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Kalitta Motorsports News

Championship On Line Leaving Houston Springnationals

Doug Kalitta and the Mac Tools Top Fuel dragster will leave Houston Raceway Park No. 2 in the Camping World Top Fuel standings. The team raced to a quarterfinal finish from the No. 5 qualifier position and will head to The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway with a serious but not insurmountable point deficit. There will be 30 points awarded each round and with a little help Kalitta could be in control of his championship destiny.
 
"We knew the championship would come down to the last race,” said Kalitta. “We have a hole to dig out of for sure. The one thing about this Mac Tools team is we are going to keep fighting. There are points and half in Las Vegas and if we get a couple quick qualifying runs we can make up some ground on Saturday. We are going to go into the weekend with our focus on winning the race and getting the championship."
 
In the opening round today Kalitta outran Texan Kebin Kinsley for his 21st round win of the season. The Mac Tools Top Fuel dragster never trailed in the race. Kalitta grabbed a starting line reaction time advantage and then he powered to victory with a 3.716 second at 327.27 mph run. It was a big jump in performance from his best qualifying effort and gave him lane choice going into the quarterfinals.
 
In a close quarterfinal race Kalitta fell with a 3.747 second elapsed time slowing just slightly from his first round winning time. The team will head to The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway needing some help to chase down the points lead but with a dragster that has the performance numbers to go rounds.
 
Quotable: 
Doug Kalitta on championship chase: “We didn’t make up ground this weekend which is disappointing. There is one race left and we just want a chance to get that championship. We have that opportunity and the Mac Tools team just has to capitalize on it.” 
 
Statistics:
Qualified: No. 5 (3.764 sec., 269.78 mph) 
Bonus points: 0

Race Details: 

First Round
Driver                          Qual    R/T      ET        MPH 
Doug Kalitta               5          .070     3.716   327.27 (W)                 
Kebin Kinsley               12        .081     6.874   96.34
 
Second Round
Driver                          Qual    R/T      ET        MPH 
Doug Kalitta               5          .131     3.747   325.92                                    
Antron Brown              4          .034     3.719   329.42 (W)

Shawn Langdon

Quarterfinal Finish for Langdon and DHL at Springnationals

Heading into race day at the NHRA Springnationals at Houston Raceway Park Shawn Langdon and the DHL Kalitta Air Top Fuel team knew they would have their hands full with a tough first round opponent. As the No. 8 qualifier Langdon matched up with rookie of the year contender Justin Ashley for the sixth time in ten races. Langdon held a 3-2 winning advantage heading into today’s race.
 
The first round race went Langdon’s way from the start and he extended his head to head record to 4-2 against Ashley. He had a stellar reaction time of .031 to Ashley’s .037 and the DHL Kalitta Air dragster never trailed. As Langdon was pulling away Ashley tried to pedal his dragster but the 2020 U.S. Nationals champion was too strong and got the win.
 
For the second week in a row Langdon had to race the Camping World Top Fuel point leader. Last week Langdon faced Steve Torrence in the semifinals and today the quarterfinal match-up of two world champions was another tough race. The DHL dragster took off and was side by side as each dragster approached half-track. As the finish line approached Langdon hazed tires and slowed to 4.063 as he crossed the finish line.
 
"We had a good win in the first round for DHL, Kalitta Air and Toyota,” said Langdon. “Then we had tough competitor in the second round. We had an aggressive tune-up and gave it a good run. We are giving it our best every round. Today did not go the way we wanted. This DHL Kalitta Air dragster will be ready for Las Vegas." 
 
Quotable:
Langdon on wrapping season up in Las Vegas: “This season has had a lots of ups and downs. I am glad we got as many races as we did. There is one more chance to get a win. This DHL team will be ready for qualifying and race day in Las Vegas. We aren’t going to leave anything back at the shop. Our focus will be getting the best out of this DHL Top Fuel dragster for one more race.”
 
Statistics:
Qualified: No. 8 (3.812 sec., 369.67 mph) 
Bonus points:

Race Details:

First Round
Driver                          Qual    R/T      ET        MPH  
Shawn Langdon         8          .031     3.720   327.59 (W)
Justin Ashley                9          .037     4.741   169.72
 
Second Round
Driver                          Qual    R/T      ET        MPH  
Shawn Langdon         8          .054     4.063   216.00
Steve Torrence            1          .043     3.686   328.46 (W)

JR Todd

Todd Heads To Vegas After Quarterfinal Effort In Houston

J.R. Todd and the DHL Toyota Camry Funny Car will be leaving the NHRA Camping World Springnationals at Houston Raceway Park with both ends of the Funny Car track record book. He posted low ET and top speed of race day as wrote his name into the performance record book. In the opening session Todd blasted down the track with a winning and record setting time of 3.894 seconds at 333.49 mph. The DHL Camry Funny Car’s speed was the fastest of both Top Fuel and Funny Car, a tremendous achievement that brought the Houston crowd to its feet.
 
The first round win came over veteran Terry Haddock who smoked the tires and costed across the finish line. The scoreboards lit up 3.894 to 9.360 seconds and the DHL Camry Funny Car never trailed in the race. The win also gave Todd lane choice over Tommy Johnson Jr. on the quarterfinals.
 
"We had a great run in the first round,” said Todd. “It's nice to have run the fastest pass of the weekend in this DHL Camry, but in the end, that's not why we're here. We're here to win. This is the second straight race that we've run really well in the first round, but we need four of those. We have one race left to get it done. We've won in Las Vegas three times in the past couple of years and our goal will be to get a fourth next week.
 
Todd’s day came to an abrupt end with a close quarterfinal finish. Both Funny Cars launched off the starting line almost together but by half-track Johnson had a slight lead and he held this Funny Car’s nose just in front of the DHL Funny Car as they crossed the finish line. Todd’s 3.979 second run at 326 mph was off his opening round performance.
 
Heading into race day Todd brought his best qualifying position of the season, a No. 3 starting spot. His previous best was a No. 4 qualifier at the first race in Indianapolis back after the season break.
 
“We made the most of the two qualifying sessions for sure. Starting No. 3 give us a lot of confidence. We just need to capitalize on race day. I know we have the team to do that. We have one race to wrap up the season and we have had a lot of success at The Strip at Las Vegas,” added Todd.
 
Quotable:

J.R. Todd on wrapping up season in Las Vegas: “I think we can finish as high as fifth and we could get to fourth if things fall our way. There will be points and a half so that makes it exciting. I have won at The Strip before and I love racing there.”
 
Statistics:
Qualified: No. 3 (3.923 sec., 328.62 mph)
Bonus points:  +2 (2nd quickest of Q1)

Race Details:
 
First Round
Driver                          Qual    R/T      ET        MPH  
J.R. Todd                     3          .075     3.894   333.49 (W)     
Terry Haddock                        14        .132     9.360   73.65
 
Second Round
Driver                          Qual    R/T      ET        MPH  
J.R. Todd                     3          .078     3.979   326.00
Tommy Johnson Jr      6          .057     3.934   327.51 (W)

#SpringNats race day matchups:

Doug Kalitta 5️⃣ vs. K. Kinsley

Shawn Langdon 8️⃣ vs. J. Ashley

J.R. Todd 3️⃣ vs. T. Haddock

Team Kalitta enters the NHRA Spring Nationals with all three teams in championship contention. Doug Kalitta and the Mac Tools Top Fuel dragster and Shawn Langdon in the DHL Top Fuel dragster are battling for the top spot while J.R. Todd in the DHL Toyota Camry Funny Car continues to climb the point standings.

Fired up Doug Kalitta and Mac Tools Top Fuel Dragster Head to Houston

From the beginning of the season when Doug Kalitta and the Mac Tools team started off with a win at the Winternationals the team knew it would come down to the last few races to determine the championship. Kalitta and his team have led the points the majority of the season and entering the NHRA Spring Nationals at Houston Raceway Park they are right in the championship mix. They sit just 51 points out of first place with a win and a semifinal finish over the past two races. This differential can easily be made up with a strong performance weekend in Houston.
 
“We have two races left and we know what we need to do,” said Kalitta. “The good news is we basically control our own destiny. If we run well in qualifying and win these last two races we should be the champions. It will be tough but I have a great team behind me and I have a lot of confidence.”
 
Kalitta should be confident racing at Houston Raceway Park because he is one of the most successful Top Fuel drivers to every leave the starting line. His three Top Fuel titles put him in elite company with Kenny Bernstein and Larry Dixon at Houston Raceway Park. Only Bernstein equals Kalitta with three titles at the Spring Nationals. One of Dixon’s Houston Raceway Park wins was scored at the now discontinued Fall Houston races. A quirk in the NHRA reconfigured schedule has the Spring Nationals running in late October.
 
“We won a lot of races in the first part of the year at the Spring Nationals so we will see if we can win one in October,” said Kalitta. “I am glad we are getting to race in Houston because we have a lot of representatives from Mobil 1 who will be at the race and our new sponsor Osborn has some strong Texas ties. I was actually supposed to unveil an Osborn Top Fuel dragster at this race earlier this season. They are featured on my Mac Tools dragster pretty big this weekend.”
 
Kalitta’s wins at the Spring Nationals were tallied in 2016, 2015 and 2003. In addition he recorded two No. 1 qualifiers in 2013 and 2002. Strong performance numbers would be a huge advantage this weekend as Kalitta chases down his first Top Fuel world championship. This season has seen him race to four finals and pick up three wins most recently at the NHRA Midwest Nationals in St. Louis. The veteran driver has only qualified in the bottom half of the field one time in the previous nine races.
 
“With only one day of qualifying you really have to make your two passes count. It makes it tough for the crew chiefs for sure but Rob Flynn and my Mac Tools guys have been amazing all season. We want to get some of those qualifying bonus points and then get a lot of round wins on Sunday. That will be the key to our success for sure,” added Kalitta.
 
Last Event Recap (2020 NHRA FallNationals): Qual. No. 7; Beat Antron Brown, Justin Ashley; Lost to Billy Torrence
 
2019 NHRA Spring Nationals Recap: Qual. No. 8; Beat Terry McMillen; Lost to Brittany Force
 
Quotable:  Doug Kalitta on Top Fuel championship battle: “We have been here before so I don’t feel any extra pressure. We just need to focus on what we can control. If we do that then no matter what happens we will know we gave it our best. These next two races will be a lot so fun and I am looking forward to the challenge.”   
 
Career Stats: 522 events, 515 starts, 710 round wins, 49 wins, 105 finals, 50 No. 1 qualifiers
2020 Season: 
Winternationals: Qual. No. 5; WINNER; Beat Brandon Welch, Justin Ashley, Brittany Force and Austin Prock
Arizona Nationals: Qual. No. 8; RUNNER-UP; Beat Shawn Reed, Brittany Force and Antron Brown; Lost to Steve Torrence
Indy1 NHRA Nationals: Qual. No. 2; RUNNER-UP; Beat Lex Joon, Leah Pruett and Antron Brown; Lost to Billy Torrence
Indy2 NHRA Nationals: Qual. No. 6; Beat Doug Foley; Lost to Justin Ashley
Indy3 NHRA Nationals: Qual. No. 12; Beat Cory McClenathan, Clay Millican; Lost to Terry McMillen
U.S. Nationals: Qual. No. 5; Beat Pat Dakin; Lost to Justin Ashley
Gatornationals: Qual. No. 6; Lost to Terry McMillen
Midwest Nationals: Qual. No. 5; WINNER: Beat Shawn Langdon, TJ Zizzo, Tony Schumacher, Steve Torrence
FallNationals: Qual. No. 7; Beat Antron Brown, Justin Ashley; Lost to Billy Torrence

JR Spring Nats 

Houston Success on Horizon for J.R. Todd and DHL Camry Funny Car

This weekend’s NHRA Spring Nationals sees the return of J.R. Todd to a track where he has done something only two other racers in Houston Raceway Park history have accomplished. Todd along with Mike Dunn and Del Worsham are the only three racers to have won the Spring Nationals in both Top Fuel and Funny Car. In a matter of days Todd and his DHL Toyota Camry Funny Car will be looking to add a second Funny Car title to his trophy case and also continue to climb the NHRA Camping World Funny Car standings with two races remaining in the season.
 
“It is cool to be able to say you have done something only a couple other racers have done at a track that has as much history as Houston Raceway Park,” said Todd. “Guys like Mike Dunn and Del (Worsham) are Hall of Fame drivers so you want to be on lists with those guys. I really just want to get another win here because we have been grinding all season and we want to get four win lights on Sunday.”
 
Since 2014 Todd has won at least one NHRA national event and the 2018 Funny Car champion definitely wants to keep that streak alive. The DHL Camry Funny Car has two runner-up finishes including a close race at the U.S. Nationals over Labor Day weekend. As a nine-time Funny Car winner Todd would love to get that tenth win in Houston.
 
“We came close in back to back weekends racing in Indianapolis,” said Todd. “I really wanted another win at the U.S. Nationals. You get so close those are the tough ones to get over. You have to put it behind you and move on. These last two races are important and we want to get some wins.”
 
It was two years ago when Todd took his lone Houston Funny Car win over Robert Hight and eleven years before that he was winning in Top Fuel over Joe Hartley. The progression of Todd’s career has not been a straight rise to fame and fortune. In the latest edition of Drag Racing Edge magazine Todd talks about how his career had a number of starts and stops which he feels only makes him a more aware driver.
 
“I had a lot of people help me along the way. I got a chance to drive for Dexter Tuttle and that put me on the map,” said Todd. “Drivers put in a good word for me along the way and I kept busy as a crew guy doing whatever needed to be done. I can’t thank Connie Kalitta enough for calling me and getting me back in a dragster and then giving me the opportunity to win a Funny Car championship in Scott’s Funny Car. I have been very fortunate.”
 
Last Event Recap (2020 NHRA FallNationals):  Qual. No. 8; Beat Paul Lee; Lost to Matt Hagan
 
2019 NHRA Spring Nationals Recap: Qual. No. 4; Beat Jim Campbell; Lost to Robert Hight
 
Quotable: J.R. Todd on final two races: “I feel really good about these last two races. They are at tracks where I have had success. This DHL Toyota Camry team isn’t about to throw in the towel. This weekend we are going to be aggressive during qualifying and then race smart on Sunday. We’ll take it one run at a time.”
 
Career Stats: 233 events, 225 starts, 248 round wins, 18 wins, 35 finals, 12 No. 1 qualifiers; in Funny Car 81 events, 81 starts, 9 wins, 15 finals, 100 round wins, 3 No. 1 qualifiers
 
2020 Season: 
Winternationals: Qual. No. 8; Lost to Time Wilkerson
Arizona Nationals: Qual. No. 9; Lost to Ron Capps
Indy1 NHRA Nationals: Qual. No. 4; Beat Alex Miladinovich, Alexis DeJoria; Lost to Tommy Johnson Jr.
Indy2 NHRA Nationals: Qual. No. 5; Beat Jim Campbell; Lost to Matt Hagan
Indy3 NHRA Nationals: Qual. No. 5; RUNNER-UP; Beat Mike McIntire, Cruz Pedregon, Paul Lee; Lost to Ron Capps
U.S. Nationals: Qual. No. 8; RUNNER-UP; Beat Blake Alexander, Dale Creasy Jr., and Matt Hagan; Lost to Jack Beckman
Gatornationals: Qual. No. 7; Lost to Tommy Johnson Jr.
Midwest Nationals: Qual. No. 7; Beat Tim Wilkerson; Lost to Alexis DeJoria
FallNationals: Qual. No. 8; Beat Paul Lee; Lost to Matt Hagan

Shawn Spring Nats

Spring Nationals Penultimate Chance for Victory for Langdon and DHL Top Fuel Dragster

With two races remaining in the 2020 Camping World NHRA Drag Racing Series season Shawn Langdon and the DHL Kalitta Air Top Fuel dragster team are looking for a couple more Top Fuel wins. This weekend at Houston Raceway Park during the rescheduled NHRA Spring Nationals Langdon will be looking to build on momentum from last weekend’s semifinal finish at the Texas Motorplex. The 2013 Top Fuel champion sits in the No. 5 spot in the Camping World Top Fuel point standings with two strong races he could break into the Top Three and also support his teammate Doug Kalitta’s chance for his first championship.
 
“Our goal every weekend is to end Sunday night holding a Wally and celebrating with this DHL and Kalitta Air Top Fuel team,” said Langdon. “Connie Kalitta is a legend in this sport and he along with Kurt Elliott give me one of the best and quickest race cars on the tour, week in and week out. Last weekend in Dallas we had a strong race car and we raced it to the semis. We want to get all the way to the winner’s circle this weekend in Houston.”
 
This season his return to Top Fuel after a two year stint in Funny Car has seen Langdon slide smoothly right back to his roots. In 2013 Langdon raced through the Top Fuel field winning multiple races including the U.S. Nationals and Traxxas Shootout on his way to the Top Fuel championship. That season he was runner-up at the Spring Nationals and he is still looking for his first win in the Lone Star State.
 
“We got to the final a few years ago in Houston and I have been to a couple finals at the Texas Motorplex,” said Langdon. “I would love to get a win in Houston since it is the hometown of Mobil 1 who gives us great support. Toyota is based in Dallas so I am sure there will be some representatives here this weekend. The fans turned out in Dallas so I think we could have a good crowd in Houston too.”
 
The highlight of the season for Langdon was the Labor Day win at the prestigious U.S. Nationals in Indianapolis. It was his third win at the historic event and a second title in the Top Fuel class. The victory moved him up in points but also gave the veteran driver additional confidence to finish the season strong.
 
“Winning the U.S. Nationals is always special. It was different this season because it was the fourth time we raced at that track in a row. If you are only going to win there once I am glad it was the U.S. Nationals. We have two more races and that is two more opportunities to win. This class has been really tough this season with a lot of young drivers coming up and other teams really giving it there all. I am glad I am in the mix to be one of the top teams. I have to thank DHL, Mobil 1, Toyota and NGK Spark Plugs plus a lot of other great sponsors for their support,” added Langdon.
 
Last Event Recap (2020 NHRA FallNationals): Qual. No. 4; Beat Kebin Kinsley, Leah Pruett; Lost to Steve Torrence
 
2019 NHRA Spring Nationals Recap: In Funny Car - Qual. No. 10; Beat Cruz Pedregon; Lost to Ron Capps
 
Quotable: Shawn Langdon on last two races: “I am looking forward to getting to Houston and then on to Las Vegas. It looks like we will get 11 races in this season and we are finishing strong with some good race tracks and tough racing. We have the chance to get two more wins and I want to take advantage of those opportunities.”
 
Career Stats: 265 events, 262 starts, 296 round wins, 17 wins, 34 finals, 19 No. 1 qualifiers; in Top Fuel 217 events, 214 starts, 15 wins, 31 finals, 257 round wins, 19 No. 1 qualifiers

2020 Season: 
Winternationals: Qual. No. 4; Lost to Justin Ashley
Arizona Nationals: Qual. No. 7; Beat Clay Millican; Lost to Steve Torrence
Indy1 NHRA Nationals: Qual. No. 8; Beat Justin Ashley; Lost to Steve Torrence
Indy2 NHRA Nationals: Qual. No. 3; Lost to Justin Ashley
Indy3 NHRA Nationals: Qual. No. 14; Lost to Leah Pruett
U.S. Nationals: Qual. No. 1; WINNER; Beat Joey Haas, Cory McClenathan, Justin Ashley and Leah Pruett
Gatornationals: Qual. No. 7; Beat Justin Ashley; Lost to Billy Torrence
Midwest Nationals: Qual. No. 12; Lost to Doug Kalitta
FallNationals: Qual. No. 4; Beat Kebin Kinsley, Leah Pruett; Lost to Steve Torrence

Doug Kalitta Heads To Houston In Championship Battle 

Exiting the 35th annual AAA Texas NHRA FallNationals Doug Kalitta and his Mac Tools Top Fuel dragster team are right in the thick of the NHRA Camping World championship battle. After a day of qualifying on Saturday, Kalitta entered the race as the No. 7 qualifier, with a tough first opponent, fellow championship contender Antron Brown. It was a critical round for Kalitta to take out a Top Fuel pursuer and advance the Mac Tools dragster to the quarterfinals.
 
Both dragsters launcher together and Kalitta pulled away as he closed in on half-track. He made his quickest pass of the weekend for the win, a blistering 3.713 seconds at 328.38 mph.
 
In the quarterfinals Kalitta took a starting line advantage from Rookie of the Year contender Justin Ashley and never trailed in the race winning with a time of 3.723 seconds at 328.46 mph. It was back to back low 3.7 second runs and it set up a monster semifinal race with Billy Torrence of Torrence Racing.
 
Knowing every round win was paramount the Mac Tools team gave Kalitta a strong race car. He jumped off the starting line but as his 11,000 horsepower dragster accelerated down track in the right lane it overpowered the racing surface and smoked the tires. Kalitta attempted to get it back under control but Torrence was on a smooth pass with no chance of reeling him in.
 
"We lost some ground today but we have two races left to make that up,” said Kalitta. “The last race will be 30 points a round. We will be Houston and I am not sure how similar the conditions will be. This Mac Tools team was strong this weekend. We made some great runs today and we got aggressive in the semifinals. We will put this race behind us."
 
Kalitta is well within striking distance of the point leader and with two races to go a couple of wins would secure Kalitta his first championship no matter what happens with his competitors. The Camping World Drag Racing Series will be back on track at Houston Raceway Park in Baytown, Texas next weekend.
 
Quotable: 
Doug Kalitta on the FallNationals atmosphere: “It was great to see so many fans in the stands. I know they had some restricts on attendance but there were a lot of people here. Toyota is based here in Dallas and it was great to show off for them as well as our other sponsors like Ferguson who just came on board this race. I am excited to get to Houston and get in front of some of our Mobil 1 supporters.” 
 
Statistics:
Qualified: No. 7 (3.761 sec., 313.95 mph) 
Bonus points: 0

Race Details: 

First Round
Driver                          Qual    R/T      ET        MPH 
Doug Kalitta               7          .060     3.713   328.38 (W)     
Antron Brown              8          .051     3.762   324.51
 
Second Round
Driver                          Qual    R/T      ET        MPH 
Doug Kalitta               7          .063     3.723   328.46 (W)     
Justin Ashley                2          .082     3.764   312.78
 
Semifinal Round
Driver                          Qual    R/T      ET        MPH 
Doug Kalitta               7          .072     4.182   261.27
Billy Torrence             9          .100     3.746   326.95 (W)

Shawn Langdon Fall Nats

Shawn Langdon and DHL Race to Semis at FallNationals

A semifinal finish today for Shawn Langdon and the DHL Kalitta Air team was a bittersweet start to the two weeks of racing in Texas. The 2013 NHRA Top Fuel champion moved up into the Top Five in the Camping World Drag Racing point standings but the team was unable to stop eventual winner Steve Torrence in the process.
 
After a solid two sessions of qualifying that saw Langdon net a valuable qualifying bonus point for running the third quickest pass of the second session the team entered race day as the No. 4 qualifier. In the first round he took out journeyman racer Kebin Kinsley with a dominant run. Langdon took a starting line advantage and never trailed in the race. His 3.742 second run was not only quick enough for the win but also gave him lane choice in the quarterfinals.
 
The quarterfinal race was a pivotal match-up against another driver trying to get into the championship discussion. It was Langdon who closed the door with a hard fought win as both Top Fuel dragsters had issues on their respective passes. Langdon lost a cylinder at the hit of the throttle while his opponent Leah Pruett was losing multiple cylinders on her run. Langdon was able to keep her at bay with a starting line advantage and a masterful job of keeping his DHL dragster in the middle of the groove.
 
The DHL dragster made a solid run in the semifinals against the point leader and eventual winner Steve Torrence but it wasn’t enough. Langdon jumped off the line first but as the dragsters reached half-track he was losing ground. The DHL dragster got to the finish line stripe in 3.780 seconds but that wasn’t enough for Torrence’s 3.720 second run.
 
"We weren't as successful as we wanted to be this weekend,” said Langdon. “We were quick in qualifying and we made some good runs today. I would have liked to have gotten that win in the semifinals for our DHL team and also to help Doug (Kalitta). There are two more races we will be racing to win both of them."
 
Quotable:
Langdon on racing at Texas Motorplex: “This was the first of two races in Texas. It is good to get to some new tracks. There were a lot of fans here who were excited to see the DHL dragster. I just like getting out here and racing. I am looking forward to getting to Houston next weekend.”
 
Statistics:
Qualified: No. 4 (3.727 sec., 317.49 mph) 
Bonus points: +1 (3rd quickest of Q2)

Race Details:

First Round
Driver                          Qual    R/T      ET        MPH  
Shawn Langdon         4          .052     3.742   307.44 (W)
Kebin Kinsley               11        .077     4.217   231.40
 
Second Round
Driver                          Qual    R/T      ET        MPH  
Shawn Langdon         4          .056     3.825   311.77 (W)
Leah Pruett                 5          .084     3.863   293.86
 
Semifinal Round
Driver                          Qual    R/T      ET        MPH  
Shawn Langdon         4          .050     3.780   318.62
Steve Torrence            1          .070     3.720   326.79 (W)

JR Fall Nats

Todd and DHL Camry Race to Quarterfinals at Texas Motorplex

The DHL Toyota Camry and J.R. Todd rolled into the Texas Motorplex looking to add a Funny Car title to his Top Fuel win. The 35th annual AAA Texas NHRA FallNationals was a battle for Todd and his DHL-backed team. After two runs on Saturday his team entered race day as the No. 8 qualifier with a first round match-up against veteran Paul Lee.
 
Todd and most of the Funny Car class had to wait out two lengthy delays, a huge oil down in Top Fuel and then a massive fire by fellow Funny Car competitor Alexis DeJoria. Fortunately, DeJoria was unscathed from the fire but the ensuing clean up delayed the completion of the first round by almost 45 minutes. As the DHL team waited to get started track conditions evolved. Never the less Todd prevailed in the first round.
 
He took a significant starting line advantage with a superior reaction time and his DHL Toyota Camry Funny Car never trailed in the race lighting up the scoreboard with an impressive winning time of 3.881 seconds. It was his quickest run of the weekend and his speed, 331.36 mph would hold up as top speed of the event. He also secured lane choice against his quarterfinal opponent.
 
In the second round Todd’s day was cut short as he fell to eventual runner-up Matt Hagan in a close side by side race. Hagan’s winning elapsed time of 3.928 bested Todd’s 3.987 second pass.
 
“We just got outrun in the second round,” explained Todd. “We’ve got to figure out how to run hard against those DSR cars because they’re the ones stopping everyone right now. We’ll go on to Houston and figure it out.”
 
His first round win and performance numbers encouraged Todd but the 2018 Funny Car world champion know his team is capable of winning races and getting back into championship form.
 
“It was kind of bittersweet to do that and then slow down in the second round. It’s always good to win rounds, but we’re out here to win races. We’ve got two races to try to get two wins for DHL, Toyota and all of our great sponsors,” summed up Todd at the end of the day.
 
Quotable:
J.R. Todd on the final two races: “We have Houston and Las Vegas over the next two weeks. I like our chances. Hopefully conditions will be consistent in Houston and we can build on our performance numbers from this race. I have had a lot of success in Las Vegas. We have the opportunity to finish strong and that is what I want to do.”
 
Statistics:
Qualified: No. 8 (3.927 sec., 327.27 mph)
Bonus points:  0

Race Details:
 
First Round
Driver                          Qual    R/T      ET        MPH  
J.R. Todd                     8          .088     3.881   331.36 (W)     
Paul Lee                      9          .103     3.932   330.39
 
Second Round
Driver                          Qual    R/T      ET        MPH  
J.R. Todd                     8          .078     3.987   326.00
Matt Hagan                 1          .055     3.928   326.63 (W)

Kalitta Merchandise

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Funny Car Points

Unofficial NHRA Championship Standings

Funny Car

1 Matt Hagan 842
2 Tommy Johnson Jr 800
3 Jack Beckman 799
4 Ron Capps 679
5 Bob Tasca III 595
6 J.R. Todd 584
7 Tim Wilkerson 570
8 Alexis DeJoria 489
9 Cruz Pedregon 388
10 Paul Lee 382

 

Top Fuel Points

Unofficial NHRA Championship Standings:

Top Fuel

1 Steve Torrence 868
2 Doug Kalitta 767
3 Billy Torrence 675
4 Leah Pruett 670
5 Shawn Langdon 544
6 Antron Brown 534
7 Justin Ashley 485
8 Terry McMillen 436
9 Tony Schumacher 415
10 Clay Millican 414

 

 

 

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