Facing a seven-time champion doesn't faze Lucas Oil's Langdon
Third-year Top Fuel pro Shawn Langdon will square off against the most prolific driver in class history Sunday when the elimination rounds of the 11th annual Ford NHRA Thunder Valley Nationals begin at Bristol Dragway. But lining up opposite seven-time world champion Tony Schumacher is all in a day's work for the 28-year-old from southern California.
"Running Tony tomorrow, they always run good," Langdon said. "We're going to need to step it up against them, no doubt. But you have to just go up there and race the best you can. It really shouldn't matter who is in the other lane. We know where we're at. We're just got to make a good, clean run and hopefully go four rounds tomorrow."
Langdon and Schumacher will most likely be the first two cars down the track when action begins at noon. The two men qualified mid-pack, with Schumacher earning the No. 8 spot with a 3.887 at 318.92 mph, and Langdon close behind in ninth with a 3.889 at 316.15 mph.
"We made three of the four runs down the track," Langdon said. "We've actually been running a lot better the last few races in qualifying. We just haven't been doing a good job on race day. I think we're getting a handle on it now. We just need a little luck on our side.
"We should've run a little better in Round 4. We know where we missed a little bit of the tune-up so we know how to make it run better. Hopefully, it'll be cool enough where we can apply what we learned tomorrow."
For most of qualifying it appeared Langdon would face teammate and car owner Morgan Lucas in Round 1, something that happened at the last tour stop in Englishtown, N.J. But some big passes in the final qualifying session jumbled the field just enough that Lucas and Langdon are now on opposite sides of the ladder.
"We never want to run each other first round," Langdon said. "It's not good for anybody when we do that. Thankfully, that's not going to happen but when you look at the ladder you can still see we both have tough opponents first round. No matter how you look at this class, it's never going to be easy."
-source: lucas oil racing