he was shocked and saddened by the death of Top Alcohol Dragster driver Mark Niver. Niver died Sunday following a crash during eliminations.

"Mark was a fantastic guy," Langdon said. "Several of the guys on my crew were very close to him. Everyone on the team sends out their thoughts and prayers to all of the Niver family."

In Pro Stock, driver of the Lucas Oil Ford Mustang, Larry Morgan, is getting his brand-new racecar (complete with carbon-fiber wheelie bars) dialed in.

Morgan lost to race runner-up Johnny Gray in the first round on Sunday after Gray ran a 6.628 second pass at 208.91 to Morgan's 6.660 at 208.68 mph. Despite the loss, Morgan says more laps is all he needs to get this new setup performing to his standards.

"We're moving forward," Morgan said. "We're like 'The Jeffersons,' we're movin' on up. We didn't make a real good down-low run but we were solid in the back-half. We figured out we're within .01 seconds of the fast guys.

"We just need more laps. It's too bad I couldn't have got this car five months ago."

Up next for Lucas Oil teams is the July 16-18 Fram Autolite Nationals at Sonoma, Calif.

-source: lucas oil racing

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About this article
Series NHRA
Drivers Larry Dixon , Larry Morgan , Cory McClenathan , Johnny Gray , Shawn Langdon , Terry McMillen